The subfamily Ctenodactylinae is known from the Early Miocene to the present. Today this group comprises five species, restricted to north and east equatorial areas in Africa. However, in Miocene times the ctenodactylines experienced their greatest diversification and widest distribution, from Asia, their land of origin, to Africa, which they entered during the Middle Miocene at the latest. So far 24 species can be referred to this group: Ctenodactylus gundi, C. vali, Massoutiera mzabi, Felovia vae, Pectinator spekei, Pellegrinia panormensis, Sayimys obliquidens, S. baskini, S. giganteus, S. assarrarensis, S. intermedius, S. sivalensis, Metasayimys curvidens, Africanomys pulcher, A. major, A. minor, A. kettarati, Irhoudia bohlini, I. robinsoni, Pireddamys rayi, Sardomys dawnsonae, S. antoniettae, Akzharomys mallos and Prosayimys flynni. A cladistic analysis involving all of the above-mentioned species has been carried out. P. flynni emerged as the most basal species of the ingroup. The genus Sayimys did not appear monophyletic. This analysis also provided information on the origin not only of the African ctenodactylines, found to be the Indian subcontinent, but also the origin of European ctenodactylines: Asiatic for Sardinian species, African for Sicilian species.