Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The golden frog is active during the day (3) and lives in groups usually consisting of twice as many males as females (4). It is an insectivorous species, feeding on termites, fruit flies, ants and a huge range of other insects (4). Breeding tends to start after the first heavy rains of the year, and when there is plenty of food. Males attract females with their call (4). The male will then rapidly move himself to the female's back, without embracing her (virtual or cephalic amplexus) (6). The females do not lay their eggs in water, but in damp leaf litter, moss or under bark and rocks next to a water source (4). Each clutch contains 20 - 60 white eggs, each one measuring up to 2 mm in diameter (3); they are fertilised by the male immediately after laying (4). Two weeks later the tadpoles hatch out and they either wriggle into water or are are washed into small pools by heavy rain. It takes around 70 days for the tadpoles to metamorphose into froglets which measure 11 mm in length (3). The typical yellow-red colouration is acquired only after some weeks (6). Sexual maturity is reached 12 to 14 months later, and the average life span is eight years (4).
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Description

The golden frog is a small poisonous frog which is bright yellow, orange or red with some red colouration on the upper surface of the hind legs (3). It is a member of the Madagascan genus Mantella, the members of which have evolved to be very similar in appearance and behaviour to the very distantly related poison arrow frogs of South America (family Dendrobatidae) (3). In this species, the eyes are typically black, although there may occasionally be golden pigmentation in the upper portion of the iris (3). The legs are short, and the tips of the fingers and toes bear distinct adhesive pads (4). Males are typically smaller than females and have a more angular body shape. The bellies of males are generally lighter in colour than those of females. Two pale-coloured ducts that carry sperm and urine are often visible passing along the belly (4). Males do not call as often as other species of mantella frogs (4); the call is composed of a series of short notes, each of which includes three short clicks (3). The tadpoles of this species do not have external gills, and the eyes are located on the top of the head. Young froglets are olive green in colour with dark marks on the back and the hind limbs feature dark bands (3).
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Comprehensive Description

Description

A generally rather small and stout Mantella, 19-24 mm, females rarely can reach up to 31 mm. Dorsally uniformly yellow-orange, in some populations red-orange, often with a translucent shade. Bright red flashmarks present. Iris nearly uniformly black, only a little light pigment in its upper part. Ventrally uniform, similar to dorsal surface but generally somewhat lighter, except red flashmark (extended nearly on the whole tibia). Some inner organs visible through the slightly transparent ventral skin. Similar species: The colouration of M. aurantiaca is unique.

Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007).

Featured in Amazing Amphibians on 29 July 2013

  • Andreone, F., Cadle, J. E., Cox, N., Glaw, F., Nussbaum, R. A., Raxworthy, C. J., Stuart, S. N., Vallan, D., and Vences, M. (2005). ''Species review of amphibian extinction risks in Madagascar: conclusions from the Global Amphibian Assessment.'' Conservation Biology, 19(6), 1790-1802.
  • CITES Secretariat (2008). Review of significant trade in specimens of Appendix-II species. Twenty-third meeting of the Animals Committee Geneva (Switzerland), 19-24 April 2008. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Available in .pdf format from http://www.cites.org/eng/com/AC/23/E23-08-04.pdf
  • Clark, V. C., Raxworthy, C. J., Rakotomalala, V., Sierwald, P., and Fisher, B. L. (2005). ''Convergent evolution of chemical defense in poison frogs and arthropod prey between Madagascar and the Neotropics.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(33), 11617-11622.
  • Daly, J. W., Andriamaharavo, N. B., Andriantsiferana, M., and Myers, C. W. (1996). ''Madagascan poison frogs (Mantella) and their skin alkaloids.'' American Museum Novitates, 3177, 1-34.
  • Daly, J.W., Highet, R., and Myers, C. (1984). ''Occurence of skin alkaloids in non-dendrobatid frogs from Brazil (Bufonidae), Australia (Myobatrachidae) and Madagascar (Mantellinae).'' Toxicon, 22(6), 905-919.
  • Garraffo, H. M., Caceres, J., Daly, J. W., Spande, T. F., Andriamaharavo, N. R., and Andriantsiferana, M. (1993). ''Alkaloids in Madagascan frogs (Mantella): pumiliotoxins, indolizidines, quinolizidines, and pyrrolizidines.'' Journal of Natural Products, 56, 1016-1038.
  • Rabemananjara, F., Bora, P., Razafindrabe, T., Randriamitso, E., Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona, O., Rasoamanpionona Raminosoa, N., Rakotondravony, D., Vieites, D.R., and Vences, M. (in press). Rapid assessments of population sizes in ten species of Malagasy poison frogs, genus Mantella. A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar. Monografie del Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino, XLI.
  • Rabemananjara, F., Rasoamampionona Raminosoa, N., Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona, O., Andreone, F., Bora, P., Carpenter, A.I., Glaw, F., Razafindrabe, T., Vallan, D., Vieites, D.R., and Vences, M. (2007). ''Malagasy poison frogs in the pet trade: a survey of levels of exploitation of species in the genus Mantella.'' Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, 5, 3-16.
  • Schaefer, H.-C., Vences, M., and Veith, M. (2002). ''Molecular phylogeny of Malagasy poison frogs, genus Mantella (Anura: Mantellidae): homoplastic evolution of colour pattern in aposematic amphibians.'' Organisms, Diversity and Evolution, 2, 97-105.
  • Vences, M. and Raxworthy, C. (2008). Mantella aurantiaca. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 April 2009.
  • Vences, M., Chiari, Y., Raharivololoniaina, L., and Meyer, A. (2004). ''High mitochondrial diversity within and among populations of Malagasy poison frogs.'' Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 30, 295-307.
  • Woodhead, C., Vences, M., Vieites, D. R., Gamboni, I., Fisher, B. L., and Griffiths, R. A. (2007). ''Specialist or generalist: feeding ecology of the Malagasy poison frog Mantella aurantiaca.'' Herpetological Journal, 17, 225-236.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2006). A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, 3rd Edition. Vences & Glaw Verlag GbR, Köln.
  • Ahl, E. (1929). ''Beschreibung neuer Frösche aus Madagaskar.'' Mitteilungen des zoologischen Museums Berlin, 14(3-4), 469-484.
  • Arnoult, J. (1966). ''Contribution a l'étude des batraciens de Madagascar. Écologie et développement des Mantella aurantiaca Mocquard 1900.'' Bulletin du Muséum National d’histoire Naturelle, Série 2, 37(6), 931-940.
  • Glaw, F., Schmidt, K., and Vences, M. (2000). ''Nachzucht, Juvenilfärbung und Oophagie von Mantella laevigata im Vergleich zu anderen Arten der Gattung (Amphibia: Ranidae).'' Salamandra, 36, 1-24.
  • Odierna, G., Vences, M., Aprea, G., Lötters, S., and Andreone, F. (2001). ''Chromosome data for Malagasy poison frogs (Amphibia: Ranidae: Mantella) and their bearing on taxonomy and phylogeny.'' Zoological Science, 18, 505-514.
  • Zimmermann, H. and Hetz, S. (1992). ''Vorläufige Bestandsaufnahme und Kartierung des gefährdeten Goldfröschchen, Mantella aurantiaca, im tropischen Regenwald Ost-Madagaskars.'' Herpetofauna, 14(77), 33-34.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species has a very restricted distribution in east-central Madagascar, centred on the Torotorofotsy area (c. 7km north-west of Andasibe) and the Andromena Forest at the Samarirana River. Several other small forest fragments north and south of Moramanga are populated by the species as well. Its recorded altitudinal range is 920-960 m asl.
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Distribution and Habitat

Andranomandry, Andranomena, Torotorofotsy. It occurs between 920-960m aslin primary and secondary rainforest and usually damp, swampy areas, often associated with screw pine (Pandanus) forest (Vences et al. 2008).

  • Andreone, F., Cadle, J. E., Cox, N., Glaw, F., Nussbaum, R. A., Raxworthy, C. J., Stuart, S. N., Vallan, D., and Vences, M. (2005). ''Species review of amphibian extinction risks in Madagascar: conclusions from the Global Amphibian Assessment.'' Conservation Biology, 19(6), 1790-1802.
  • CITES Secretariat (2008). Review of significant trade in specimens of Appendix-II species. Twenty-third meeting of the Animals Committee Geneva (Switzerland), 19-24 April 2008. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Available in .pdf format from http://www.cites.org/eng/com/AC/23/E23-08-04.pdf
  • Clark, V. C., Raxworthy, C. J., Rakotomalala, V., Sierwald, P., and Fisher, B. L. (2005). ''Convergent evolution of chemical defense in poison frogs and arthropod prey between Madagascar and the Neotropics.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(33), 11617-11622.
  • Daly, J. W., Andriamaharavo, N. B., Andriantsiferana, M., and Myers, C. W. (1996). ''Madagascan poison frogs (Mantella) and their skin alkaloids.'' American Museum Novitates, 3177, 1-34.
  • Daly, J.W., Highet, R., and Myers, C. (1984). ''Occurence of skin alkaloids in non-dendrobatid frogs from Brazil (Bufonidae), Australia (Myobatrachidae) and Madagascar (Mantellinae).'' Toxicon, 22(6), 905-919.
  • Garraffo, H. M., Caceres, J., Daly, J. W., Spande, T. F., Andriamaharavo, N. R., and Andriantsiferana, M. (1993). ''Alkaloids in Madagascan frogs (Mantella): pumiliotoxins, indolizidines, quinolizidines, and pyrrolizidines.'' Journal of Natural Products, 56, 1016-1038.
  • Rabemananjara, F., Bora, P., Razafindrabe, T., Randriamitso, E., Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona, O., Rasoamanpionona Raminosoa, N., Rakotondravony, D., Vieites, D.R., and Vences, M. (in press). Rapid assessments of population sizes in ten species of Malagasy poison frogs, genus Mantella. A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar. Monografie del Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino, XLI.
  • Rabemananjara, F., Rasoamampionona Raminosoa, N., Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona, O., Andreone, F., Bora, P., Carpenter, A.I., Glaw, F., Razafindrabe, T., Vallan, D., Vieites, D.R., and Vences, M. (2007). ''Malagasy poison frogs in the pet trade: a survey of levels of exploitation of species in the genus Mantella.'' Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, 5, 3-16.
  • Schaefer, H.-C., Vences, M., and Veith, M. (2002). ''Molecular phylogeny of Malagasy poison frogs, genus Mantella (Anura: Mantellidae): homoplastic evolution of colour pattern in aposematic amphibians.'' Organisms, Diversity and Evolution, 2, 97-105.
  • Vences, M. and Raxworthy, C. (2008). Mantella aurantiaca. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 April 2009.
  • Vences, M., Chiari, Y., Raharivololoniaina, L., and Meyer, A. (2004). ''High mitochondrial diversity within and among populations of Malagasy poison frogs.'' Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 30, 295-307.
  • Woodhead, C., Vences, M., Vieites, D. R., Gamboni, I., Fisher, B. L., and Griffiths, R. A. (2007). ''Specialist or generalist: feeding ecology of the Malagasy poison frog Mantella aurantiaca.'' Herpetological Journal, 17, 225-236.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2006). A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, 3rd Edition. Vences & Glaw Verlag GbR, Köln.
  • Ahl, E. (1929). ''Beschreibung neuer Frösche aus Madagaskar.'' Mitteilungen des zoologischen Museums Berlin, 14(3-4), 469-484.
  • Arnoult, J. (1966). ''Contribution a l'étude des batraciens de Madagascar. Écologie et développement des Mantella aurantiaca Mocquard 1900.'' Bulletin du Muséum National d’histoire Naturelle, Série 2, 37(6), 931-940.
  • Glaw, F., Schmidt, K., and Vences, M. (2000). ''Nachzucht, Juvenilfärbung und Oophagie von Mantella laevigata im Vergleich zu anderen Arten der Gattung (Amphibia: Ranidae).'' Salamandra, 36, 1-24.
  • Odierna, G., Vences, M., Aprea, G., Lötters, S., and Andreone, F. (2001). ''Chromosome data for Malagasy poison frogs (Amphibia: Ranidae: Mantella) and their bearing on taxonomy and phylogeny.'' Zoological Science, 18, 505-514.
  • Zimmermann, H. and Hetz, S. (1992). ''Vorläufige Bestandsaufnahme und Kartierung des gefährdeten Goldfröschchen, Mantella aurantiaca, im tropischen Regenwald Ost-Madagaskars.'' Herpetofauna, 14(77), 33-34.
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Geographic Range

Mantella aurantiaca occupy the montane pandanus forests around Andasibe and they are typically found in isolated patches ranging throughout southeastern Madagascar.

Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )

Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

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Range

This frog is endemic to central-eastern Madagascar (6), where it occurs in a highly restricted area at elevations over 900m (3).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Adult snout vent lengths (SVLs) are typically 1.25 inches, although 1.5 inch SVLs have been reported. These frogs exhibit brilliant golden-orange coloration that is impossible to miss. They occasionally have red flash marks on the inner portion of the hind legs. The eyes of this species are jet black. The legs are very short with distinct adhesive disks found on the fingers and toes (Badger, 1995). There is sexual dimorphism. Males are generally smaller, slimmer and more angular in build than females, and tend not to call as much as other species of male mantellas. The male's ventral surface is lighter in color and therefore causes the seminiferous ducts (narrow pair of pale lines) to be visible. These ducts hava a dual purpose in males, carrying both sperm and urine. Females also have these ducts but they are, for the most part, concealed by the uterus and oviducts. The ducts in females do not carry sperm but they still function in urine transportation (Staniszewski, 1997).

Average length: 3.175 cm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry ; poisonous

Sexual Dimorphism: female larger; sexes shaped differently

  • Badger, D. 1995. Frogs. NY: Barnes and Noble, Inc.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is a terrestrial species of primary and secondary rainforest only, and usually found in damp, swampy areas, often associated with screw pine (Pandanus) forest. The eggs are laid on the ground, and the larvae are flushed by rain into swamps, temporary ponds, and flooded forest, where they develop further.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Golden mantellas are considered an "upland" species, due to the fact that they are found at an altitude of about 900 meters. The climate is typically moist, humid and temperate. They usually inhabit mossy or grassy mounds of forest debris that border shallow swampy waters.

Range elevation: 900 (high) m.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: forest ; rainforest

Wetlands: swamp

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Inhabits Pandanus forests where it is found in sunny areas. They tend to occur amongst vegetation in swampy sites (3).
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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Mantella aurantiaca are entirely insectivorous. A diet commonly consists of termites (Isoptera), ants (Formicidae), fruitflies (Drosphila), and just about any other arthropod that can be fit into the mouth. Golden mantellas are known for attempting to eat anything, even if the taste is repulsive (Bartlett, 1996).

Animal Foods: insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore )

  • Bartlett, R. 1996. Frogs, Toads, and Treefrogs. NY: Barron's Educational Series.
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Associations

Predation

The brilliant colors exhibited by M. aurantiaca can be attributed to a phenomenon called aposematic coloration, where toxic or dangerous animals use bright colors or marking to advertise their toxicity to potential predators. Golden mantellas have toxic skin secretions, protecting them from most predators.

Anti-predator Adaptations: aposematic

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Golden mantellas use auditory cues, and may also use visual or chemical cues to communicate. They use their vision to locate prey.

Communication Channels: tactile ; acoustic

Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic ; vibrations

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Life Cycle

Development

Eggs undergo rapid terrestrial development (2-6 day hatch period) and the newly hatched tadpoles either wriggle to the nearby water source or are washed into the water by storms (Bartlett, 1996). Tadpoles typically metamorphose into froglets 6 to 8 weeks after hatching. The tadpoles are primarily herbivores, feeding on algae and detritus, although some meat matter may be incorporated into the diet. Once the tadpoles become froglets, they are usually 10 to 14 mm in SVL and begin feeding on the more typical adult insect (springtails and small aphids) (Staniszewski. 1997). Sexual maturity is reached in 12 to 14 months.

Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Mantella aurantiaca typically has a life span of 8 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
8 years.

Average lifespan

Sex: female

Status: captivity:
3.7 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 10.9 years (captivity)
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Reproduction

Males use a call consisting of a series of short notes, with three clicks per note, to attract female mates. Territorial aggression does occur in both sexes during this time, but especially in males. Intruders are sometimes grabbed around the upper body or head and are typically pushed away. The actual courtship process of this species is rather secretive and usually takes place under bark, logs, or rocks. If a non-gravid femaile is amplexed, she will flick her legs and back flip until the male releases her.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

Mating usually occurs when there has been an abundant amount of food available and when the first substantial rain comes. Once amplexus is successfully underway, a suitable egg-laying site will be searched for. These sites usually include damp moss, crevices in logs, underneath damp bark or rocks and are always adjacent to a water source (Staniszewski, 1997). Clutches consist of 12 to 30 eggs, 2 to 3 mm in diameter and are immediately fertilized by a male, although fertilization can occur up to 2 days later and by multiple males.

Breeding interval: Breeding occurs when food is abundant, depending on rainfall.

Breeding season: Breeding is opportunistic, occurring when conditions become favorable.

Range number of offspring: 12 to 30.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 12 to 14 months.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 12 to 14 months.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (External ); oviparous

Once the eggs are laid, parent golden mantellas have no further involvement in the development of their young.

Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
CR
Critically Endangered

Red List Criteria
B2ab(iii,v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Miguel Vences, Christopher Raxworthy

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Critically Endangered because its Area of Occupancy is probably less than 10km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and the extent of its forest habitat in east-central Madagascar is declining, and the number of mature individuals might also be declining through over-exploitation.

History
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
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Several human-caused factors are causing a decline in native populations of the golden mantella. Overcollection for the pet industry, introduced predatory species, major deforestation in Madagascar and human encroachment are all among the leading causes fueling this raging decline.

CITES: appendix ii

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: critically endangered

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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU A1cd) by the IUCN Red List 2003 (1) and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3). A revision of IUCN categorisation for the Malagasy amphibians led to inclusion of Mantella aurantiaca in the “critically endangered” category (Global Amphibian Assessment, Madagascar Working Group, unpublished) (6).
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Population

Population
It is extremely localized, being very abundant in tiny areas, often of just a few hectares.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

The occurrence of this species is correlated with humid Pandanus forest, where it can be found in sun-exposed sites (Glaw and Vences 2006). Here Mantella aurantiaca can be heard calling from the ground, among vegetation in swampy areas (Glaw and Vences 2006). It is active during the day (Blommers-Schlösser and Blanc 1991; Glaw and Vences, pers. obs.).

Calls: Irregular series of short chirping notes. The call (from Andasibe) consists of a series of short notes (duration 50-60 ms). An oscillogram of one note shows that it consists of 3 very short clicks. Frequency ranges from about 4.5-6.5 kHz, dominant frequency is about 5.3kHz. Another analysis confirms that notes consist of 3 clicks, but shows a frequency band between 3 and 7 kHz (Glaw and Vences 1994; Ahl 1929). The call has also been described as an irregular succession of short chirps (Glaw and Vences 2006).

Eggs and tadpoles (from near Andasibe): Eggs are deposited in moist leaf litter outside of water. One clutch consists of 20-60 whitish eggs (diameter 1.5-2mm). Embryogenesis lasts 14 days and the tadpoles are flooded into small pools by heavy rain. The tadpoles develop within about 70 days into froglets measuring 11 mm (Glaw and Vences 1994). Frogs of the genus Mantella are sexually mature within a year after metamorphosis and thus have short generation times (Glaw et al. 2000).

The adult colouration is probably aposematic, as M. aurantiaca contains a variety of toxins in the skin, including pumiliotoxin, allopumiliotoxin and homopumiliotoxin alkaloids, as well as pyrrolizidines, indolizidines and quinolizidines (Daly et al. 1984, 1996; Garraffo et al. 1993). This toxicity is derived from dietary sources, as is the case with dendrobatid frogs (Daly et al. 1997). Captive-bred M. aurantiaca lack toxicity when fed non-toxic arthropods, but readily accumulate alkaloids when fed alkaloid-dusted fruit flies (Daly et al. 1997).

  • Andreone, F., Cadle, J. E., Cox, N., Glaw, F., Nussbaum, R. A., Raxworthy, C. J., Stuart, S. N., Vallan, D., and Vences, M. (2005). ''Species review of amphibian extinction risks in Madagascar: conclusions from the Global Amphibian Assessment.'' Conservation Biology, 19(6), 1790-1802.
  • CITES Secretariat (2008). Review of significant trade in specimens of Appendix-II species. Twenty-third meeting of the Animals Committee Geneva (Switzerland), 19-24 April 2008. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Available in .pdf format from http://www.cites.org/eng/com/AC/23/E23-08-04.pdf
  • Clark, V. C., Raxworthy, C. J., Rakotomalala, V., Sierwald, P., and Fisher, B. L. (2005). ''Convergent evolution of chemical defense in poison frogs and arthropod prey between Madagascar and the Neotropics.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(33), 11617-11622.
  • Daly, J. W., Andriamaharavo, N. B., Andriantsiferana, M., and Myers, C. W. (1996). ''Madagascan poison frogs (Mantella) and their skin alkaloids.'' American Museum Novitates, 3177, 1-34.
  • Daly, J.W., Highet, R., and Myers, C. (1984). ''Occurence of skin alkaloids in non-dendrobatid frogs from Brazil (Bufonidae), Australia (Myobatrachidae) and Madagascar (Mantellinae).'' Toxicon, 22(6), 905-919.
  • Garraffo, H. M., Caceres, J., Daly, J. W., Spande, T. F., Andriamaharavo, N. R., and Andriantsiferana, M. (1993). ''Alkaloids in Madagascan frogs (Mantella): pumiliotoxins, indolizidines, quinolizidines, and pyrrolizidines.'' Journal of Natural Products, 56, 1016-1038.
  • Rabemananjara, F., Bora, P., Razafindrabe, T., Randriamitso, E., Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona, O., Rasoamanpionona Raminosoa, N., Rakotondravony, D., Vieites, D.R., and Vences, M. (in press). Rapid assessments of population sizes in ten species of Malagasy poison frogs, genus Mantella. A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar. Monografie del Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino, XLI.
  • Rabemananjara, F., Rasoamampionona Raminosoa, N., Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona, O., Andreone, F., Bora, P., Carpenter, A.I., Glaw, F., Razafindrabe, T., Vallan, D., Vieites, D.R., and Vences, M. (2007). ''Malagasy poison frogs in the pet trade: a survey of levels of exploitation of species in the genus Mantella.'' Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, 5, 3-16.
  • Schaefer, H.-C., Vences, M., and Veith, M. (2002). ''Molecular phylogeny of Malagasy poison frogs, genus Mantella (Anura: Mantellidae): homoplastic evolution of colour pattern in aposematic amphibians.'' Organisms, Diversity and Evolution, 2, 97-105.
  • Vences, M. and Raxworthy, C. (2008). Mantella aurantiaca. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 April 2009.
  • Vences, M., Chiari, Y., Raharivololoniaina, L., and Meyer, A. (2004). ''High mitochondrial diversity within and among populations of Malagasy poison frogs.'' Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 30, 295-307.
  • Woodhead, C., Vences, M., Vieites, D. R., Gamboni, I., Fisher, B. L., and Griffiths, R. A. (2007). ''Specialist or generalist: feeding ecology of the Malagasy poison frog Mantella aurantiaca.'' Herpetological Journal, 17, 225-236.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2006). A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, 3rd Edition. Vences & Glaw Verlag GbR, Köln.
  • Ahl, E. (1929). ''Beschreibung neuer Frösche aus Madagaskar.'' Mitteilungen des zoologischen Museums Berlin, 14(3-4), 469-484.
  • Arnoult, J. (1966). ''Contribution a l'étude des batraciens de Madagascar. Écologie et développement des Mantella aurantiaca Mocquard 1900.'' Bulletin du Muséum National d’histoire Naturelle, Série 2, 37(6), 931-940.
  • Glaw, F., Schmidt, K., and Vences, M. (2000). ''Nachzucht, Juvenilfärbung und Oophagie von Mantella laevigata im Vergleich zu anderen Arten der Gattung (Amphibia: Ranidae).'' Salamandra, 36, 1-24.
  • Odierna, G., Vences, M., Aprea, G., Lötters, S., and Andreone, F. (2001). ''Chromosome data for Malagasy poison frogs (Amphibia: Ranidae: Mantella) and their bearing on taxonomy and phylogeny.'' Zoological Science, 18, 505-514.
  • Zimmermann, H. and Hetz, S. (1992). ''Vorläufige Bestandsaufnahme und Kartierung des gefährdeten Goldfröschchen, Mantella aurantiaca, im tropischen Regenwald Ost-Madagaskars.'' Herpetofauna, 14(77), 33-34.
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Threats

Major Threats
It is restricted to a fragment of forest surrounded by degraded land, and the remaining forest is under threat from subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, fires, and expanding human settlements. Recent surveys indicate that the habitat is being degraded in all the areas where the species occurs, and in 2001 a significant amount of the remaining suitable habitat at Torotorofotsy was affected by fire (although three years later the species was still common in the affected areas). However, the remaining habitat for the species is now severely fragmented. It is also possible that over-collecting for commercial and private purposes is a threat, but so far such harvesting has not had a visible effect on its populations.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Critically Endangered: area of occupancy is probably less than 10km2. Its distribution is severely fragmented, and the extent of its forest habitat in east-central Madagascar is declining, and the number of mature individuals might also be declining through over-exploitation.It does not occur in protected areas, but it is found near to the Réserve Spéciale d’Analamazaotra. This species is being maintained in captivity by about 35 zoos and other institutions and is being bred in captivity by public institutions and many private individuals (Vences et al. 2008).

  • Andreone, F., Cadle, J. E., Cox, N., Glaw, F., Nussbaum, R. A., Raxworthy, C. J., Stuart, S. N., Vallan, D., and Vences, M. (2005). ''Species review of amphibian extinction risks in Madagascar: conclusions from the Global Amphibian Assessment.'' Conservation Biology, 19(6), 1790-1802.
  • CITES Secretariat (2008). Review of significant trade in specimens of Appendix-II species. Twenty-third meeting of the Animals Committee Geneva (Switzerland), 19-24 April 2008. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Available in .pdf format from http://www.cites.org/eng/com/AC/23/E23-08-04.pdf
  • Clark, V. C., Raxworthy, C. J., Rakotomalala, V., Sierwald, P., and Fisher, B. L. (2005). ''Convergent evolution of chemical defense in poison frogs and arthropod prey between Madagascar and the Neotropics.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(33), 11617-11622.
  • Daly, J. W., Andriamaharavo, N. B., Andriantsiferana, M., and Myers, C. W. (1996). ''Madagascan poison frogs (Mantella) and their skin alkaloids.'' American Museum Novitates, 3177, 1-34.
  • Daly, J.W., Highet, R., and Myers, C. (1984). ''Occurence of skin alkaloids in non-dendrobatid frogs from Brazil (Bufonidae), Australia (Myobatrachidae) and Madagascar (Mantellinae).'' Toxicon, 22(6), 905-919.
  • Garraffo, H. M., Caceres, J., Daly, J. W., Spande, T. F., Andriamaharavo, N. R., and Andriantsiferana, M. (1993). ''Alkaloids in Madagascan frogs (Mantella): pumiliotoxins, indolizidines, quinolizidines, and pyrrolizidines.'' Journal of Natural Products, 56, 1016-1038.
  • Rabemananjara, F., Bora, P., Razafindrabe, T., Randriamitso, E., Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona, O., Rasoamanpionona Raminosoa, N., Rakotondravony, D., Vieites, D.R., and Vences, M. (in press). Rapid assessments of population sizes in ten species of Malagasy poison frogs, genus Mantella. A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar. Monografie del Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino, XLI.
  • Rabemananjara, F., Rasoamampionona Raminosoa, N., Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona, O., Andreone, F., Bora, P., Carpenter, A.I., Glaw, F., Razafindrabe, T., Vallan, D., Vieites, D.R., and Vences, M. (2007). ''Malagasy poison frogs in the pet trade: a survey of levels of exploitation of species in the genus Mantella.'' Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, 5, 3-16.
  • Schaefer, H.-C., Vences, M., and Veith, M. (2002). ''Molecular phylogeny of Malagasy poison frogs, genus Mantella (Anura: Mantellidae): homoplastic evolution of colour pattern in aposematic amphibians.'' Organisms, Diversity and Evolution, 2, 97-105.
  • Vences, M. and Raxworthy, C. (2008). Mantella aurantiaca. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 April 2009.
  • Vences, M., Chiari, Y., Raharivololoniaina, L., and Meyer, A. (2004). ''High mitochondrial diversity within and among populations of Malagasy poison frogs.'' Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 30, 295-307.
  • Woodhead, C., Vences, M., Vieites, D. R., Gamboni, I., Fisher, B. L., and Griffiths, R. A. (2007). ''Specialist or generalist: feeding ecology of the Malagasy poison frog Mantella aurantiaca.'' Herpetological Journal, 17, 225-236.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2006). A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, 3rd Edition. Vences & Glaw Verlag GbR, Köln.
  • Ahl, E. (1929). ''Beschreibung neuer Frösche aus Madagaskar.'' Mitteilungen des zoologischen Museums Berlin, 14(3-4), 469-484.
  • Arnoult, J. (1966). ''Contribution a l'étude des batraciens de Madagascar. Écologie et développement des Mantella aurantiaca Mocquard 1900.'' Bulletin du Muséum National d’histoire Naturelle, Série 2, 37(6), 931-940.
  • Glaw, F., Schmidt, K., and Vences, M. (2000). ''Nachzucht, Juvenilfärbung und Oophagie von Mantella laevigata im Vergleich zu anderen Arten der Gattung (Amphibia: Ranidae).'' Salamandra, 36, 1-24.
  • Odierna, G., Vences, M., Aprea, G., Lötters, S., and Andreone, F. (2001). ''Chromosome data for Malagasy poison frogs (Amphibia: Ranidae: Mantella) and their bearing on taxonomy and phylogeny.'' Zoological Science, 18, 505-514.
  • Zimmermann, H. and Hetz, S. (1992). ''Vorläufige Bestandsaufnahme und Kartierung des gefährdeten Goldfröschchen, Mantella aurantiaca, im tropischen Regenwald Ost-Madagaskars.'' Herpetofauna, 14(77), 33-34.
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This species is very popular in the pet-trade and over-collection of individuals is still carried out at some areas. Although at present there are no signs of reduction of population size due to this take off, it must be carefully monitored in the future to assure the survivorship of the species (6). Furthermore, large-scale deforestation, predation by introduced species, and encroachment by humans are all posing threats to this frog (4).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Limits on exportation of animals have been imposed, and the trade has been greatly reduced. Plans to implement a controlled, sustainable trade through a trade quota should be encouraged, and would help ensure the survival of its habitat, as well as probably being more effective than complete trade bans. This species is being maintained in captivity by about 35 zoos and other institutions and is being bred in captivity by public institutions and many private individuals. It does not occur in protected areas, but it is found near to the Réserve Spéciale d'Analamazaotra. The species was recently recorded from a cluster of unprotected forest localities to the south of Moramanga. These forests are under severe pressure and should be considered as conservation priorities for protection (Andreone et al. 2008).
It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
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Conservation

All mantella frogs are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which controls international trade in these species (2). The golden frog is bred in captivity in a number of zoos and other breeding facilities, including the Detroit Zoological Institute's National Amphibian Conservation Centre, which breeds hundreds each year for use in breeding programmes in other institutions (5). The provision of captive-bred individuals to zoos reduces the stress on wild populations caused by collection. Captive breeding programmes may also provide a genetic reservoir of a species to safeguard it should the population undergo a drastic decline or even become extinct; they also provide sources of animals for reintroduction to the wild and allow research to be carried out (5). Although captive breeding is an important facet of any conservation programme, protection of the remaining wild populations and the habitat on which they depend is of great importance (7).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Golden mantellas are toxic, although humans would not typically be exposed to this toxin if they are not harassing these frogs.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (poisonous )

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Many individuals are captured from the wild for the pet trade while some are now captive bred.

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Risks

Relation to Humans

This species is collected for the pet trade and is commonly bred in captivity (Glaw et al. 2000). Commercial export of M. aurantiaca began in the late 1980s or early 1990s, but was halted in 2002 (CITES Secretariat 2008). Import of wild-caught specimens to the European Union has been banned since 2006 (CITES Secretariat 2008). There is thought to be little illegal trade of wild-caught specimens owing to the low price paid to Malagasy collectors plus the high sensitivity of mantellas to transport conditions (CITES Secretariat 2008).

  • Andreone, F., Cadle, J. E., Cox, N., Glaw, F., Nussbaum, R. A., Raxworthy, C. J., Stuart, S. N., Vallan, D., and Vences, M. (2005). ''Species review of amphibian extinction risks in Madagascar: conclusions from the Global Amphibian Assessment.'' Conservation Biology, 19(6), 1790-1802.
  • CITES Secretariat (2008). Review of significant trade in specimens of Appendix-II species. Twenty-third meeting of the Animals Committee Geneva (Switzerland), 19-24 April 2008. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Available in .pdf format from http://www.cites.org/eng/com/AC/23/E23-08-04.pdf
  • Clark, V. C., Raxworthy, C. J., Rakotomalala, V., Sierwald, P., and Fisher, B. L. (2005). ''Convergent evolution of chemical defense in poison frogs and arthropod prey between Madagascar and the Neotropics.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(33), 11617-11622.
  • Daly, J. W., Andriamaharavo, N. B., Andriantsiferana, M., and Myers, C. W. (1996). ''Madagascan poison frogs (Mantella) and their skin alkaloids.'' American Museum Novitates, 3177, 1-34.
  • Daly, J.W., Highet, R., and Myers, C. (1984). ''Occurence of skin alkaloids in non-dendrobatid frogs from Brazil (Bufonidae), Australia (Myobatrachidae) and Madagascar (Mantellinae).'' Toxicon, 22(6), 905-919.
  • Garraffo, H. M., Caceres, J., Daly, J. W., Spande, T. F., Andriamaharavo, N. R., and Andriantsiferana, M. (1993). ''Alkaloids in Madagascan frogs (Mantella): pumiliotoxins, indolizidines, quinolizidines, and pyrrolizidines.'' Journal of Natural Products, 56, 1016-1038.
  • Rabemananjara, F., Bora, P., Razafindrabe, T., Randriamitso, E., Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona, O., Rasoamanpionona Raminosoa, N., Rakotondravony, D., Vieites, D.R., and Vences, M. (in press). Rapid assessments of population sizes in ten species of Malagasy poison frogs, genus Mantella. A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar. Monografie del Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino, XLI.
  • Rabemananjara, F., Rasoamampionona Raminosoa, N., Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona, O., Andreone, F., Bora, P., Carpenter, A.I., Glaw, F., Razafindrabe, T., Vallan, D., Vieites, D.R., and Vences, M. (2007). ''Malagasy poison frogs in the pet trade: a survey of levels of exploitation of species in the genus Mantella.'' Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, 5, 3-16.
  • Schaefer, H.-C., Vences, M., and Veith, M. (2002). ''Molecular phylogeny of Malagasy poison frogs, genus Mantella (Anura: Mantellidae): homoplastic evolution of colour pattern in aposematic amphibians.'' Organisms, Diversity and Evolution, 2, 97-105.
  • Vences, M. and Raxworthy, C. (2008). Mantella aurantiaca. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 April 2009.
  • Vences, M., Chiari, Y., Raharivololoniaina, L., and Meyer, A. (2004). ''High mitochondrial diversity within and among populations of Malagasy poison frogs.'' Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 30, 295-307.
  • Woodhead, C., Vences, M., Vieites, D. R., Gamboni, I., Fisher, B. L., and Griffiths, R. A. (2007). ''Specialist or generalist: feeding ecology of the Malagasy poison frog Mantella aurantiaca.'' Herpetological Journal, 17, 225-236.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2006). A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, 3rd Edition. Vences & Glaw Verlag GbR, Köln.
  • Ahl, E. (1929). ''Beschreibung neuer Frösche aus Madagaskar.'' Mitteilungen des zoologischen Museums Berlin, 14(3-4), 469-484.
  • Arnoult, J. (1966). ''Contribution a l'étude des batraciens de Madagascar. Écologie et développement des Mantella aurantiaca Mocquard 1900.'' Bulletin du Muséum National d’histoire Naturelle, Série 2, 37(6), 931-940.
  • Glaw, F., Schmidt, K., and Vences, M. (2000). ''Nachzucht, Juvenilfärbung und Oophagie von Mantella laevigata im Vergleich zu anderen Arten der Gattung (Amphibia: Ranidae).'' Salamandra, 36, 1-24.
  • Odierna, G., Vences, M., Aprea, G., Lötters, S., and Andreone, F. (2001). ''Chromosome data for Malagasy poison frogs (Amphibia: Ranidae: Mantella) and their bearing on taxonomy and phylogeny.'' Zoological Science, 18, 505-514.
  • Zimmermann, H. and Hetz, S. (1992). ''Vorläufige Bestandsaufnahme und Kartierung des gefährdeten Goldfröschchen, Mantella aurantiaca, im tropischen Regenwald Ost-Madagaskars.'' Herpetofauna, 14(77), 33-34.
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Wikipedia

Golden mantella

The golden mantella (Mantella aurantiaca) is a small, terrestrial frog endemic to Madagascar. It has an extremely restricted distribution in three distinct areas centered around the town of Moramanga - Beparasy and Ambohibary Communes, Torotorofotsy Wetland northwest of Andasibe, and in the area of Ambakoana.[1] Mantella aurantiaca is one of Madagascar's most threatened amphibian species due to its limited distribution in an area under tremendous anthropogenic pressure. It may also be threatened by over-collection for the pet trade.[2]

Description[edit]

The golden mantella is a uniformly yellow, orange, or red frog measuring 20–26 mm.[3] The inner leg displays red flash marks. The tympanum is visible, but small. Brightly colored skin warns predators that the frog is poisonous.[4] It is thought that the brilliant colors exhibited by the golden mantella are an example of aposematism, warning predators of the poisonous nature of the frog.

Ecology and behavior[edit]

The golden mantella is highly seasonal in its behavior and remains largely inactive during the winter months of May–October. When the rains arrive and the temperature warms, frogs emerge from hiding and use small lentic wetlands for breeding.[1] Males often call from concealed positions near a water source. The call is a repeated click. The frogs do not seem to engage in typical amplexus but rather the male only moves himself over the female's back in virtual amplexus.[5] Eggs are laid on land in moist leaf litter near water and when rains arrive the tadpoles are washed from land into water.[6]

The golden mantella has a diet of small invertebrates.[4] In the wild, this mainly consists of mites, ants, flies, and collembolans.[7] The frogs derive their skin toxins from their diet. These toxins include pumiliotoxin, allopumiliotoxin, homopumiliotoxin alkaloids, pyrrolizidines, indolizidines and quinolizidines.[6] Although poisonous, the snake Thamnosophis lateralis and a skink of the genus Zonosaurus have been observed predating upon this species at Torotorofotsy Wetland.[8]

In Captivy[edit]

The golden mantella is occasionally seen in the pet trade and kept in captivity by exotic animal collectors and zoological institutions. They are popular due to their diurnal activity and attractive coloration.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Randrianavelona, Roma. "Species Conservation Strategy for Mantella aurantiaca". Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Amphibian Ark: Mantella aurantiaca". Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Walker, Craig. "AArk Ex Situ Management Guidelines: Mantella aurantiaca". Amphibian Ark. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Golden Mantella". Archived from the original on 2006-05-14. Retrieved 2006-06-04. 
  5. ^ "Arkive: Golden Frog (Mantella aurantiaca)". Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Vences, Miguel. "AmphibaWeb - Mantella aurantiaca". Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Woodhead, Cindy. "Specialist or generalist? Feeding ecology of the Malagasy poison frog Mantella aurantiaca". The Herpetological Journal. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Jovanovic, Olga. "Predation upon Mantella aurantiaca at Torotorofotsy wetlands, central-eastern Madagascar". Herpetology Notes. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
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