Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The black-eared mantella is a shy frog that calls frequently, loudly and at length from under leaf litter. It is semi-nocturnal and eats insects. Breeding is seasonal, occurring just before the rains. The black-eared mantella lays tiny eggs on land in groups of around 20. If fertilised, they develop into tadpoles which are washed into swamps by rain (1) (2). Fertilisation may happen immediately after deposition, or up to two days later, by one or more males (2).
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Description

The smallest of all the mantella frogs, the black-eared mantella has a dark orange back, which is brighter in males, and a greenish yellow underside. As the name suggests, the ears are black, as are the areas around the nostrils. A black line runs from the eyes to the nostrils. The hind legs have raised veins. The eggs are very small (1 mm in diameter) and have a yellowish-brown centre (2).
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Comprehensive Description

Description

Generally a rather small and stout Mantella, although single females can become relatively large. SVL usually 19-23 mm (females exceptionally up to 30 mm). Dorsally uniform yellow-orange or red-orange, without translucent shading, and with a black spot covering the tympanum and a little black pigment around the nostril. 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. Area of femoral glands often speckled with blackish. Tibia bright red (Glaw and Vences 2007). It may be a colour variant of M. crocea (Vences and Nussbaum 2008).

Similar species: M. crocea (Glaw and Vences 2007).

The validity of this taxon is very dubious. A reliable distinction from M. crocea is not possible, neither by morphology, colouration nor by genetics (Glaw and Vences 2007).

Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007).

  • Vences, M., and Nussbaum, R. (2008). Mantella milotympanum. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 April 2009.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species occurs in several fragmented localities in east-central Madagascar covering a small area south of Fierenana, at 900-1,000m asl.
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Distribution and Habitat

Typical specimens from Fierenana. Intermediate populations with M. crocea from several sites, e.g., Andriabe and Savakoanina. It occurs between 900-1,000 m asl in gallery forest around large swamps and seasonally flooded forest, but not outside forest (Vences and Nussbaum 2008).

  • Vences, M., and Nussbaum, R. (2008). Mantella milotympanum. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 April 2009.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
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Range

The black-eared mantella is found in the Fihereana Valley in east Madagascar (2) between 900 and 1,000 m above sea level (1).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is a terrestrial species living in gallery forest around large swamps, and in seasonally flooded forest, but is not found outside forest. Breeding is the same as other mantellas, with the eggs being laid on land and the larvae being washed into swamps by rain. It is very seasonal in its breeding, and hard to find when it is not breeding.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Inhabits gallery forest around large swamp areas and seasonally flooded forest (1).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
CR
Critically Endangered

Red List Criteria
B2ab(iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Miguel Vences, Ronald Nussbaum

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 10 km², its distribution is severely fragmented, and the extent of its forest habitat in east-central Madagascar is probably declining.
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Status

The black-eared mantella is classified as Critically Endangered (CR B2ab(iii)) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1) and is listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).
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Population

Population
It is a locally common species, and has been observed at high densities.

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

Habits: Apparently similar to that of M. aurantiaca and M. crocea. Active during the day (Glaw and Vences 2007).

Calls: Irregular series of short chirping notes (Glaw and Vences 2007).

Breeding is similar to other Mantella. Eggs are laid on land and the larvae are washed into swamps by rain. It is very seasonal in its breeding, and hard to find when it is not breeding (Vences and Nussbaum 2008).

  • Vences, M., and Nussbaum, R. (2008). Mantella milotympanum. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 April 2009.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
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Threats

Major Threats
The area where this species occurs is severely threatened, with its forest habitat receding due to the impacts of subsistence agriculture (including livestock grazing), timber extraction, charcoal production, the spread of eucalyptus, fires, and expanding human settlements. It has, in the past, been collected in large numbers by commercial collectors, and trade might pose a major threat to the species.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

It has a small, severely fragmented distribution. It is not known from any protected areas, so that protection of remaining habitat should be made a top priority. Monitoring should be done, and any trade should be regulated (Vences and Nussbaum 2008).

  • Vences, M., and Nussbaum, R. (2008). Mantella milotympanum. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 April 2009.
  • Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
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As for many Madagascan frogs, the threats to this species are serious and numerous. Having suffered massive over-collection for the pet trade in the past, the black-eared mantella is now threatened by habitat loss due to increasing subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, livestock grazing, fires, human settlement, and the spread of introduced eucalyptus species (1). Current studies are in act to provide a revised distribution map of the species. The abundance at some of these sites appears anyhow high enough to warrant the survivorship of the species (4).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is not known from any protected areas, making protection of remaining habitat a top priority, particularly given the high rate of habitat loss and degradation within its range. The species also requires careful population monitoring, and any trade should be carefully regulated. It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
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Conservation

For this species to persist, trade must be carefully regulated. The black-eared mantella is currently listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which bans trade without an export permit. It is not found in any protected habitat and deforestation is now the most serious threat (1).
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Wikipedia

Black-eared mantella

The Black-eared Mantella (Mantella milotympanum) is a species of frog in the Mantellidae family. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical swamps, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and swamps. It is threatened by habitat loss.

It is kept as a pet.

References[edit]

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