Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Medium-sized species with slender appearance. 22-29 mm. Head and anterior part of dorsum covered by a sharply delimited yellow/green marking, posteriorly either ending semicircularly or prolonged as a pointed triangle to the cloacal region (not corresponding to sexual dimorphism). Flanks and posterior part of dorsum black. Arms and legs usually black, rarely copper brown. Hands and finger tips often with blue spots. No frenal stripe, but single yellowish spots sometimes present under the eyes. Iris black without light pigment. Venter with small blue or greyish spots, throat generally black without pattern. No red, orange or yellow pattern on hindlimbs.

Similar species: M. betsileo, M. viridis and M. expectata differ by having blue spots on the throat, less extended terminal finger disks and usually a light line along the upper lip. Mantella sp. is similar in colouration but lacks extended finger disks and has a frenal stripe.

Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007).

  • Andreone, F. and Glaw, F. (2008). Mantella laevigata. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 21 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 is relatively widely distributed in north-eastern Madagascar, from Marojejy south to Folohy (where its habitat has been degraded), and occurs from 0-600m asl. It is known from more than five localities and probably occurs at more sites than are currently known.
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Distribution and Habitat

Ambavala, Ambodimanga (Mananara), Folohy, Marojejy, Nosy Mangabe, Tsararano. It occurs from sea level to 600m asl in rainforest, bamboo forest, and other types of forest with abundant tree holes (in which it breeds) (Andreone and Vences 2008).

  • Andreone, F. and Glaw, F. (2008). Mantella laevigata. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 21 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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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This is a rainforest species, which is often particularly abundant in bamboo forest and other types of forest with abundant tree holes (in which it breeds). It is primarily terrestrial but also climbs on low vegetation.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Andreone, F. & Glaw, F.

Reviewer/s
Stuart, S.N., Chanson, J.S. & Cox, N.A.

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Near Threatened because its Extent of Occurrence is probably not much greater than 20,000 km2, and the extent and quality of its habitat are probably declining, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.
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Population

Population
It is locally abundant.

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

Habits: Adults were found on the forest floor, climbing up to 4 m on trees, and in water-filled tree-holes or bamboo nodes. In these tree-holes up to six (but mostly two) adults were present together. When disturbed they often submerged underwater. Aggressive behaviour was not observed. Height of the tree-holes ranged from 10-350 cm above the forest floor, and tree-hole size was very variable (depth up to 30 cm, diameter 3-12 cm). Calls were heard throughout the day. No individuals were heard or found at night, neither on the ground nor in the tree-holes. Sympatric species found in the same tree-holes were Platypelis grandis, Plethodontohyla notosticta and Anodonthyla boulengeri. Stomachs of dissected specimens contained many small ants and termites, and some flies. Reproduction is unique among Mantella: Rather large white eggs are deposited singly 1-2 cm above the water surface of tree-holes (not protected against daylight). Sometimes eggs dry out with descending water-levels and some eggs disappear. Embryonic development is visible two days after egg-laying. Eggs found underwater on the bottom did not show any development. Eggs were observed in October and March. This fact indicates, as well as the different sizes of tadpoles and juveniles, an extended breeding period. Tree-holes were populated by one tadpole, or by two tadpoles in different developmental stages. The tadpoles have a reduced number of labial denticles and a strong horny beak. They feed on fertilized conspecific eggs or are actively fed by the mother with unfertilized eggs. Occasionally they might eat the eggs of other frog species (especially the treehole-breeding cophylines). In the absence of eggs, tadpoles are omnivorous.

Calls: Series of short double-click notes, similar to species of the M. betsileo group.

  • Andreone, F. and Glaw, F. (2008). Mantella laevigata. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 21 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
Its forest habitat is receding due to subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, invasive spread of eucalyptus, livestock grazing and expanding human settlements. It is traded in low numbers for the international pet trade, but not at a level that is likely to constitute a threat.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Near Threatened: extent of occurrence is probably not much greater than 20,000 km2, and the extent and quality of its habitat are probably declining, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable. This species occurs in several protected areas, and is also maintained and bred in several facilities outside Madagascar (Andreone and Vences 2008).

  • Andreone, F. and Glaw, F. (2008). Mantella laevigata. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 21 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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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species occurs in several protected areas, and is also maintained and bred in several facilities outside Madagascar. It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
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Wikipedia

Climbing mantella

The Climbing Mantella (Mantella laevigata) is a species of frog in the Mantellidae family. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.

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