Blue-legged mantella (Mantella expectata)

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Blue-legged mantella on moss
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Blue-legged mantella fact file

Blue-legged mantella description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAmphibia
OrderAnura
FamilyMantellidae
GenusMantella (1)

With a greenish-yellow back contrasting with dark blue hind legs and black sides, the blue-legged mantella is a popular frog in the pet trade. Males are a little smaller than females and have an obvious horseshoe-shaped blue spot on the lower throat. Both sexes have a light stripe along the upper lip. Colours can vary between individuals, but the more highly contrasting individuals are most likely to be collected for the pet trade (1).

Size
Length: 20 – 30 mm (2)
Weight
1 – 3 g (3)
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Blue-legged mantella biology

Active during the first hours after dawn, the blue-legged mantella is most easily observed from October to December during the rainfalls that stimulate egg-laying. Males call continuously to attract females, who then emerge from their refuges to lay two to six clutches of over 35 eggs each (2) (3).

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Blue-legged mantella range

Endemic to Madagascar, the blue-legged mantella is found in the south-western region of the island, Isalo, at elevations of over 800 m above sea level (1).

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Blue-legged mantella habitat

Inhabits small, temporary streams and small pools, as well as open canyons and rocks near water. The tadpoles and young adults are found in temporary pools (3).

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Blue-legged mantella status

The blue-legged mantella is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1) and is listed on Appendix II of CITES (4).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

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Blue-legged mantella threats

Several thousand blue-legged mantellas are thought to be collected every year from some regions in the Isalo Massif(3). Aside from over-collection, the extremely small range of these critically endangered frogs is threatened with habitat loss as a result of grazing, fires and sapphire mining operations (1).

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Blue-legged mantella conservation

Listing on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species provides the blue-legged mantella with some protection. It requires that an export licence is obtained for any trade in this species. A trade quota to prevent over-exploitation of this frog is crucial to its survival, as even the protection offered by the Isalo National Park has not prevented the capture of the blue-legged mantella (1). Anyhow, recent research showed that the species is still locally abundant (5).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Authentication

Authenticated (07/02/2005) by Franco Andreone, Chair of DAPT/IUCN Madagascar.


http://www.francoandreone.it

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Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (June, 2010)
    http://www.redlist.org
  2. The Mantella FAQ (December, 2004)
    http://www.amphibian.co.uk/
  3. AmphibiaWeb (June 2010)
    http://amphibiaweb.org/cgi-bin/amphib_query?query_src=aw_lists_alpha_&where-genus=Mantella&where-species=expectata
  4. CITES (December, 2004)
    http://www.cites.org
  5. Andreone, F. (2005) Pers. comm.
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Image credit

Blue-legged mantella on moss  
Blue-legged mantella on moss

© Franco Andreone

Franco Andreone
Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali
Via Giolitti 36
Torino
I-10123
Italy
f.andreone@libero.it
http://www.francoandreone.it

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