Green mantella (Mantella viridis)

GenusMantella (1)
SizeMale length: 22 – 25 mm (2)
Female length: 25 – 30 mm (2)

The green mantella is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

The back and sides of this frog are yellow-green, whilst the underparts are black with blue spots. The legs are green, and the hind limbs may be banded, but there is no webbing between the toes. A light stripe runs along the upper lip (2).

The green mantella is found in the Montagne des Francais in northern Madagascar, as well as in the Massif of Antogombato, south of Diego, Madagascar. It is found at elevations of 50 – 300 m above sea level (1).

Inhabits deciduous dry forest on a limestone landscape, and is usually found around temporary streams (1). It also lives in degraded habitats, with mango plantations (5).

This frog is mainly diurnal and eats small insects which are attracted by fallen fruits. Males attract females by calling out very short notes that are composed of two even shorter clicks. Between 15 and 60 greenish-yellow eggs are laid (3) in cavities under rocks and in the trunks of dead trees (4). They hatch into tadpoles during heavy rainfall, which washes them into small pools of water (4). The tadpoles grow to a size of 28 mm and undergo metamorphosis after 45 – 65 days to take the adult form (3).

Having suffered over-collection for the pet trade in the past, populations of green mantellas are now most threatened by habitat degradation. The green mantella is still locally abundant, but it exists in a very small range and so is at risk of extinction if its habitat is not protected from the fires, selective logging, firewood collection and livestock grazing that currently threaten it. Too much forest loss will have cumulative effects as the streams could dry out (1).

Trade regulations have successfully reduced collection of this species, but trade must continue to be carefully controlled to ensure its survival. It does not occur in any protected areas, but it is sometimes bred in captivity (1).

For further information on this species see The British Dentrobatid Groups Website:

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

  1. IUCN Red List (February, 2011)
  2. AmphibiaWeb (December, 2004)
  3. Andreone, F. (2005) Pers. comm.
  4. The British Dentrobatid Groups Website (December, 2004)
  5. Naturalia (December, 2004)