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We will follow Marc S Staniszewski  classification :    click here ..




1- Golden mantella (Mantella aurantiaca)  click here 


2- The yellow mantella (Mantella crocea) :


22 - 25mm. The ideal beginner species. Occurring at altitudes of 500 - 1000m around Andasibe and Moramanga, eastern Madagascar. Tolerant of temperatures as low as 62°F. and present no difficulties where feeding is concerned. Like the golden mantella it is a bold species and males will often perch on the highest available point and call excitedly. The dorsum is usually a greenish orange with black flanks and speckled lower back regions. A beautiful lemon yellow form exists (from which this species gets its name) which is much plumper and slightly larger (to 28mm) than the type normally occurring in the hobby. The ventral surface is blue-black in the green-orange form and pale orange in the yellow form, the sexes of the latter being able to be determined by the ventral method. The eggs are an off-brown colour and about 2mm in diameter, up to 50 being produced per clutch.



Videos :

03/03/15 - Finding Yellow Mantella (Mantella crocea)

Male Mantella crocea calling and defending territory

Mantella crocea

Mantella crocea

Mantella crocea sub-adults feeding

Species of this group do not occur regularly in captivity. There appears to be no real reason for this except that most have rather small distributions. 

1- Brown mantella (Mantella betsileo):

25 - 28mm. Quite an attractive species that is found in small pockets from the central to the north of the island. Quite a large plump species attaining 28mm the dorsum is a light tan while the flanks are black with white/blue reticulation. The venter is blue and white-grey speckled. In captivity it is quite shy preferring a good spread of bark, pebbles and leaves beneath which is will skulk. Sexing presents difficulties as both sexes are very similar. Look as the vent region and you will see well-developed orange femoral pads in males which are much reduced in females. Although there are records of the occasional captive breeding success, this species is not often kept in captivity and therefore details are sketchy.

Videos :

Mantella Betsileo

how to breed mantella betsileo

Mantella Betsileo Eating Fruit Flies

Exo Terra - Madagascar: Mantella betsileo

Mantella Betsileo

Mantella betsileo feeding

28 - 35mm. The largest species described so far. Only described in 1988 from specimens discovered in a small part of the Montagne de Francais region of the extreme north tip of Madagascar. Two colour forms exist, the most typical being a grey-green colour with dark flanks and stippled hind limbs. The other is a smaller, gorgeous lime green form (potentially a different species!) with well-defined black flanks. Both types have a white band around the top lip and venter coloured in black and blue speckles. Females tend to be larger, more plump and have a rather squarer snout. In captivity although it is an easy species to maintain, it is quite reluctant to breed. It certainly will not breed where mantella of other species are present. I have found the a frequently misted vivarium with plenty of low growing plants (live or artificial) along with plenty of damp logs and bark is preferred. It also enjoys bathing. Temperatures need to be in the 72 - 78°F. range with a slight drop to 68°F. at night.

3- Blue-legged mantella (Mantella expectata) :


20 - 30mm. Discovered on the edges of a brook in the drier regions of southwestern Madagascar as recently as 1993. Further exploration revealed small pockets of this frogs along most brooks in the baobab forests of that region. The colours vary quite considerably but the most prized are those with a bright yellow back and stunning blue flanks and limbs. Such frogs, although not rare, appear less frequently than those with slate-grey or brown limbs and a rather green dorsum. Females much larger than males. In captivity it requires a fairly extensive but shallow body of water around which are positioned pebbles and rocks with a scattering of leaves (imitation are quite suitable). The vivarium should be misted less frequently than for other species during most of the year. Although males call continuously, to stimulate these frogs to reach reproductive condition, during late spring to late summer mistings should be more protracted and frequent. It seems that in the wild the brief rainfalls of that region is the stimulus and females will then produce 2 - 6 clutches off 35 or more eggs (one of my own females has just deposited 52 small yellowish eggs which unfortunately have not been fertilized).

7- Mantella Other species :


Below is a map for Mantella distrbution ..

courtesy to : 

Videos : 

Expectata Mantellas


Blue legged Mantella frog



This is the smallest group yet contains the most divergent species.


1-Arboreal mantella (Mantella laevigata)  ..  click here 


25 - 30mm. A wonderful vivarium subject and is the only true scansorial species inhabiting plants several metres off the ground. In captivity it requires sturdy branches fixed diagonally which have extensive holes drilled in them. These holes must be lined with moss and regularly dampened down to create the necessary high humidity. Eggs are always laid in such elevated locations (never on the ground) and tadpoles hatch out when such holes fill with water or may even continue development entirely within the egg casing (often devouring each other until just 1 or 2 frogets emerge). Noticeably froglets hatching out from the latter are only half the size of tadpoles that have developed normally. I suggest flushing the eggs out of the holes into an aquarium after 10 - 12 days. Metamorphosis is complete after a further 58 or so days. Climbing mantellas spend much of their time on the ground hunting for grubs, crickets, fruitflies and termites and they especially like small waxworm. The general colour is green with black flanks, limbs and lower head. The venter is black with white stipples. It digits have specifically evolved for its arboreal habits possessing splayed endings.


2- Marojezy mantella (Mantella sp.) ( Later in 1999Mantella manery - Vences, Glaw & Böhme, 1999


To 30mm. From the Marojezy mountains in extreme north-east Madagascar. Discovered in 1993. It differs mainly in having a white line around the lip, a horseshoe-shaped marking on the throat (absent in Mantella laevigata) and specialized digits are absent. This species is not known to actively climb (it is placed here because of its syntopic relationship with the former species and eggs are always deposited on the ground. It particularly inhabits the cool, stony mountain brooks where it is known to feed on small crustaceans that crawl out onto the rocks. I know of someone who feeds this species water shrimp (Asellus) native to the beds of our own UK brooks. Overall it is a slimmer species than the climbing mantella and can attain 32mm. Requires a temperature no greater than 74°F. (preferably cooler) in captivity due to its high altitude distribution.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Marojejy Mantella (Mantella manery) is a species of frog in the Mantellidae family. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, rivers, swamps, and intermittent freshwater marshes. It is threatened by habitat loss.


Madagascar Dart frogs


Aromobatidae :

 South America Dart Frogs -  Species 


Dendrobatidae :

3- The black-eared mantella (Mantella cf. aurantiaca 'milotympanum')


15 - 18mm So different in appearance and behaviour to M.aurantiaca that it must merit being raised to specific status. Occurring in the Fiherenana Valley in central east Madagascar it requires slightly higher temperatures (70°F. minimum) than the golden mantella. Its size makes it the smallest subspecies/species of the mantellas. The dorsum is a slightly drab orange (males brighter than females) while the venter is a greenish yellow (orange yellow in M.aurantiaca). This species is overall much slimmer than the golden mantella, the eyes are oblong rather than round and the skin is much more granular. Raised veins are apparent on the hind limbs, as its name suggests the eardrum (tympanum) is black as is the nostril region and there is a black line apparent from the eye to the nostril. Perhaps most significantly is its very nervous disposition and semi-nocturnal behaviour. In addition males are amongst the most vociferous of the mantellas and will call for many hours. I have just had a spawning from the species and the eggs are quite different from the golden mantella possessing a yellowish-brown nucleus and measuring only 1mm in diameter.



Videos :

mantella milotympanum

Mantella milotympanum in the field near Fierenana, Madagascar

Mantella milotympanum courting and calling

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