Mantella – The Malagasy Poison Frogs

Mantella, are a perfect example and product of what is known as convergent-evolution – the individual evolution of a similar trait with species of a different lineage. In this, they are similar to the Dendrobatidae family from Latin America in size, appearance and also some aspects of their behaviour. As stated above however, they are in no means related to the famous neo-tropical family. During the early description of the first specimens from 1866-1872, Alfred Grandidier (the famous French naturalist and taxonomist) described both the Brown Leaf Mantella (Mantella betsileo) and Madagascan Mantella (Mantella madagascariensis) and placed them within the Dendrobates genus, based upon their close resemblance with them. Of course, the placement of these new species was ambiguous and heavily debated. Eventually time passed and in 1882 the genus of Mantella was created by George Albert Boulenger FRS unfortunately though, they were still incorrectly placed within the Dendrobatidae family. This would change as more species were discovered and with it the phylogenetic categorisation of the genus, it expanded to what it is today containing sixteen species each of which have their own colourations, behavioural traits and even environmental needs.

The species that are currently found within the genus and information regarding their natural history can be found below.


dsc_0245

 

ARBOREAL MANTELLA
Mantella laevigata

PHOTO © Joshua Ralph

 

 

dsc_0270

 

BARON’S MANTELLA
Mantella baroni

PHOTO © Joshua Ralph

 

 

DSC_0373

 

BEAUTIFUL MANTELLA
Mantella pulchra

PHOTO © Joshua Ralph

 

 

Bernhardi

 

BERNHARD’S MANTELLA
Mantella bernhardi

PHOTO © Olaf Pronk

 

 

M.betsileo4

BROWN LEAF MANTELLA
Mantella betsileo

PHOTO © Joshua Ralph

 

 

milotympanum

 

BLACK EARED MANTELLA
Mantella milotympanum

PHOTO © Franco Andreone

 

 

Figure 6

 

BLUE LEGGED MANTELLA
Mantella expectata

PHOTO © Joshua Ralph

 

 

cowani

 

COWAN’S MANTELLA
Mantella cowani

PHOTO © Franco Andreone

 

 

DSC_0218

 

EBENAU’S MANTELLA
Mantella ebenaui

PHOTO © Joshua Ralph

 

 

 

228

 

GOLDEN MANTELLA
Mantella aurantiaca

PHOTO © Joshua Ralph

 

 

M.viridis1

 

GREEN MANTELLA
Mantella viridis

PHOTO © Joshua Ralph

 

 

nigricans

 

PARKER’S MANTELLA
Mantella nigricans

PHOTO © Olaf Pronk

 

 

ARKive image GES134142 - Haraldmeier’s mantella

 

HARALDMEIER’S MANTELLA
Mantella haraldmeieri

PHOTO © Franco Andreone

 

 

DSC_0282

 

MADAGASCAN MANTELLA
Mantella madagascariensis

PHOTO © Joshua Ralph

 

 

m_cf_manery01

 

MAROJEJY MANTELLA
Mantella manery

PHOTO © Devin Edmonds

 

 

M.crocea3

 

 

YELLOW MANTELLA
Mantella crocea

PHOTO © Joshua Ralph

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Raising awareness of conservation efforts and issues in Madagascar.

%d bloggers like this: