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Mantelle Dorée © MNHN - F-G Grandin

The golden mantella

The golden mantella is a frog endemic to Madagascar. It is found in a very small area of the island.


Class, order and family :
Amphibia, Anura, Mantellidae
Life span :
up to 8 years (5 in captivity)
Size & Weight :
between 2 and 3 cm, a few grams
Larval stage :
6 to 8 weeks, around 30 eggs
Natural habitat :
swamps, Pandanus forests
Diet :
Native region :
Statut UICN : 

Critically Endangered (CR)

Distinctive features

The mantellas’ bright colours serve as a warning to their predators that they are poisonous. In this they resemble the Amazonian poison arrow frogs, which are other small brightly-coloured frogs but not directly related to them. This is a convergent evolution phenomenon: similar environmental constraints select similar characteristics.


An endangered species

Their bright colours make these frogs very popular pets. Nearly 100,000 golden mantellas were taken from Madagascar between 1996 and 2005 and exported. Since then, trade in this critically endangered species has been regulated.