Mantella betsileo
(Photo by Franco Andreone)

Description: Mantella betsileo closely resembles M. ebenaui in appearance, but is reported to grow larger, to 30 mm (1.2 inches), and have a reddish-brown color on the flanks, and sometimes the limbs as well. In addition, many M. betsileo may lack the X pattern commonly found on the dorsum of M. ebenaui, and rarely have the heavily patterned blue and black breast also typical of that species. Though these differences exist in some frogs, it is not possible to tell the two species apart based on appearance alone because individuals vary in coloration. Instead, the two species must be distinguished through genetic analysis or identified based on where they were found in Madagascar.

Red List Conservaiton Status: Least Concern

Distribution and Habitat: M. betsileo is known to occur throughout western Madagascar, inhabiting forests, savanna-like habitat, as well as degraded areas.

Captive Care Notes: Frogs available in the pet trade and labeled as M. betsileo may actually more often be M. ebenaui, but it is impossible to say for certain without knowing where individuals were collected. The captive care for mantellas with a brown dorsum, like that of M. betsileo and M. ebenaui, is fairly simple. They seem make hardy captives, accepting a wide variety of foods and being tolerant of a range of temperatures. Some people report they are shy in captivity.


Glaw, F. & M. Vences. 2006. Phylogeny and genus-level classification of mantellid frogs. Organisms Diversity and Evolution 6: 236-253.

Vences, M., F. Glaw & W. Böhme. 1999. A review of the genus Mantella (Anura, Ranidae, Mantellinae): taxonomy, distribution and conservation of Malagasy poison frogs. Alytes 17 (1-2): 3-72.


© 2006 - Present Devin Edmonds