Mantella viridis

Description: A large and robust mantella, Mantella viridis can reach 30 mm (1.2 inches). They are mostly green, although some individuals appear more yellow to brown in color. A black mask wraps around the face. Below it is a white stripe. In terms of pattern, some can appear similar to M. crocea, but are easily told apart from their larger size, more robust body structure, white frenal stripe, and lack of flashmarks on the legs. Frogs that appear intermediate between M. viridis and M. ebenaui may be naturally occurring hybrids.

* Frogs with a similar structure and pattern to M. viridis, but with reddish coloration instead of green, have been found at Ankarana and other areas, but their taxonomic status remains unclear.

Red List Conservation Status: Endangered

Distribution and Habitat: M. viridis is restricted to extreme northern Madagascar, and is most well-known from Montagne des Français near Antsiranana. They inhabit dry lowland forest, especially around streambeds.

Captive Care Notes: Although M. viridis has a fairly restricted distribution, wild-caught frogs are still exported and are periodically available in the North American pet trade. They are also bred occasionally in captivity, with captive-bred frogs being available from time to time. M. viridis make excellent captives because of their attractive appearance and large size. Being one of the biggest mantellas, they love to feed on large food items such as crickets and wax worms, although they’ll also hunt down small Drosophila melanogaster for a snack. They can be somewhat shy, although after heavy mistings and during warmer parts of the year males are outgoing and will call in the open. A temperature range from 18°C to 26°C (64°F to 79°F) works well, with the lowest temperatures occurring during a simulated dry season or at night, and those on the warmer side taking place during the days of a simulated rainy season.


Andreone, Franco, V. Mercurio, F Mattioli, and T J. Razafindrabe. 2005. "Good News for Three Critically Endangered and Traded Frogs From Madagascar." FROGLOG 72.

Rabemananjara, F. C. E., A. Crottini, Y. Chiari, F. Andreone, F. Glaw, R. Duguet, P. Bora, O. Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona & M. Vences. 2007. Molecular systematics of Malagasy poison frogs in the Mantella betsileo and M. laevigata species groups. Zootaxa 1501: 31-44.

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