Mantella expectata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Mantellidae

Scientific Name: Mantella expectata Busse & Böhme, 1992
Common Name(s):
English Blue-legged Mantella, Tular Golden Frog, Tular Mantella, Tulear Golden Frog
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2015. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: Records of Mantella expectata or M. betsileo from the arid west and southwest Madagascar (including from from Tsingy de Bemaraha) probably refer to a separate, undescribed, species that is not characterized by blue legs (F. Andreone pers. comm., Rabemananjara et al. 2007). Here we consider as Mantella expectata to refer only the populations from Isalo and the thin band further south (F. Glaw pers. comm. May 2016).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-08-17
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Raxworthy, C.J., Andreone, F., Glaw, F. & Scherz, M.D.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hobin, L.
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 2,073 km2, it occurs in fewer than five threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat around Isalo.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to a small region in southwestern Madagascar. It is known from many sites within the Isalo Massif, either within or outside the national park (at 700–1,000 m Asl). It ranges from Grotte des Portugais and Amparambatomavo, south in a thin band to Ambatovaky and Sakavato (F. Andreone pers. comm.). Records from near Toliara (Busse and Böhme 1992), and from the Morondava region and Mandena (Glaw and Vences 1994) are probably erroneous (Vences et al. 1999). Its EOO is 2,073 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:2-5
Lower elevation limit (metres):700
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is sometimes locally abundant in suitable habitat. From observations at 60 sites, it appears that this species is widely distributed throughout its entire range within the Isalo Massif (Crottini et al. 2008). However due to declines in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.

The southern subpopulations have also found to be genetically different and possess different colourations from the northern subpopulations, which could suggest that they need to be considered as two distinct conservation management units (Vences et al. 2008).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is usually found around seasonal streams, and in wet canyons (where it is sometimes, but not always, associated with narrow gallery forest). From field observations, it is thought that this species is fairly philopatric and may be restricted to areas along temporary streams where they breed (Vences et al. 2008).

This species breeds in a similar way to other Mantella species, with the eggs laid on the ground and the larvae developing in swamps or in slow running temporary streams. Its lifespan is around three years and it reaches sexual maturity within the first active season after metamorphosis (Guarino et al. 2010).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is found in the international pet trade in low numbers (F. Glaw pers. comm. May 2016), however the effect on the population is not known.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat to this species is habitat loss due to grazing and, in some localized regions, due to sapphire mining which is also a high risk for extending into protected areas in the vicinity (Vences et al. 2008). It is actively sought after for the pet trade, and during the rainy season up to several thousand specimens can be collected. Such collecting might pose a major threat to the species, but this has not yet been demonstrated. Fires are common in the Isalo area, however this species demonstrates resilience to this threat and has been observed seeking cover in underground refuges and demonstrating immediate recovery after fires have been extinguished (Crottini et al. 2008). 

Species in this genus have also tested positive for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), however currently there have been no negative effects observed within amphibian populations in Madagascar suggesting the Bd strain has a low virulence level (Bletz et al. 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
This species occurs in Isalo National Park, although the majority of the genetic diversity of this species occurs outside of this area (Crottini et al. 2008). It is listed on CITES Appendix II.

Conservation Needed
Trade in this species needs to be very carefully regulated (Andreone et al. 2006).

Research Needed
The population requires close monitoring (Andreone et al. 2006). Further research is also essential to fully understand the distribution, origin, type and virulence of Bd lineages found in Madagascar (Bletz et al. 2015).

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2017. Mantella expectata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T57443A84166737. . Downloaded on 23 July 2018.
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