Mantella viridis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Mantellidae

Scientific Name: Mantella viridis Pintak & Böhme, 1988
Common Name(s):
English Green Golden Frog, Green Mantella, Lime Mantella
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: For the purposes of this assessment both the western and eastern subpopulations are considered to be this species (see Crottini et al. 2012).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-12-12
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Crottini, A., Raxworthy, C.J., Andreone, F., Glaw, F., Scherz, M.D. & Vences, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hobin, L.
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 969 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in several localities in extreme northern Madagascar, including Windsor Castle, Joffreville, Ambohotsimiely,  Andranovondronina, Ankitsakalaninaomby, Antsiranana, Anjiabe, the island of Nosy Hara, Ambatomenavava (Antomboko), Ambodimanga (Ambodimanga, Mahatsijo), Andoajampoana (Ambovomamy), Andranotsymaty (Tsimanankaratra, Vinay, Menagisy), Ankitsakalaninaombi (Ankitsakalaninaombi*), Antongombato (Ambinay, Analamandro, Analamanga, Anketrabe, Ankiabe, Antamotamo, Antomboko, Antongombatobe, Antsiasia, Lamerouge, Maleza, Parchuite, Tegnantsahampano), Antsahampano (Antsahampano), Daraina (Daraina*), Francom (Francom), Ivovona (Antsakoamaro*), Montagne des Francais (Andranomangitra*, Anosiravo*, Bekamankuri*, Vovo*), Mahavavona (Mangatokona*), Mangoaka (Andohonymangoko*), Montagne d'Ambre National Park (Andranobaribe) (A. Crottini pers. comm. December 2016) and Fôret d’Ambre Special Reserve (D'Cruze et al. 2008).
On the island of Nosy Hara (about 115 hectares), the species persists along one very small temporary stream in an area of only about 10 hectares. Genetic studies indicate that it is native there, isolated by the rise of sea levels, which demonstrated its adaptability and ability to survive in small subpopulations with low genetic variability of long periods of time (Crottini et al. 2012).

Two morphotypes are currently known: a green morphotype and a black one (localities with asterisk), that occupy slightly different ecological niches (Crottini et al. 2012). An isolated population closely related with Mantella viridis is known from Ankarana. Some individuals of this population are known to share the same mitochondrial haplotype with population of the typical M. viridis (Crottini et al. 2012).

There are records from 5 to 959 m Asl, though most records are below 300 m Asl and its EOO is 969 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):5
Upper elevation limit (metres):959
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a locally common species, but due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of the habitat the population is suspected to be decreasing. The population is also believed to be severely fragmented as there is a viable subpopulation surviving on Nosy Hara.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a terrestrial species of deciduous dry forest on karst landscape, usually found near temporary brooks and streams, where it breeds. It has been found in a range of secondary and disturbed habitats such as villages and draining channels along roads, and large subpopulations have been found in mango plantations with large irrigation ditches (Mercurio and Andreone 2008). This indicates that the species has good adaptability to different environments (Mercurio and Andreone 2008), however it does require shade and good vegetation cover.
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. Andreone et al. (2006) suggest that collection for the international pet trade could easily be continued with an export quota of 1,000 animals per year.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat is habitat loss, due to the impacts of fires, selective logging and the collection of firewood, and livestock grazing. It is also affected by the subsequent permanent drying out of smaller streams following forest loss. It has been recorded in the pet trade in relatively large numbers, although this is now greatly reduced.

Species in this genus have 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 has been recorded from the Fôret d’Ambre Special Reserve (D'Cruze et al. 2008), the new protected area of Montagne des Français, and Montagne d'Ambre National Park (Crottini et al. 2012). It is listed on CITES Appendix II and is maintained in captivity in several facilities outside Madagascar. The export of this species for international trade has been suspended since 2010, and this was continued in 2013 after studies were carried out to investigate whether trade should be reopened (CITES 2013).

Conservation Needed
Increased protection and maintenance of the remaining habitat is needed. Any future trade in this species should be carefully regulated. 

Research Needed
Research is needed to establish the taxonomic status of populations to the southwest of the type locality. Further research is essential to fully understand the distribution, origin, type and virulence of Bd lineages found in Madagascar (Bletz et al. 2015).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.2. Trade management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ]
♦ timing:Unknown ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Andreone, F. 2004. Conservazione, utilizzo e commercio in tre specie di anfibi minacciati del Madagascar, Mantella cowani, Mantella expectata e Scaphiophryne gottlebei. V° Congresso Nazionale della Societas Herpetologica Italica. Programma e riassunti, 4. Calci -Pisa.

Andreone, F., Cadle, J.E., Cox, N., Glaw, F., Nussbaum, R.A., Raxworthy, C.J., Stuart, S.N., Vallan, D. and Vences, M. 2005. A species review of amphibian extinction risks in Madagascar: results from the Global Amphibian Assessment. Conservation Biology 19: 1790-1802.

Andreone, F., Cox, N., Glaw, F., Rabibisoa, N.A.C., Randriamahazo, H., Randrianasolo, H., Raxworthy, C.J., Stuart, S., Vallan, D. and Vences, M. 2008. Update of the Global Amphibian Assessment for Malagasy amphibians in light of new species discoveries, taxonomic changes, and new field information. In: F. Andreone (ed.), A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar, Monografie del Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino, 419-436.

Andreone, F., Guarino, F.M., Mattioli, F. and Mercurio, V. 2005. Threatened and traded frogs of Madagascar: novel natural history and distribution traits for the conservation of Mantella cowani, M. expectata, M. viridis and Scaphiophryne gottlebei. 13th Ordinary general meeting of the Societas Europaea Herpetologica. Programme and Abstract: 24-25. Bonn.

Andreone, F., Mercurio, V. and Mattioli, F. 2006. Between environmental degradation and international pet trade: conservation strategies for the threatened amphibians of Madagascar. Natura – Società italiana di scienze naturali e del Museo civico di storia naturale di Milano (Milano, Italy) 95(2): 81-96.

Bletz, M.C., Rosa, G.M., Andreone, F., Courtois, E.A., Schmeller, D.S., Rabibisoa, N.H.C, Rabemananjara, F.C.E., Raharivololoniaina, L., Vences, M., Weldon, C., Edmonds, D., Raxworthy, C.J., Harris, R.N., Fisher, M.C. and Crottini, A. 2015. Widespread presence of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in wild amphibian communities in Madagascar. Scientific Reports 5(8633): 1-10.

Crottini, A., Brown, J.L., Mercurio, V., Glaw, F., Vences, M. and Andreone, F., 2012. Phylogeography of the poison frog Mantella viridis (Amphibia: Mantellidae) reveals chromatic and genetic differentiation across ecotones in northern Madagascar. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 50(4): 305-314.

D'Cruze, N., Köhler, J., Franzen, M. and Glaw, F. 2008. A conservation assessment of the amphibians and reptiles of the Foret d'Ambre Special Reserve, Madagascar. Madagascar Conservation and Development 3(1): 44-54.

D'Cruze, N., Sabel, J., Green, K., Dawson, J., Gardner, C., Robinson, J., Starkie, G., Vences, M. and Glaw, F. 2007. The first comprehensive survey of amphibians and reptiles at Montagne des Français, Madagascar. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 2: 87-99.

Glaw, F. and Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Second Edition. Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn.

Glaw, F. and Vences, M. 2007. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Cologne.

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-2. Available at: (Accessed: 14 September 2017).

Jovanovic, O., Rabemananjara, F., Ramilijaona, O., Andreone, F., Glaw, F. and Vences, M. 2006. Frogs of Madagascar, Genus Mantella. Pocket Identification Guide. Conservation International. Tropical Pocket Guide Series, Washington DC.

Mercurio, V. and Andreone, F. 2008. New distribution data of the green mantella, Mantella viridis, from northern Madagascar (Anura: Mantellidae). Herpetology Notes 1: 3-7.

Pintak, T. and Böhme, W. 1988. Mantella viridis s.n. aus Nord-Madagaskar. Salamandra 24: 119-124.

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

Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). 2013. Studies on the Mantella viridis amphibian for the purpose of reopening international trade in the species. Geneva.

Staniszewski, M. 2001. Mantellas. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Stuart, S., Hoffman, M., Chanson, J., Cox, N., Berridge, R., Ramani, P. and Young, B. (eds.). 2008. Threatened Amphibians of the World. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

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

Vences, M., Glaw, F., Mausfeld, P. and Böhme, W. 1998. Comparative osteology of Malagasy poison frogs of the genus Mantella (Amphibia: Reptilia: Mantellidae). Bonner Zoologische Beiträege 48: 205-215.

Zimmermann, H. 1992. Nachzucht und Schutz von Mantella crocea, Mantella viridis und vom madagassischen Goldfroschchen Mantella aurantiaca. Zeitschrift des Kolner Zoo 35: 165-171.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2017. Mantella viridis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T57451A48704427. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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