Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Mantellidae

Scientific Name: Mantella aurantiaca
Species Authority: Mocquard, 1900
Common Name(s):
English Golden Mantella, Malagasy Golden Mantella, Ginger Tree Frog, Madagascan Golden Frog, Golden Frog, Orange Mantella, Red Mantella, Yellow Mantella
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2013. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.6 (9 January 2013). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: There are populations of "golden" mantellas that might belong to other species. The taxonomy of this group is uncertain but the definition of Mantella aurantiaca is clear and there seems to be little genetic subdivision within the species (M. Vences pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Vences, M. & Raxworthy, C.J.
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N., Chanson, J.S. & Cox, N.A.
Listed as Critically Endangered because its Area of Occupancy is probably less than 10km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and the extent of its forest habitat in east-central Madagascar is declining, and the number of mature individuals might also be declining through over-exploitation.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Critically Endangered (CR)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species has a very restricted distribution in east-central Madagascar, centred on the Torotorofotsy area (c. 7km north-west of Andasibe) and the Andromena Forest at the Samarirana River. Several other small forest fragments north and south of Moramanga are populated by the species as well. Its recorded altitudinal range is 920-960 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is extremely localized, being very abundant in tiny areas, often of just a few hectares.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a terrestrial species of primary and secondary rainforest only, and usually found in damp, swampy areas, often associated with screw pine (Pandanus) forest. The eggs are laid on the ground, and the larvae are flushed by rain into swamps, temporary ponds, and flooded forest, where they develop further.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is restricted to a fragment of forest surrounded by degraded land, and the remaining forest is under threat from subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, fires, and expanding human settlements. Recent surveys indicate that the habitat is being degraded in all the areas where the species occurs, and in 2001 a significant amount of the remaining suitable habitat at Torotorofotsy was affected by fire (although three years later the species was still common in the affected areas). However, the remaining habitat for the species is now severely fragmented. It is also possible that over-collecting for commercial and private purposes is a threat, but so far such harvesting has not had a visible effect on its populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Limits on exportation of animals have been imposed, and the trade has been greatly reduced. Plans to implement a controlled, sustainable trade through a trade quota should be encouraged, and would help ensure the survival of its habitat, as well as probably being more effective than complete trade bans. This species is being maintained in captivity by about 35 zoos and other institutions and is being bred in captivity by public institutions and many private individuals. It does not occur in protected areas, but it is found near to the Réserve Spéciale d'Analamazaotra. The species was recently recorded from a cluster of unprotected forest localities to the south of Moramanga. These forests are under severe pressure and should be considered as conservation priorities for protection (Andreone et al. 2008).
It is listed on CITES Appendix II.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.8. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Swamp
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability: Marginal  
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 -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
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:Unknown
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  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 -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder 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

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.3. Harvest & Trade Management Plan
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Andreone, F. and Luiselli, L.M. 2003. Conservation priorities and potential threats influencing the hyper-diverse amphibians amphibians of Madagascar. Italian Journal of Zoology: 53-63.

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: 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: Andreone, F. (ed.), A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar., Monografie del Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino, 419-436.

Andreone, F., Mercurio, V. and Mattioli, F. 2006. Between environmental degradation and international pet trade: conservation strategies for the threatened amphibians of Madagascar. Natura – Soc. it. Sci. nat. Museo civ. Stor. Nat. Milano, (Milano, Italy) 95(2): 81-96.

Blommers-Schlösser, R.M.A. 1979. Biosystematics of the Malagasy frogs. I. Mantellinae (Ranidae). Beaufortia: 1-77.

Blommers-Schlösser, R.M.A. and Blanc, C.P. 1991. Amphibiens (première partie). Fauna de Madagascar: 1-379.

Chiari, Y., Vences, M., Vieites, D.R., Rabemananjara, F., Bora, P., Ramilijaona Ravoahangimalala, O. and Meyer, A. 2004. New evidence for parallel evolution of colour patterns in Malagasy poison frogs (Mantella). Molecular Ecology 13: 3763-3774.

Daly, J.W., Andriamaharavo, N.R., Andriantsiferana, M. amd Myers, C W. 1996. Madagascan poison frogs (Mantella) and their skin alkaloids. American Museum Novitates: 1-34.

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.

Glaw, F., Vences, M. and Schmidt, K. 2000. Nachzucht, Juvenilfärbung und Oophagie von Mantella laevigata im Vergleich zu anderen Arten der Gattung (Amphibia: Ranidae). Salamandra: 1-24.

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IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

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

Mattioli F., Gili C. and Andreone F. 2006. Economics of captive breeding applied to the conservation of selected amphibian and reptile species from Madagascar. In: F. Andreone (ed.), Dalla tutela ambientale e faunistica allo sviluppo sostenibile: esperienze di ricerca e gestione participative in Africa e in Madagascar. Atti della giornata di studio Milano 29 giugno 2005., pp. 67-80.. Natura Soc. it. Sci. nat. Museo civ. Stor. Nat. Milano.

Raxworthy, C.J. and Nussbaum, R.A. 1996. Montane amphibian and reptile communities in Madagascar. Conservation Biology: 750-756.

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

Vences, M. 1996. Untersuchungen zur Phylogenie der madigassischen Anurangattung Mantella unter Integration biochemischer und morphologischer Merkmale. Ph.D. Thesis, Vences, Köln, Germany.

Vences, M., Chiari, Y., Raharivololoniaina, L. and Meyer, A. 2003. High mitochondrial diversity within and among populations of Malagasy poison frogs. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution: 295-307.

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: 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: 205-215.

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Citation: Vences, M. & Raxworthy, C.J. 2008. Mantella aurantiaca. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T12776A3381123. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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