Frog of the Week

Blue Legged Mantella (Mantella expectata)

photo from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Common Name: Blue Legged Mantella, Expected Mantella, Tular Mantella
Scientific Name: Mantella expectata
Family: Mantellidae
Location: Madagascar
Size: .7 – 1 inch (20 – 26 mm)

The Blue Legged Mantella is found in the southern part of Madagascar in seasonal streams and wet canyons. Their bright colors warn predators that they are poisonous. They accumulate their alkaloid toxins from their diets. Due to predators being wary of them, the frogs are able to be active during the day. The frogs breed during the rainy season, October to December. Male frogs will call out for the females. The female will select a mate and move to an egg laying site. They don’t breed in water, they actually lay their eggs in moist areas on land. The female lays around 70 eggs. The eggs hatch into tadpoles and get washed into streams by the rains.

The Blue Legged Mantella is listed an endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The main threat to the frogs is the destruction of their habitat for grazing of cattle. Sapphire mining is also a threat in some areas. They are also found in the pet trade but people have had success breeding them in captivity. Make sure to buy them from a trusted source.

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