A small brown treefrog. M 20-27 mm, F 32-33 mm. Tibiotarsal articulation reaches at least the eye, sometimes widely beyond snout tip. Hand with some webbing, foot webbing 1(0.25-0.5), 2i(1), 2e(0-0.5), 3i(1), 3e(0), 4i/e(1.25-2), 5(0.5). Dorsal skin smooth. Colouration very variable, usually brown or reddish brown, often with a dark hourglass marking and sometimes with a light vertebral stripe, a rare pattern in arboreal frogs. Lichen-like pink patches can be present in some individuals as well. The iris is yellowish or light brown in the north-eastern populations but usually has red colour in the outer iris area of specimens from eastern and south-eastern Madagascar. Ventrally white.
Tips of fingers and toes circularly enlarged. The tibia is clearly longer than the foot. Vomerine teeth are present. A nuptial pad is recognizable on the first finger. Bones are very slightly green. The skin on back, legs, and throat is smooth, on the venter slightly granular. Colour in life, light brown on the back with indistinct remains of a darker hourglass-shaped marking and many small dark spots. Dark crossbands are present on the legs. The belly is centrally silvery white and laterally transparent. The throat is transparent. In preservative the colouration of the back has not changed substantially.
Similar species: Mainly B. blommersae.
Variation: Some uncertainty surrounds the identity of the type series of this species, from Marojejy, with the populations typically adscribed to this species. More field data are necessary, but available evidence indicates the existence of more than one small Boophis species with whistling calls in north-eastern Madagascar.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Ambanizana, An’Ala, Anjanaharibe, Antsahamanara (Tsaratanana Massif), Besariaka, Farihimazava (near Antoetra), Mandraka, Marojejy, Ranomafana National Park (Ambatovory, Maharira forest, Vohiparara, and others sites), Tsararano. Observed between elevation range 300-1000m in primary and secondary rainforest (Andreone et al. 2008).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males call from elevated perches, 2-4 m in the vegetation, along streams (often fast-flowing) in primary and degraded rainforest. Calling males were heard after sunset in March along noisy brooks in primary forest.
Calls: A very high-pitched series of frequency-modulated whistles, reminding the chirping of birds.
It breeds in streams (Andreone et al. 2008)
Trends and Threats
Least Concern: wide distribution and tolerance of habitat modification. It occurs in several protected areas (Andreone et al. 2008).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Named after the type locality, the Marojezy mountains.
Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007).
Andreone, F., Vences, M., and Glaw, F. (2008). Boophis marojezensis. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 08 April 2009.
Glaw, F. and Vences, M. (1994). Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. M. Vences and F. Glaw Verlags GbR., Köln.
Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
Written by Miguel Vences and Frank Glaw (m.vences AT tu-bs.de), Assistant Professor and Curator of Vertebrates at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Zoological Museum at the University of Amsterdam
First submitted 2000-10-30
Edited by Henry Zhu (2009-05-05)
Feedback or comments about this page.
Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on
amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2014. Berkeley, California:
(Accessed: Apr 20, 2014).
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.