A brown, medium-sized treefrog; males 35-42 mm, females 41-50 mm, maximum length 70 mm. Colour beige or light brown, usually with two lateral longitudinal yellow bands and light yellow spots on the flanks. Back sometimes covered with irregular, exceptionally large, brown spots and markings (observed in one individual from Berenty). Limbs with irregular dark brown bands. Venter cream. Skin on the back smooth in females, granular in males. Nostrils nearer to tip of snout than to eye. Tympanum distinct, tympanum/eye ratio is about 1/2 eye diameter. Tibiotarsal articulation reaches between eye and tip of snout. Hand without webbing; webbing of the foot 1(0), 2i(1), 2e(0), 3i(1), 3e(0), 4i/e(1), 5(0). Males with nuptial pads and a moderately distensible, single subgular vocal sac. Karyotype differences between eastern and southwestern populations may indicate the existence of various subspecies.
Similar species: Mantidactylus tornieri and M. depressiceps differ by having both inner and outer metatarsal tubercles. B. opisthodon is bigger and has a white band along the upper lip. Both B. hillenii and B. idae have some webbing between the fingers.
The tadpoles are yellowish with beige spots, in late stages mostly greenish. The belly is white, with minute dark spots on its anterior part. Total length in stages 26-29: 24-29 mm; in stages 38-42: 39-49 mm. The mouth is small and directed anteroventrally. Eyes are large and directed laterally. At midlength of the tail, the caudal musculature represents about 2/5 of the total tail height. Tooth formula is 1/4+4//1+1/2 or 1/3+3//1+1/2. Metamorphosing juveniles measure 15-20 mm from snout to vent. Their colour is dark green, sometimes beige with yellow longitudinal lateral bands. Limbs with dark brown bands.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Widespread over most of eastern Madagascar and the Sambirano region; in the south-east, a contact and probably hybrid zone with B. doulioti exists. Ambanja, Ambohitralanana, Andapa, Andasibe, Ankarana, Antsirasira, Cap Masoala, Foulpointe, Lokobe, Manongarivo, Maroantsetra, Marojejy, Marozavavy, Montagne d’Ambre, Montagne des Français, Nosy Be, Ranomafana, Sahafary, Sambava, Toamasina, Vohidrazana, Vondrozo. It occurs from sea level up to 900m asl (Nussbaum et al. 2008). Common in coastal areas, in clear, cultivated countryside, even in the dry areas of the west coast. Typically found in open areas, rarely in clearings in rainforests, mostly in secondary vegetation, often in banana or Typhonodorum plants and in villages.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Habits: During drought the species hides in leaf axils. In rainy weather it can be found during daytime on vegetation. Males call at night from the vegetation, about 10-50 cm above the water, of shallow, sunlit pools, swamps, ricefields or ditches. Sometimes they also sit on the ground near the edge of the pools. Axillary amplexus.
Calls: Typically a single short and loud note repeated after irregular intervals, resembling the yelping of a young dog. In highly motivated choruses, trill notes can be heard as well.
Eggs and tadpoles (from Ampijoroa): Eggs are deposited in small shallow pools. Tadpoles live in sunlit, often temporary, stagnant water.
Trends and Threats
It occurs in several protected areas (Nussbaum et al. 2008).
Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007).
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.
Nussbaum, R., Cadle, J., and Glaw, F. (2008). Boophis tephraeomystax. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 31 March 2009.
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]. 2016. Berkeley, California:
(Accessed: May 2, 2016).
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.