A largely unknown montane frog from the Ankaratra massif. M 37 mm, F 40-44 mm. Tibiotarsal articulation reaches the nostril. Hand with a trace of webbing, foot webbing 1(0), 2i(1), 2e(0), 3i/e(1), 4i/e(2), 5(1). Dorsal skin smooth, with larger tubercles on the posterior back. Colour in life brown with orange markings, ventrally dirty white. Males with distinct light nuptial pads.
Similar species: The species has a rather unique appearance and a very restricted distribution and habitat, and is therefore unlikely to be confused with other species.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Ankaratra (Ambohimirandrana). Observed only at 2100m asl. Although it originally inhabits montane rainforest, it is now restricted to high-elevation grasslands with relict montane forest (Vences and Nussbaum 2008).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Along fast-flowing streams at high elevations of the Ankaratra Massif, with rudimentary gallery forest and bushy vegetation along their edges. One specimen was found at night on leaves, at a perch height of about 1 m. The large tadpoles have broad mouthparts adapted to fast-flowing water and live in the streams.
It breeds in fast-flowing mountain streams (Vences and Nussbaum 2008).
Trends and Threats
Critically Endangered: extent of occurrence is less than 100 km2 and its area of occupancy is less than 10 km2, all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat at Ankaratra. This species appears to be restricted to only a few streams on the Ankaratra Massif which so far receive no legal protection (Vences and Nussbaum 2008).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Climate change, increased UVB or increased sensitivity to it, etc.
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.
Vences, M. and Nussbaum, R. (2008). Boophis williamsi. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 07 April 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 4, 2016).
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.