M 49-60 mm, F 53-59 mm. A large and poorly known Scaphiophryne known from only a few sites in eastern Madagascar. Tympanum not visible. Tibiotarsal articulation at most reaches between forelimb insertion and tympanum. Tips of fingers and toes strongly enlarged. Skin rather smooth with a number of larger granules. Dorsally green with symmetrical brown markings. In the population from Marotondrano, based on observations of A. Raselimanana, the predominant colour can be brown fading into olive green in some areas, and with darker brown markings. The terminal discs on fingers and toes are often reddish. Ventrally with a highly contrasted black-white pattern, usually black with white rounded spots of different size. Throat dark brown to black (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Similar species: For a distinction from S. marmorata and S. spinosa, see those species. S. menabensis is smaller and only known from western Madagascar. S. madagascariensis occurs in the highlands and has no enlarged discs on fingers and toes (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
This species is known only from Fierenana, Marotondrano (Glaw and Vences 2007) at 950 m asl, but might occur more widely (Stuart et al. 2008). It inhabits large, flooded forest areas on sandy ground (Stuart et al. 2008).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Habits: It is thought to breed in forested swamps (Stuart et al. 2008).
Calls: Only recorded in captivity. Apparently a long lasting fast series of very short melodious notes, similar to other species of Scaphiophryne (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Trends and Threats
It may still be locally abundant, based on information from commercial collectors. However, it is considered endangered with a declining population. It is not known to occur in any protected areas, and it may be overcollected for the pet trade (Stuart et al. 2008). It appears to be restricted to flooded forest on sandy ground, and the major threat (besides overcollection) is habitat loss from agriculture, logging, charcoal production, grazing, and invasion of eucalyptus. Thus this species could benefit from immediate habitat protection (Stuart et al. 2008).
Relation to Humans
It is collected for the pet trade (Stuart et al. 2008). It is not known exactly how many specimens are imported per year into the United States; trade records apparently combine numbers for all Scaphiophryne brought into the United States.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Subtle changes to necessary specialized habitat
Intentional mortality (over-harvesting, pet trade or collecting)
Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007).
Defenders of Wildlife and SSN have recently recommended that the United States advocate for inclusion of Scaphiophryne boribory in Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), which would recommend controls on commercial trade in this species.
However, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that the U. S. is not planning to propose inclusion of S. boribory under CITES Appendix II unless "significant additional information is received" about the population and trade status, or assistance is requested by Madagascar. The deadline for submitting comments and information to USF&W is September 11, 2009. Species submitted for consideration by the United States and other CITES member countries will be discussed at the CoP15 meeting in Qatar on March 13-25, 2010.
Comments pertaining to species proposals should be sent to the Division of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 110, Arlington, VA 22203, or via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or via fax at: 703ï¿½358ï¿½2276. Comments pertaining to proposed resolutions, decisions, and agenda items should be sent to the Division of Management Authority, U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 212, Arlington, VA
22203, or via e-mail at: CoP15@fws.gov, or via fax at: 703ï¿½358ï¿½2298.
For further information pertaining to species proposals contact:
Rosemarie Gnam, Chief, Division of Scientific Authority, phone 703ï¿½358ï¿½
1708, fax 703ï¿½358ï¿½2276, e-mail: email@example.com. For further information pertaining to resolutions, decisions, and agenda items contact: Robert R. Gabel, Chief, Division of Management Authority, phone 703ï¿½ 358ï¿½2095, fax 703ï¿½358ï¿½2298, e-mail: CoP15@fws.gov.
Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
Stuart, S., Hoffmann, M., Chanson, J., Cox, N., Berridge, R., Ramani, P., and Young, B. (eds) (2008). Threatened Amphibians of the World. Lynx Edicions, IUCN, and Conservation International, Barcelona, Spain; Gland, Switzerland; and Arlington, Virginia, USA.
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 2009-04-08
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2010-07-19)
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