This species is known only from Bendrao Forest, at 420-470 m asl, in the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Mahajanga Province, western Madagascar. It appears to be endemic to the low-elevation dry forest of the Tsingy de Bemaraha.
Habitat and Ecology
Very little information is available on this species. It has been found in moderately moist dry forest among "tsingy" rocks. One specimen contained more than 100 eggs, indicating that the specimen was ready for reproduction at the end of the rainy season. Its stomach contained a large number of medium-sized insect remains (ants, beetles) and pieces of dead leaves from the forest floor. Both specimens were found in the same forest (Bendrao), but the actual range is likely to comprise a larger area. However, it is probably endemic to the Tsingy de Bemaraha massif due to the absence of sufficient humidity outside the karstic habitats elsewhere in the general region.Its breeding is not known, but it is probably a terrestrial, larval developing species, not requiring water, like some other members of the genus.
It is known from only two specimens. Attempts to locate the species, using pitfall traps in three other sites in the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, failed to capture any additional specimens, so it appears to be rare.
The Bendrao forest has been degraded by zebu (cattle) grazing. It is possible that other dry forest habitats potentially inhabited by this species in the Tsingy de Bemaraha have also been degraded by overgrazing, and firewood or timber collection.
It occurs in the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park where there is a need to limit additional habitat degradation, especially in the Bendrao Forest. Research is needed to determine the limits of its distribution, and its ecological requirements.
Vences, M., Andreone, F., Rabibisoa, N.H.C. & Cox, N. 2009. Plethodontohyla fonetana. In: IUCN 2013