36-43 mm SVL. Stout body. Dark brown-black dorsum, generally with a very broad, lighter brown mottled vertebral band. Faint crossbars on arms and limbs. Venter is dark brown with white mottling to faintly pigmented. Toes webbed. Lateral metatarsalia partly connected. Inner and outer metatarsal tubercles present. Femoral glands of type 2. Moderately enlarged fingertips. Males have a paired subgular vocal sac (Mercurio and Andreone 2007).
Sympatric with G. corvus. This species can be distinguished from G. corvus by dorsal coloration (brownish to olive gray with lighter patches of brown in G. corvus), somewhat larger eyes and tympanum, calls, a larger maximum SVL in males (43 mm in G. azzurrae vs. 38 mm in G. corvus), and a stout body (vs. slender in G. corvus) (Mercurio and Andreone 2007).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Northern portion of the Isalo Massif (Andriamanero, Iamabahatsy and Sakamalio). This species has been found in large canyons with running water in the river bed between stones, as well as in the gallery forest (Glaw and Vences 2007). It has been observed at 640 to 689 m asl (Andreone and Vences 2008).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Habits: Calls are emitted at night from perches 50-150 cm above the ground in the vegetation along small streams in canyons (Glaw and Vences 2007). Males were found calling 10-20 m from each other (Andreone and Vences 2008). The advertisement call differs from G. corvus by having more and longer notes, clear harmonic structure, and a higher dominant frequency with a wider spectrum (Mercurio and Andreone 2007).
Trends and Threats
This species is listed as endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, all individuals are in fewer than five locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat. Two of the known locations, Iamabahatsy and Sakamalio, are within the Parc National de l’Isalo. Outside this protected area, conservation measures are needed to protect the species' habitat from the effects of fire due to prairie burning, and sapphire mining (Andreone and Vences 2008).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007).
Andreone, F. and Vences, M. (2008). Gephyromantis azzurrae. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 20 March 2009.
Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
Mercurio, V., and Andreone, F. (2007). ''Two new canyon-dwelling frogs from the arid sandstone Isalo Massif, central-southern Madagascar (Mantellidae, Mantellinae).'' Zootaxa, 1574, 31-47.
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 2009-03-20
Edited by Catherine Aguilar (2009-04-07)
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