Rather large (males 22-26 mm, females 23-26 mm). Hand without webbing; foot webbing 1(1), 2i(1.5), 2e(1-1.5), 3i(2), 3e(1-1.5), 4i/e(2-2.5), 5(0.25-1); webbing sum is 10.5-13. Vomerine teeth clearly present. Lateral metatarsalia not connected. Dorsal skin smooth. Colouration variable.
Similar species: B. blommersae is very similar. B. grandisonae differs slightly by general appearance, and in many populations by colouration. B. domerguei and B. kely differ by colouration. Confusion is also possible with Mantidactylus argenteus, Guibemantis liber and other members of Guibemantis.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Ambanja, Ambilobe, Andranohofa, Ankarafantsika (Ampijoroa, Ankarokaroka, Antsiloky, Lac Tsimaloto), Antsirasira, Lokobe, Montagne d’ Ambre, Nosy Be, Sambava. From sea level to 800m asl (IUCN 2008). Found in exposed swamps outside of the forest. Habitat (at least during the breeding season) consists of shallow (temporary or permanent) pools with abundant swamp vegetation, and a nearby area with enough trees to contain a small, leaf-litter covered surface. We never found this species in dense primary forest. Can be found within villages and small towns. Males and females spend the day in the leaf litter.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males and females spend the day in the leaf litter. Males call during day and night, usually sitting on leaves 50 (occasionally up to 250) cm above the water surface. Sometimes there is more than one male on one leaf.
We observed mating behaviour at Voloina, Andrakata, and Ambanja. When mating, the male and female sit on a vertical hanging leaf, the male sitting over the female, his legs extended over the female's dorsum and shoulders. Couples can remain for a long time in this position (at least more than one hour) before egg deposition starts.
Call: The call is a series of (up to 25) short, unharmonious notes. Calls of populations from Andrakata and Sambava sound different to the human ear (more melodious) in comparison to those from Ambanja and Nosy Be (unharmonious and pulsed). However, the analysed call parameters are similar. Dominant frequency is 4.7-5.3 kHz (with a second frequency band between 2.5 and 3 kHz; Sambava), 4.6-5.5 kHz (second band at 2-3 kHz; Montagne d'Ambre), 4.5-6 kHz (second band at 2.3-3 kHz; Nosy Be), 6-6.5 kHz (second band 3-3.5; Ranohira).
Eggs and tadpoles: Tadpoles from Ampijoroa measure 31-39 mm total length in stages 37-41. Their average ratio tail length/body length is 2.3. At midlength of the tail, the caudal musculature represents 1/3 of total tail height. Tooth formula is 1/4+4//3 or 1/5+5//3.
Clutches at Andrakata were found attached to leaves 1-1.5 m above the water surface. Tadpoles reared from these clutches were morphologically similar to those from Ampijoroa, but displayed characteristic black tails, which have not been described in the other tadpoles assigned to B. wittei.
Likely to be a species complex (IUCN 2008).
Datong, Y., and Shunqing, L. (2004). Cynops cyanurus. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 11 March 2009.
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.
Written by Frank Glaw and Miguel Vences (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 2000-11-03
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2010-07-19)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Blommersia wittei <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/4631> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Aug 4, 2020.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 4 Aug 2020.
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