A green, medium-sized treefrog with snout vent length 35-60 mm; males
35-40 mm, one female 51 mm. Venter is bluish to greenish. Skin on the back is smooth. White lateral
fringes are along lower arm and tarsus. Iris with a
red ring on the outer iris area. Nostrils are slightly nearer to eye
than to tip of snout. Tympanum/eye ratio is about 1/2. Tibiotarsal
articulation reaches tip of snout or beyond. Webbing of the hand: a trace of
web between finger 1 and 2, 2e(1), 3i(2), 3e(1), 4(1); webbing of the foot
1(0), 2i(1), 2e(0), 3i(1), 3e(0), 4i/e(1), 5(0). Males are with white nuptial
pads and a bluish, paired subgular vocal sac.
Tadpoles live in flowing water and
are brownish or blackish-green in late metamorphic stages, with brown or black
spots on the caudal musculature. The belly is transparent in early stages
becoming silvery in later stages. Total length in stage 25: 14-28 mm; in
stages 35-38: 50-65 mm. The mouth is small and directed ventrally. Eyes are
large and directed laterally. At midlength of the tail, the caudal musculature
represents about 2/5-1/2 of the total tail height. Tooth formula is 1/5+5//3
Metamorphosing juveniles measure 18-25 mm from snout to vent. Their colour is
green with a red spot between the eyes and two lateral yellow lines from the
tip of the snout, over the eye, to the insertion of the hindlimbs. A second
tadpole type with a tooth formula of 1/2+2//3 or 1/3+3//3 was also assigned
to this species. At Tolagnaro only the first form occured.
Similar species: Boophis elenae, B. englaenderi and B. l.
septentrionalis have no red ring around the iris. Other species of the
luteus and rappiodes-group are smaller.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Ambatolahy forest, Ambohitantely, Andasibe, Andohahela, Itremo, Isalo, Mandraka, Midongy, Nahampoana, Pic St. Louis, Ranomafana (Andranaroa river), Vevembe. It occurs between 300-1,100m asl. This species lives in pristine and degraded rainforest, in secondary vegetation where trees survive, and along streams, where it breeds (Nussbaum et al. 2008).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males call during the evening and night from shrubs, trees and rocks along
brooks in, and outside of, dense forest; also during dry nights. Couples in
axillary amplexus have been found in January and March.
Call: The call is a melodious sound that can last for several minutes. It consists of whistling notes [duration 75 ms (Tolagnaro; 25 °C) to 100 ms (Andasibe;18 °C)] repeated after short intervals of 40 (25 °C) to 90 ms (18 °C). Note repetition rate at the two temperatures is 9.3/s and 5.5/s. When beginning to call, males first emit single notes with longer intervals between them; after
some time they start calling as described above. Frequency ranges from 3 to
3.5 kHz (Tolagnaro) and 2.7-3.2 (Andasibe). Between the south (Tolagnaro) and
centre (Andasibe) only minor call differences were found. Another call
description is generally in accordance with these parameters. When clasped,
males emit single whistling tones.
Eggs: One female deposited about 200 black, very sticky eggs, with a diameter of 2 mm. At Tolagnaro a clutch that very probably belongs to this species was
fixed on a vertical stone where fast-running shallow water cascaded down a
large rock. Egg diameter, including the strong jelly, was 3 mm. After
separating from the stone, about 120 tadpoles (8 mm total length) hatched.
A couple from Mandraka (female 51 mm snout vent length) produced a clutch
of 190 eggs in January; egg diameter was 2.5 mm, including the jelly 4 mm.
Trends and Threats
Least Concern: wide distribution and tolerance of habitat modification. It occurs in many protected areas (Nussbaum et al. 2008).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007).
Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
Nussbaum, R., Glaw, F., and Andreone, F. (2008). Boophis luteus. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 08 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 2002-04-26
Edited by Henry Zhu (2009-05-05)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Boophis luteus <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/4347> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 19, 2018.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2018. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 19 Dec 2018.
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