A member of the Mantidactylus boulengeri-group, which contains M. boulengeri, M. boulengeri "leucocephalus", M. decaryi, M. eiselti, M. thelenae, M. klemmeri, and M. webbi. This group is composed of rather small species (20-35 mm). Lateral metatarsalia are connected. An outer metatarsal tubercle is present, with the exception ofM. webbi. Webbing is absent between the fingers and reduced between the toes, except for M. webbi, in which the feet are moderately webbed. Nostrils are situated nearer to the tip of the snout than the eye. Males have paired subgular vocals sacs which are white in M. webbi and dark in the other species. Femoral glands are distinct in males, absent in females. These frogs are active and call mainly during the day. M. webbi and M. klemmeri live on mossy stones along brooks; calling males of the other species do not aggregate around water. Direct development could be observed in M. eiselti. On the lip, alternate light and dark transverse bands are present, as in the subgenus Brygoomantis, whose species are also mainly terrestrial with at least partial diurnal activity. Representatives can be distinguished from most other species of Mantidactylus by the paired subgular vocal sacs of males, only also present in the M. granulatus-group, which is composed of larger and mainly nocturnal species.
Mantidactylus thelenae is a small brownish species of Mantidactylus
Holotype: Adult male, ZFMK 57422, from Andasibe (CE-Madagascar). SVL 23 mm, head width 7 mm; eye diameter 3 mm, horizontal diameter of tympanum 1.2 mm; distance eye-nostril 2.1 mm, distance nostril-tip of snout 1.9 mm; hand length 6.5 mm, length of foot and tarsus 17 mm. Tibiotarsal articulation reaches nostril. Foot is slightly shorter than tibia. Tips of fingers and toes are enlarged. Lateral metatarsalia are connected. No distinct femoral glands are recognizable. Inner metatarsal tubercle present, outer metatarsal tubercle not recognizable. Hands and feet without webbing. Blackish lateral skin folds are recognizable on the throat. Vomerine teeth are absent. Skin on the back and belly slightly granular, on the arms, legs and throat smooth. Back in life uniformly brownish. Fourth and fifth toe with some red colour. A discontinuous thin dark line runs from nostril to eye and a dark streak from eye to insertion of forelegs. This streak begins broad, covering the whole tympanic region, and becomes thin behind the tympanum. The sides of the head under these dark streaks is whitish, the corner of the mouth yellow. The lower lip with distinct alternating black and yellow spots. The belly is yellowish white, the skin of the throat is pinkish, rather transparent, with a slightly recognizable yellowish median stripe. The underside of the femurs, especially near the insertion of the hindlegs, are reddish to bright red. A small group of granules which may correspond to femoral glands is recognizable on the femurs near the anus. In preservative all yellow colour has become white, the underside of the femurs is dirty yellowish white. No brown marblings or spots are present on the underside of the femurs. The back is greyish brown.
Paratypes: Three adult males, ZFMK 57423 (SVL 23 mm), 57423 (SVL 23 mm), 57425 (SVL 20.5 mm) from the same locality as the holotype. Morphological features and colouration very similar to the holotype. The vocal sac is single subgular as could be observed in calling males.
Similar species: M. eiselti is most similar but has no red colouration at the ventral surface of legs and differs largely by call. M. decaryi has longer hindlimbs.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Andasibe, Besariaka near Moramanga, Mantadia. It occurs at 900m asl in primary and secondary rainforest, and in eucalyptus plantations near forest (Glaw and Vences 2008).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Habits: Calling males were heard in February only during the day in secondary fern vegetation. At first impression, habitats of M. eiselti and M. thelenae are similar, but both species were not found in syntopy. Around Andasibe M. eiselti was often heard at many different localities, whereas only two populations of M. thelenae were found.
Call (from the terra typica, 24°C): Consists of 5-8 unharmonious notes. Note duration is 540-650 ms, duration of intervals between notes is 1140-1480 ms, note repetition rate is 0.5/s. Intensity decreases towards the end of each note. Pulse repetition rate is 250/s. Interval between two calls is 80-95 s. Frequency is between 3.9 and 4.8 kHz.
Trends and Threats
This species occurs in Parc National de Mantadia, and possibly also in the Réserve Spéciale d’Analamazaotra (Glaw and Vences 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. (2008). Gephyromantis thelenae. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 14 April 2009.
Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
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 2003-01-23
Edited by Henry Zhu (2009-05-06)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Gephyromantis thelenae <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/4627> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Feb 18, 2020.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Feb 2020.
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