AmphibiaWeb - Mantella expectata


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Mantella expectata Busse & Böhme, 1992
Blue-legged mantella, expected mantella, canyon mantella
family: Mantellidae
subfamily: Mantellinae
genus: Mantella

© 2004 Franco Andreone (1 of 11)

  hear call (177.2K MP3 file)

  hear Fonozoo call

[call details here]

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
CITES Appendix II
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

20-26 mm SVL. Head and dorsum dirty yellow to lemon yellow with a sharp dorsolateral colour border to the black flanks. Limbs grey to bright metallic blue. A thin bluish white frenal stripe along the upper lip usually from insertion of forelimbs to a point below anterior edge of the eye. Iris with light pigment in its upper part. Ventral colouration blackish with irregularly shaped blue markings which can fuse to form a blue-black marbling. Throat largely blue.

Similar species: Usually distinguished from the other species of the Mantella betsileo group by the typical colouration and the incomplete frenal stripe.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Isalo. It occurs from 700 m to 1,000 m asl in seasonal streams and in wet canyons (where it is sometimes, but not always, associated with narrow gallery forest) (Andreone et al. 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Habits: Occurs in the rather dry sandstone massif of Isalo. The species was found at several sites in the Ilakaka/Isalo region. There, it appears to be a savannah- species, living around small and temporary streams. The preferred habitat consisted either in quite open canyons, and also in rocky areas next to water bodies. Tadpoles and newly metamorphosed specimens were found also in temporary pools created within rocky depressions in close canyons. In another case we found both tadpoles and adults within a small cave (4 meters long) filled by water. In open areas the adults were found under rocks, or active during the first hours of the days (0500-0800). Tadpoles were small and blackish. A more detailed description will be provided elsewhere.

Calls: Similar to other Mantella species.

Trends and Threats
It occurs in Parque Nacional de Isalo. Trade in this species needs to be very carefully regulated, and the populations require close monitoring. The main threat is habitat loss due to grazing and fire, and in some localized regions due to mining for sapphires. It is actively sought after for the pet trade, and during the rainy season up to several thousand specimens can be collected (Andreone et al. 2008).

Relation to Humans
Captured for the pet trade.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Prolonged drought
Drainage of habitat
Dams changing river flow and/or covering habitat
Habitat fragmentation
Loss of genetic diversity from small population phenomena
Intentional mortality (over-harvesting, pet trade or collecting)

Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007).


Andreone, F. and Luiselli, L.M. (2003). ''Conservation priorities and potential threats influencing the hyper-diverse amphibians of Madagascar.'' Italian Journal of Zoology, 70, 53-63.

Andreone, F., Raxworthy, C., and Glaw, F. (2008). Mantella expectata. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 21 April 2009.

Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.

Originally submitted by: Miguel Vences and Frank Glaw (first posted 2000-12-13)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2009-09-27)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Mantella expectata: Blue-legged mantella <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Feb 23, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 23 Feb 2024.

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