M 22-23 mm, F 30 mm. Tibiotarsal articulation does not reach snout tip. Fifth toe slightly shorter than third toe. Femoral glands in males large but not very prominent. Frenal stripe indistinct. Ventrally with an interrupted median light stripe on the throat and yellow colour on belly and hindlimbs (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Variation: Specimens from Ambohitantely differ in their advertisement calls and may represent an undescribed species (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
An'Ala, Andasibe, Andrangoloaka, Mantadia, possibly Ambohitantely (Glaw and Vences 2007), at 850-1,500 m asl in pristine to slightly disturbed rainforest (Glaw and Vences 2008).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Habits: Calling males were observed during the day on the ground near rainforest streams (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Calls: Series of up to 33 unharmonious pulsed notes, with a relatively slow note repetition rate (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Trends and Threats
Moderately common but decreasing. It occurs in three protected areas: the Réserve Spéciale d’Ambohitantely, Parc National de Mantadia, and Parc National de Ranomafana. It requires relatively pristine forest. The major threat is habitat loss due to subsistence agriculture, logging, charcoal manufacture, invasion and spread of eucalyptus, grazing, fire and expanding human settlement (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
Subtle changes to necessary specialized habitat
Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007).
Glaw, F. and Vences, M. (2008). Mantidactylus zipperi. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 31 March 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 2009-03-31
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2009-04-09)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Mantidactylus zipperi <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/6240> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Aug 11, 2020.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 11 Aug 2020.
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