M 19-23 mm. Tympanum rather indistinct, 1/3 of eye diameter. Tibiotarsal articulation reaches the tympanum or the eye. Toe 3 as long as toe 5. Skin granular. Dorsally brown, with darker and sometimes orange markings, and sometimes with a light vertebral stripe. Ventrally reddish on the limbs. Belly and chest with an indistinct grey-brown mottling, throat dark (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Similar species: P. barbouri is the smallest species with red ventral colour on the limbs (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Species occurs in Ambolokopatrika (Andemakatsara, Andranomadio, Antsinjorano), An’Ala, Analamazoatra, Andasibe, Fanovana, Fenoarivo, Marojejy (Glaw and Vences 2007). It has been recorded from sea level up to 1100m asl (Vallan and Andreone 2008).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Habits: Found on Ravenala, Pandanus and Crinum firmifolium plants in bamboo holes and in tree holes. Calling males on leaves in rainforest, at perch heights of 1.5-2 m. One male found in a water-filled tree hole together with tadpoles (Glaw and Vences 2007). The tadpoles are whitish, of the non-feeding type and can measure up to 5 mm body length+11 mm tail (Glaw and Vences 1994). It has been found in degraded forest but not in open areas. It breeds by larval development in water-filled tree holes and bamboo (Vallan and Andreone 2008).
Calls: A short melodious note that is repeated in fast, regular and long-lasting series (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Trends and Threats
Species is listed as least concern because of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category (Vallan and Andreone 2008).
Though it occurs in protected areas such as Parc National de Marojejy, Zahamena Special Reserve, Parc National de Mantadia, Réserve Spéciale d’Ambatovaky, and Réserve Spéciale d’Analamazaotra, its forest habitat is still receding due to subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, and invasive spread of eucalyptus, livestock grazing and expanding human settlements (Vallan and Andreone 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 (1994, 2007) and Vallan and Andreone (2008).
Glaw, F. and Vences, M. (1994). A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Bonn.
Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln.
Vallan, D. and Andreone, F. (2008). Platypelis barbouri. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 01 May 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 2002-01-23
Edited by Catherine Aguilar (2010-07-18)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Platypelis barbouri <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/2336> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 22, 2019.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Oct 2019.
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