M 40-43 mm, F 43-45 mm. Tympanum indistinct. Tibiotarsal articulation reaches tympanum. Tips of fingers and toes strongly enlarged. Skin granular. Dorsum and limbs brown with symmetrical darker markings. Green colour can be present in varying extension. Ventrally with distinct whitish-dark brown marbling. Throat dark brown (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Similar species: Most similar to Scaphiophryne marmorata which is distributed in eastern Madagascar, but differs by a larger body size, several body proportions, and a more brownish colour. S. spinosa differs in more spiny body texture and a more extended green colour. S. boribory is larger and has a smoother skin texture. S. madagascariensis interestingly is closest related to S. menabensis by analysis of mitochondrial genes but differs by less expanded tips of fingers and toes (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Found in western Madagascar (Tsingy de Bemaraha (Bendrao forest), Isalo, Kirindy, and Namoroka; Glaw and Vences 2007), at 0-600 m asl (Vences et. al 2006). It occurs in dry deciduous forests (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Habits: Breeds in medium-sized, shallow, relatively clear ponds with very little aquatic vegetation in closed forest, not observed in savanna. An explosive breeder that reproduces only after heavy rainfalls and only a few times during the rainy season. Males call at night, floating on the water. Small black eggs, 450-670 per female (Glaw and Vences 2007; Vences et al. 2006).
Calls: Several fast series of very short melodious notes, similar to other species of Scaphiophryne (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Trends and Threats
Rare, and the population is decreasing (Vences et. al 2006). This species is known to occur in at least three protected areas, the privately protected Kirindy Forest Centre de Formation Professionelle Forestière (Parc National de Kirindy-Mitea), Parc National de Isalo and Parc National Tsingy de Bemaraha. It might also occur in the Parc National de Namoroka (Vences et. al 2006). Breeding habitat loss is a major threat, due to logging and slash-and-burn agriculture (Vences et al. 2006).
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.
Vences, M., Andreone, F., and Rabibisoa, N. (2006). Scaphiophryne menabensis. 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 2009-04-08
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2010-07-19)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Scaphiophryne menabensis <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/6441> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 15, 2019.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 15 Oct 2019.
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