AmphibiaWeb - Boophis luteus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Boophis luteus (Boulenger, 1882)
Ankafana Bright-eyed Frog
Subgenus: Boophis
family: Mantellidae
subfamily: Boophinae
genus: Boophis
Boophis luteus
© 2009 Gonçalo M. Rosa (1 of 11)

sound file   hear call (191.8K MP3 file)

sound file   hear Fonozoo call (#1)
sound file   hear Fonozoo call (#2)

[call details here]

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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A green, medium-sized treefrog with snout vent length 35-60 mm; males 35-40 mm, one female 51 mm. Venter is bluish to greenish. Skin on the back is smooth. White lateral fringes are along lower arm and tarsus. Iris with a red ring on the outer iris area. Nostrils are slightly nearer to eye than to tip of snout. Tympanum/eye ratio is about 1/2. Tibiotarsal articulation reaches tip of snout or beyond. Webbing of the hand: a trace of web between finger 1 and 2, 2e(1), 3i(2), 3e(1), 4(1); webbing of the foot 1(0), 2i(1), 2e(0), 3i(1), 3e(0), 4i/e(1), 5(0). Males are with white nuptial pads and a bluish, paired subgular vocal sac.

Metamorphosing juveniles measure 18-25 mm from snout to vent. Their colour is green with a red spot between the eyes and two lateral yellow lines from the tip of the snout, over the eye, to the insertion of the hindlimbs. A second tadpole type with a tooth formula of 1/2+2//3 or 1/3+3//3 was also assigned to this species. At Tolagnaro only the first form occured.

Similar species: Boophis elenae, B. englaenderi and B. l. septentrionalis have no red ring around the iris. Other species of the luteus and rappiodes-group are smaller.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (4 records).
Ambatolahy forest, Ambohitantely, Andasibe, Andohahela, Itremo, Isalo, Mandraka, Midongy, Nahampoana, Pic St. Louis, Ranomafana (Andranaroa river), Vevembe. It occurs between 300-1,100m asl. This species lives in pristine and degraded rainforest, in secondary vegetation where trees survive, and along streams, where it breeds (Nussbaum et al. 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males call during the evening and night from shrubs, trees and rocks along brooks in, and outside of, dense forest; also during dry nights. Couples in axillary amplexus have been found in January and March.

Call: The call is a melodious sound that can last for several minutes. It consists of whistling notes [duration 75 ms (Tolagnaro; 25 °C) to 100 ms (Andasibe;18 °C)] repeated after short intervals of 40 (25 °C) to 90 ms (18 °C). Note repetition rate at the two temperatures is 9.3/s and 5.5/s. When beginning to call, males first emit single notes with longer intervals between them; after some time they start calling as described above. Frequency ranges from 3 to 3.5 kHz (Tolagnaro) and 2.7-3.2 (Andasibe). Between the south (Tolagnaro) and centre (Andasibe) only minor call differences were found. Another call description is generally in accordance with these parameters. When clasped, males emit single whistling tones.

Eggs: One female deposited about 200 black, very sticky eggs, with a diameter of 2 mm. At Tolagnaro a clutch that very probably belongs to this species was fixed on a vertical stone where fast-running shallow water cascaded down a large rock. Egg diameter, including the strong jelly, was 3 mm. After separating from the stone, about 120 tadpoles (8 mm total length) hatched. A couple from Mandraka (female 51 mm snout vent length) produced a clutch of 190 eggs in January; egg diameter was 2.5 mm, including the jelly 4 mm.

Tadpoles live in flowing water and are brownish or blackish-green in late metamorphic stages, with brown or black spots on the caudal musculature. The belly is transparent in early stages becoming silvery in later stages. Total length in stage 25: 14-28 mm; in stages 35-38: 50-65 mm. The mouth is small and directed ventrally. Eyes are large and directed laterally. At midlength of the tail, the caudal musculature represents about 2/5-1/2 of the total tail height. Tooth formula is 1/5+5//3 or 1/4+4//3 Glaw and Vences (2007).

Trends and Threats
Least Concern: wide distribution and tolerance of habitat modification. It occurs in many protected areas (Nussbaum et al. 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Habitat fragmentation

Account information from Glaw and Vences (2007) Glaw and Vences (2007).

This species was featured in News of the Week 29 April 2024:

Animal visual systems have evolved at multiple levels of the visual perception pathway according to a given species' visual needs in the light environments it inhabits. Among the most impactful adaptations are changes to the visual opsin proteins, which are the protein component of the light-sensitive visual pigments housed in the photoreceptor cells of the retina that detect and respond to light signals. Schott et al. (2024) examine the diversity and evolution of visual opsins specifically the gene duplication/ loss and sequence evolution across 122 frog species representing 34 families with a diversity of life histories and ecologies. They find most species express four visual opsins with evidence for gene loss in two lineages (Arthroleptidae and Dendrobatidae), which represents a much lower level of gene loss than that inferred in other ancestrally nocturnal vertebrate groups like mammals, snakes, geckos, and crocodilians. This relatively limited gene loss in anurans suggests they have heavily invested in their visual systems despite being predominantly nocturnal. They also find evidence for shifts in selective pressure on each visual opsin associated with differences in ecology (scansorial and aquatic lifestyles) and life history (direct development), highlighting the need for functional studies to better understand how particular substitutions may impact visual pigment function. Finally, Schott et al. measure the spectral sensitivities of visual pigments in a subset of species, greatly expanding the previously known ranges for all frog visual pigments. Surprisingly, much of this variation is not explained by mutations at known "spectral tuning sites" identified in other vertebrates, suggesting that frogs have used unique molecular pathways to achieve this high level of spectral diversity. In sum, their study furthers our understanding of adaptive evolution in frog visual systems and represents an important advance in our growing understanding of vertebrate visual evolution. (Written by Rayna Bell)


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

Nussbaum, R., Glaw, F., and Andreone, F. (2008). Boophis luteus. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 08 April 2009.

Originally submitted by: Miguel Vences and Frank Glaw (first posted 2002-04-26)
Edited by: Henry Zhu, Michelle S. Koo (2024-04-28)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2024 Boophis luteus: Ankafana Bright-eyed Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 18, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Jun 2024.

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