A small to medium-sized species of Heterixalus; males 18-28 mm, females 19-29 mm. Back is either greenish or beige, with broad yellow dorsolateral bands, often bordered with black on one or both sides. Spots or markings are absent. Thighs, ventral limb surface, hands, and feet are orange. Venter is creamish. Gular gland is heart-shaped, in contrast to several other species, where it is more or less round. Some geographical variation exists: at higher altitude specimens are greenish and large-sized (Antananarivo: 28 mm); at lower altitude the specimens are beige and much smaller (Andasibe: 18-22 mm). Specimens from Manjakatompo are uniformly greenish without dorsolateral bands, resembling H. boettgeri, and males measure 19-24 mm.
Similar species: Other species of Heterixalus, with dorsolateral bands are H. luteostriatus, H. "variabilis" and H. andrakata.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Ambalamarina, Ambalavao, Ambatolahy, Ambatolampy, Ambatondrazaka, Ambohitantely, Ampandrianomby, Analamazoatra, Andasibe, Andringitra, Angavokely, Ankaratra, Antananarivo, Antratrabe, Arivonimamo, Didy, Farihimazava, Fianarantsoa, Itasy, Ivato, Manambolo, Mandraka, Manjakatompo, Mantasoa, Ranomafana, Sendrisoa. It occurs between 500 to 1,600m asl in deforested and degraded areas, such as savannahs, fields, croplands, urban areas, and villages (Nussbaum et al. 2008).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Very common in savanna-like areas and other deforested habitats. At Antananarivo, frogs are active from November till May. Breeding sites are open stagnant water bodies, as pools, ricefields and flooded grasslands. During the day, females can be found sitting on vegetation exposed to sunlight; males sometimes sit higher in trees and start calling at 4 h pm. During the night, males call from vegetation 10-200 cm above water.
Calls: A single short note that is repeated after regular intervals.
Amplexus is axillary. Eggs are black and white, and measure 1.6 mm in diameter. They are deposited around grass blades, or other plants, in clusters of 10 to 80, just above the water. When the water level rises with further rain the eggs become submerged. Tadpoles live in the sunny parts of stagnant waters, often with the tadpoles of Mantidactylus alutus (which seem to prefer shaded water) and Ptychadena mascareniensis. Total length in stage 25: 9-21 mm; stages 40-41: 39-46 mm. Tooth formula is 1//1+1/2 or 1//3. The body is ovoid. Nostrils are dorsal and eyes are situated laterally. At midlength of the tail, the height of the caudal musculature represents 1/3 to 2/5 of the total tail height. The mouth is small and directed anteroventrally. Metamorphosing juveniles measure 15-20 mm.
It breeds in temporary and permanent still water (Nussbaum et al. 2008).
Trends and Threats
It occurs in several protected areas (Nussbaum et al. 2008).
Taken with permission from Glaw and Vences (2007).
Glaw, F. and Vences, M. (1994). Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. M. Vences and F. Glaw Verlags GbR., Köln.
Martins, M., and Haddad, C. F. B. (1988). ''Vocalizations and reproductive behavior in the Smith frog, Hyla faber Wied (Amphibia: Hylidae).'' Amphibia-Reptilia, 9, 49-60.
Nussbaum, R. Glaw, F., and Andreone, F. (2008). Heterixalus betsileo. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 01 April 2009.
Originally submitted by: Miguel Vences and Frank Glaw (first posted 2002-01-24)
Edited by: Henry Zhu (2010-07-18)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Heterixalus betsileo <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/488> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 15, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 15 Oct 2021.
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