Yellowish Tree Cophyline Frog (English), cofilìno arboreo giallastro (Italian), sahonkely mavomavo (Malagasy)
Species Description: Franco Andreone, Dante B. Fenolio, and Mark E. Walvoord 2003. Two Unknown Arboreal Frogs (genus Platypelis) Described from the Rainforests of Northeastern Madagascar (Microhylidae: Cophylinae). Current Herpetology 22(2): 91-100.
© 2005 Franco Andreone (1 of 4)
Head as long as wide; HW 34–40% of SVL; HL 33–35% SVL; snout short, slightly protruding beyond margin of lip; rounded in dorsal view (from the profile a lightly truncated); END less than ED; END 23–30% of HL; eye moderate in size; ED 34–42% of HL. Top of head quite flat; cranial crests absent; canthus rostralis indistinct; internarial area not depressed; nostrils protruding dorsally and laterally at a point above margin of lower jaw. Supratympanic fold visible, tympanum round, TD 41–47% of ED. Choanae small, round, and separated. Vomerine teeth present and posterior to choanae. Tongue trapezoid in shape with rounded edges, widest at the free margin, with a slight frontal notch. Vocal sac moderate in size, single, and in gular position. Skin on dorsum of head, body, and limbs quite smooth, although in some specimens elongated warts are visible. Ventral surfaces smooth. Cloacal opening elliptical. Forearm broad, fingers moderate in length bearing subtriangular, quite large sized discs; disc on first digit smaller than others: 1<2=4<3; subarticular tubercles faint, circular; supernumerary tubercles absent; palmar tubercle semi-distinct, not elevated. No webbing between digits of hands. Feet with semi-distinct supernumerary tubercles. Small pads on digits of feet, ovoidal in shape. Vestigial webbing between 3rd and 4th, and between 4th and 5th toes. Toe length: 1<2<5<3<4 (Glaw and Vences 1994).
After six years in preservative solution, the dorsum of this Platypelis has become typically light brownish, with scattered lighter spots and vermiculations. The legs have more or less the same colouration of the back, with some pigmented transverse areas or spots. The expansions of the hands and feet are brownish-blackish. Pupil horizontal, iris yellowish with dark punctuations. Ventrally cream-yellowish with some faint dark marbling, a little bit more visible on the throat. In life (Fig. 1), the colouration is similar in pattern, although more distinct. The yellow is conspicuously bright in live animals, and disappeared after permanence in formol and/or ethanol. The type series consists of four specimens from Ambolokopatrika. These specimens are quite similar to the holotype in terms of morphology, and size (Glaw and Vences 1994).
Similar species: Several other species of Platypelis have a reddish or yellowish venter, but the uniformly yellow ventral side in P. mavomavo seems to be diagnostic (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Though it occurs in a protected area, the Réserve Spéciale d’Anjanaharibe-Sud, a major threat is habitat loss due to subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, the spread of invasive eucalyptus, livestock grazing, fires, and expanding human settlements (Andreone 2008).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Andreone, F. (2008). Platypelis mavomavo. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 01 May 2009.
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.
Originally submitted by: Miguel Vences and Frank Glaw (first posted 2004-06-06)
Edited by: Catherine Aguilar (2010-07-18)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Platypelis mavomavo: Yellowish Tree Cophyline Frog (English) <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/6261> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Aug 17, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 17 Aug 2022.
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