AmphibiaWeb - Boophis boppa


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Boophis boppa Hutter, Lambert, Cobb, Andriampenomanana & Vences, 2015
Boppa's Bright-eyed treefrog; Malagasy: Fity maso hazo Sahona ny Boppa
Subgenus: Boophis
family: Mantellidae
subfamily: Boophinae
genus: Boophis
Species Description: Hutter CR, Lambert SM, Cobb KA, Andriampenomanana ZF, Vences M 2015 A new species of bright-eyed treefrog (Mantellidae) from Madagascar, with comments on call evolution and patterns of syntopy in the Boophis ankaratra complex. Zootaxa 4034:531-555.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



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Boophis boppa have overall slender body types, and was described from five males and one female. The male specimens were smaller than the female in all measures with a snout vent length range for the for males being 20.3 – 24.4 and the snout-vent length for the female being 32.2 mm. The head wider than long. The forelimb length is shorter than the hand length. The relative finger length is 1 < 2 < 4 < 3. The femur length is sub-equal to the tibia length. The foot is slightly smaller than either the femur or tibia. The relative toe length for both sexes is 1 < 2 < 3 < 5 < 4. Their skin is smooth on most of their body surfaces, but is slightly rough on the belly and thighs (Hutter et al. 2015).

Boophis boppa is in the Boophis ankaratra complex that, as of 2015, includes: B. ankaratra, B. haingana, B. maidana, B. schuboeae, and B. boppa. The five are distinguished from other sub-clades because they all lack white-spotted patterns along their backs. Boophis boppa can be distinguished from the other four species in the B. ankaratra complex as B. boppa is the only one to still have some spotting on its back; it has yellow to white spots along its back side. Outside of this patterning difference, the species can be identified mostly by differences in call (Hutter et al. 2015).

In life, B. boppa has lime green dorsal coloration with white to yellow flecks and dark brown spots. The limbs are translucent. The flanks and ventral surface of the abdomen are transparent, showing the pale yellow or white peritoneum. The area around the groin is turquoise. The toe discs have no coloration. It has brightly colored eyes that typically have white or pale yellow edges, with brown or rust colored irises that can be used as diagnostic characteristics. When in preservative (70% ethanol), the background color fades to a uniform cream-yellow in both body and eye color. There are still dark pigments around the nostrils and in spots on the dorsum and eyelids (Hutter et al. 2015).

There is variation in the dorsal color of the species, it can be lime to light lime green, and the spotting on the back can be either white or yellow, occasionally they may also be brown and extend to the edges of the back. There is also variation in the eye coloration, they can have either brown/rust, orange, or light speckled brown colored irises that can vary in intensity (Hutter et al. 2015).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Boophis boppa is endemic to Madagascar and is mainly found in the southern central region, specifically on the eastern side where Ranomafana National Park is located. This habitat is a subtropical region of moist montane forests. This species is only found in undisturbed primary forests (Hutter et al. 2015).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males of this species are can be found in undisturbed primary forests along slow-flowing tributaries adjacent to fast-moving streams calling at night (Hutter et al. 2015).

Males call from the upper surfaces of leaves at a height of 2 – 4 m from the ground with groan like notes that are frequently made in a slow-pace succession. Boophis boppa is distinct in that the males have the longest observed note duration and longest intervals between call notes of species in the group Boophis. At temperatures of 16.9 – 18.2 °C, there were 5 – 16 strongly pulsed notes with the amplitude building until the peak is reached about half-way through the note series at 2929 – 3531 Hz. The dominate frequency 2500 – 2594 Hz, but frequencies can reach an upper limit of 3001 – 3431 Hz. The pulse rate was 135 – 263 pulses/second, leading to a note duration of 379 – 526 ms. Inter-note intervals lasts 989 – 1659 ms. The first harmonic frequency of the call ranges from 5768 – 6384 Hz (Hutter et al. 2015).

Sexual maturity was determined by the presence of eggs in females, females are oviparous. Preferred habitat for egg-laying and rearing, if it occurs, as well as for larval development is unknown (Hutter et al. 2015).

Trends and Threats
As of 2021, the IUCN Red List threat status for this species is “Endangered” because of its small range (1,194 km2) and potential loss of habitat. Despite their range being mainly in Ranomafana National Park and the proposed Fandrina Vondrozo protected area, the species is only known in primary forest. Outside of this protected habitat, this species faces threats from residential and commercial development, agriculture and aquaculture, logging, fire, and invasive non-native species. There is mild concern that this species is threatened by disease (IUCN 2020).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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

The phylogenetic relationships within the B. ankaratra complex is unresolved. Bayesian Inference and Maximum Likelihood analyses on 16S rRNA result in a phylogenetic topography of B. boopa forming a polytomy with B. miadana and B. schuboeae. This clade is sister to B. ankaratra, followed by B. haingana. However, uncorrected p-distances of this gene have the lowest genetic distance with B. ankaratra. Additionally, haplotype analysis of the nuclear exon DNAH-3 show that this region in B. boppa is most similar to B. miadana and B. haingana. These mixed results indicate that B. ankaratra, B. miadana, or B. schuboeae are candidates as sister species to B. boppa (Hutter 2015).

Sympatric divergence appears to have occurred between B. boppa and the two other species found in the same range, B. ankaratra and B. schuboeae, due to the lack of overlap in call length. Morphological examinations fail to distinguish these three species (Hutter et al. 2015).

The species was named after Nicholas Jay Pritzker, who was a board member of Conservation International and a friend to many in the organization. His children and grandchildren referred to him as ‘Boppa’ as a nickname, so the species was named such in his honor.


Hutter, C. R., Lambert, S. M., Cobb, K. A., Andriampenomanana, Z., Vences, M. (2015). "A new species of bright-eyed tree frog (Mantellidae) from Madagascar, with comments on call evolution and patterns of syntopy in the Boophis ankaratra complex." , 4034(3), 531-555. [link]

IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. (2020). “Boophis boppa (amended version of 2016 assessment).” The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T86466824A176088483.

Originally submitted by: Shea Miller, Cailan Ackerman, Tesa Blowey (2021-06-05)
Description by: Shea Miller, Cailan Ackerman, Tesa Blowey (updated 2021-06-05)
Distribution by: Shea Miller, Cailan Ackerman, Tesa Blowey (updated 2021-06-05)
Life history by: Shea Miller, Cailan Ackerman, Tesa Blowey (updated 2021-06-05)
Trends and threats by: Shea Miller, Cailan Ackerman, Tesa Blowey (updated 2021-06-05)
Comments by: Shea Miller, Cailan Ackerman, Tesa Blowey (updated 2021-06-05)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2021-06-05)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Boophis boppa: Boppa's Bright-eyed treefrog; Malagasy: Fity maso hazo Sahona ny Boppa <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 2, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 2 Dec 2023.

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