Mantella Gallery aurantiaca baroni crocea cowani expectata laevigata ebenaui manery madagascariensis milotympanum nigricans bernhardi betsileo haraldmeieri viridis cf. pulchra Madagascar evolution taxonomy care

Mantella Gallery

Undescribed mantella, Mantella cf crocea

The mantellas are a complicated group; although the first two species were described in 1872 (as poison frogs, Dendrobates), and ten more species through the 1930's, Jean Guibe's revision in 1964 only recognized four. These were the painted, as M.cowani, bronze, as M.betsileo, golden, M.aurantiaca, and splendid M.pulchra. All others were considered synonyms, except M.madagascariensis, for which the specimens and description were considered too poor to separate M.cowani and M.pulchra. In the late 1970's and early 80's, exploration of Madagascar began again, and several new mantellas became known, but went unnamed due to lack of specimens for study. A single, mainly black, subspecies of M.cowani was named by Guibe in 1978 for specimens collected at Betafo and Ambatondradama (central highlands) and first reported by him in 1964. The new form was named M.cowani nigricans, but no type specimen was designated and the type locality was given as possibly the isolated northern Marojezy highlands.

The next revision was made by Klaus Busse in 1981. Busse considered M.pulchra and M.cowani to belong to the same species and therefore considered the description of M.madagascariensis to be adequate for both. He continued to recognize the black subspecies, now as M.madagascariensis nigricans, reported the Betafo and Ambatondradama localities for it, and also named a new subspecies from Tolagnaro, M.madagascariensis haraldmeieri, first reported by Harald Meier. Busse did, however, resurrect M.laevigata, a very distinctive species. He also reported on the extreme regional color and pattern variation in M.madagascariensis.


Golden mantella, Mantella aurantiaca

Ruby mantella, Mantella aurantiaca "rubida"

Black-eared mantella, Mantella milotympanum

Undescribed mantella, Mantella cf crocea "green forest"

Unknown mantella, Mantella cf crocea "black-mask"

Variegated mantella, Mantella loppei

Variegated mantella, Mantella loppei

Variegated mantella, Mantella loppei

Splendid mantella, Mantella pulchra

Underside of splendid mantella

Unknown mantella, Mantella cf pulchra

Painted mantella, Mantella baroni

Painted mantella, Mantella baroni

Underside of painted mantella

Hybrid mantella, Mantella x baroni

Halloween mantella, Mantella cowanii

Undescribed mantella, Mantella cf haraldmeieri

Unknown mantella, Mantella cf haraldmeieri?

Bronze mantella, Mantella ebenaui

Blue-leg mantella, Mantella expectata

Green mantella, Mantella viridis

Unknown mantella, Mantella cf viridis

Unknown mantella, Mantella cf viridis

Green climbing mantella, Mantella laevigata



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