About 2cm long, these frogs are a brilliant golden-orange colour with black eyes. They occasionally have red flash marks on the inner portion of the hind legs. The brilliant colors exhibited by the golden mantella are as a result of 'aposematic coloration'. This means that they display the bright colours usually associated with toxic species to ward off predators.
Their legs are very short with distinct adhesive disks found on the fingers and toes. Males are generally smaller, slimmer and more angular in build than females. Males call to attract female mates by clicking and they live in groups with twice as many males as females.
Golden mantella live in small groups called 'armies', which usually contain twice as many male as females. The male golden mantella does not call as much as other species of mantella. This may be because it doesn't want to attract attention from predators or alternatively because it is conserving energy.
The frogs feed on termites, ants and fruit flies.
Golden Mantellas are found in the forests of Madagascar at an altitude of about 900 metres. They are active during the day and usually live in mossy mounds close to shallow swampy waters.
The golden mantella is restricted to a fragment of forest surrounded by degraded land and the remaining forest is under threat from subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, fires and expanding human settlements. Limits on the exportation of these animals have been imposed and the trade has been greatly reduced as a result.
Females of this species can produce clumps of spawn containing more than 100 eggs. Each can hatch into a tiny tadpole measuring around 5mm in length.
There are 16 species of Mantella in Madagascar and over half of those are Endangered according to the IUCN.
You can find our Golden Mantella in the AmphiPod, between Twilight World and the Reptile House
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