53.
Angel's Madagascar frog
(Boehmantis microtympanum)
EN
Overview
This is a brook-dwelling frog species, often found on large stones in fast-flowing rocky torrents. Angel’s Madagascar frog is mainly active at night, but is sometimes found jumping on the stones in the afternoon. These frogs live in very noisy torrents and, considering their reduced eardrum, this may be a non-calling species. It is locally common, but has suffered local extinctions in parts of its range. Its forest habitat is receding due to subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, the invasive spread of Eucalyptus, livestock grazing, expanding human settlements, and is also collected locally for human consumption. It occurs in the Andohahela and Midongy-du-Sud National Parks.
Urgent Conservation Actions
Protection of habitat from numerous destructive land uses; education programmes and workshops to sustainably address threats from local communities.
Distribution
Extreme southeastern Madagascar.
Fact
The genus Boehmantis is named in honour of Wolfgang Böhme from Bonn, in recognition of his important contributions to herpetology. The subfix “mantis“ is from the Ancient Greek meaning treefrog.
Associated Blog Posts
18th Oct 11
As the name suggests Angel’s Madagascar frog (Boehmantis microtympanum) lives exclusively in Madagascar, specifically in southeastern Madagascar. This is ...  Read

Evolutionary Distinctiveness
Order: Anura
Family: Mantellidae
The Mantellidae (or “Mantellid frogs”) are a family of just over 150 frogs existing only on the island of Madagascar. This group includes a genus called the Mantella or Malagasy poison frogs, which represent a fascinating case of convergent evolution – they have evolved the same bright colours and skin poisons as the neotropical poison arrow frogs in the family Dendrobatidae.

The Mantellid frogs diverged from all other amphibian lineages about 50 million years ago, which makes them as dissimilar from their closest relatives as porcupines are from chinchillas. The genus Boehmantis (“Böhme’s treefrogs”) contains just a single species, Angel’s Madagascar frog. This species was originally placed with the Mantydactylus or “Madagascar frogs”, but have since been found to be more primitive than this genus due to the absence of femoral glands. In fact, Boehmantis is the only known deep clade (more ancient part of the evolutionary tree) of Mantellid frog in which femoral glands are completely absent. Other unusual features include their small eardrums and the fact that Angel’s Madagascar frog has never been heard calling.
Description
Angel’s Madagascar frog is a large-sized frog, reaching a total length 60-80 mm. The dorsal (or upper) surface of the body is marbled greenish and brownish, often similar to the granite stones in the brooks that this species inhabits. The ventral (or lower) surface is white with dark spots, especially on the throat. Sometimes two dark marks are visible on the throat. The skin is smooth to finely granular across the back. The eardrums are small and indistinct, being about a quarter of the eye diameter in size. The fingertips are very broad, the hands are not webbed, and the feet are completely webbed.
Ecology
This is a brook-dwelling frog species, often found on large stones in fast-flowing rocky torrents. Angel’s Madagascar frog is mainly active at night, but is sometimes found jumping on the stones in the afternoon. The call of this species is unknown. These frogs live in very noisy torrents and, considering the reduced eardrum, Angel’s Madagascar frog may be a non-calling species. Eggs from dissected females are large. Clutches of eggs and tadpoles have never been observed, and development by free-swimming tadpoles is though to not be very probable.
Habitat
This species occurs in degraded as well as pristine forest, but usually in mature forest. It has once found in an open area next to relict forest. It lives in fast-flowing, rocky streams, where it breeds.
Distribution
This species has a small range in extreme southeastern Madagascar from Midongy-Sud to Andohahela, at altitudes of between 50-1,000 metres above sea level.
Population Estimate
This frog is locally common. It has become extinct in some localities around Fort Dauphin, probably due to over-harvesting and habitat loss.
Population Trend
Angel’s Madagascar frog is thought to be declining by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Status
Angel’s Madagascar frog is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because its area of occupancy is less than 500 km sq., all individuals are in fewer than five locations, and there is likely to be continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat in southeastern Madagascar.
Threats
Its forest habitat is receding due to subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacture, the invasive spread of Eucalyptus, livestock grazing and expanding human settlements. It has a small range in an area where forest is being removed and is also collected for human consumption, but this is probably only a local threat.
Conservation Underway
Angel’s Madagascar frog occurs in the Andohahela and Midongy-du-Sud National Parks, although there are currently no conservation measures ongoing for this species
Projects
Conservation Proposed
A Conservation Action Plan should be developed for this species to attempt to mitigate some of the factors threatening its survival. The habitat of this species is under severe pressure from various destructive land uses. Initial actions could involve the removal of invasive Eucalyptus and the control of livestock grazing around important habitat for Angel’s Madagascar frog. Local education programmes and workshops should be carried out to reduce the pressure from local consumption on this Endangered frog species. Perhaps alternative forms of protein could be sustainably produced (in ways that do not further damage the environment) to provide an alternative to frog harvesting. Improved management of the Andohahela and Midongy-du-Sud National Parks to ensure they represent a safe haven for this species would also be beneficial.
Associated EDGE Community members

Franco is herpetologist with extensive knowledge of Madagascan amphibians

Links
References
AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation [web application]. 2006. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: amphibiaweb. Accessed: 08 December 2006.

Andreone, F. and Randriamahazo, H. 1997. Ecological and taxonomic observations on the amphibians and reptiles of the Andohahela low altitude rainforest, southern Madagascar. Rev. Fr. Aquariol. 24: 95-127.

Blommers-Schlösser, R.M.A. and Blanc, C.P. 1991. Amphibiens (première partie).Fauna de Madagascar 75: 1-379.

Duellman, W. E. and Trueb, L. 1986. Biology of Amphibians. McGraw-Hill, New York.

Frost, Darrel R. 2006. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 4 (17 August 2006). Electronic Database accessible at: . American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

Frost, D. R., Grant, T., Faivovich, J., Bain, R.H., Haas, A., Haddad, C. F. B., De Sá, R.O., Channing, A., Wilkinson, M., Donnellan, S.C., Raxworthy, C.J., Campbell, J.A., Blotto, B.L., Moler, P., Drewes, R.C., Nussbaum, R.A., Lynch, J.D., Green, D.M., and Wheeler, W.C. 2006. The Amphibian Tree of Life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297: 1-370.

Halliday, T. and Adler, C. (eds.). 2002. The new encyclopedia of reptiles and amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Glaw, F. and Vences, M. 1992. Zur Kenntnis der Gattungen Boophis, Aglyptodactylus und Mantidactylus (Amphibia: Anura) aus Madagaskar mit Beschreibung einer neuen Art. Bonner Zoologische Beiträege 43: 45-77.

Glaw, F. and Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Second Edition. Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn.

IUCN, Conservation International and NatureServe. 2006. Global Amphibian Assessment. Global Amphibian Assessment. Accessed on 08 December 2006.

Mattison, C. 1987. Frogs and toads of the world. Blandford Press, U.K.

Nussbaum, R., Raxworthy, C. & Andreone, F. 2004. Mantidactylus microtympanum. In: IUCN 2006. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 27 July 2007.

Nussbaum, R.A., Raxworthy, C.J., Raselimanana, A.P. and Ramanamanjato, J.B. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles of the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale d'Andohahela, Madagascar. Fieldiana Zoology 94: 155-173.

Obst, F.J., Richter, K. and Jacob, U. 1984. The Completely Illustrated Atlas of Reptiles and Amphibians for the Terrarium. T.F.H. Publication Inc., N.J., U.S.A.

Roelants, K., Gower, D. J., Wilkinson, M., Loader, S. P., Biju, S. D., Guillaume, K., Moiau, L. and Bossuyt, F. 2007. Global patterns of diversification in the history of modern amphibians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104: 887-892.

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Forum comments
  1. wildam
    Member

    Angel's Madagascar frog

    http://www.arkive.org/media/1B/1BB089F0-8473-4485-AED6-1D59EB0BDDA8/Presentation.Large/photo.jpg

    Posted 6 years ago #

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