Cophyla karenae is endemic to Madagascar, where it is only known from the Betampona Strict Nature Reserve.
This species of frog is part of the Microhylidae (the “Narrow-mouthed frogs”) family, which diverged from all other amphibians about 80 million years ago, which is around the same time that beavers and mice shared a common ancestor. The frogs live in the axils (bases) of leaves of the Pandanus and Crinum plant along a stream, where females also lay their eggs. The edge of the forest reserve is under threat from deforestation due to agricultural expansion and logging. The harvesting of Pandanus leaves for hut roofs and textiles by local communities is also a threat to the breeding sites of this species. The area in which they reside is a protected area, however local communities should be encouraged to harvest Pandanus in a more sustainable manner, or use another suitable plant to match their needs.
- Order: Anura
- Family: Microhylidae
- Population: Uncommon
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 16.1-18.3mm
This species is only known from Betampona Strict Nature Reserve within an altitude of 250-550 metres above sea level on the central east coast of Madagascar.
Habitat and Ecology
The frogs inhabit leaf axils of Pandanus and Crinum near streams and they move to the periphery of leaves to vocalise. Eggs have been found hidden within the leaf axils, around 50cm above the ground. In other species in this genus, the males guard the eggs and non-feeding tadpoles until they turn into frogs, and it is assumed this is the same for Cophyla karenae.