The Golden mantella is about 1 inch long and is a brilliant golden-orange color. Their color seems to be protective by being similar to other toxic species. Although the mantella is not toxic, its colors mimic other amphibians that are toxic.
Their eyes are black and they occasionally have red marks on the inner side of their back legs. They have short legs with adhesive disks found on the finger and toes. Unlike many amphibians, mantellas lack webbed feet.
Mantellas are insectivorous. Diet usually consists of termites, ants, and fruit flies but they will eat almost any insect they can fit in their mouths.
The Golden mantella prefers rainforests and other moist areas of Madagascar. They like mounds of forest debris that surround shallow, swampy water. Unlike some other mantellas, the Golden mantella is terrestrial and makes its home on the ground. They are also very popular as pets although it can be difficult to take care of them.
Small mammals, snakes, and birds are the primary predators of the Golden mantella. However, it seems that the protective coloration that they exhibit is highly effective in warning away predators.
Mantellas are colonial in nature. The male to female ration in their colonies is about 2 to 1. They are diurnal and spend most of their time during the day hunting for food. During the breeding season, males become very territorial and will fight over space infringements.
Birth & Offspring
Females lay 12 to 30 eggs usually in damp moss, logs, and under rocks. The sites they look for are moist and adjacent to water. After fertilization, the eggs hatch in 2-6 days and the tadpoles either wriggle to the water or are washed there by storms. Tadpoles are primarily herbivorous eating algae and detritus. After 6-8 weeks, the tadpoles metamorphose into frogs and start eating an adult diet.
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.