Zoo Animals

Mantella frog

Mantella sp.

At the Detroit Zoo
The mantella frog can be seen at the award-winning National Amphibian Conservation Center – a leader in amphibian conservation and research – which houses a spectacular diversity of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians. Sub-species viewable to guests include golden, Bernhard’s, splendid and Betsileo mantella frogs.

Description
The mantella frog is a part of a large family of frogs that vary in color from yellow to red to orange. This very small frog has aposematic colorations, which means its bright and contrasting colors indicate toxins to potential predators. In the wild, it uses the adhesive pads on its toes to stick to trees and leaves. The male frog has a smaller body compared to the female, which has a more angular body. Unlike many amphibians, the mantella frog spends almost all of its time on land.

Fun Facts

  • The mantella frog becomes toxic due to the alkaloid toxins in its diet.

  • Humans have the ability to affect the toxicity of a mantella frog. This is because human activity decreases the amount of food choices a mantella frog has, meaning fewer sources of alkaloid toxins are available for consumption.

  • A group of mantella frogs is called an army.

  • While most other frog species are nocturnal, the mantella frog is diurnal, or primarily active in the day.

  • In the wild, the mantella frog can only be seen in Madagascar.