Name: Golden frog (Mantella aurantiaca)
Status – Critically Endangered (CR)
Length – up to 26 mm
This poisonous critter has small pale tubes on its belly which can be seen carrying sperm and urine around the body.
Where am I found?
What do I eat?
The golden frog has an appetite for things that creep and crawl, and will feed on termites, fruit flies, ants and a huge range of other insects.
How do I live?
A sociable species, the golden frog lives in groups usually consisting of twice as many males as females. Breeding tends to start after the first heavy rains of the year, and when there is plenty of food. Male golden frogs attract females with their call, which is a series of short notes, each of which includes three short clicks.
The females do not lay their eggs in water, but in damp leaf litter, moss or under bark and rocks next to a water source. Each clutch contains 20 – 60 white eggs, and these are fertilised by the male immediately after laying. The tadpoles hatch out two weeks later and they either wriggle into water or are washed into small pools by heavy rain. Here, they take around 70 days to metamorphose into froglets.
Why am I threatened?
The golden frog only lives in a very small, fragmented area of rainforest which is rapidly being destroyed to make way for the expanding human population. Forest fires and collection for the pet trade also pose a threat to this species, and it is at future risk from the chytrid fungus which has killed many amphibians around the world.