Welcome to the Mantella Frog Care sheet section, this area is divided in to several separate sub sections – the introduction (this page), the housing Mantella page, temperature and humidity, feeding Mantella Frogs and breeding Mantella sections.
Mantella Frog Care Sheet
Mantella frogs (Ranidae/Mantellinae/Mantella) are some of the most fantastically coloured frogs to be found anywhere in the world, they are truly living jewels of the forest and can be found in areas where Angraecum orchids grow wild.
They have a wide range of colours which are vibrant shades of yellow, orange, red, green and blue with typically a black background.
These are very small frogs, and when we say small, we mean small – averaging at just 1.5 – 3 cm or 15 – 30mm in length when adult!
They appear similar to the Poison Arrow Frogs of South America but are in fact not related in any way, although many contain similar toxins in their skins.
Mantella are naturally found in one, and only one place on earth – Madagascar.
As with many of the native animals, plants and insects that inhabit this Island off the south east coast of Africa they are found no where else, and unfortunately, like most other naturally beautiful animals, they are becoming increasingly rare and some species have been forced to the brink of extinction through over development, introduced animals over collecting and land clearing.
Frogs usually live most of their lives in water but the Mantella is different and live mostly in damp areas such as mossy rocks, leaf litter and in decaying logs.
Only a couple of the 11 or so species currently known lay their eggs in water and most of them deposit their eggs on leaves, holes in logs and similar damp and humid places.
Buying Mantella Frogs
These frogs are poisonous so you are unlikely to see them in your local pet shop so they must be purchased from a specialist supplier.
They should never be bought for children, in fact they are not good pets for children as they are not only poisonous but some are difficult and labour intensive to keep.
You should always make sure that their new home is ready and heating, lighting etc are in working order before contemplating buying them, there’s no point buying Mantella frogs if you can’t provide for them.
If you are buying these plants via mail order then you should ask how they will be sent.
As they come from Madagascar they will need a minimum temperature of around 18°C (65°F) and a maximum of 24°C (75°F) whilst in transit, they will also have to be packed in appropriate packaging such as damp sphagnum, soft damp foam or other inert moist packing.
The outer package should have enough air holes to allow the frogs to breath and should be waterproof – to prevent the absorption of the moisture from the moss etc.
If your chosen supplier can’t provide these safe packaging measures then you may be disappointed when you frogs arrive, they may be limp, dehydrated, weak and may even be dead
In order to preserve the natural population you should ONLY buy captive bred Mantella, no one wants a world without these fantastic creatures and keeping them at home is too high a price to pay for their extinction – ask the supplier before making a purchase and NEVER buy wildly collected frogs.
Once your Mantella have arrived safely it is advisable (if you have a colony) to keep them separate from your existing frogs to make sure that they have no diseases.
You should keep your new frogs in a separate tank for about 2 weeks and monitor them closely if they are feeding well and are healthy then you can introduce them in to your colony.
If you are just starting and these are your first Mantella then you can place them strait in to their new home once they arrive.