Painted Mantella
Physical description
Binomial nameMantella baroni
HabitatTropical rainforest
Lifespan8-12 years
Average Size2.5-3.2 cm (1.0-1.3 in)
Average weight1.5-3.0 grams
Conservational Status
StatusCritically endangered
IUCN status3.1
Scientific classification
SpeciesM. baroni
Distribution of speciesNortheastern Madagascar

The Painted Mantella, Mantella baroni, is a species of Mantella native to northeastern Madagascar. It is a highly toxic species, is brightly coloured and is an average-sized Mantella. It is considered to be the sister taxon of M. pulchra. It is occasionally kept as a pet by herpetoculturists.


The painted Mantella secretes allopumiliotoxin 267A, which is one of the most toxic compounds in the Mantellidae family. At any one time, a single M. baroni can carry approximately half to two-thirds of a milligram of poison. The lethal dose of allopumiliotoxin is about one milligram or slightly less; therefore, touching an agitated wild baroni may be harmful, but not dangerous.

In captivity, the frog loses its toxicity as a result of an altered diet.


Mantella baroni is an average-sized Mantella. Males frequently grow to 3 centimetres in length, while females are slightly larger, and can reach 3.2 centimetres long from snout to vent. Females are usually also more robust and muscular than males. The painted Mantella is very similar to the beautiful Mantella, but is typically larger with vivid orange and black, rather than brown, legs, and slightly darker skin.


Wild specimen in Madagascar.

The dorsum of M. baroni is a jet, inky black. The front feet are also black, but are typically flecked with green or blue. The flanks and front limbs are a bright or lime green, although the flanks darken to black laterally. The hind limbs range from yellowish-green to fire orange, and possess broken bands of black. The underside is inky black with blue-green splotches.

Like most other members of the genus Mantella, the painted Mantella is a largely terrestrial animal, living almost exclusively on the forest floor and rarely climbing more than a few centimetres off the ground. It does clamber onto low-growing plants occasionally, and specimens have been sighted up to 1.2 metres from the forest floor. The painted Mantella does possess suckerlike discs on its toes, but they are poorly developed and its ability to climb is limited.



In CaptivityEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.