Top Frog Species Of Madagascar

Top Frog Species Of Madagascar

Madagascar is known to be an exotic place, filled with a unique culture. Besides Lemurs that are famously a highlight of the island, there are hundreds of species of reptiles, mammals, and birds coexisting in Madagascar 

Madagascar is renowned for sparking curiosity among people because nature on this island has evolved at its own pace. It is home to some 25,000 species of wild animals including critically endangered. You might find the Lemur, King Julien funny in the film Madagascar, but watching a real-life lemur is an experience on its own.   

real-life lemur

Most of the species found in Madagascar are endemic which means you cannot find them anywhere else in the world. This means, while taking a trip to Madagascar, a tour of its wildlife must be on your bucket list. Not only will it enhance your vacation, but you will also learn a lot about the various magnificent animals of Madagascar.  

Species of unique amphibians and reptiles are abundant in Madagascar and the country is famous for its herping. Most famous are the frogs of this island that thrive in the rainforests of Madagascar.   

Frogs Of Madagascar  

The total population of amphibians in Madagascar is exclusively made up of frogs. The number of frog species residing on the island is 311 but there many that are yet to be formally described.  

The native species of frogs belong to four different families and are endemic except for the Mascarene rigged frog. However, 85 species of frogs face the threat of extinction from which nine are known to be critically endangered.   

Frogs Of Madagascar

Sadly, due to deforestation and expansions of villages, the species of frogs and their habitat are largely affected in Madagascar. To a certain extent, the illegal international trade of these frogs poses grave danger to them.  

Frogs To See In Madagascar   

During the rainy season, frogs in Madagascar can be found on the east coast. The croaking of these frogs can be heard far and wide, a typical scene in the rain forests of Madagascar.

Whether you want to observe them for research, or just for fun, these vibrant and colorful frogs are bound to mesmerize you. The Mantellidae frogs are one of the most diverse frog families in Madagascar. They are micro-endemic and usually breed in high-altitude streams in Central Madagascar,  

This family consists of three ecological groups of frogs that are further divided into three subfamilies:  

  • The Mantellinae – terrestrial or semi-aquatic frogs  
  • The Laliostominae – large-sized frogs  
  • The Boopphinae – frogs residing on trees  

  Variegated Golden FrogVariegated Golden Frog

With a wide variety of species to see, here are some frog varieties you shouldn’t miss out on while viewing the wildlife in Madagascar:  

1. Boophis Albirabris  

The white-lipped bright-eyed frog (Boophis albirabris) from the Mantellidae family are known for their distinct features. They have dots over stripes, noticeable eye color, and colored bellies.  

Boophis AlbirabrisBoophis Albirabris

2. Mantella  

Also known as Golden frogs or Malagasy poison frogs, Mantella species are prominent for cryptic marking and bright coloration.

Mantella BaroniMantella Baroni

These frogs resemble South America’s poison darts but are very different from them. Some species of Mantella may have skin toxins but are otherwise completely harmless to humans.   

3. Scaphiophryne Gottlebei  

Scaphiophryne Gottlebie commonly known as the Malagasy Rainbow frog or Gottlebei’s narrow-mouthed frog is considered to one of the most decorated frogs of Madagascar.   


This frog appears roundish, small and has a striking pattern on the back that can be seen clearly. Their main feature includes camouflaging on mossed surfaces. They camouflage so well that one cannot spot these frog species even after standing right in front of them.  

4. Tomato Frog  

Tomato Frogs belong to the genus of Dyscophus and is further divided into three species:  

  • Tomato Frog  
  • Sambava Tomato Frog  
  • Antsouhy Tomato Frog  

The name of this particular frog comes from its appearance as they have a bright red color. Tomato frogs puff up when they are threatened. In their defense, when the predator puts them in their mouth, the frog secretes a thick matter that numbs the predator’s eyes and mouth.   

Tomato FrogTomato Frog

This thick and gummy matter contains a toxin that may cause an allergic reaction in humans. This reaction does not result in any fatality to the human as the frog only releases the matter when it is frightened.  

5. Radaka  

Mantidactylus Radaka is a species of frog belonging to the Mantellinae family. The name radaka is taken from the Malagasy word ‘large frog’. It usually resides in calm and shallow streams in the rainforests. Three Rakada species live in forests alongside waterways. The genus Mantidactyius includes 32 species living in Madagascar.  

Mantidactylus RadakaMantidactylus Radaka

These frogs are also a famous delicacy for the local people. The taste of the Radaka frog is similar to that of chicken and is thus hunted and eaten by the people. Due to this, the number of Radaka frogs is at threat and their numbers may decrease soon.   

When To See Frogs In Madagascar

The best time to see various frog species in Madagascar is during the immediate weeks after the rainy seasons’ end.

About 4 percent of the world’s amphibian fauna can be found on the island of Madagascar. Many of the frog species are still undiscovered. Yet frogs in Madascagar provide and contribute to the unique and exotic wildlife of the island immensely.


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