Mantella Frogs

Care Sheet provided by Dart Frog Heaven

Mantellas are colorful frogs found in Madagascar. Because of their colorings, many people think they are poison arrow frogs, but this is an entirely different species. They stay small and do not need a huge tank, but their hunting skills and active bodies are a joy to watch.

Their colors make up for their size, because adult mantellas will only get to about an inch long, and most could sit on your thumbnail. There are 16 different species of mantella that vary in color and size, and all but one is a terrestrial animal.

Because of their size, mantellas are not meant for handling. They are squirmish, and skittery because they consider your hand to be a predator. Try to avoid handling these delicate frogs. They are more of a look-not-touch animal.

The common food for mantellas is crickets. These crickets should be easy for them to swallow but not filling enough. Adults should be fed every few days, as much as they will eat in 15 minutes. Remove any leftover crickets for the next feeding. Gut load all the insects properly. Every few feedings, the insects should be dusted with a calcium supplement that they would find in the wild.

Being the small amphibians they are, large tanks are not required. The enclosure should be vertically oriented because they spend much of their time off of the ground. This means a tight fitting screen lid is essential. Branches and plants live or fake, should fill the space of the enclosure. Live plants also aid in keeping the humidity up, and give the frogs a place to bask.

The substrate should hold and release humidity. If you choose the more elaborate substrate, a drainage layer made of medium pebbles with a fine mesh screen on top will help drain any extra water. This will erase the problem of fungus or mold.

Mantellas can be shy, or curious depending on the species. A piece cork bark and a coconut hide should be adequate for shelter as long as you have plenty of foliage. A drift wood log to hide under can also be used.

Most mantellas prefer temperatures from 72-78F. At night a temperature drop between 5 and 10 degrees should occur in order to keep them comfortable.

These frogs like their humidity. 80-100% humidity is required, and this can be achieved if you mist at least twice a day. Most species will drink water from the droplets created by the mister, but they may also use a water bowl if provided.

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