Mantella cowanii Boulenger, 1882

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Mantellidae > Subfamily: Mantellinae > Genus: Mantella > Species: Mantella cowanii

Mantella cowanii Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 471. Syntypes: BMNH 1947.2.7.4–5 (formerly 1882.3.16.38–39) according to Blommers-Schlösser and Blanc, 1991, Faune de Madagascar, 75: 270, and museum records; BMNH 1947.2.7.4 (formerly 1882.3.16.38) designated lectotype by Vences, Glaw, and Böhme, 1999, Alytes, 17: 27. Type locality: "East Betsileo", Madagascar.

English Names

Black Golden Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 100).

Cowan's Mantella (Staniszewski, 2001, Mantellas: 170).

Cowan's Golden Frog (Staniszewski, 2001, Mantellas: 170).


Forested areas of the highlands southeast of Ambatolampy and near Antoetra, Madagascar, 1000–2000 m elevation.

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Madagascar

Endemic: Madagascar


Removed from the synonymy of Mantella madagascariensis by Blommers-Schlösser and Blanc, 1991, Faune de Madagascar, 75: 270, where it had been placed by Guibé, 1948, Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. Paris, Ser. 2, 20: 235–238, and Busse, 1981, Amphibia-Reptilia, 2: 29 (who also addressed confusion in application of the name Mantella cowani). Considered to be likely a color morph of Mantella baroni (as Mantella madagascariensis) by Glaw and Vences, 1992, Fieldguide Amph. Rept. Madagascar: 165. See comment under Mantella haraldmeieri. See Vences, Glaw, Peyrieras, Böhme, and Busse, 1994, Aquar. Terrar. Z., 47: 391, who note that this nominal species covers a number of well differentiated geographic forms. In the Mantella cowani group of Vences, Glaw, and Böhme, 1999, Alytes, 17: 3–72, who sorted out much of the nomenclatural confusion surrounding this name; and of Glaw and Vences, 2006, Organisms Divers. Evol., Electron. Suppl., 11(1): 2. Staniszewski, 2001, Mantellas: 170–172, provided an account. Glaw and Vences, 2007, Field Guide Amph. Rept. Madagascar, Ed. 3: 194–195, provided an account. See photograph, map, description of geographic range and habitat, and conservation status in Stuart, Hoffmann, Chanson, Cox, Berridge, Ramani, and Young, 2008, Threatened Amph. World: 427. Andreone, Vences, Glaw, and Randrianirina, 2007, Tropical Zool., 20: 19–39, reported the species from the high plateau of central Madagascar.

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