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Beautiful Mantella - Mantella pulchra (Captive Bred)

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5.0 out of 5 stars


About This Product

Defining Characteristics:

  • Captive Bred to Support Conservation. Josh's Frogs donates $5 to Association Mitsinjo for every mantella sold. This partnership helps directly conserve mantella populations in the wild.
  • Great Beginner Frog
  • Bright Beautiful and Orange Coloration Develops as Mantella Ages
  • Bold
  • Easy to Keep
  • Moderate Trilling Call
  • Small
  • Can be Kept in Groups
  • Challenging to Breed

Name: Mantella pulchra is commonly called the beautiful mantella in the hobby.

Recommended Vivarium Size: Housing beautiful mantellas can be very simple. A 10 gallon aquarium can house a couple individuals, while an Exo Terra Glass Terrarium with a footprint of 18x18 or larger could house 4-6 Beautiful mantellas. Beautiful mantellas seem to be completely passive towards each other for the most part (outside the breeding season), and do great in groups.

A screen top with daily mistings will maintain the perfect balance of ventilation and humidity. Substrate recommendations vary considerably, but long fiber sphagnum moss works well for Josh’s Frogs. Alternatively, you can set up a vivarium using Josh’s Frogs naturalistic vivarium substrates, similar to keeping dart frogs. Provide items for your Beautiful mantellas to hide under, such as a cork bark flat or leaf litter. Your Mantella pulchra will spend much of the time hiding under such objects. A shallow water bowl should be provided, as well. Beautiful mantellas are not particularly arboreal, but they will appreciate a small bit of vivarium wood or live terrarium plants to climb on.

Lighting is for any live plants provided, and not required by Beautiful mantellas. There is no evidence that Mantella pulchra benefit from UVB lighting, but a low level UV bulb, such as a 2.0 UVB bulb, may be beneficial. Based on observations of Beautiful mantellas being active during the day in the wild in partiall sunlight, a low level UVB source would probably be a good idea.

Temperature: They are ideally kept at about room temperature, in the low to mid 70s. Avoid warmer temperatures over 80F at all cost.

Humidity: Beautiful mantellas can handle a wide range of humidity levels, but prefer a humidity level of 60-70%. Routine spraying and a full screen top will aid in providing proper humidity levels. Be sure to provide a shallow water dish so that your Beautiful mantellas will not dry out in lower humidity.

During the breeding season, Beautiful mantellas can experience humidty levels of 80% without issue.

Size: Adult Beautiful mantellas are not very large, and there is a small size different between males and females. An adult male will be close to 3/4 of an inch. A large female will be a bit larger and much bulkier (or 'pear shaped') than a male, and will measure up to 7/8”.

All of the Mantella pulchra froglets Josh's Frogs sells are well started juveniles, and measure between 1/3” and 1/2" long.

Age: There is not any good data surrounding the average lifespan of Beautiful mantellas, but wild caught animals have lived in captivity for over 5 years. All Beautiful Mantellas for sale at Josh's Frogs are well started juveniles, and are 2 months old. Keep in mind, at this age froglets will have very different color and patterns than they will as adults.

Feeding: Beautiful mantellas are microphagus, meaning that they consume small food items. Mantella pulchra do quite well on easily procured prey items in captivity. At Josh’s Frogs, we feed our adult Beautiful mantellas primarily hydei fruit flies, as well as springtails, isopods, extra small phoenix worms, and 1/8 inch crickets. Young Beautiful mantellas start life feeding on baby springtails. All prey items should be dusted with a quality vitamin/mineral supplement.

At the size Josh’s Frogs sells captive bred Mantella pulchra, they are eating melanogaster fruit flies and 1/8" crickets.

Sexing: Sexing adult Beautiful mantellas can be fairly straightforward once they're older, but can be difficult on younger animals. Once the mantellas are about 10-12 months old, they display obvious sexual dimorphism. Females are about 1/5 times larger then males, and much more rotund. Males are smaller, more slender, and typically call when kept in a wet or more humid environment. Reportedly, male Beautiful mantellas tend to be more skittish than females. A Beautiful mantella’s call resembles that of a canary, and is very melodious.

Color/Pattern: Adult Beautiful mantellas are primarily dark brown with green and a bit of orange flash marks. The young animals will brighten up as they grow. Expect your beautiful mantellas to be fully colored up at 8-12 months of age.

Social Behavior: These frogs are generally well behaved in groups, but adult females can fight with each other during breeding season. Keeping a group in a large enough vivarium with plenty of visual barriers tends to negate this behavior. Overall, Mantella pulchra is a great group frog.

Breeding: Breeding Beautiful Mantellas can be a bit challenging. In our experience, patience is key, as is a decent sized group that is female heavy. Cycling is important. We reduced mistings by half to allow the mantella habitat to dry out a bit, ensuring clean water was always available to the animals in a shallow water dish during this time. Feeding was reduced by about half as well. This artificial dry season was maintained for 3-4 months, followed by a 6 month return to daily misting and heavy feeding. Within a few days of more frequent mistings, the male could be heard calling.

Less than 2 weeks into the artificial rainy season, an egg clutch of approximately 20 eggs was discovered under a piece of cork, buried about 1" into the long fiber sphagnum moss substrate. Eggs are removed and kept on damp sphagnum until they hatch and small, white/gray tadpoles are seen squirming through the egg jelly. Water is then added to the container, flooding the egg clutch and allowing the tadpoles to swin free.

After a few days, the tadpoles are removed with a turkey baster and placed in an aged 20H aquarium with undergravel and sponge filters. At 74F, Beautiful mantella tadpoles will eagerly consume a wide variety of foods, from brine shrimp flake to Repashy Savory Stew. After 6-8 weeks, they will develop limbs and begin to leave the water.

Newly morphed Beautiful mantellas will quickly consume springtails and grow very fast.

Natural Range: Mantella pulchra is limited to a fairly limited strip of jungle along the east coast of Madagascar. In the wild, it can be found in very limited localities in dry forest, generally around gently flowing streams with plenty of cover along the banks. With the natural range of Beautiful mantellas so limited, habitat destruction is quickly reducing their numbers in the wild. They are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN.

History in the Hobby: Beautiful mantellas have been available as wild caught animals for a long time, but captive bred animals remain rare. Unfortunately, most imports were doomed in captivity due to primative importation and shipping methods, as well as a lack of general knowledge surrounding their care.

Links of Interest:

IUCN Redlist article for Mantella pulchra

Mantella FAQ by Marc Staniszewski, the leading mantella expert in the UK.

Mantella Care by Devin Edmonds of

Still not sure if Mantella pulchra from Josh's Frogs are the right pet frog for you? Read the reviews below and see what other customers are saying! 


After placing an order containing a live animal, you will receive a scheduling email containing our JotForm scheduling link to schedule your new pet's delivery date.

With this scheduling link, you will be able to schedule your order's delivery up to 30 days in advance. You will be able to choose a date of delivery for Tuesday-Saturday (Saturday arrival depends on the carrier's service availability) with the estimated time of arrival generally being 12pm, or 4:30pm for more rural areas. Overnight lows must be above 40°F to ship directly to you (or above 30°F for FedEx Ship Center pickups) as well as below 90°F by estimated time of arrival.

If you require further assistance, or prefer to talk to one of our Customer Service agents, please feel free to reach out to our [email protected] email or our phone line 1-800-691-8178.

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Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

Based on 6 reviews

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Mantella Pulchra

5.0 out of 5 stars

Lovely to watch

This are tiny but not terribly shy. Often seen out cruising their big bioactive vivarium. They absolutely love the bromeliads scattered around. Arrived in pristine shape with excellent packaging (little cups of spag moss) I highly recommend picking up a couple.


5.0 out of 5 stars

Nice color

He so stinking cute


5.0 out of 5 stars

Very pleased!

I love the juvenile mantella I received from Josh's Frogs! I picked him/her up at the trade show in Sacramento and couldn't be more pleased. My froglet is very healthy and happily eating and hopping all over my vivarium. I already had two adult mantellas who unfortunately were probably wild caught (I didn't know enough at the time of buying) so they are much more shy. I am so grateful that Josh's Frogs takes the time to captive breed these rare but wonderful frogs.


5.0 out of 5 stars

OMG! Love 'em.

Froggos arrived happy and healthy. So TINY!!! Hopping around their temporary quarantine home, exploring and eating.


5.0 out of 5 stars

Beautiful pulchra

I just received my two this morning. I waited so long for them to be in stock again. I already have three and will order more when in stock again. They are so pretty when you look at them closely. One of mine was on the glass couple of days go and the various colors are outstanding. Mine hid almost full year not knowing if alive or not. All of a sudden they showed up full grown and very active. Watches me every night. Thought the new ones were too tiny at first but boy are they active. Was trying very carefully to get out of cup into their quarantine container when one in a flash was on my hand running up my arm inside my long sleeve buttoned shirt. At least not on floor to catch. Very fast for something so tiny. I have no doubt they will be able to catch the tiny ff's. They have a very beautiful call that isn't to loud but easy to hear.

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