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Bronze Mantella - Mantella betsileo (Captive Bred)

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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
  • Brown/Bronze with blue mottling on the underbelly and 'Xs' on the back
  • Somewhat Shy
  • Easy to Keep
  • Moderate Peeping Call
  • Small
  • Can be Kept in Groups
  • Moderately Difficult to Breed

Name: Mantella betsileo is commonly called the Brown or Bronze mantella in the hobby.

Recommended Vivarium Size: Housing Bronze mantellas can be very simple. A 10 gallon aquarium can house several individuals, while an Exo Terra Glass Terrarium with a footprint of 18x18 or larger could house 4-6 bronze mantellas. Bronze mantellas seem to be completely passive with each other for the most part (outside of 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 coconut fiber and long fiber sphagnum moss work 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 Bronze mantellas to hide under, such as a cork bark flat or leaf litter. Your Mantella betsileo will spend much of the time hiding under such objects. A shallow water bowl should be provided, as well. Bronze 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 Bronze mantellas. There is no evidence that Mantella betsileo benefit from UVB lighting, but a low level UV bulb, such as a 5.0 UVB bulb, may be beneficial. Based on observations of Bronze mantellas being active during the day in the wild in partial sunlight, a low level UVB source would probably be a good idea.

Temperature: They are ideally kept at about room temperature, in the mid 70s.

Humidity: Bronze 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 Brown mantellas will not dry out in lower humidity.

During the breeding season, Bronze mantellas can experience humidity levels of 80% without issue.

Size: Adult Bronze mantellas are not very large, and there is a small size difference between males and females. An adult male may reach about 1 inch, but most will be closer to 3/4 of an inch. A large female will be a bit larger and much bulkier (or 'pear shaped') than a male, and may measure up to 1.25”.

All of the Mantella betsileo froglets Josh's Frogs sells are well-started juveniles, and measure approximately .5” long.

Age: There is not any good data surrounding the average lifespan of Bronze mantellas, but wild caught animals have lived in captivity for over 5 years. We suspect this animal is easily capable for living into their teens.

All Bronze Mantellas for sale at Josh's Frogs are well started juveniles, and are 2-3 months old. Keep in mind, at this age froglets will have very different color and patterns than they will as adults.

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

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

Sexing: Sexing adult Bronze 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 than males, and much more rotund. Males are smaller, more slender, and typically call when kept in a wet or more humid environment. A Brown mantella's call is a distinct peeping sound similar to other mantellas.

Color/Pattern: Bronze mantellas are a black frog with a Brown/Bronze back with blue mottling on the underbelly.

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 betsileo is a great group frog.

Breeding: Breeding Bronze Mantellas can be a bit challenging. In our experience, patience is key, as is a decent sized group that is male heavy. At Josh's Frogs, we managed to produce several healthy clutches with a group of 10 or more.

Cycling is important. Reducing 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 should also be reduced by about half as well. This artificial dry season can be maintained for 3-4 months, followed by a 6 month return to daily misting and heavy feeding. Within a few days, males should be heard calling if they are present.

Egg clutches are usually around 25-30 eggs. Eggs should be removed and kept on damp sphagnum until they hatch and small, white/gray tadpoles can be seen squirming through the egg jelly. Water should be added to the container, flooding the egg clutch and allowing the tadpoles to swim free. After a few days, the tadpoles should be removed with a turkey baster and placed in an aged 20 gallon aquarium with undergravel and sponge filters.

At 74F, Bronze mantella tadpoles will eagerly consume a wide variety of foods, from brine shrimp flake to tetra algae wafers. After 6-8 weeks, they will develop limbs and begin to leave the water.

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

Natural Range: This species is widely distributed in western, southwestern and eastern Madagascar, between 0–925 m Asl (Andreone et al. 2007), Records include it occurring in Antoetra and Antrarabe (Andreone et al. 2007), Ambatodradama (Andreone et al. 2007), Ankara and Nosy Ambositra (Rakotondravony and Goodman 2011), Isalo and the central plateau near Antsirabe. (IUCN)

Links of Interest:

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


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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Daniel R

Wonderful Little Guys

I got my bronze mantellas a month ago, and they are doing great in a planted 10 gallon! They arrived healthy and were packaged very comfortably. The male's chirp is quite pleasing, enough so that being in my bedroom it is not bothersome at all. Very satisfied with my (first!) purchase from Josh's Frogs, and will be a repeat customer :)f

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