Malagasy rainbow frog

One of Madagascar’s most striking and colorful amphibians

Franco Andreone

Malagasy rainbow frog


One of Madagascar’s most striking and colorful amphibians


This species is not only notable for its vivid coloration but also for its unique adaptations to its arid environment. Found exclusively in the Isalo Massif region of Madagascar, the Malagasy Rainbow Frog is a true gem of the island’s biodiversity. 

The Malagasy rainbow frog is renowned for its stunning appearance. Their skin is a vibrant mix of bright green, red, orange, and white, often arranged in intricate patterns. This vivid coloration serves as a warning to potential predators about their toxic skin secretions. Their bodies are robust and rounded, with short limbs adapted for burrowing. The frog’s eyes are relatively large, providing excellent vision for spotting prey and avoiding predators. The skin is smooth and somewhat shiny, adding to the frog’s striking appearance. 

This frog is primarily nocturnal, becoming active at night to forage for food. Its diet mainly consists of small invertebrates, including insects, spiders, and worms. The frog uses its sticky tongue to capture prey efficiently. Burrowing is its key behavior. During the dry season, the frog buries itself in the sandy soil or hides in rocky crevices to conserve moisture and avoid desiccation. This behavior also helps them avoid predators and extreme temperatures. 

When threatened, these frogs have the unique ability to flatten their bodies and tuck their legs in, making them appear almost two-dimensional. This helps them blend in with the leaf litter on the forest floor.


Population est.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No