The larval stages of three species of frogs from montane habitats in the Andringitra Massif, southern central Madagascar at 2100–2500 m above sea level, were identified through mitochondrial DNA sequences and are described herein. The tadpoles of Boophis laurenti agree with the previously known tadpoles of the closely related Boophis microtympanum, whereas the tadpoles of Mantidactylus madecassus are similar to those of other species of the subgenus Brygoomantis that occur at lower altitudes. The tadpoles of Mantidactylus elegans are very large (up to 106 mm total length) and show mouthparts largely agreeing with those of species of the subgenus Guibemantis, with a relatively high number of upper labial tooth rows (one continuous and six interrupted). These tadpoles are uniformly blackish on the dorsum, indicating a possible general trend of high frequency of dark color and melanism in montane amphibians. Molecular identification provides a fast and very efficient tool to identify larval stages of amphibians, especially in cases of specialized tadpoles from remote areas in which rearing is difficult.

You do not currently have access to this content.