Bronze Mantella - Mantella betsileo (Captive Bred)-


Quantity Available: 44

Defining Characteristics:

  • Captive Bred to Support Conservation. Josh's Frogs donated $5 to Operation 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 Brown 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 painted mantellas.Brown 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 Brown 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. Painted 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 Brown 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 Brown mantellas being active during the day in the wild in partial sunlight, a low level UVB source would probably be a good idea.


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

Humidity: Brown 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, Brown mantellas can experience humidity levels of 80% without issue.

Size: Adult Brown 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 Brown 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 Brown 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 microphagous, meaning that they consume small food items, but the painted mantella can consume larger prey items than most as an adult. Mantella baroni do quite well on easily procured prey items in captivity. At Josh’s Frogs, we feed our adult painted mantellas primarily 1/4" crickets, as well as springtails, isopods, and extra small phoenix worms. Young painted 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 betsileo, they are eating melanogaster fruit flies and 1/8" crickets. 


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

Social Behavior: Brown mantellas 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 Brown 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, painted 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 Brown 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)

Shipping for any number of frogs is just $39.99. Frogs are shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight and are delivered by 12:00 pm to most locations, Tuesday through Friday. Josh's Frogs does not ship frogs internationally. Scheduling of frog order is dependant on your availability and weather.


Please respond to our Frog Shipping Email, to ensure you will be there to receive the animals when they arrive. We'll email back to confirm after checking your local weather conditions.


We can ship directly to your address, as long as your local overnight low temperature is above 39F the night of shipping, and your high temperature is below 91F at noon on the day of arrival. If your overnight lows are below 40F but above 29F, Josh's Frogs can ship to your closest FedEx Staff Location that accepts Hold for Pickup packages. If your high temperature is over 90F at the guarantee 'delivered by' time (typically 12pm), Josh's Frogs can ship to your closest FedEx Staff Location that accepts Hold for Pickup packages. If your overnight low is below 30F, Josh's Frogs retains the right to hold frog shipping until temperatures increase due to safety concerns. We will hold the frogs at our facility for any length of time necessary to ensure that the frogs you order are received in the best of health. This policy is designed with the best interests and health of our animals at heart!


To find your nearest appropriate FedEx location, click here and follow the instructions below:

  • Enter your zip code in the top search box.

  • Click the Filter button.

  • Check Staffed Location.

  • Expand Additional services, and check the Hold package at location for pickup box.

  • Close the filter box and search for locations.


FedEx's website will display the nearest locations where you may pick up your frogs. We'll look up the locations for you when you call to schedule frog shipping. You do not need to check your temperature before ordering frogs - Josh's Frogs will take care of this when contacted about scheduling shipment. Frog orders require contact from our customer prior to being shipped out, to ensure you will be there to receive the animals when they arrive, and to check your local weather conditions.


Shipping for any number of frogs is a flat rate $39.99. This includes postage, a box with 1" styrofoam insulation, gel packs, heat/ice packs and/or phase 22 panels if necessary. Josh's Frogs has been shipping frogs since 2004 and has shipped thousands of animals safely. We have a special contract with UPS to ship live animals directly to residential addresses and guarantee live arrival as long as our Live Arrival Conditions are met.

All frog shipments are sent via FedEx Overnight Air or USPS Express mail (where available). Therefore, your frogs will arrive the next day before noon. Josh's Frogs offers a live arrival guarantee on all frog shipments provided that:

  • temperatures during transit do not exceed 85 degrees
  • temperatures during transit do not drop below 40 degrees for delivery to address
  • temperatures during transit do not drop below 30 degrees for pickup at the nearest FedEx Customer Center
  • someone is there to accept the package when it is delivered