Golden Mantella - Mantella aurantiaca (Captive Bred)-


Availability: Out of stock

Quantity Available: 0

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
  • Bright Orange Coloration develops as Mantella ages
  • Bold
  • Easy to Keep
  • Moderate Peeing Call
  • Small
  • Can be Kept in Groups
  • Challenging to Breed


Name: Mantella aurantiaca is commonly called the golden mantella in the hobby. This is 'the' mantella that jumps to mind when people mention mantellas, and is very much in demand.


Recommended Vivarium Size: Housing golden 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 golden mantellas. golden 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 golden mantellas to hide under, such as a cork bark flat or leaf litter. Your Mantella aurantiaca will spend much of the time hiding under such objects. A shallow water bowl should be provided, as well. golden 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 golden mantellas. There is no evidence that Mantella aurantiaca benefit from UVB lighting, but a low level UV bulb, such as a 2.0 UVB bulb, may be beneficial. Based on observations of golden mantellas being active during the day in the wild in partiall sunlight, a low level UVB source would probably be a good idea.


Temperature: Mantella aurantiaca ideally are kept at about room temperature, in the low to mid 70s. Unlike many other mantellas, golden mantellas stress easily in hot temperatures over 80F. Avoid warmer temperatures at all cost.


Humidity: Golden 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 golden mantellas will not dry out in lower humidity. During the breeding season, golden mantellas can experience humidty levels of 80% without issue.


Size: Adult golden mantellas are not very large, and there is a small size different 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 aurantiaca froglets Josh's Frogs sells are well started juveniles, and measure approximately .5 - .75” long.


Age: There is not any good data surrounding the average lifespan of golden 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 golden 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: Golden mantellas are microphagus, meaning that they consume small food items. Mantella aurantiaca do quite well on easily procured prey items in captivity. At Josh’s Frogs, we feed our adult golden mantellas primarily hydei fruit flies, as well as springtails, isopods, extra small phoenix worms, and 1/8 inch crickets. Young golden mantellas start life feeding on baby springtails. At the size Josh’s Frogs sells captive bred Mantella aurantiaca, they are eating melanogaster fruit flies and 1/8" crickets. All prey items should be dusted with a quality vitamin/mineral supplement.


Sexing: Sexing adult golden 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 golden mantellas tend to be more skittish than females. A golden mantella’s call resembles that of a canary, and is very melodious.


Color/Pattern: Adult golden mantellas are primarily orange, sometimes with a bit of yellow or red. Younger golden mantellas can range from yellow to brown to almost red, with a darker X pattern on their back. Juvenile Mantella aurantiaca will achieve adult coloration at 8-12 months of age.


Social Behavior: Golden 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 aurantiaca is a great group frog.


Breeding: Breeding golden 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 1.5 (1 male, 5 females). 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 30 eggs was discovered under a piece of cork, buried about 1" into the long fiber sphagnum moss substrate. 2-3 of the females in the group produced eggs, and we were able to get about 10 clutches this season. 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, golden 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 golden mantellas will quickly consume springtails and grow very fast.


Natural Range: Mantella aurantiaca is limited to a very small area in east centeral Madagascar. In the wild, it can be found in very limited localities in swampy areas. With the natural range of golden mantellas so limited, habitat destruction is quickly reducing their numbers in the wild. In fact, this species is now critically endangered.


History in the Hobby:Ggolden mantellas have been available as wild caught animals since at least the 1960s, 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. This species is no longer exported in large numbers from Madagascar legally for the pet trade, as it has been classified as endangered.


Links of Interest:

IUCN Redlist article for Mantella aurantiaca

Great pictures of the golden Mantella from ARKive

Wikipedia article on golden Mantellas. Poor information, but a great picture of the yellow/brown phase

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

Mantella aurantiaca Care by Devin Edmonds of

The Critically Endangered Golden Mantella - IUCN Redlist

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

Not sure how to care for Bumble Bee Toads? Read the following care guide on Bumble Bee Toads, written by the experts at Josh's Frogs!

< p>Bumble Bee Toad Care and Breeding

< p>In need of a habitat or products to care for Red Eye Tree Frogs? Check out our Bumble Bee Toads Complete Care Kits!

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

Read What Others Are Saying:

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Little Gems Review by Victoria
I signed up for notification once these little guys were back in stock. I’ve been to a lot of zoos, and I’ve always spent a few extra moments watching these little gems. So it’s always been a dream of mine to raise some of these endangered mantella, and I jumped at the opportunity once I received the back in stock email. Customer service was top notch, and after coordinating safe delivery, they arrived healthy and well-packaged. Though they are still quite young and shy, I’m always delighted at sightings of the little guys. They’re doing great so far, and am thankful Josh’s Frogs is working with this beautiful species. (Posted on 11/12/2017)

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