How to Make Madagascar’s Green Mantella Feel Right at Home

By Michael Tarran

March 7, 2020

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I’ll admit that the first time I saw a frog wasn't out in nature – it was in a zoo, during a school trip. 

I was seven years old or so, and I remember this part because that's when I first got the idea of asking my parents for a pet reptile. 

Out of all the exotic and rare animals that I saw that day, it was a simple, underwhelming, glass box that grabbed my attention. And do you know why? That's the first time I saw frogs – 30 or so of them – hopping around, going about their day.

The species that I saw that day was, as I later learned, the Green Mantella.

Last Updated: October 1, 2020

How Do You Acquire a Green Mantella?

Green Mantella, or Mantella Viridis, is a small, less than an inch long frog that's endemic to Madagascar and makes for a great pet when cared for properly.

However, getting a Green Mantella isn't as simple as going to your local pet store. Captive-bred Mantellas aren't considered a commonplace. And, compared to some other frog species, they can be somewhat difficult to breed. 

While they may be hard to find – and a bit more expensive – go the extra mile and buy a captive-bred Mantella, instead of a wild-caught one. Oh, and ask to view the specimen before purchase whenever possible, so that you can avoid taking a potentially expensive risk.

Green Mantella's Perfect Vivarium Conditions


Let's say that you managed to acquire a perfectly healthy, captive-bred Green Mantella. Now, it's time to do your best to recreate a small slice of the frog's natural habitat within their new glass enclosure. 

Here’s how to make any vivarium feel like home for your new pet frog: 

  • Vivarium Size – Mantella frogs are primarily terrestrial, so the more floor space you provide, the better. For individual specimens, a 10-gallon enclosure can be more than enough, and you can house up to five Green Mantellas in a 18x18x12-inch glass tank. 

  • Lighting – Mantellas don't need any specialized lighting, but they could benefit from low-level UVB lights, combined with a daylight bulb that would help the live plants in the vivarium. 

  • Temperature – You should keep the temperature inside the enclosure at comfortable room temperature levels of about low to mid-70s. Green Mantella's don't tolerate anything over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep a close eye at all times.

Humidity – Green Mantellas enjoy high humidity levels – 80 percent on average – which means that you'll have to either mist their enclosure frequently or set up an automated misting system. Also, be sure to leave out a shallow water dish or small pond for your Green Mantella to dip its feet, too.

Do you like colorful, highly active pets that will be their happiest in a mini jungle oasis that you built for them? 

Then you should certainly consider adding the lovely Madagascar jewel that is the Green Mantella to your collection! 

With a bit of prep and planning – and the tips I shared today – your new pet frog will be happy to call its new vivarium home for years to come.

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Michael Tarran

About Me

I'm a devoted pet parent to two lovely creatures – Charlie the Cat and Jimmy the Dog – a full-time assistant pet store manager, and an animal shelter volunteer. I've gathered knowledge about pets for almost a decade, and it all started in a small store called Jack's Pets.

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