Category: RAINFOREST MADAGASCAR


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia (snakes, worm lizards, lizards, alligators, caimans, crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, and tuataras)
Order: Squamata (Lizards and Snakes)
Suborder Sauria (Lizards)
Family: Gekkonidae (Geckos)

Genus/species: Uroplatus henkeli

Henkel's Leaf-tailed Gecko 4226839485_62145bf20d_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS A master of camouflage: its grey-brown skin blends in with the colors of tree bark. The fringes of skin along its head and body mask shadows by breaking up the. outlines of its body. The charcoal/light grey patterns on some individuals’ bodies look like lichen. The short flat tail, for which the genus was named (uro – “flat,” platus – “tail”), looks like a dead leaf. The bulging eyes on its flat triangular head have pupils with vertical slits, an indication of a nocturnal life style. Size to 255 mm (10 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT Madagascar rainforest vegetation just a few metres off the ground

DIET IN THE WILD Nocturnal predator, eats mainly insects.

Henkel's leaf-tailed  Gecko  Uroplatus henkeli IMG_0394

REPRODUCTION: Eggs are deposited on the forest floor hidden under fallen leaves, beneath pieces of wood, or among dead leaves still attached to a plant. Juveniles hatch following a three-month incubation period.

MORTALITY Life span in the wild believed to be 3–5 years. Species has lived up to 15 years in captivity.

CONSERVATION IUCN Vulnerable from continued destruction of Madagascar forests. 

Listed in Appendix II of CITES.

 

REMARKS: To help escape predators. Like most lizard species, geckos can shed their tails. A new, shorter tail composed of cartilage will grow back. It can also frighten enemies by opening its mouth wide revealing a bright red interior. Also some geckos, including this one, have vocal cords, the only lizards that do. Its defensive behavior is often accompanied by loud distress calls.

Henkel's Leaf-tailed Gecko IMG_0742

Madagascar MAO7

References

California Academy of Sciences  Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/961880/details

IUCN Red List:  www.iucnredlist.org/details/178653/0

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Uo

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449603666/with/4226839485/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata (scaled reptiles, all lizards and snakes)
Family: Gekkonidae (Geckos)

Genus/species: Phelsuma standingi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Base color is usually light gray or brown with darker fine reticulations. If inactive, the coloration of this day gecko is often duller, giving it an overall grey appearance. When cool it takes on darker colors to help absorb light and heat and when hot it turns pale. Hatchlings have a yellowish-green head and typical light bands and bars on their backs. Large for a gecko, to 30 cm (11.75 inches) in length.

 3268112303_e60d08c407_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: They have a limited range within southwest Madagascar, preferring dry thorn forests and arid to semi-arid regions where vegetation consists of thorny succulent plants and baobab trees.    

DIET IN THE WILD: Diurnal; feeds on insects, fruit, nectar and possibly other lizards. 

 

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REPRODUCTION: Established adult pairs will tolerate juveniles until they reach sexual maturity. Eggs are most often laid in pairs that are “glued” to each other. As in many reptile species, sex of newborns is temperature dependent.

LONGEVITY: Captivity to 12 years, wild 5 years.

PREDATORS: Snakes and birds of prey.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list: Vulnerable (VU) 

Populations numbers are thought to have declined in the 1990s due to heavy collecting for the pet trade.

Color of Life: Madagascar geckos are often either green or brownish, providing concealment in the rainforest.

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

ARKive  www.arkive.org/banded-day-gecko/phelsuma-standingi/

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/791137/details

IUCN Red List  www.iucnredlist.org/details/16947/0

Ron’s flickr  www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3268112303/in/set-72157…

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3779080187/in/album-72157652559028013/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  wp.me/p1DZ4b-1s3

 

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Cyprinodontiformes (Rivulines, killifishes and live bearers)
Family: Aplocheilidae (Killifishes)

Genius/species: Pachypanchax patriciae

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Dark longitudinal stripe, ca. one scale row deep, extending from posterior margin of eye to origin of pectorals. Males display two color morphs: red and blue. Red males become less common and disappear completely as one moves from north to south. Length to 5.2 cm (2 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Madagascar small tropical rivers and streams. Tolerates conditions from water deficient in dissolved substances to water with high concentrations of dissolved minerals, pH values from acidic to slightly alkaline. Bottom dweller.

DIET IN THE WILD: Terrestrial and aquatic insects

PREDATORS: Mostly by birds, dragonfly nymphs and other predatory insects as well as piscivorous fishes.

 

CONSERVATION: IUCN AND CITES Not Evaluated

LOCATIONRainforest Madagascar MA05

References

fishbase  www.fishbase.us/summary/63019

arkive  www.arkive.org/pachypanchax/pachypanchax-patriciae/image-…

EOL  eol.org/pages/993340/details

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157627949403670/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-z6

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Atheriniformes (Silversides)
Family: Bedotiidae (Madagascar rainbowfishes)

Genus/species: Bedotia madagascarensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Second dorsal fin is golden-yellow basally, with a dark red margin and broad black submarginal band. Anal fin similarly colored, but a golden-yellow zone is sandwiched between a narrow black basal and a broader black submarginal band. Males are conspicuously more colorful than females with more distinct markings and redder tails. Length to 9 cm (3.5in).

 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Endemic to Madagascar’s coastal rivers. Found in well-shaded slow-flowing streams at altitudes up to 30 meters (100 feet) above sea level.

DIET IN THE WILD: Insects and their larvae, crustaceans and other small invertebrates.

REPRODUCTION: Sexes are separate. Fertilization is external. Eggs are broadcast in open water and not guarded.
Mortality/Longevity: Lifespan about 5 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Near Threatened (NT)
Limited range, habitat degradation and exotic predators such as (Gambusia holbrooki) and competitors (Xiphophorus spp.).

Sexes are separate. Fertilization is external. Eggs are broadcast in open water and not guarded.
Mortality/Longevity: Lifespan about 5 years.

LOCATION: Rainbowfish of  Madagascar  MD05

References

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/343730/details

arkive  www.arkive.org/zono/bedotia-madagascariensis/image-G52355…

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Bedotia-madagascariensis.html

IUCN  www.iucnredlist.org/details/2721/0

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157627949403670/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-yY


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae (Geckos)

Genus/species: Phelsuma klemmeri

IMG_0913

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Dorsal color is brown to turquoise with turquoise bands. A black lateral line runs from the eyes to the hind legs. The head and neck are yellow. The ventral surface is whitish; scales are small and smooth. Adults are about 9 cm (3.5 in) long.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found only in northwest Madagascar among medium-sized bamboo in fragmented “bamboo islands.” When disturbed they hide in the cracks in older dead bamboo.

Phelsuma klemmeri 4813861605_40e1c52a37_b

DIET IN THE WILD: Insects, other invertebrates and soft sweet fruit, pollen and nectar. In the wild, they avoid the hotter part of the day and usually hunt and forage in the early morning, late afternoon, or right after a shower.

DIET IN CAPTIVITY: A variety of insects, including crickets and fruit flies, but will also eat fruit baby foods. They also eat fruits such as guava, papaya, and peaches.

REPRODUCTION: Females lay eggs every 3 to 5 weeks. Like most geckos, she usually lay two eggs at a time, often inside a hollow piece of bamboo. The babies are iridescent and look like tiny copies of the adults. Newborns weigh a mere 0.1 g at birth.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Endangered (EN)
it is known from only two locations and occurs as a severely fragmented population, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of forest habitat within its range.

REMARKS: First described in 1990.

Geckos have very special feet that contain millions of hairs capable of producing electrical forces, probably van der Waals forces. These forces, which are molecular and not caused by a sticky substance, allow the gecko to attract any surface, even polished glass.

Rainforest Madagascar with Madagascar Tree Boa MA06

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

IUCN Red List  www.iucnredlist.org/details/172981/0

phelsumania www.phelsumania.com/public/systematics/species/phelsuma_k…

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-TM

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3707689563/in/set-72157620708610230

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Mantellidae

Genus/species: Mantella baroni

4708448392_717d47ae1f_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Has vibrant warning colors of black, orange, and yellow or green. The eye iris is black. Unlike many other frogs, mantella frogs move through trees and on the jungle floor, thus they do not have a need for webbed feet. 2.5-3.2 cm (1.0-1.3 inches) in length.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Widely distributed throughout east-central Madagascar. It is terrestrial found in forest and in slash-and-burn areas, often at considerable distance from forest. Males can be found calling loudly during the day, exposed near the sides of streams and surrounding forests.

DIET IN THE WILD: Insects including termites, fruit flies, and ants due to the fact that their meals provide them with alkaloid toxins.

REPRODUCTION: Eggs are laid on land, and the larvae are washed by rain into streams, where they develop.

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Red List; Least Concern (LC)
Has a wide distribution and is tolerant to habitat modification.

REMARKS: Secretes allopumiliotoxin 267A, which is one of the most toxic compounds but not strong enough to kill other predators. Their poison can make dangerous creatures sick. In captivity, the frog loses its toxicity as a result of an altered diet.

Painted Mantella

Rainforest Madagascar MA06

REFERENCES

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/329310/details

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/57438/0

Ron’s http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608456457315/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Lt

Frogs cc  frogs.cc/mantella-frog-baroni/

TAXONOMY

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Boidae (Boas; non-venomous, constricting snakes)

Genus/species: Sanzinia madagascariensis

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Endemic throughout the island of Madagascar, excluding the very southwest corner. Occurs in 2 color variations; those in the eastern part of the range are green to grayish-green, while in some parts of the western range they are yellow, orange, and brown. The green variety is somewhat smaller than the western form. Max length: about 2 m or 6 ft. Females are larger than males.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Endemic throughout the island of Madagascar, excluding the very southwest corner. Live in a variety of forest habitats, ranging from lowland tropical forests, to humid upland forests, to dry forests.

DIET IN THE WILD: It is a nocturnal snake, feeding on small mammals (including bats!) and birds, seeking them out using the heat-sensitive pits around its mouth that enable it to hunt for warm-blooded prey in complete darkness. Prey are constricted by the powerful coils of the boa which tighten as the prey struggles, restricting the blood flow to the heart and ultimately causing circulatory failure. Not venomous.

REPRODUCTION: Like all boas, females give birth to live young.Reach maturity at 3 years old, giving usually gives birth to fewer than 12  living young, which are red-colored to deter predators.

 
CONSERVATION:  IUCN Red List; Least Concern (LC)   Appendix I of CITES. Habitat loss through deforestation for agriculture and human settlement has restricted these boas mostly to protected areas of Madagascar. 

LOCATION: Rainforest  Madagascar MA06

References

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/795591/details

ARKive http://www.arkive.org/madagascar-tree-boa/sanzinia-madagascariensis/

California Academy of Sciences Docent Training Manual on Rainforests 2014

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157625194985646/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-zd

 

TAXONOMY
Kindom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinoptergii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae (cichlids)
Subfamily: Etroplinae

Genus/species: Paretroplus menarambo

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: When young, Mearambos are a pale gold with black dots in a pin stripe pattern. As they reach adulthood, around 4 inches or 3 years of age, they are blue/gray to almost white with black dot pin stripes. The fins are edged in red, especially the tail. Max length : 12.8 cm (5 in).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Endemic to Madagascar. Present in the freshwater flood plain lakes of the Bemarivo River, the major northwards-flowing tributary of the Sofia River in northwestern Madagascar. The species is now known to occur in a single lake of that system: Lac Tseny.

DIET IN THE WILD: Have teeth specially designed for crushing snail shells.

REPRODUCTION: Substrate spawner. Eggs are laid in a pit and will adhere to surfaces such as driftwood.

PREDATORS: Critically endangered species threatened by invasive species and over-fishing.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list: Critically Endangered (CR)
No data are available on the wild population; previously it was thought to have disappeared from its native range, but more recent surveys rediscovered the species in Lac Tseny Habitat degradation, the presence of invasive exotic species and overfishing account for its Critically Endangered status. Breeding populations of this species are maintained in captivity.

LOCATION Madagascar MA04

References

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=57958

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/44492/0

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/211122/details

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157627949403670/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-yp


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Percifomes (Perch-likes)
Family: Cichlidae (Cichlids)

Genus/species: Ptychochromis sp. “Tarantsy”

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Males are generally silver with a faint black strip mid-body and a spot on the gill plate. Females are darker in color overall, especially when breeding.
Length to 16cm (6.5 inches).

Tarantsy8342758012_95170c71b4_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tarantsy River and Lake Tarantsy, near Amboasary and Fort Duaphin, Madagascar.

DIET IN THE WILD: Omnivores

REPRODUCTION: Substrate spawning egg layers.

REMARKS; Little information is available.

Madagascar MA04

References

Greater Chicago Cichlid Association:  www.gcca.net/madagascan-cichlids/139-ptychochromis-sp-nor…

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8342758012/in/set-72157620708610230

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-yH

Vetted Jenoh Gonzales Biologist, Steinhart Aquarium
California Academy of Sciences 1-7-15

TAXONOMY
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinoptgerygii
Order: Periciformes
Family: Chichlidae (Cichlids)

Genus/species: Paratilapia polleni

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Mid-sized cichlid, growing to 30 cm (12 in) in length; males grow up to a third again as large as females; black velvet basic coloration with pattern of blue and gold spangling. Distinct spot present in dorsal fin of juveniles and sexually quiescent adults.
Adult male fish are much larger than females and develop longer extensions on the dorsal and anal fins. They also tend to have a more rounded head shape.

 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Endemic to Madagascar found in freshwater at altitudes up to 1,500 m (5000 ft) and exhibit tolerance for a broad temperature range.

DIET IN THE WILD: Carnivorous, juveniles feed chiefly on planktonic crustaceans and insect larvae; larger fish are crepuscular predators with a preference for small fishes, but also take invertebrates as opportunity presents.

REPRODUCTION: Marakely parenting is a two-fish job. They are monogamous, biparentally custodial substrate spawners. Pairs defend a territory and both sexes assume a velvety black base coloration as spawning approaches. They excavate a gravel pit and spawn in it excluding other fish from area. Each egg has a long adhesive fiber that adheres to other egg fibers, forming a rope of eggs (up to a thousand) rolled into an egg mass. The male patrols the perimeter of the territory as the fry become mobile four days post-hatching. Both parents follow the school of fry, retrieving stragglers by mouth and spitting them back into the school. Parental care continues for about three weeks. These protective behaviors promote reproductive success common to many cichlid species.

PREDATORS: In the southern part of its range, the exotic spotted snakehead is both a competitor and predator. Paratilapia polleni have lived for up to 15 years in aquariums.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List; Vulnerable (VU)   Qualifies as Vulnerable on account of its limited distribution and fragmented habitat (mainly due to deforestation of river catchments) which are causing a continued decline in available habitat and the number of mature individuals in the population. 

A Marakely captive breeding program is supported by many aquariums and zoos.

REMARKS. The most primitive living representatives of the large Cichlidae family.  Some of Madagascar’s freshwater fish species have ancestors dating back to the Jurassic period.

Madagascar MA04

References

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/Paratilapia-polleni.html

IUCN  www.iucnredlist.org/details/16199/0

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest Docent Training Manual 2014

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3637198814/in/set-72157620708610230/

WordPress Shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-yh

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