It’s not green, the Madagascar bright-eyed or tree frog! Absolutely right. The Madagascar bright-eyed frog, Boophis madagascariensis, captivates less with colourful colours than with its impressive body size. It is a good six to eight centimetres long, individual specimens even ten centimetres from the tip of the nose to the coccyx. Among Madagascar’s frogs, it is thus one of the very large, with the males always remaining somewhat smaller than the females.
The Madagascar bright-eyed frog lives in the rain forests of the highlands up to 1700 m above sea level and down to the east coast. It is most frequently found in Andasibe-Mantadia and Ranomafana National Parks and in Vohimana, Anjozorobe-Angavo and V.O.I.M.M.A. reserves. Forest edges or moist secondary vegetation do not make this species so much of a difference, so it is currently listed as “not endangered” on the red list of endangered species. In some regions there are species quite similar to the Madagascar bright-eyed frog, but they are easily distinguishable. Apart from genetic differences and some subtleties in body structure, the colour of the iris is decisive. In the real Madagascar bright-eyed frog, the iris is brownish around the pupil and yellowish in the outer area.
During the mating season, the tree frog is particularly common, as the males call out loudly in search of suitable partners. Once a male has attracted the right female, he climbs onto her back and clings to her forelegs. This behaviour is called amplexus. This way the male can wait comfortably on the back of his beloved, until a suitable slowly flowing water is found. There, the female gives the frog-eggs, the spawn, into the moist wet. The sperm of the male is then given into the water at the same time, and the spawn is fertilized only there. So there is no real sex like with mammals with frogs at all.
The spawn of the Madagascar bright-eyed frog is white with black dots, a female can lay 400 eggs in it at once. This very high number of eggs is necessary because many predators feed on the spawn and the tadpoles hatching from it after a good week. Only a small number of Madagascar bright-eyed frogs manage to turn into frogs in a few weeks and successfully go ashore. The young frogs measure just one or two centimetres at this time. Their skin is still light green with brown spots on their back – this actually fits better to the tree frog, which is known in other countries to be bright green. Only after about three months do the Madagascar bright-eyed frogs turn into the brown dress of the adult animals. Then a new life cycle begins.