Poisonous tropical frogs are thriving in Scotland

They are endangered in their native Madagascar - but they are thriving in Scotland. Tiny, brilliant-orange mantella frogs are being successfully bred in Scotland's National Aquarium, Deep Sea World, at North Queensferry near Edinburgh.

They are endangered in their native Madagascar - but they are thriving in Scotland. Tiny, brilliant-orange mantella frogs are being successfully bred in Scotland's National Aquarium, Deep Sea World, at North Queensferry near Edinburgh.

Like much of Madagascar's wildlife, the inch-long frogs are threatened by massive and continuing destruction of their tropical forest home, but the aquarium was given a small number of them by a private breeder two years ago. Carefully controlled conditions have resulted in the production this year of nearly 100 tadpoles, 14 of which are at the froglet stage.

The aquarium curator, Matt Kane said the mantellas were immensely popular with visitors. "They're just this one colour, bright orange, all over, with jet black eyes that are very alert, and they're very visible. In the wild in Madagascar they are poisonous so they don't fear predators, and they don't hide in the vegetation like European frogs tend to."

The frogs were poisonous in the wild because they ate poisonous insects which turned their skins toxic, Mr Kane said. "They emit a high shrill call and stamp their feet when they are displaying. They're fantastic animals. " he said.

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