AmphibiaWeb - Mini ature


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Mini ature Scherz, Hutter, Rakotoarison, Riemann, Rödel, Ndriantsoa, Glos, Roberts, Crottini et al., 2019
family: Microhylidae
subfamily: Cophylinae
genus: Mini
Species Description: Scherz MD, CR Hutter, A Rakotoarison, JC Riemann, M-O Rödel, SH Ndriantsoa, J Glos, SH Roberts, A Crottini, M Vences, and F Glaw. 2019. Morphological and ecological convergence at the lower size limit for vertebrates highlighted by five new miniaturised microhylid frog species from three different Madagascan genera. PLoS One 14: e0213314.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Mini ature is a miniaturized frog described from one individual of unknown sex that was previously listed as part of the Stumpffia genus. The snout vent length is around 14.9 mm. The head width is about one third of the snout vent length. The head is wider than it is long, but still narrower than the body width. The snout is slightly pointed in the dorsal view and pointed in the lateral view. The nostrils of M. ature are located halfway between the eyes and the tip of the snout. The nostrils are directed laterally and not protuberant. The canthus rostralis is straight and indistinct. The loreal region is vertical and flat. Mini ature has a round pupil and an eye diameter that is more than one third of the head length. The tympanum is round, indistinct, and around 49% of the eye diameter. The supratympanic fold is absent. There are no distinct dorsolateral folds. The skin on the dorsum and venter is smooth (Scherz et al. 2019).

The forelimb is slender and its length is less than one half of the average snout vent length. The outer metacarpal tubercle is small and rounded, and the inner metacarpal is slightly smaller than the outer metacarpal. The hand is not webbed, and it has single elongated subarticular tubercles. The first, second, and fourth fingers of M. mini are all reduced, while the third finger is broadened at the base. The relative finger lengths is 1 < 2 = 4 < 3. The finger tips are not expanded into discs (Scherz et al. 2019).

The hind limbs are stocky, and have a length that is 118% of the snout vent length. The tibiofibular length is 34% of the snout vent length. The lateral metatarsalia are strongly connected, and the inner metatarsal tubercle is indistinguishable from the completely reduced first toe. The outer metatarsal tubercle is absent. The toes are not webbed, and the first toe is absent. The second and fifth toes are strongly reduced, and the relative length for toes in M. mini is 2 < 5 < 3 < 4 (Scherz et al. 2019).

All members of the genus Mini are similar to specimens of the genus Stumpffia. However, M. ature has curved clavicles, which are not present in Stumpffia species (S. contumelia and S. obscoena do not have clavicles, and S. tridactyla has straight or absent clavicles). Within the Mini genus, M. ature can be distinguished by morphological characteristics. Mini ature is larger than M. mum and M. scule, with a snout vent length of around 14.9 mm (compared to 8.9 - 11.3 mm). Mini ature also possesses a shorter hindlimb to snout vent length ratio (118% versus 141 - 172%). It can specifically be distinguished from M. mum by its less distinct lateral color border (Scherz et al. 2019).

In alcohol, the dorsum is light brown. Laterally, the color gets paler, becoming an almost beige color. Mini ature is slightly translucent on the posterior head, with a thin beige vertebral stripe and a darkened area. The side of the head is colored dark brown. The skin above the eyes is translucent and a dark color. The forelimb and foot is beige and flecked with brown dorsally, while the hand is a lighter color medially. There are faint cream annuli on the fingers and feet. The hindlimb is also beige dorsally, but has several brown crossbands that line up when the thigh and shank are folded together. Around the vent is a trapezoid of brown. Laterally, there is a color border running from the nostril to the inguinal region. This color border is distinct but not straight, and it runs along the canthus rostralis passing through the eye and supratympanic region. Ventral to this color border, M. ature is a mocha color with beige speckles that lightens ventrally to beige speckled with cream. The inguinal region has small oblong dark brown spots. Some of the organs can be seen through the translucent ventral skin. Coloration in life is not available (Scherz et al. 2019).

As of 2022, variation cannot be assessed as there is only one specimen of M. ature that has been studied (Scherz et al. 2019).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Mini ature has been found at Andohahela National Park, located in southeast Madagascar. Further information is not available since only one specimen has been found (Scherz et al. 2019).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Calls have not been recorded. Only one specimen has been found between 2004 and the species description (Scherz et al. 2019).

Trends and Threats
Only one specimen has been found between 2004 and the species description, so M. ature has a threat status of “Data Deficient” (Scherz et al. 2019).

Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference analyses were conducted using the 16S and 12s rRNA mitochondrial genes. It was found that M. ature is sister to M. scule, and together they form a clade that is sister to M. mum (Tu et al. 2018, Scherz et al. 2019).

The genus name is derived from the English prefix “mini-”, meaning a small version of an object. The full name Mini ature is a pun based on the English word “miniature” (Scherz et al. 2019).


Scherz, M. D., Hutter, C. R., Rakotoarison, A., Riemann, J. C., Rödel, M. O., Ndriantsoa, S. H., et al. (2019). "Morphological and ecological convergence at the lower size limit for vertebrates highlighted by five new miniaturised microhylid frog species from three different Madagascan genera." PLoS ONE, 14(3). [link]

Tu, N., Yang, M. H., Liang, D., Zhang, P. (2018). "A large-scale phylogeny of Microhylidae inferred from a combined dataset of 121 genes and 427 taxa." Science Direct, 126, 85-91. [link]

Originally submitted by: Jessica Pan (2022-03-02)
Description by: Jessica Pan (updated 2022-03-02)
Distribution by: Jessica Pan (updated 2022-03-02)
Life history by: Jessica Pan (updated 2022-03-02)
Trends and threats by: Jessica Pan (updated 2022-03-02)
Comments by: Jessica Pan (updated 2022-03-02)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-03-02)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Mini ature <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 18, 2024.

Feedback or comments about this page.


Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Apr 2024.

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.