Originally Posted by hypostatic
The "flashmarks" are just splotches of slightly lighter orange. They are... pretty subjective lol. You can kinda see them here:
But besides that, the eyes are a fair giveaway:
if you compare to the female baroni, you can see how her eyes don't have the yellow accent, and how her legs are a much more even orange
I see what you mean, but I was always under the impression that Mantella flashmarks were located only within the joint between the femur and thigh, such as in this photograph of M. pulchra (picked from the internet):
I can't compare the deceased animal with the other two wildcaught individuals because I have a limited amount of photographs, but I'll see if I can make a picture of the remaining WC ones to compare their legs. Would be interesting to see if there is similar "splotching" going on in the other WC male with gold in the iris.
This identification guide is often given as a good reference: Correctly Identifying Mantella baroni and Mantella madagascariensis
The text on this guide states:
"Individual frogs sometimes exhibit ventral patterns that lie somewhere in between the two species.
" as well as "No one feature should be used as the only means of identification, as few individual frogs of either species exhibit all of the traits below. Instead, all information should be compared to that of an individual frog and whichever side matches the frog best is likely the species
". This doesn't really help clearing the matter unfortunately
Given the presence of hybrids of several mantella species (e.g. baroni x cowani and madagascariensis x aurantiaca), maybe baroni and madagascariensis have some of each other's genes (and maybe others as well) mixed in anyway in certain populations? Only way to know for certain would be to do a genetic analysis I suppose. Too bad my PhD focuses on soil microbial communities with DNA techniques, I would've loved to work on frog phylogeny or population genetics.