We analysed a total of 54 osteological, morphological, etho-ecological and karyological characters as listed in Appendix 1. Osteological data are based on cleared and stained specimens listed in Table III, and on informations published previously (Glaw et al., 1998; Vences et al., 1998). Non-osteological data were taken from the information summarized in Glaw et al. (1998) and Glaw and Vences (1994). Three species of Heterixalus (family Hyperoliidae) were used as outgroup.
The maximum parsimony analysis (Fig. 6) failed to place Boophis as monophylum: all Boophis species were paraphyletically arranged along the lineage leading to Mantidactylus and Mantella. Mantidactylus and Mantella together formed a monophyletic group, the two Laurentomantis included were sister taxa nested within Mantidactylus. A cluster of three species of the subgenus Gephyromantis were the sister group of Laurentomantis. Mantella was also nested within Mantidactylus, with a species of the subgenus Guibemantis (M. liber) as sister group. Laliostoma and Aglyptodactylus were sister taxa. Bootstrap support for most groupings was low, indicating their relatively low reliability.