The colour morphs of preserved material as well as of live specimens of the Malgasy frog genus Mantella are described. The discussion of their variability shows that two of the names accepted by GUIBE (1964,1978) are synonyms of the oldest name available, a third, synonymized by him (op. cit.) is revalidated. The proposed taxonomic changes are: Mantella cowani (part., sensu GUIBÉ)=M. laevigata ; M. cowani (part.) and M. pulchra (sensu GUIBÉ) = M. madagascariensis. The latter is divided into three subspecies, one of which is described as M. madagascariensis haraldmeierissp. n. An identification key to all taxa of the genus Mantella is presented.