Frog of the Week

Imitating Poison Frog (Ranitomeya imitator)

photo by John P. Clare

Common Name: Imitating Poison Dart Frog, Mimic Poison Dart Frog
Scientific Name: Ranitomeya imitator
Family: Dendrobatidae
Location: Peru
Maximum Size: 2.2 cm, average 1.3 cm

These poison frogs come in a variety of morphs that imitate the colors of other frogs around them. The picture at the top is of the Varadero morph, which mimics the orange and blue Ranitomeya fantastica morph. There are 3 different species that the frog mimics.

Imitating Poison frogs are great parents. They are also the only monogamous amphibian, pairing with only one frog for life. The females lay a pair of eggs on a plant leaf. One is a feeder egg, which the tadpoles feed off of. The males are highly territorial, threatening other frogs that come near the eggs. Once the tadpoles grow bigger, the males move the tadpoles one by one to a new area in a plant. The water in the plant isn’t the best for the tadpoles, so both parents take care of the tadpoles.




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