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2- Excidobates mysteriosus

The Marañón poison frog

Myers, 1982

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia :


The Marañón poison frog (Excidobates mysteriosus; rana venenosa in Spanish) is a species of frog in the family Dendrobatidae. It is endemic to Cordillera del Condor in the upper Marañón River drainage of the Cajamarca Department, Peru.[2] At the type locality its natural habitat is primary premontane forest. Breeding takes place in bromeliads. It is threatened by habitat loss. It may also be collected for international trade.[1]

Marañón poison frog

Conservation status :





Endangered (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Scientific classification :







Species:E. mysteriosus

Binomial name :

Excidobates mysteriosus
(Myers, 1982)

Synonyms :

Dendrobates mysteriosus Myers, 1982
Ranitomeya mysteriosus (Myers, 1982)

Distribution of the Maranon Poison Frog :


Video :

Excidobates Mysteriosus Fighting

Care articles :


1- Excidobates mysteriosus 

MYERS , 1982

courtesy to :


The epithet mysteriosus comes from the Latin "mysterium" (= mystery). It refers to the then unresolved questions about relationships and lifestyle.


Excidobates mysteriosus (Twomey & Brown, 2008) 
" Dendrobates " mysteriosus (GRANT , FROST , CALDWELL , GAGLIARDO , H ADDAD , K OK , M EANS, NOONAN , SCHARGEL & WHEELER , 2006) 
Ranitomeya mysteriosa (BAUER , 1988) 
Dendrobates mysteriosus Myers , 1982 


Excidobates mysteriosus (Twomey & Brown, 2008) 
" Dendrobates " mysteriosus (GRANT , FROST , CALDWELL , GAGLIARDO , HADDAD , K OK , MEANS, NOONAN , SCHARGEL & WHEELER , 2006) 
Ranitomeya mysteriosa (BAUER , 1988) 
Dendrobates mysteriosus Myers , 1982 

sensu FROST , 2006 


English name: Marañón Poison Frog 
German name: Marañón Baumsteiger


Amphibia-> Anura-> Dendrobatoidea-> Dendrobatidae -> -> Excidobates -> Excidobates mysteriosus(M YERS , 1982)










Brown ground color with white dots on the entire body, which can partially merge with each other. Depending on the light and background, the animals appear almost jet-black. When light falls (eg by sunlight) you can see the actual chocolate brown basic color. On the hind legs some animals show crescent-shaped white bars. 

The toes are colored white to the tips of their toes, although deviations may also occur here. The adhesive discs are black.


Each animal shows an individual drawing pattern as well as a differently sized chin spot. Due to the individual drawing patterns, the individual animals can be easily distinguished from each other with a little practice. Your drawing helps to make the contours of the animals, if you look at them from a distance, blur. The skin of the animals on closer inspection shows a fine granulation.

Dorsal and ventral view of Excidobates mysteriosus


The sexual maturity of the male begins with about 9 to 12 months. This can be recognized by the fact that the males start to make a soft, short snarl sound. At the age of about 18 months, the males then begin to occupy territories and there are louder and longer-lasting call sequences. At the same age, the females can be distinguished from the male animals by the slightly increased body mass. Also, the female animals now begin to be more close to the males and follow them.


Features of scrim:

The egg diameter is about 2 mm. The egg is black and is covered in a lot of jelly. The clutch size is on average 5 eggs, but can also be 7 to 8 eggs in well-fed animals. The first clutches are usually unfertilized or consist only of detached jelly without Eikerne. It may well take 18 to 24 months for the first fertilized clumps to develop.


General behavior:

Young animals up to approximately 12 months of age prefer to stay in the upper regions of the terrarium. During the entire day, they only come to the pelvic floor areas to eat or visit the waterholes. To sleep, they retire, with several animals in their "Wohnbromelien", but sleep there individually in separate Bromelientrichtern or Blattachseln. During the course of the day, the animals go out of their way and show no pronounced aggression among themselves. The animals approach each other, but avoid direct physical contact. in the juvenile Most of them are active in the morning and early evening hours. With increasing age and sexual maturity, the behavior of the animals changes significantly. The males occupy solid territory e for calling and bargaining. Also, they are increasingly oriented in the direction of the ground. Here laid spawning opportunities are now regularly visited by both sexes. In these, the animals sleep increasingly. In this stage of development, it can also be observed again and again that the male animals partially intensify throughout the day until late in the evening and shout loudly. Especially during irrigation or nebulization of the terrarium, the animals develop intensified activities in terms of reputation, advertising and courtship activities. They often meet in larger groups at the feed and water points. Furthermore, it is also possible to observe individual aggressive actions of the males, such as jumping on and clasping. During the feeding, all animals meet together at the feeding place to eagerly hunt the fed animals and to kill them. There are no signs of aggression among the animals. The water points are also regularly visited by all. Often, several individuals sit together without aggression. According to our observations, the animals must necessarily be provided with exit possibilities from deeper moats. The frogs can, due to their extremely poor buoyancy, otherwise drown easily in several centimeters deep moats. The animals can not very skillfully climb and jump. They show a "four-legged walk", meaning they walk more than they climb. Obstacles of low altitude are usually overcome on an ongoing basis. If the height difference to be overcome is greater, a different way is usually sought in order to arrive at the desired destination. Distances up to 5 cm can overcome the animals in the jump, but this is rare. If they panic or are frightened, they can powerfully but uncoordinated jump aside. Here it happens again and again that the animals fall from a greater height to the ground. It has not yet come to visible injuries. Branches and even hexagonal surfaces (glass panes) are moved up and down head first. This clearly shows that it is In general, a different way is searched to get to the desired destination. Distances up to 5 cm can overcome the animals in the jump, but this is rare. If they panic or are frightened, they can powerfully but uncoordinated jump aside. Here it happens again and again that the animals fall from a greater height to the ground. It has not yet come to visible injuries. Branches and even hexagonal surfaces (glass panes) are moved up and down head first. This clearly shows that it is In general, a different way is searched to get to the desired destination. Distances up to 5 cm can overcome the animals in the jump, but this is rare. If they panic or are frightened, they can powerfully but uncoordinated jump aside. Here it happens again and again that the animals fall from a greater height to the ground. It has not yet come to visible injuries. Branches and even hexagonal surfaces (glass panes) are moved up and down head first. This clearly shows that it is Here it happens again and again that the animals fall from a greater height to the ground. It has not yet come to visible injuries. Branches and even hexagonal surfaces (glass panes) are moved up and down head first. This clearly shows that it is Here it happens again and again that the animals fall from a greater height to the ground. It has not yet come to visible injuries. Branches and even hexagonal surfaces (glass panes) are moved up and down head first. This clearly shows that it isExcidobates mysteriosus around a predominantly arboreale kind acts.



Until reaching sexual maturity, the animals show only a very low territorial behavior. They live in this time, as already described in a loose community association. There are no close ties and only a few direct contacts with each other. Only when visiting their sleeping place do the animals claim their firm leaf axils. However, this does not lead to intraspecific aggression, if the chosen place of sleep is already occupied by another animal. In this case, another free leaf axel is chosen nearby.
With reaching sexual maturity of males and females then marked out a clearly observable territorial behavior. In the male animals, there are now loud and sometimes long-lasting Rufduellen, with the males their territories literally "step out". If this threshold is exceeded by a rival, it comes first to an approximation of the two males. The territory owner sits with his upper body straight up in front of the intruder and begins to shout loud and energetic.
If the intruder is not impressed by this, the area owner will now further reduce the distance. If this threat also remains unsuccessful, the opponent is finally jumped in, with his forelegs clasped and pressed. This can lead to a loud "squeaky" protest or defense of the defeated animal. As a rule, the intruder now tries to break away from the grip and flee. The superior animal in this case pursues the inferior conspecifics up to its territory boundary, before it releases from it.
If the animals have just become sexually mature, and the districts are not yet firmly divided, it can come at intervals to pursuits throughout the terrarium. However, these do not spread over a longer period of time, as is known from other species, but usually end after a few minutes.
The female animals keep a distance from each other and there are no direct body contacts with each other. If a female is not ready to spawn, it will be treated by one male just like another male conspecific. But if it is a spawning female, it will choose a preferred male, in whose territory she can stay mainly and unmolested. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the female behaves in accordance with the courtship ritual of the male, which will be explained in more detail in the following section.

courtship behavior:

The courtship behavior of the male animals is determined by a long-lasting and loud calling. At the same time it happens that the animals move through their territory with a sticky gait. The courtshiping male always turns in the direction of other conspecifics and calls them. 
Spawning females who are recognizable by the clearer body, stop or sit and the male stalks towards them. It can happen that the male starts and clutches the spawning female. The female remains but sit quietly under the male and shows no escape behavior.
Another behavior is that the female turns to the male and tries to sting it with her front legs on the hind legs or on the back. In this case, the calling of the male becomes quieter and it tries to guide the female to his preferred spawning place. In this way, there are always interruptions, in which both animals then sit still together. The female intensifies at the end of such a break their touches on the hind legs or the back of the male. As a result, it usually comes to alternating, twitching movements of the hind legs of the male, which, as soon as the spawning site is reached, further increase.
If the female wants to move away from the male, it starts again with utterances and follows the female. If he has caught up with her, he touches her with his front legs until she follows him back to the spawning place. 


The timing of the courtship behavior is very variable. It can be repetitive for a few minutes or throughout the day until late in the evening. Not infrequently also extend over a period of several days.
During these courtship rituals, the two animals are so busy that they are hardly disturbed. Even other conspecifics can stay unmolested in their environment during this time. However, if another male also starts attuning to the courtship ritual, it is prevented by the male and expelled from the immediate area. 


The spawning place is first entered by the male. The female stimulates the male by constant body contact. The spawning location may vary during courtship, ie several spawning grounds (film cans,

spawning house, Bromeliad leaves) are sought in succession until the appropriate location was found. 


The actual mating and spawning process is carried out to the effect that first cleansed and moistened by the male, the substrate of the spawning place. By own observations, the assumption is obvious that in this case also the sperm are released from the male. In the direct connection, the female now goes to the just cleaned and moistened place and presses her abdomen on the floor. It now moves circling over this area and gradually lays the eggs off. 
However, it has also happened repeatedly that at the spawning grounds following the mating only jelly was found. The closer reasons for this are not yet known and require further observation.


Brood care behavior:

Following the oviposition, the female leaves the filing location. The male usually remains with the clutch. In the following period it regularly guards and irrigates the clutch. It can stay here for up to an hour on the clutch before it leaves. 


To what extent the females are involved in the further brood care needs further observations.

Utterance (vocalization):

Different types of vocalizations can be distinguished. The base is a croaking snare. Here one differentiates a Revierlaut, which is expelled particularly during the misting and sprinkling. This is long-lasting and loud (aggressive). It can, if there are no disturbing ambient noise, to a distance of about 8-9 m. be heard. 
There is also a Balzruf, which is softer and quieter. The length of the vocalisation is identical to the district sound. This call is made when a spawning female is nearby. 
The third call is the mating call. He is ejected by the male at the actual spawning place. He is "softer" and significantly quieter and shorter than the Balzlaut.
A fourth ringing tone is the defense call. This is similar to the scream of a crow and is ejected once when a male animal is suppressed or panic. 


Female animals do not make vocalizations. 


The onset of severity begins in male animals of 9 to 12 months of age. This is in addition to the fact that the first calls sound only very quiet and restrained. Only at about 15 months, the calls are louder and stronger. At this age, then the sound bubble is clearly visible during the call sequences. If the males do not call, the sound can hardly be perceived.

 Climate diagram of the montane step of the province of Cajamarca, Peru. 

 Attention at this height level live no more Dendrobatidae! Source:

habitat :


Type find location of the first description

"... hills northwest of the confluence of the Rio Chinchipe with the Rio Marañón, at about 5 ° 22'S, 78 ° 41'W". M YERS & D ALY (1982).



north Peru, near the village of Santa Rosa, in locations of 600-1200m altitude


According to O LTHOF , the daily maximum temperatures in the biotope are 35 ° C and the nighttime temperatures are up to 16 ° C. The humidity is only 40%! At the moment there are only 3 known populations. One of them is a rock wall at 1200m altitude where countless bromeliads grow. The others are remnants of rainforest that grow bromeliads of the species Aechmea nudicaulis . These very large bromeliads harbor a lot of water, which ensures relatively even temperatures.

Rocky slopes overgrown with bromeliads, Peru. 

Natural habitat of Excidobates mysteriosus . 

 Diverse bromeliads and vine plants overgrow the biotope. 

Living bromeliad of Excidobates mysteriosus , Peru. 

 Living bromeliads on a tree. 

Dendrobates mysteriosus are also found on bromeliad trees . 

 In case of disturbance, Excidobates mysteriosus withdraw into the armpits of your living bromeliads. 

 Excidobates mysteriosus in a living bromeliad. 

Attitude in the terrarium :


Terrarium / Facility:

Rainforest terrarium from 40x40x80cm; better 80x50x70-80cm 
automatic irrigation and fog plant recommended 
tree dwellers, central Wohnbromelie In 


principle, in any case, that the terrarium is granted a corresponding height, as this species is an almost pure tree dwellers. The animals are sometimes found on the ground, but repeatedly rise to the upper regions of the terrarium. 
The design of the terrarium should therefore be as close as possible to its naturalHabitatorientate. The floor, back and side walls can withXaximor pressed cork. Also, the cladding with other materials such as sealing slurries, etc. is possible and has the advantage that here additional bromeliads, orchids and climbing and climbing plants can be attached. On the floor of the pool, it is advisable to bring in a corresponding amount of knots and climbing material, eg cork oak branches, and fix them in a collapse-proof way. On the branch material can now be attached as large a number of Aufsitzerpflanzen that serve the frogs throughout the day as a climbing and retreat. There are no limits to the number of bromeliads that are used, but it is essential to have at least one correspondingly large and central living bromeliad for the animals. In the naturalHabitatMainly in Aechmaea nudicaulis . Under terrarium conditions but Neoregelia schultesiana is easily accepted. OnDendrobatenterrarium has the advantage of a sloping bottom disc. This waterlogging can be avoided because excess water can flow away unhindered. Furthermore, with the help of larger moss bales, one can ensure that a higher relative humidity is created in the basin.
A water part or stream is not absolutely necessary. It is recommended to offer at least several water points. In our terrarium, we have several small, glazed Tonuntersetzer, which are regularly filled with fresh, clean water. The water level should be chosen so that the frogs can sit well in the water without the risk of drowning. In the water bowls, we always put a few flat stones and some Javamoos, which means that food animals that fall into the water can easily get out again. 


Some other important aspects that should be considered when planning and designing the terrarium are the climatic conditions prevailing in their natural habitat.
Since the average temperature is between 22 and 25 ° C and is rarely exceeded, it is also advisable to keep these values ​​as continuously as possible. For this reason, we illuminate our terrarium with a 25 watt full-spectrum daylight tube with a lighting duration of 12 hours, which is located directly above the ventilation gauze. In addition, there are two T5 tubes with 13 W each in the front area of ​​the glass cover. Here, a combination of warm and cold tone was chosen. The illumination time of these two tubes is 14 hours (firing time delayed, 1 hour before and after switching the 25 watt tube on and off).
Both 13 Watt tubes are connected via a temperature sensor, which switches off when exceeding the temperature of 24.5 ° C and thus prevents exceeding the maximum temperature of 25 ° C. 
If the temperature values, especially in the warm summer months, despite the switching off of the additional lighting above 25 ° C, we have invested in a mobile air conditioner, which is then placed in front of the terrarium and the entire living space in which the pool is located, cools down.
Another sensible investment is the installation of an irrigation and misting system. With the help of these two devices, we achieve a constant average relative humidity of 85 to 90% throughout the day. Like the lighting, these two systems are also controlled by timers and irrigate the pool twice a day during the warm summer months and once a day during the remaining months of the year. The nebulization takes place 5 times a day at different time intervals.



22-25 ° C, nighttime lowering by 6 ° C 
temperature fluctuation minimal (1-2 ° C) Temperature increases to 27 to 28 ° C are easily tolerated over a shorter period of time, provided that the relative humidity is maintained according to the temperatures is increased. In addition, sufficient air circulation should be ensured during this period (eg additional PC fan attachment).



70-80%, at noon to 70%, in the morning and in the evening 100% (fog) 
do not keep too moist (avoid waterlogging !), As the species lives on trees, where rainwater can drain at any time



Usual small and medium feed animals Drosophila , Micro-crickets (even slightly larger),  springtails meadow plankton. white woodlice and also oven fish. Young animals should be fed every other day. In adult animals it is sufficient to feed them twice a week. It is advisable to pollinate the food animals with high-quality mineral and vitamin preparations before each feeding. Furthermore, we have made good experiences with the use of powdered spirulina tablets (from the aquarium sector). In our opinion, the animals have since then shown a significantly increased spawning readiness. All in all, it can be said that it is extremely important to supply the feed animals optimally with nutrients before feeding them. This means, for example, to feed micro-crickets with bee pollen and cereal flakes.So that the food animals not only indiscriminately spread in the terrarium, can be created with the help of thin banana slices excellent feeding places where eg Drosophila gather. The frogs quickly learn to appreciate these feeding grounds.



Due to the behavioral spectrum of the animals we recommend a group keeping of no more than 2 to a maximum of 3 males with 5 to 6 females. A prerequisite for this is of course a correspondingly large terrarium with a well-structured distribution and a sufficient number of possible areas. Furthermore, it seems important that the animals grow up with each other from an early age to consolidate their social behavior.





Tips for breeding:

If possible, the terrarium should be placed in a well-ventilated and cool room to meet the climatic requirements of this species. It is also advantageous if natural daylight enters the terrarium, since the animals start to become active in the early morning hours with the onset of dawn. In addition, in the evening hours, external light reaches the terrarium up to about 1.5 hours after the terrarium lighting goes out (blue light illumination from the marine aquarium, which is located in the same room). Here it can be stated again and again that the frogs use this time for nocturnal call actions or for looking for the sleep places.



The introduction of leaf litter in the bottom area of ​​the pool provides on the one hand for additional hiding places, on the other hand, the leaves in the lower layers absorb excess moisture. Furthermore, care should be taken to ensure that the top layer of leaf litter dried out about two hours after sprinkling. After no more than 6 months, the leaf litter should then be replaced with fresh leaves, since then a decomposition process has occurred in the lower layer.
We only use beech and oak leaves. This we gather in the winter months in the surrounding forests. We generally use days which have been preceded by a longer permafrost period and there has been no precipitation for several days in a row. The foliage is then well frozen and the risk of bringing in uninvited guests is much lower. After that, we store the leaves open and airy in large plastic tubs. Thus, we always have a sufficient amount of leaves available throughout the year.


As already mentioned, it is necessary on hot summer days to additionally cool the terrarium by means of an air conditioning system. The mobile air conditioner, which we use for this purpose, is controlled at intervals especially in a prolonged heat period with the help of an electric timer. This makes it easy to avoid overheating even in the absence of the terrarium. 


If an Vernebulizer It should be taken for granted to thoroughly clean the membrane and the water tank before each new filling. This serves to eliminate the bacterial film that has formed during operation. Thus, a germ introduction into the terrarium is effectively prevented. 
Also, the water points, as well as the possibly existing moat must be regularly rinsed and cleaned to prevent excessive contamination. In the ditches of our terrariums, we have tailored and inserted blue, fine-pored filter sponge (from the aquaristic requirement). In this way, we can efficiently prevent feed animals and plant residues from entering the ditch and causing a deterioration of the water quality there. In addition, this method ensures a stable water level in the moats. Excess liquid can pass unhindered through the drains out of the terrariums. 


The fogger, the rain system and the water points are operated and filled exclusively with water from a reverse osmosis system. The use of osmosis water ensures that the pH of the water is set at 6.0-6.5 and the conductivity is only 26 μs / cm. Thus, the water reaching the terrariums is similar in nature to the rains in the natural biotope. 


According to our experience, we found that at temperatures of 27 ° C over a longer period of time still occasional courtship behavior occurs, but no oviposition occur.

Photos in Vivariums : 

Excidobates mysteriosus - photos :

For more information about resources for the above article .. click here 

Madagascar Dart frogs


Aromobatidae :

 South America Dart Frogs -  Species 


Dendrobatidae :

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