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Reproduction :


R. reticulata naturally live in groups of five or six. At the end of the wet season, several of these groups join in large breeding gatherings. As with other poison dart frogs, the males court the females by calling to capture their attention, and then by gently stroking and licking them. A female will signal that she is sufficiently impressed by stamping her hind feet. The two frogs will then mate.


The fact that the breeding season begins at the end of the wet season ensures that the eggs will be laid at the beginning of the next wet season, ensuring that the young will have a steady supply of water to keep them alive. Once the eggs hatch, the male carries the baby tadpoles into the canopy. The tadpoles have a water-soluble adhesive mucus that helps them stick to their father's back. The male R. reticulata will deposit the tadpoles into the tiny pools that accumulate in the centre of bromeliads. The female will then feed the tadpoles with infertile eggs that she lays into the water. Once the tadpoles become froglets, they are led by their parents to an existing group of red-backed poison frogs. While the young froglets are accepted by all members of the group, only their parents will look after the young frogs.

5- Ranitomeya reticulata - Red-backed poison frog - Boulenger 1884  :

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The red-backed poison frog (Ranitomeya reticulata)[1] is a species of frog in the family Dendrobatidae. It is an arboreal insectivorousspecies, and is the second-most poisonous species in the genus, after R. variabilis. Like many species of small, poisonous frogs native to South America, it is grouped with the poison dart frogs, and is a moderately toxic species, containing poison capable of causing serious injury to humans, and death in animals such as chickens. R. reticulata is native to the Amazon rainforest in Peru and Ecuador.[1]

Red-backed poison frog

Conservation status :




Near Threatened (IUCN 3.1)

Scientific classification :







Species:R. reticulata

Binomial name :

Ranitomeya reticulata
(Boulenger 1884)

Synonyms :

  • Dendrobates reticulatus

Poison :


The red-backed poison frog is a moderately toxic dendrobatid, and is the second-most poisonous of the frogs in the Ranitomeya genus. Its toxins are used as the frog's natural defense mechanisms, making them inedible to many, if not most, of the predators in its natural area. To advertise its poison and further reduce the risk of injury, the red-backed poison frog displays its brilliant warning colors, especially its red-orange back, for which it is named. Like all dendrobatids, it does not manufacture its poison itself, but rather is theorized to take the toxins from the ants, mites, and beetles on which it lives. It absorbs the insects' poisons into its body, which is immune to the poison. The poison is stored in skin glands just beneath the frog's epidermis. The poison seeps through open wounds and orifices, and, it is believed, through the pores. This defense is especially effective against mammalian and avian predators, and, to a lesser extent, reptilian ones. Amazonian ground snakes have a limited resistance to the poison, and occasionally will attack such frogs.


Description :

Ranitomeya reticulata is one of the smaller species of poison dart frogs, hence its inclusion in the "thumbnail" species group. Males can reach approximately 12 mm in length from snout to vent, while the larger females may reach 15 or even 20 mm long. Like all poison dart frogs, R. reticulata are vividly coloured and patterned, which advertises their poison. Red-backed poison dart frogs have black legs with a cobalt or sky-blue mesh pattern, a black belly, and a back that ranges from fiery orange to scarlet in color, hence the common name. Like all arboreal frogs, R. reticulata possess suckerlike disks on their toes which makes their grip adhesive. As they are very small, they often attempt to advertise their poison by flaunting such colors or by ascending trees to escape from predators. If isolated from any form of escape, R. reticulata will use their poison as a defense mechanism. R. reticulata are more slimly built than many dendrobatids, which combined with their small size, gives them the ability to squeeze into minute hiding places.

R. reticulata climbing a tree.

R. reticulata

As pets :


R. reticulata is considered a species for advanced dart hobbyists only. Their small size, breeding difficulties, and generally difficult care relative to other darts shows through high mortality rates with novice keepers. These difficulties are also the reason that the frog is fairly uncommon in the dart frog hobby and command a price upwards of $125–150 U.S. dollars per frog. It is also recommended to only keep them in pairs unless the tank size is substantial (55 gallons or larger), as there are many witness accounts and anecdotal reports of heavy same-sex aggression in smaller enclosures.

For the external links , refrences  click here to read the full wikipedia article 

Video : 

Ranitomeya reticulata calling

Care articles :


1- Ranitomeya reticulata (B OULENGER , 1884) 

courtesy to : ' 


The epithet  reticulata is a Latin adjective for "netted" (reticulum = net). It refers to the blue-black or blue-white-black netting of the lower body and limbs.


Ranitomeya reticulata (G RANT , F ROST , C ALDWELL , G AGLIARDO , H ADDAD , K OK , M EANS , N OONAN , S CHARGEL & W HEELER , 2006) 
Ranitomeya ignea (G RANT , F ROST , C ALDWELL , G AGLIARDO , H Addad , K OK , M EANS , N OONAN, S chargel & W HEELER , 2006) 
Ranitomeya reticulata(B AUER , 1986) 
Dendrobates tinctorius igneus M ELIN , 1941 
Dendrobates reticulatus B OULENGER , 1884 "1883" 


English name: Red-backed Poison Frog (CITES), Reticulated Poison Frog (CITES) 
German name: Netzbaumsteiger 
Spanish name: Rana Venenosa 
Dutch Name: Roodrug gifkikker

Amphibia-> Anura-> Dendrobatoidea-> Dendrobatidae-> Dendrobatinae-> Ranitomeya -> Ranitomeya reticulata (B OULENGER , 1884) 


Note to the scheme:

Ranitomeya reticulata is the type species of the genus Ranitomeya B AUER 1988.


M ELIN described in 1941 from the Río Itaya (Loreto Province, Peru) a small red-backed species with incomplete dorsolateral lines as Dendrobates tinctorius igneus (see Fig.1). S CHULTE (1999) sees in this taxon only a synonym to R. reticulata , as of this species also populations with remaining Juvenilzeichnung, in the form of mostly interrupted Dorsolaterallinien known (S ILVERSTONE , 1975). Some populations of the Río Itaya the B ROWN ET AL. (2006) due to genetic studies also R. reticulataeven show fully pronounced dorsal and dorsolateral lines (see Fig. 2) and are very similar to the more widely distributed species Ranitomeya duellmani and were already confused with this species.

 Fig.1: Drawing of the type specimen of Dendrobates igneus sp. nov . (a) Dorsal, (b) ventral. Fig. 37 from M ELIN , 1941

Fig. 2: Dorsal pattern of various Peruvian populations of Ranitomeya reticulata . (A) "Iquitos". (BC) "Río Itaya". 
Fig. 14 in S ILVERSTONE , 1975 (as Dendrobates quinquevittatus ).

While the species R. duellmani is genetically well conserved by R. reticulata and represents their sibling species, the striped animals of the Río Itaya can be genetically correctly assigned to the species R. reticulata (Fig.3) and are therefore likely to produce only one color marinate of R. reticulata . The validity of the species R. ignea as a distinct species within the meaning of G RANT ET AL . (2006) is therefore to be regarded as questionable and should not be used, and sometimes the systematic position of R. ignea in comparison to the taxon R. amazonica has not yet been adequately secured (see L ÖTTERS& V ENCES 2000). In DendroBase we also see the taxon R. igneaas S CHULTE (1999) and T WOMEY & B ROWN (2008) as a synonym for R. reticulata .

Fig. 3: Relative tree of the reticulatus clade according to BROWN ET AL., 2006.

Another population similar to R. reticulata wasfirst photographically documented by P IEPER in 2005 in the eastern part of the province of Loreto . The staining pattern of this population has intermediate characteristics of the species R. fantastica and R. reticulata . Due to a lack of information about the species and due to the striking similarity of the photos to the original drawings of B OULENGER 's long-lost type variant of Dendrobates fantasticus (see Fig.4), we described the animals on the DendroBase as R. sp. aff. fantastic . One of the type morphs of the species R. fantasticabetter corresponding population has now been rediscovered by the scientists B ROWN & T WOMEY at Yurimaguas (pers. comm. T WOMEY ), so that it can be found in 

Fig.4: Drawing of the type specimen of Dendrobates fantasticus sp. nov. Pl. LVII, fig. 3rd in Boulenger (1884).

ours as R. sp. aff. fantastica animals are probably not the B OULENGER morph. At the beginning of 2008 we were able to visit the habitat of the red-headed frogs pictured here and examine the animals. Accordingly, morphologically and ethologically, the animals are more similar to R. reticulatathan R. fantastica . They have a KRL of 15 - 17 mm, strongly reminiscent in the color of R. reticulataand inhabit like these also the leaves of the forests, barely climb and live there quite hidden. Many Amazonian Ranitomeya species are extremely polymorphic and different colored local varieties are therefore not uncommon. It seems quite probable that the frogs from the east of the province of Loreto, as well as the striped animals of the Río Itaya, are only color morphs of R. reticulata . The biotope of the red-headed animals is indeed like the biotopes of the previously known R. reticulataPopulations on the right side of the Río Amazonas, but about 100 km downstream and clearly separated from the other populations by the Río Napo. Thus, it can not be completely ruled out that it could not be a new, undescribed species. However, this assumption must be backed up by genetic analysis and call comparisons. According to our findings, the animals are much more similar to the species R. reticulata than R. fantastica and are now also called R. cf reticulata due to this similarity on the DendroBase .

threat status :


 The species is classified in the Red List as low-risk (LC = Least Concern) due to their large-scale distribution and the high-populations populations. The population trend is considered stable. Illegal exports of the kind for the animal trade are well-known. IUCN therefore recommends keeping the species under the protection of CITES in spite of its low risk, in order to avoid irresponsible trafficking of this species (IUCN, 2006). 


According to CITES (2006), the species was legally exported from Peru several times. 


Populations of R. reticulataare known from the Alpahuayo Mishana Sanctuary (Peru) (IUCN, 2006). The species is adaptable and does not rely on undisturbed primary forests. The species can also be found in secondary forests such as Iquitos in high numbers of individuals (O STROWSKI , personal observation). A hazard is therefore currently excluded. 


Annex II of the WA. Annex B of the EUArtschVO. Notifiable according to BArtSchVO.

size :

Very small poison dart frog species with one KRL from 13-16mm.



dorsumstrong red or orange sometimes with black lines or dots (youth pattern). Legs, flanks and abdomen with black primary color and blue or blue-white mesh pattern (bladder network according to S CHULTE , 1999).



Dorsal and ventral view Ranitomeya reticulata

From the very closely related species Ranitomeya duellmani R. reticulata differs mainly by different gene sequences (siblings). Morphologically, R. reticulata can be differentiated mainly by the missing U-shaped and around the teat-current dorsolateral ligament of R. duellmani . R. reticulata shows on the tip of the snout, if any Dorsalmuster are present, only one nasal spot in black. From R. fantastica R. reticulata can be distinguished by the smaller size and the usually more pronounced Dorsalzeichnung in red-orange. R. fantasticausually shows only a red head and often a pronounced head drawing in the form of black patterns. These are absent R. reticulata or are also extended to the back in the form of a (often interrupted) parallel stripe pattern. The reticular pattern on the legs and abdomen is also finer in R. reticulata than in R. fantastica . The reputation of R. fantastica is also very different. From uakarii R. differ R. reticulata by the absence of a yellow labial and Lateralbandes, a different kind of reputation and significantly different gene sequences.



The species Ranitomeya reticulata seems to be much more diverse than previously thought. Several variants, most likely attributable to the taxon R. reticulata , are known from Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia (L ÖTTERS ET AL ., 2007). However, all previously known variants have a red or orange back drawing and a blue, blue-gray or white-blue abdominal drawing on a black background (bladder network according to S CHULTE 1999).


Reproductive, vital animals with an age of 8 years are known (B IRKHAHN pers. Komm.). An age of more than 10 years with good care under terrarium conditions therefore seems likely.


Clutch and larvae :




 Larva Ranitomeya reticulata "Iquitos" stage 38 

Behavior (ethology) :


 Brood care behavior:

The clutches are deposited in the foliage layer and watered daily. The larvae are transported in water-filled film cans (optionally bromeli salmon). Every two days the male gets on a leaf over the phytothelmata with increased frequency (not measured). The female seeks the phytothelmata and holds the cloaca in the water. Typical spawning preparations such as wiping with hind legs are carried out. The spawning process takes place early in the morning before lighting starts (about 30 minutes). Not eaten eggs fungal, suggesting a missing fertilized. The male has during the spawning process no direct contact with the clutch. (S TEINMANN , personal comm.)


Type find location of the first description

"Yurimaguas, Huallaga River, [Loreto,] Northern Peru" 
sensu F ROST , 2007

Distribution: :


Although the type find site of R. reticulataaccording to B OULENGER (1884) should be located at Yurimaguas on the Río Huallaga (Loreto province, Peru), despite intensive research, no animals have ever been found there again (S CHULTE 1999). The known distribution area of ​​the species is located about 450 km downstream on the north side of the Río Amazonas at Iquitos.


We found D. reticulatus in the lowland rainforests along the Rio Amazonas around Iquitos at a height of 120 m. It is older secondary forest. It is quite shady and there is hardly any herbaceous layer, but a dense 30 cm thick layer of leaves. On the trees, bromeliads of the species Guzmania sp. While these are used by the sympatric R. amazonica as a living and breeding bromeliad we found R. reticulataonly directly on the ground and only in very low hanging or falling down bromeliads. This frog is an outspoken soil dweller that runs nimbly in the foliage layer and is therefore difficult to find, although the population density is not low. From a height of 1.5 m you will find R. amazonica, which otherwise tends to avoid the ground. The temperatures were about 26 degrees in the foliage. This temperature hardly fluctuates during the year and during the day. The foliage of the tropical lowland rainforest typically has a fairly constant microclimate. (O STROVSKI , personal observation)



Detail of a biotope at the Laguna Zungarococha. Department of Loreto, Peru 

 Ranitomeya reticulata inhabits the deciduous and lower herb layers of tropical lowland rainforests. Department of Loreto Peru 

Rotting tree trunks are often used as elevated call positions. Department of Loreto, Peru. 

Biotope of Ranitomeya reticulata on the Río Itaya. Department of Loreto, Peru. 

Cavities between the tree roots are used by Ranitomeya reticulata as hiding places and resting places. Department of Loreto, Peru. 

Detail from the biotope of Ranitomeya cf. reticulata . Province of Loreto, Peru. 

Phytotelmata in Heliconia sp. serve R. cf. reticulata probably as a breeding waters. Province of Loreto, Peru. 

Detail from the biotope of Ranitomeya cf. reticulatus . Province of Loreto, Peru. 

 Also water accumulations in knotholes serve R. cf. reticulata as Larvenabsatzstelle. Province of Loreto, Peru.

Ranitomeya reticulata
also uses epiphytic phytotelmata such as bromeliads (here different Guzmania sp. ) For the rearing of the larvae . Department of Loreto, 

 A male of Ranitomeya reticulata transporting a larva. Department of Loreto, Peru. 

 Ranitomeya reticulata on the forest floor in the biotope. Department of Loreto, Peru 

Climate diagram Iquitos, Peru


The biotopes are wet-hot lowland rainforests with a time of day climate. Year-round temperatures are fairly constant. The fluctuations in the average annual temperature of 1 - 2 ° C lower than the fluctuations between daytime and nighttime temperatures. But these are also in the lowland rainforest of the Amazon only at 3 - 4 ° C. At the forest floor can hardly detect a temperature difference and already close below the leaf layer can measure temperatures that are approximately equal to those of the annual average (W ALTER & B RECKLE, 1999). The temperatures within the deciduous layer should therefore correspond approximately to the annual mean of Iquitos at 26 ° C. The climate of the Amazon basin is also relatively constant in rainfall and humid all year round. During the months of June to October, the rainfall is somewhat back, but there is no pronounced dry period.

Attitude in the terrarium :


- Terrarium / Facility:



from 40x40x40cm 
An automatic irrigation and fog system are recommended. 
The substrate is a leafy layer of oak or beech leaves.



The species inhabits the leaf litter and rootbases of Amazonian lowland rainforests in western South America. Here the temperature is relatively constant at 26-27 ° C. The species is exposed to only slight temperature fluctuations of 1-2 ° C on average over the year. Depending on the altitude, the day-night variation in the lowlands is on average only 2-5 ° C. For a successful posture, daytime temperatures should not be permanently below 26 - 27 ° C, nor above minimum temperatures of 21 ° C. A short-term increase to 29 - 30 ° C or cooling to 16 - 17 ° C is, however, survived by the animals mostly unscathed. Such fluctuations can also occur in the natural biotope in the short term. A night reduction by 3-4 ° C has proved to be advantageous.



70-80%, at lunchtime up to 70%, in the morning and in the evening 100% (fog)



Only small food animals like  :

- springtails

- Small fruit fly

- Micro grilling

 or crickets, recently hatched 

- Small waxmead

- barklice

- (Micro beetle), and finely sifted 

- meadow plankton

, For a long-term successful attitude and the rearing of young animals, a well-run breeding of springtails is indispensable. Only with small Drosophila, the animals are not balanced enough to feed and soon set the propagation. For adult : Feeding animals such as crickets and fruit flies should be dusted regularly 1-2 times a week with a good vitamin preparation (eg Amivit A after the original B IRKHAHN-Rezeptur). Feed animals for young animals should be pollinated daily for the first 4 weeks. Store opened vitamin supplements in the fridge. Fruit flies can be well fed before feeding with liquid vitamin preparations (eg Sanostol, Multibionta) and thus enhance nutritional physiology. Pollinated food animals should be offered in the terrarium on exchangeable trays. Residual vitamin powder residues can not form a bacterial focus on the terrarium floor. Fruit pieces designed in small bowls in the terrarium (eg banana slices) are good places for fruit flies and are soon accepted by the frogs as feeding places. For a sufficient vitamin supply of the feed animals by these lures the dwell time of the feed animals should be too small, so that should be additionally vitaminized. Offered food trays should be cleaned every 2-3 days for hygienic reasons. Springtails can be well focused on laid out Xaxim pieces by using them with small! Quantities of dry yeast sprinkled. Here, too, the frogs quickly learn the meaning of the feeding place.



The species is best kept in pairs and multiply but also reports on well-running breeding groups with three males and two females are available (B IRKHAHN , pers. Komm.). Animals raised together can be better kept in groups in small pools (40s cubes), but then often a ranking with only one dominant pair is formed. In larger basins are almost always trained areas. The rank fights trigger stress in the inferior animals, which can lead to death very quickly and then becomes noticeable by a reduction to only a few animals (O STROWSKI , personal observation).



Ranitomeya reticulata 

Ranitomeya reticulata 

Ranitomeya reticulata

Photos : 

Ranitomeya reticulata

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

Madagascar Dart frogs


Aromobatidae :

 South America Dart Frogs -  Species 


Dendrobatidae :

Ranitomeya genus : 

Introduction  .. 

Ranitomeya Species :


1-  Ranitomeya imitator ( Mimic poison frog ) , SCHULTE, 1986 :

                                     Part  1  ..  Part  2  ..  Part 3  ..  .. Part 4 

2- Ranitomeya amazonica , Schulte, 1999 :

                                    Part  1  ..  Part  2 

 3- Ranitomeya fantastica - The red-headed poison frog - Boulenger, 1884

                                    Part  1  ..  Part  2  ..  Part 3 

4- Ranitomeya vanzolinii -  the Brazilian poison frog  or spotted poison frog- Myers, 1982 :

                                   Part  1  ..  Part  2 

5-  Ranitomeya variabilis - The splash-back poison frog - Zimmermann and Zimmermann, 1988

                                   Part  1  ..  Part  2  ..  Part 3  

5- Ranitomeya reticulata - Red-backed poison frog - Boulenger 1884  :

                                  Part  1  ..  Part  2  ..  Part 3  

6- Ranitomeya benedicta - blessed poison frog -  Brown, Twomey, Pepper,

and Sanchez-Rodriguez, 2008

                                 Part  1  ..  Part  2  ..  Part 3  

 7-Ranitomeya lamasi  - Morales, 1992 

                                Part  1  ..  Part  2  ..  Part 3  ..  .. Part 4 

8- Ranitomeya summersi - Summers' poison frog - Brown, Twomey, Pepper, and Sanchez-Rodriguez, 2008  


9- Other species :      Part  1  ..  Part  2   

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