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Ranitomeya biolat (Morales, 1992)

Ranitomeya biolat

This frog species is listed as “least concern” (LC) on the Red List and inhabits lowland rainforests in Departamentos Cusco and Madre di Dios in southeastern Peru, at about 200-400 m a.s.l. but it can also be found in the bordering regions of Brazil. The species was also discovered in Departamento Pando, Bolivia. Highest population densities are reached in extensive bamboo thickets but the species lives also outside the bamboo stands, for instance in Heliconia thickets, in the surrounding primary forests with canopies up to 50 m above the ground. Of high importance are the temperature fluctuations of these areas in the course of the year. Namely, the temperatures in Tambopata can reach up to 31˚C in September and October but only 20˚C in June and July. Quite similar conditions are encountered at the type locality, Pakitza. The annual amount of precipitation in the frog’s natural habitat varies between 2,100 and 3,000 mm.

While the females grow up to 17 mm, the males reach only 14.7 mm in length. The body’s ground color, black, contrasts with a thin, yellow median stripe extending from the tip of the snout to the cloaca and another thin, yellow dorsolateral stripe reaches from above the anterior margin of the eye to the groin on either side of the body. The two dorsolateral stripes are connected via a bar that extends across the head (this bar is missing in the known Bolivian specimens). A yellow supralabial stripe, extending to the armpit where it becomes a little lighter, spreads onto the adjacent part of the upper arm and then continues to the groin. Some irregular black specks can be seen on the yellowish limbs and there is a black dotted pattern on a yellowish (belly) or bluish (chest, hint legs) background of the lower side. The throat is yellow with fewer black dots on the lateral margins and bordered posteriorly by a curved black bar.

Ranitomeya biolat usually feeds on springtails, aphids, minute crickets and fruit flies. The rather soft distinctive advertisement call consists of a series of notes of 755-1,480 ms in duration that are rather soft at a frequency range of 5,878-6,279 Hz, with each individual note being 5.7-11 ms long. The repetition rate varies between 29 and 31 notes/s.

The internodes of broken or otherwise cracked open bamboo tubes, which are filled with water serve as homes for the larvae.
This species of frogs is rarely kept in a terrarium since the frogs are known to be relatively shy and tend to disappear into their shelters when approached even after a long time of keeping. The most appropriate are the terrariums of the Types I or IV. They should include some decoration and vegetation, which can be used to create elevational variety.
The frogs ought to be kept in pairs or smaller groups in fairly large, rainforest terraria. Once a male has managed to attract a female ready to spawn with help of his advertisement call, the latter will produce a clutch, consisting of one or two eggs. The eggs are then attached to a smooth surface, preferably a leaf. The tadpoles are cannibalistic and need to be raised individually while fed with fish food or something similar. Frogs become sexually mature at the age of about nine months.