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Ranitomeya reticulata (Boulenger, 1884, “1883”)

Ranitomeya reticulata

This frog species, ranked as “least concern” (LC) on the Red List, inhabits lowland forests and can be found both in primary forests and disturbed areas. The species occurs relatively often together with R. amazonica in the “pole forests” near Iquitos where terrestrial bromeliads are vast. Nonetheless, R. reticulata seems to be more common in dryer situations, while R. amazonica dominates the more moist ones. The species lives on the forest floor, as well as in vegetation up to 2 m above the ground. The type locality of these frogs is said to be Yurimaguas on the middle course of the Río Huallaga in Departamento Loreto, Peru, although no actual populations are known from that area. Lower Río Huallaga, and the vicinity of Iquitos, Departamento Loreto in Peru, are inhabited by the species at 150-200 m a.s.l.. The frogs have also been discovered in the Río Pataza and Río Tigre river systems in the province of Pastaza in Ecuador, at 200-340 m a.s.l., as well as in Río Igara Paraná, Departameno Amazonas in Colombia, and in Peña Roja in Departamento Caquetá, Colombia.


The basic color of the head and back can range from bright metallic red, over copper red to reddish brown and can sometimes be marked with a few irregular black dots. There are two parallel, wide, black dorsal stripes that are broken once or twice and are often particular to certain populations, as is a black spot on the head. The frogs’ limbs, lower sides and flanks are light gray or bluish with some irregular black spots up to the dorsal and sacral region. The reticulated pattern of these black spots is also name-bearing, since reticulata actually means “reticulated”. The chin spot is reddish orange.


For breeding, a terrarium of the Types I, II or IV is suitable, in which the floor should be covered with leaf litter. Adequate numbers of shelters and the presence of bromeliads are very importans, as well as are always slightly moist black film containers, horizontally positioned and mounted at various levels throughout the terrarium, since thy are used for spawning. The larvae of this species are highly cannibalistic and should therefore be raised individually in small bowls on a diet of fish food, mosquito larvae and similar. The frogs of R. reticulata group generally feed on only tiniest of prey, such as springtails, small fruit flies, newly hatched crickets, aphids, etc. The stomach contents of a specimen from Ecuador revealed that the frogs also feed on mites.
This species requires day temperatures of 24-28˚C.