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Ranitomeya variabilis (Zimmermann & Zimmermann, 1988)

Ranitomeya variabilis

This species is ranked as “data deficient” (DD) on the Red List. It is believed to be limited to the southern chain of the Cordillera Oriental in the Departamento San Martín and adjacent parts of Loreto in Peru, and a neighboring chain that also lies within the Departamento San Martín. These frogs live in primary premontane forests between 600 and 1,200 m above the sea level, mainly on the forest floor and up to 8 m above the ground in bromeliads on trees.

The females grow up to reach 19, the males only 17 mm in snout-vent lengths (SVL). The pale yellowish, greenish or turquoise body has large, more or less regular, black spots. Usually, there is a single black spot on the snout, which provided the commonly used name “one dot” (to distinguish from the sympatric “two dots” – R. imitator). The ventral side can be either greenish or bluish, with some black dots. Such dots also mark the yellow throat, especially along the edges, as well as the greenish, yellowish green or sometimes even bluish, limbs.

The terrarium used for breeding should be of Type I, with temperatures around 22˚C during the day. Frequent misting and a high level of relative humidity are preconditions for successful breeding. There should always be some bromeliads present, as well as black film containers that are kept filled with water for one third or half and mounted at midlevel in the terrarium.
The larvae are distinctly cannibalistic and should therefore be raised individually. They feed readily on fish food. These frogs generally feed on springtails, aphids, white woodlice, fruit flies, the smallest of crickets, and firebrats.