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Ranitomeya virolinensis (Ruiz-Carranza & Ramírez-Pinilla, 1992)

Ranitomeya virolinensis

The Red List categorizes this species as “endangered” (EN). It inhabits the western flank of the Cordillera Oriental in the Departamentos Santander and Cundinamarca in Colombia, at 1,300-1,800 m above the sea level. Its natural habitat is a cloud forest with trees of 10-15 m of height and lush epiphytic overgrowth. They can be found on the forest floor, in epiphytic bromeliads 0.5-2 m above the ground, and in terrestrial bromeliads.

The males reach up to 18.9, the females up to 18.5 mm in length. The head, as well as the upper arms and anterior 2/3 of the body are colored crimson, turning into dark brown in the posterior third of the body, on the lower arms and the upper surface of the legs. Some grayish blue spots mark the dark brown lower sides.

It is reported that every bromeliad examined was home to several larvae at various stages of development. From 1 to 4 males have been encountered per every bromeliad, but they did not appear to be territorial. Furthermore, males were found carrying 1-2 larvae on their backs, while the dissected female specimen contained two, sometimes three fully developed eggs.
The distinctive call is a humming sound with a note, which lasts for about 1.5 s.

Only relatively small feeder animals can be managed by these frogs, e.g., springtails, aphids, small fruit flies, newly hatched crickets, small firebrats, etc. They also feed on mites, tiny flies, beetles and ants, as the dissected wild specimen suggested.
This species appears to be intolerant of high temperatures, therefore breeding was only successful at values between 16 and 22˚C. It also involved placing the larvae-laden male into a plastic container where he eventually released his tadpoles that were then raised individually in small containers.

The most suitable for the species Ranitomeya virolinensis is the terrarium of Type I, accommodated with dense vegetation with some bromeliads at various levels which needs to provide the necessary high level of humidity.