Mimic poison frog

Mimic poison frog

Mimic poison frog

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Ranitomeya imitator

Ranitomeya imitator (formerly Dendrobates imitator ), is a species of poison dart frog found in the north-central region of eastern Peru. Its common names include mimic poison frog and poison arrow frog, and it is one of the best known dart frogs. It was discovered in the late 1980s by Rainer Schulte who later split it up into more subspecies; describing each as a specific color morph, and sometimes having a separate behavioral pattern. The acoustics, morphs, and behavior of the species have been extensively researched.


A few of the morphs include, but are not limited to, striped, spotted, Varadero, and banded. The striped morph is the most widely spread, mimicking the striped Ranitomeya variabilis and can be found throughout the lower Huallaga River drainage in Peru. The spotted morph mimics the highland spotted frog Ranitomeya variabilis with mainly blue-green coloration, but can be found in other forms, sometimes in yellow. The aradero morph is a lowland form that lives nearby another but does not resemble it. Last, the banded morph, a mimic of Ranitomeya summersi, lives in much drier climates than the average R. imitator and is most often found in Dieffenbachia and Heliconia plants.


Biogeographical realms

Habits and Lifestyle



Like most other Ranitomeya species, R. imitator has a mild toxicity compared to other poison dart frogs. It produces the potent pumiliotoxin B, but its small size limits the amount of poison it can secrete. Like other poison dart frogs, it does not produce toxin in captivity. It probably gains its poison from consuming toxic insects or other invertebrates in the wild. Frogs of the related genus Phyllobates may derive their toxins from local melyrid beetles of genus Choresine.

Diet and Nutrition

Mating Habits

Ranitomeya imitator and related frogs exhibit a degree of parental care, with the female laying feeder eggs for the tadpoles to eat. This frog is the first amphibian species in which the sexual partners have been shown to be monogamous.



1. Mimic poison frog Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimic_poison_frog
2. Mimic poison frog on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/56378936/177121453

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