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Adelphobates galactonotus:

  • Difficulty: Intermediate - due to being difficult to breed.

  • Location & History:
    Found in lowland rainforest parts of Brazil south of the Amazon river. Discovered by Steindachner in 1864. (1)

    Despite being common in captive collections, all captive specimens of A. galactonotus outside of Brazil are of smuggled lineage, as no live specimens have ever been legally exported from Brazil. (7) The inclusion of this care sheet here does not imply endorsement of possession of the species; seeking out legally imported lines and species of dart frogs ought to be a priority for keepers.

  • Descriptions & Behavior:

    They are about 30-40mm big (2), usually having black legs with a "splashed" backs hence their common name "The Splashback Poison Dart Frog". The color of their backs can range from yellow to red. They are fairly shy but if you put them in a bigger tank with heavier planting and you will probably see them out in the open more often.

    Note: These morphs represent unique subpopulations in the wild that share general physical characteristics, and for that reason different morphs should not be mixed.

    It is uncertain how many of these morphs still are held in captive collections. Much of the morph information here may be of archival interest only.

    Note from KeroKero - There is a lot of confusion over morphs, and part of it has to do with inconsistent use of names (ex= golden vs. solid orange), confusion over what names mean (ex= a '95% orange' galac can have more or less than 95% of its body covered with orange, but the percentage should not be changed to reflect that as the name is not that literal, and a 95% orange is not a 75% orange bred to have more color, they are different populations, percentage was just a label to differentiate between the two), and using generalized names that cover more than one morph (such as the various orange morphs). This guide includes information gathered from a number of resources including long time keepers that know the respective history of morphs they are working with, and includes all definite morphs of Galacs known (at least by this author) that may be present in the hobby at this time.

    'Lemon Yellow': Very similar in markings to the 'Orange' form, the coloration is instead a bright, flat yellow that does not extend to the hind limbs as regularly as it does in the 'Orange' form. A relative late comer to the US hobby, even more recently a second "bloodline"/possible morph has been imported, called the "German Line". It is currently unknown if these are from a separate locality, and they are kept separate for this reason.

    '95% Orange': (aka '90% Orange', 'Yellow-Orange', '95% Yellow-Orange', 'Para') Probably the most confusing of the morphs, due to pattern, color variation, and history. This morph has a broad range in color, from a pale yellow-orange to a brighter red-orange (5), and the color covers much more of the body than in the 'Orange' morph, as much as to leave only the upper chest and throat with significant amounts of black markings (6). In contrast to the 'Orange' form, these animals do have marking on the forelimbs, and more on the sides, and generally paler in coloration than the 'Orange (75%)' form, yet with less orange pattern than the 'Solid Orange' form. The original "yellow" A. galactonotus in the hobby, they can be distinguished from the 'Lemon Yellow' Galacs by coloration, the '95% Orange' being more of a cantalope flesh color (5) vs. the 'Lemon Yellow' bold, flat yellow coloration. Note that Nabors line 'Orange' galacs are actually this morph, rather than the '75% Orange' which typically goes by the title 'Orange' in the rest of the hobby.

    'Orange': (aka '75% Orange') These animals show pumpkin orange coloration on their back that in most animals continues onto splashes on the hind legs, but not usually on the forelimbs. One of the boldest and easiest to breed forms of the species currently in the US hobby.

    'Solid Orange': (aka 'Golden') Much like the name implies, these animals are just about completely orange, except for small black markings their toes, joints, around the tympanum, mouth, and on the underside. At first glance may be mistaken for P. terribilis 'Orange', but P. terribilis 'Orange' lacks most the the before mentioned black markings, and where black markings are present, tend to have a more gradual change from orange to black (like the colors are smudged) where in A. galactonotus the change from orange to black is generally clean. A larger form of this species, their coloration can vary from a pale yellow-orange to a bright pumpkin orange (5).

    'Red': "The red variety varies from a deep wine to an orange red color within clutch mates." (6) This form can be trickier to breed, and tends to be a bit shier than other forms of this species(1).

    'Moonshine': Another solid colored Galac, and another recent addition to the US hobby. Again, another morph that can be confused at first glance with a P. terribilis morph, this time the 'Mint' form of the species. While some animals were imported a few years ago, it is unknown if there is actually a successful breeding population.

    'Wedge': These animals have been labeled "red" or "orange", but they seem to actually be in between, so a color label isn't all that accurate, although the pattern name is. These animals have a "wedge" pattern of red/orange on their back, covering the head and narrowing down the back. Very little, if any markings are present on the hind legs or sides. One of, if not the smallest form in the hobby (1). This animal has not been seen in the hobby for a number of years, and its unknown if its still present.

    'Koi': This form is extremely variable in that it can have orange spots, yellow lines, or whites spots (3). It is unknown if these are actually a wild population of animals, or a genetic anomaly in the captive population, so these animals are probably a bloodline rather than a true morph, but it is unknown to which population (and if its even a population present in the US hobby) they are from if this is true.

  • General Care:
    Care is similar to D. tinctorius. They are ground dwelling frogs but will climb if given the vertical space. When A. galactonotus are stressed they tend to climb high to feel safe. This species can be very aggressive towards other species so please no mixing. They inhabit all different levels of the vivarium.

  • Breeding & tadpole Care:

    A. galactonotus is difficult to sex, and are best sexed by body shape. A heavily fed frog (aka overweight) does not accurately show body shape... males and females will look alike. This species shows very little sexual dimorphism, similar to its closest relatives such as A. quinquevittaus.

    Here is their call . They lay eggs that look infertile (white) at first but will develope later on. Lays about 5-10 eggs hatching in 10-14 days. They breed better in groups and with multiple laying sites. Care of tads and eggs is the same as D. tinctorius.

  • Pictures:
    A. galactonotus 'Orange':

    A. galactonotus
    'Solid Orange':

    A. galactonotus 'Red':
(1) Saurian Enterprises, Inc. Galac Morphs
(2) D. galactonotus species profile
(3) Herpetologic
(6) Vivarium Concepts Galac Profile
CITES Fact Sheet on Adelphobates galactonotus

Dendro Dave
Kyle Kopp (kyle1745)
Corey Wickliffe (KeroKero)

If you would like to see any updates or modifications to this care sheet please let myself or a moderator know.

Last Updated: December 2022 by Socratic Monologue
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