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Ranitomeya lamasi:
AKA: Dendrobates lamasi
Contributers: Corey Wickliffe (kerokero)

  • Difficulty: Intermediate (lowland morphs) to advanced (highland morphs)
  • Location & History: Wet forest in the provinces of Pasco and Huánuco, Peru. Described Morales, 1992.(1)

    Proposed taxonomic change to Ranitomeya lamasi (Grant, Frost, Caldwell, Gagliardo, Haddad, Kok, Means, Noonan, Schargel, and Wheeler, 2006)
  • Descriptions & Behavior: These frogs belong to the Thumbnail species group (proposed genus Ranitomeya) and the species as a whole can be split into two groups, Highland and Lowland. Both groups of populations show a species typical ventral yellow spot on the belly (contrasting with the blue to grey netting that continues from the legs) as well as a yellow spot on the throat. They also have tadpoles that have a characteristic yellow/gold marking on the nose that distinguishes these tadpoles from similar related species.

    'Standard' - These are rather large frogs (for thumbnails) with bright yellow longitudinal markings over black body (yellow about equal to greater in amount as the black), with bright powder blue legs marked with round, black spots. Pairs of these animals can take up to two years to successfully reproduce, even though they mature at a typical thumbnail age of 6-8 months (?). Their temperment depends on the individual and conditions, and varies from skittish to bold. This morph is for advanced keepers only due to general difficultly in successfully keeping and breeding this frog.

    Lowland: These morphs are smaller in size, have narrower stripes on the dorsal, are skittish to extremely shy frogs, reproduce easily in captivity and ease of care is intermediate - an excellent beginner thumbnail. These frogs are still known (incorrectly) as D. imitator 'Panguana' in Europe, and have also been attempted to be imported to the US under the idea that they were D. biolat.
    'Panguana' - Pinstripe yellow markings on the dorsal with grey legs with round, black spots.
    'Green-Legged Panguana' - Typical markings are basically the same as 'Panguana' lamasi, but vary in that the dorsal markings are not always straight and "clean", and the overall color on the frog is that of a 'Panguana' with a green wash over it... greenish yellow dorsal markings with greenish grey legs.
  • General Care:

    While not truely arboreal, they do seem to have a preference for tanks at least as tall as they are long/wide, or taller (vertically oriented tanks). While they do not use bromeliads in the wild for breeding, (2) their plant preferences are not feasible in our small tanks and bromeliads are a well accepted alternative. Leaf litter is also recomended, especially in tanks containing froglets, as it allows for populations of springtails to thrive in the tanks and cover for froglets once they morph.

    Feeding wise these frogs will thrive on a staple of FFs as their diet but will actively eat other feeder insects as well, especially those that move around the top levels of the tank. The smaller Lowland morphs prefer a staple of melanogaster FFs, while the larger highland 'Standard' can take hydei as well.
  • Breeding & tadpole Care:

    Clutches of eggs range in number from 2-? eggs, and are usually laid on a vertical surface (3) and many hobbyests have had success with them laying in film canisters (direction?) as well as depositing tadpoles in water filled film canisters, other containers, and bromeliads (although preference in the wild is for bamboo in 'Standard' and Heliconia and Xanthosoma in the Lowland populations) (2). Tadpoles are transported by the males (3).

    Tadpoles can be distinguished from other thumbnail tadpoles by the bright yellow/gold nose marking they develop a few days after hatching and the rest of their coloration also develops comparatively early on in development (compared to other PDFs that develop froglet coloration just before morphing)(3). If left in the tank, they will feed off bacterial slime in their container, insects that have fallen in the water, detritus, and eggs provided by a female. They can also be pulled and raised outside of the tank, as they are faculative eggfeeders, rather than obligate eggfeeders which need to be cared for by their parents to survive. Tadpoles require an omnivorous diet (3) such as tropical fish flakes and Frog & Tadpoles Bites, and tadpole diets with a majority of algae in them should be avioded.

    Metamorphs morph out almost half the size of the parents, tend to be rather hardy, and eat melanogaster FFs straight out of the water. Springtails are enjoyed by these frogs from metamorph to adults, but are not required to start a froglets as in some related species.
  • Pictures:
    Standard Lamasi:

    Standard Lamasi Morphing:

    Panguana Lamasi:

    Green Legged Lamasi:

(1) The American Museam of Natural History Amphibian Species Database v4.0 Online
(3) BDG Archive - Dendrobates lamasi with assistance from Evan Twomey

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

Last Updated: 1/16/2010

206 Posts
Greetings. Sorry I'm late to the party. This is for consideration in the care sheet. Take what may be relevant and pitch the rest. Summarize as desired.

I have a 1.2 trio Panguana R. lamasi w/(pin striped w/ gray/tan? legs), acquired from frognut last summer, in a 12x12x18 exo-terra. The male calls often but disappears if he notices me. They do come out often, but not if I'm active. They are on a 12L:12D light cycle and the tank is hand-misted.

They have placed eggs in the following locales in their terrarium.

smooth, broad leaves as in the Bill's photograph that had a salad cup w/water and java moss beneath it. 2 eggs
on brom axils 2 or 3 eggs
early on I had black film canisters at 45 degrees on the glass and they placed eggs on the outside of the canister. 2 eggs
i have changed the orientation of the film canisters to horizontal and they have on 2 occasions laid in the canister clutches numbering 1 and 3 eggs.
directly on the vertical glass 2 eggs
directly on a vertical corkbark background hidden by a brom. 1 egg

I have generally pulled eggs. However they currently are caring for a tadpole in a salad cup. The male calls females to the cup and eggs are deposited either in the water or attached to the inside wall of the cup.

I would characterize tadpoles as hardy. Also a good beginner frog, but only if having a generally secretive frog is suitable.

I can try and provide some pictures if needed, but there seem to be plenty already. I have included an older shot of their exo.


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