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Epipedobates trivittatus
  • Difficulty: Intermediate – Relatively easy to keep once they acclimate, difficult to breed

  • Location & History areas of Peru and Suriname

  • Descriptions & Behavior:
    Note: These morphs represent unique subpopulations in the wild that share general physical characterisitics, and for that reason different morphs should not be mixed.
    They are a big, active dart frog--females can be up to 60 mm with the males a bit smaller than the females. They can really jump and when startled, may launch themselves into the sides of the vivarium. They are a ground dwelling species that sometimes climb, males will call from an elevated position

    In the wild they are found in areas of Peru and Suriname. Many of the trivs that you see in the hobby are WC animals. E. trivittatus are not actually hard to care for, but they have some very specific breeding requirements and that seems to keep their numbers low in the hobby. They are a big, active dart frog--females can be up to 60 mm with the males a bit smaller than the females. They can really jump and when startled, may launch themselves into the sides of the vivarium. For this reason, it is recommended that background materials are placed on 3 sides of the enclosure so they feel more secure and to prevent injury. Provide plenty of hiding places, although with time these frogs will become quite bold. The males have a pleasant audible breeding call, and also have a series of other vocalizations. The frogs from Suriname come in several different color morphs: red- striped, orange-striped, yellow-striped and green-striped. The skin on their back and upper legs is quite granular and is a distinguishing characteristic.

    Surinam(e) Morphs:

    Surinam(e) Green - This is a "two-stripe" morph featuring a green horse shoe marking on the back, with little to no markings down the center of the back. Imported most years from Surinam(e) with few cases of captive breeding.
    Surinam(e) Red/Orange - Another "two-stripe" morph, this time featuring a orange to red horse shoe marking with significant to no spotting down the center of the back. These frogs range in color from a bright orange to red depending on the animal, diet, and lighting. Imported most years from Surinam(e) with few cases of captive breeding (photos below showing color and pattern development as CB animals age) and CB animals showing bright coloration but not as strong as WC (probibly diet dependent).

    Other Surinam(e) morphs - A number of years ago light orange/yellow animals were found in importations with similar patterns to the current Surinam(e) Green morph (no spotting on back). They have not been imported recently and it is unknown if these animals are still present in the hobby, and if they represent a definate morph.

    Notes: Earlier importations, around the times when Dendrobates were still imported from Surinam(e), the Surinam(e) Green and Surinam(e) Red/Orange had distinctly different pattern and some color differences (as well as the yellow/orange being found in these importations). More recent imports of Greens and Red/Oranges are believed to be different populations/morphs and should probibly not be interbred if any of these older animals are still present in the hobby.

    Peru Morphs:

    Peru Three-Striped - Bright lime green markings on a jet black body, horse shoe marking with center stripe down the back. Mostly from European imports, and INIBICO green three-stripes (if actually imported) may or may not be from the same population so its unknown if they are the same morph and/or should be interbred.
    INIBICO Green - I'm unsure due to the description on the Herpetologic site if this refers to a two-striped morph or the three-striped morph pictured. I guess we'll have to see when some of these are released in the hobby? Need to make distinction of the Peruvian two-stripe (if any are brought in) from similar looking Surinam(e) greens.
    Green-Back - Farm Raised imports from Understory Enterprises/Mark Pepper. Can we quote the description of the website? Very large morph. Based off pictures this animal starts life off as a two-stripe form whose back fills in with lime green as it matures.
    Lower Hualluga - Another Farm Raised import morph from Understory Enterprises/Mark Pepper. (Again, insert description of site if allowed). Much smaller morph with a narrow lime green three-stripe pattern, center line may be broken.

  • General Care:
    Temperature range of 70°F – 80°F. Food items consisting of: Fruit Flies, springtails, 3/8 crickets, field sweepings and other small prey items

    Groups are okay, there is male - male and female – female aggression if the enclosure is too small.

    Large horizontal vivariums work best, many keep small groups of 2-4 animals in a 30gal aquarium.

  • Breeding & tadpole Care:
    Trivittatus tend to breed in Bower setups, coco huts, inverted flower pots, etc. Several egg laying sites should be provided. Clutch sizes range from 15-30 eggs, and the Tadpoles are not cannibalistic.

    This is where the difficulty lies in E. trivittatus husbandry. Trivs need a large heavily planted vivarium in order to induce breeding. In the wild these frogs are not usually found in large concentrations and are most often found in the thickest vegetation and rarely in the open. These frogs are also found by streams during the breeding season so a moving water feature in a vivarium is desirable. Male/male and female/female aggression has been reported. Hobbyists who have been successful breeding them have reported setting up the vivarium with a small stream and pool. Males call readily even when conditions are not optimal for breeding, but the females need the right conditions in order to select egg laying sites. Provide multiple sites in the form of coco huts over petri dishes, flower pots, petri dishes under a leaf litter bower and even pill bottles hidden in the leaf litter. Breeding behavior is reported to be similar to other species in the genus. Trivs lay a lot of eggs and clutches as high as 30 are not uncommon. Tads are omnivorous can be raised communally and will be fed our tadpole mix. Metamorphosis takes around 60 days. Froglets morph out very small for such a large frog and it is recommended that a large supply of springtails is kept on hand for the first couple of weeks they can be switched over to fruit flies.

  • Links to related information:

  • Pictures:
    Green Trivittatus:

    Green Trivittatus froglet:

    Red Trivittatus:


Ed Martin (Ed Martin)
Kyle Kopp (kyle1745)
Bill (elmoisfive)

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

Last Updated: 9/9/2006
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