Difficulty: Intermediate - due to difficulty with breeding
Location & History
Found in Colombia at the Atrato and San Juan drainages (1) . Officially named in 1957 by Dunn.
Descriptions & Behavior:
P. Aurotaenia is one of the smaller members of the genus Phyllobates at 24 and 34 mm long. They typically have a U-shaped band on the animal's back of varying width. On some adults, the band has joined into a solid patch of color. This band can be orange, green or gold. The body is black with white or sky blue spots. Despite their size, they are very bold frogs with a loud call. In the US hobby there are currently three morphs:
Note: These morphs represent unique subpopulations in the wild that share general physical characterisitics, and for that reason different morphs should not be mixed.
Green - By far the most common of the auros, and often mistaken for the only morph of this species, they have a bright green "horseshoe" marking on their backs, and may have green spotting on the back as well.
Narrow Banded - One of two yellow/gold morphs in the hobby, they have a narrow horseshoe yellow/gold marking on the back, with some individuals showing yellow/gold flecking on the back. These were imported with greens at the time, and some were accidently crossed, so beware of green x narrow hybrids that are still floating around the hobby.
Wide Banded - Similar looking to narrow banded as juveniles, the yellow/gold horseshoe marking gradually fills in as the animals mature, similar to P. terribilis/P.bicolor, leaving the back almost completely solid colored, while the legs remain black with blue flecking.
Orange/red animals have been reported in the wild but are not in captivity.
Aurotaenia require temps to be at the low to mid 70's and high humidity of at least 70%. These frogs are susceptible to heat stress.
P. Aurotaenia climb more often than other phyllobates and should be provided some vertical space. They are easily kept in groups. Aurotaenia consume larger prey than similarly sized frogs and can consume medium sized crickets. Bromeliads should be provided as some individuals prefer to lay eggs on the leaves. The forest in which they live in the wild has mossy areas and vined plants on the forest floor and tree stumps. Aurotaenia seem to enjoy sleeping in dark, enclosed areas such as coco huts bromeliad axils, dead leaves, or cork bark tubes.
Breeding & tadpole Care:
P. Aurotaenia breeds easily in a highly humid vivarium. They tend to lay eggs inside a petri dish/cocohut combination or in horizontal film canisters during periods of high humidity. Females can lay anywhere between 15 to 28 eggs. Froglets are aggressive feeders and feed on springtails, Drosophila melanogaster, or hydei when young.