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Phyllobates vittatus:
  • Difficulty: Novice

  • Location & History – Golfo Dulce on the pacific coast of Costa Rica. First described in 1893 by Cope as a subspecies of D. tinctorius, later classified as a member of the genus Phyllobates by Silverstone (1975) (1)

  • Descriptions & Behavior: P. vittatus, the Gulfodulcean poison frog is a mid-sized, shy and social frog. Males have a loud bird like call. They are voracious and entertaining feeders capable of consuming large quantities of hydei and melanogaster fruit flies and pinhead crickets. There are two recognized 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.

    Narrow Banded (Copper) – This morph is the most commonly available in the hobby. Two narrow metallic orange dorsal stripes run along a black back. Legs and stomach are mottled blue/green and black. Variation in stripe color from metallic yellow-orange to nearly red is observed.

    Wide banded (Yellow) - Uncommon in the hobby currently, the wide banded morph displays two wide metallic yellow stripes along a black background. Legs and stomach are mottled with blue/gray and black.

  • General Care:
    Temperature range of 70-78º F during the day, with a nighttime drop if possible. As with other Phyllobates, temps higher than 78-80º F should be avoided.

    Vittatus do well when kept in groups as long as enough room is allowed. As froglets these frogs tend to be very shy and run for cover when startled. As they get older they become more bold, but still would be considered relatively shy.

    Horizontal enclosures are best, as these frogs tend to stay on the viv floor the majority of the times. 10g tanks work well for groups of 3 or less, and a 20L can house up to 5 frogs. Heavy leaf litter and lots of cover are necessary to provide the frogs security. Maintaining high humidity levels (heavy misting and sealed top enclosure) encourages frog activity.

  • Breeding & tadpole Care:
    Males will begin calling at 8-10 months of age, with females attaining sexual maturity in approximately the same time frame. High humidity levels contribute to breeding.

    Film canisters oriented horizontally along the viv floor and Petri dishes under cocohuts are utilized for egg deposition.

    Clutches are large and typically range in size from 12-18 eggs, but can be substantially larger.

    Tadpoles may be housed individually or communally in sufficient-sized containers. Tadpoles can be fed fish flakes, detritus (decaying oak or almond leaves and dead FFs), and algae based foods. It has been observed that supplementing the diet of tadpoles with beta carotenes results in more vivid colored stripes. Tads grow quickly and generally morph in 10-12 weeks. Froglets are capable of eating melanogaster flies soon after emerging from the water.

  • Pictures:
    Narrow banded Vittatus with standard copper coloration:

    Narrow banded Vittatus showing a deeper red coloration:

    Narrow banded vittatus developing eggs and tadpole:

(1), dart poison frogs, vivaria, plants, together with lots of pictures, films and more. Orchids, bromelia's, mosses, descriptions of dendrobates leucomelas, azureus, pumilio, tinctorius, auratus and how to breed frogs but also fruit

Oz (rozdaboff)
S.P. Harrington (sports_doc)
Bill (elmoisfive)
Amanda and Greg Sihler (AZDR_A)
Brent Brock (bbrock) from Tadpole diet and color

Note: We are looking for more pictures to add to this care sheet if you would like to offer any please contact me.

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

Last updated 7/24/2006
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