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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I seen a picture of a black and white pumilio and a blue one. I never thought that pumilio had such diverse colors. It is said that all or most of the pumilio morph is very bold. A small frog with bright colors that I think would attract other animals attention. Seem like they depend on that poison more than anything. Any input
 

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Most of the poison dart frogs we see in captivity have what's called "aposematic" coloration, basically bright colors that make them easy to see, and also tell a would-be predator they are rather nasty tasting. It's kind of a "bite me, I dare you" type of thing.

Compared to cryptic colored relatives, or cryptic colored frogs in general, PDFs are very bold. Atelopus zeteki is another neotropic frog (er... toad) that has aposematic coloration, and there are actually accounts of displaying males walking right up to the scientists that were observing them. Talk about bold.

Pumilio in particular is a very colorful species, lots of colors, patterns, and even repitions of color/patterns in different areas altogether (like the "almerante" pumilio that were imported are actually from Man Creek area, and "almerante" is a population very similar looking but miles and miles between them). It shows a lot more variation in the species than most other species do, and it's not really known why.
 

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I think in order to find out why they is so diverse in color with little space between them is something that would take lots of years of research(10years+). I think that since in most places the rainforest greatly shrunk the frogs are getting closer and closer to each other. For all we know these frog could have used to be hundreds of miles away in the past. Also you got to think how far would these frogs leave out of there territory.
 

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The pumilio diversity I'm talking about is a lot of different morphs concentrated into a small area, like pamana and costa rica (which is not a hell of a lot bigger than west virginia). While deforestation could mess with some of the morphs like you've mentioned, I really doubt this is even a factor with the pumilio morphs, especially with how successfull they seem to be in disturbed areas (they don't need preserved forest to live happily, in fact I found more in disturbed areas than I did in forested areas). Population hybrids is not the cause for the morphs you listed, and most of the morphs today. If they were hundreds of miles out of their range, they'd be in the ocean.

In the bocas del toro chain of islands off panama, most of the islands sport different colored and patterned pumilio, and the mainland cost hosts a whole lot of different morphs as well. Why would this many morphs develop in the first place? There doesn't even seem to be a flow to many of their morphs either, like you see in some other multiple-morph species.

This was actually something Justin Yeager was looking into in his original trip down to Costa Rica, and hopefully a project he'll pick up again in grad school.
 
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