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Ranitomeya sirensis:

  • Difficulty: Intermediate (all except 'Highland') to advanced ('Highland')
  • Location & History: Wet forest in the provinces of Pasco and Huánuco, Peru.

    Formerly Ranitomeya lamasi.

  • Descriptions & Behavior: R. sirensis 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.

    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 temperament 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 breeding this frog. This locale is believed to be extirpated from the wild.

    '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' 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:

    R. sirensis do have a preference for tanks at least as tall as they are long/wide, or taller (vertically oriented tanks). While R. sirensis has been kept and bred in sexed pairs in vivaria as small as 12 x 12 x 18 inches, a 1.1 or 2.2 group in an enclosure of at least 18 x 18 x 24 inches is more suitable for most keepers. Vivaria of bare minimum sizes must be landscaped very skillfully in order to provide suitable habitat choices. Further, humidity and temperature gradients are very limited or nonexistent in smaller quarters, so optimum care is much harder to deliver in such small enclosures. Enclosures of bare minimum dimensions should be considered by experienced keepers only.

    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. These frogs will frequently congregate in bromeliads at night, particularly when the bromeliads are mounted in the top half of the tank. Sirensis are among the more arboreal Ranitomeya, typically sleeping near the top of the vivarium; multiple choices of arboreal hiding places should be provided for adults and froglets.

    Ranitomeya sirensis are very inquisitive, and adding new tank elements (such as seed pods and wood) will bring out their investigative nature.

    A thick layer of leaf litter over the entire floor is also recommended, especially in tanks containing froglets, as it allows for populations of springtails to thrive in the tanks and foraging cover for froglets once they morph. Froglets may require springtails at morphing until they are large enough to readily eat melanogaster fruit flies.

    These are great group frogs and are very social towards each other, and so are an ideal subject for the keeper who wants a group of Ranitomeya.

  • Breeding & tadpole Care:

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

    R. sirensis are members of the vanzolinii group, and as such are facultative eggfeeders. Tads left with the parents will be fed non-fertilized eggs by the female.

    If raised artificially, tadpoles should be housed individually and 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 avoided.

    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:

    'Highland' Sirensis:


    'Panguana' carrying tadpole:

Rio Pachitea Yellow (Understory Enterprises line), (photo courtesy of fishingguy12345):​
Example R. sirensis vivarium, courtesy of fishingguy12345 (more information in this thread):​
This is a 36x18x24" Atasuki sliding door vivarium that houses seven R. sirensis. The thick layer of leaf litter is a useful zone for foraging for food, hiding, and increasing their level of security. The wall mounted bromeliad is the frogs' favorite roosting spot at night. Cork ramps and cork rounds protrude almost half way into the vivarium to provide extra hiding areas; the slanted ramp makes for easy climbing for the frogs and increases usable surface area on the background.

(1) The American Museum 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: 11/8/20 by Socratic Monologue
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