Dendroboard banner
Not open for further replies.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

· Registered
1,188 Posts
Ranitomeya uakarii: (Brown, Schulte & Summers, 2006)
Formerly: Ranitomeya (Dendrobates) duellmani and Ranitomeya (Dendrobates) ventrimaculata(us)

Photos & Call courtesy:

Intermediate, based on general intolerance of environmental shortcomings relative to other non-thumbnail species, though R. uakarii is one of the more hardy Ranitomeya, and could be recommended as a good first thumbnail frog.

Location & History:
"Lowlands near Iquitos, Peru, type locality Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Communal Reserve which lies on the southern side of the Amazon River. Other populations with similar patterning but varying coloration are known from near the Brazilian border and as far south as Rio Pachitea near Pucallpa.”(1)

Descriptions & Behavior:
These frogs belong to the R. fantastica genetic group and are members of the branch that contains R. reticulata and R. ventrimaculatus (2).

A terrestrial species from lowland forests (~150 m above sea level) with a black base color and red-orange dorsolateral and median lines (which may or may not connect near the tip of the nose) that narrow and fade to yellow as they near the vent. They also possess a yellow stripe that goes from the tip of the nose, down upper lip past the front legs all the way (in many specimens) to the rear legs. This yellow supralabial/ventrolateral stripe is the main visual characteristic that separates R. uakarii from R. ventrimaculatus. Legs and belly are covered in a blue to grey netting and the throat is yellow with black spots under each eye and often one where the throat meets the body (3).

In the wild they are described as reaching a maximum of SVL of 16.2 mm with similar adult sizes for both genders. (3)
In captivity the females appear to be capable of reaching nearly 20 mm while males may reach 18 mm (4).

Note: These morphs may represent unique subpopulations in the wild that share general physical characteristics, and for that reason different morphs should not be mixed.

While there may be 3 different localities or morphs of R. uakarii, the hobby generally recognizes and refers to these frogs based upon their importation.

R. uakarii 'Understory Imports' (RU-VTM):
Imported for the first time to the US in late 2007 and early 2008. Sometimes referred to as an SNDF '08 import as this was the company that Understory used in the US at the time and continue to be available from Understory Enterprises. These frogs originate up from the Quebrada Tamshiyacu and have narrower stripes that are generally red near the head and yellow near the vent.

R. uakarii 'EU imports':
Traded in Europe (originating in the Czech Republic) for a while first as D. ventrimaculatus and then D. duellmani. These frogs started coming to the US in the early to mid 2000's, with an increase in availability 2004 -2005 when they were called D. duellmani. They continue to be imported to this day, now labeled as R. uakarii. From Tamshiyacu these frogs tend to have wider, copper colored, stripes that often join at the nose to form a dot like in R. ventrimaculata.

R. uakarii "gold legs" (UE):
A variant produced by Understory Enterprises which feature bright yellow/gold legs.

R. uakarii 'Pachitea':
From a couple importations, these frogs differ from all other R. uakarii in the hobby by the absence of the yellow ventrolateral stripe. In place of the stripe, the belly netting continues up the side of the body. They can be visibly separated from R. duellmani by their yellow supralabial stripe.

US Red D. ventrimaculatus Imports:
What turns out to be R. uakarii were brought into the United States as Dendrobates ventrimaculatus on several occasions back in the late '90's. John Uhern of Reptile Specialties was responsible for at least one such importation. It is unclear if any of these frogs are still around in the US. These may or may not be related to the later imports.

General Care:
Frogs eat a variety of small foods and will forage in the leaf litter for springtails and baby isopods. Melanogaster fruit flies make a fine staple food item. Froglets will be able to take stunted melanogaster and springtails after metamorphosis.

These frogs will use both horizontal and vertical space, so any orientation of tank is suitable. While Ranitomeya uakarii can be kept and bred in sexed pairs in vivaria as small as 12 x 12 x 18 inches, a larger enclosure of 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.

The standard thumbnail setup with leaf litter on the floor of the tank and a variety of plants and bromeliads will work well for R. uakarii. Wide leaved plants like philodendron will be appreciated, as the frogs will spend a good amount of time between the leaves. Additionally, these frogs will explore the entire terrarium, and providing space to climb and structures to hide in will result in more bold frogs.

Breeding & Tadpole Care:
These frogs are best kept in a 1.1 pair. Courting begins with the male calling in a soft buzz much like a repetitive R. ventrimaculata call. It is loud enough to be heard outside an Exoterra cage from several feet away (4). A female will follow the male stroking his back as they travel through the enclosure in jerky hops, in the typical fantastica group fashion. Laying will occur in between overlapping leaves on plants and in bromeliad axils. Egg deposition in film canisters can be encouraged by mounting a canister amongst the leaves of a plant in a horizontal position with the opening facing the back of the enclosure. Clutch size ranges from 3 to 10 eggs with 5-6 being more normal (4), about 14-18 days apart. Male will transport the tads to water after they hatch. There is no parental care after deposition.

Tadpoles pulled from their parents enclosure can be raised like all other thumbnail tadpoles on an omnivorous diet of tadpole bites and/or fish food. Foods like New Life Spectrum will assist with coloration.

Much like in other fantastica group frogs they develop color early with the dorsolateral stripe becoming visible at about a month into the water. Froglets are small and shy but relatively sturdy. They benefit from being raised in containers with a thick layer of leaf litter seeded with microfauna.

Ranitomeya Uakarii
courtesy of


Photo courtesy of


Photo courtesy of


Male Understory Enterprises Ranitomeya uakarii transporting tadpole (courtesy of fishingguy12345).

(1) Ranitomeya uakarii Species Profile
(2)”Revision of the Ranitomeya fantastica species complex with description of two new species from Central Peru ” Brown, Twomey, Pepper & Sanchez Zootaxa (2008)
(3) Brown, Schulte & Summers, 2006
(4) Personal observation (Chris Miller-Aurotaenia)

Chris Miller (aurotaenia)
Kyle (kyle1745)

Last updated 11/9/20 by Socratic Monologue
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
Not open for further replies.