There are roughly 250 species of poison frogs in the superfamily Dendrobatoidea (Dendrobatidae + Aromobatidae), and the rate at which new species are being discovered shows no signs of slowing down. Grant et al. (2006) recently published a major revision to the taxonomy of the poison frogs. While we accepted many of the changes he made (especially in the family Aromobatidae), we also had many concerns regarding the revision of the family Dendrobatidae, particularly of the subfamily Dendrobatinae. Our primary concern was that the phylogenetic methods used by Grant are not the most widely accepted methods for reconstructing trees. However, we have addressed these concerns in recent studies, and found that even when using more widely accepted methods (e.g., Bayesian inference), the topology presented by Grant et al. remains intact. For that reason, we have decided to accept his taxonomy, as it better reflects diversity in the group and will faciliate future studies.

Below is an outline of the taxonomy proposed by Grant et al. 2006. Major changes include (1) the family Dendrobatidae has been split into two families: Aromobatidae and Dendrobatidae, (2) the former Colostethus has been restricted to only 19 species, and the genera Allobates and Hyloxalus contain nearly half of all dendrobatoids, (3) the genus Ameerega refers to essentially the old Epipedobates minus the tricolor group, (4) Dendrobates has been restricted to only 5 species (primarily the large non-egg feeders), (5) Oophaga refers to the histrionicus group (obligate egg feeders), and (6) Ranitomeya refers to the tiny Amazonian "thumbnail" species.

More recent updates include the recognition of Excidobates (Twomey & Brown 2008) and Andinobates (Brown & Twomey et al. 2011).

Clicking on genus names will bring up a short description of that genus, a list of species included in the genus, and links to field accounts and original publications (if available). For now, we are only focusing on frogs of the family Dendrobatidae. More information on Aromobatids can be found on the Amphibian Species of the World website.

Families contained within Dendrobatoidea:


Dendrobatidae (contains 3 subfamilies) Aromobatidae (contains 3 subfamilies)


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