Ranitomeya ventrimaculata

Schulte, 1999

Ranitomeya ventrimaculata

Distribution
Described from northern Peru, but also known from northern regions of Ecuador, particularly known from the Yasuni National Park region, near the Colombian border. It is also known from the southern regions of Ecuador and northern regions of Peru—the notable exception of their range is in central Ecuador where it is absent. Recently this species has been confirmed from the Iquitos region. In all regions of its range it inhabits the lowlands.

Natural History
This species is very small in size and has a very spotty distribution with low population densities. This may be due to the fact that it is arboreal and the only individuals being found are those venturing to the leaf litter to feed, or are near tree falls. They do not have any morphological character that would suggest arboreality, so as far as we know they are just an uncommon species. Bromeliads in their range are not especially abundant, though where they are found they are large and high up in the trees. It is speculated that they deposit tadpoles in these, but egg deposition could take place in the leaf litter or in the bromeliads.

Conservation Status
Though there would be a commercial demand for this species, it does not appear that this frog has been smuggled yet in substantial numbers. Because of their spotty nature they would pose a challenge to those collecting them, and surely the help of locals would be necessary for collection. Yasuni National Park is where they are most known from in Ecuador, and admission into the park is controlled by an oil company making it difficult to enter—and inherently also indirectly conserving them.

Notes
This species was long referred to as Ranitomeya (or Dendrobates) duellmani. However, inspection of the original type series of Dendrobates ventrimaculatus Shreve revealed that the holotype was actually duellmani. Thus, duellmani Schulte was designated a junior synonym of ventrimaculatus Shreve (Brown & Twomey et al. 2011). This species is sister to Ranitomeya reticulata.

Type Locality Map View Larger

Ranitomeya ventrimaculata
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