Play Ranitomeya toraro Call
This species is widely distributed throughout the lowlands of western Brazil in the states of Acre and Amazonas, and in the north of Rondônia state. It extends into southern Colombia, known from just north of Leticia, making it one of the few species of Ranitomeya that occurs on both sides of the Amazon River. Ranitomeya toraro is now known from Peru or Bolivia, but very likely occurs in both countries. The easternmost locality for this species is near Manaus.
This species is commonly associated with two host plants: the bananeira-brava (Phenakospermum guyannense), and small bromeliads of the genus Aechmea. The former is a large, banana-like plant with fan-shaped leaf axils, inside which tadpoles and eggs can be frequently found. This plant is common throughout much of the range of R. toraro, and within its range, it is the only dendrobatid found (thus far) to breed in this plant. Egg clutches are very small, 1–3 eggs; tadpole transport appears to be done by males who transport 1–3 tadpoles at a time, although tadpoles are deposited singly. The call is a long buzz, similar to the sister species R. defleri, with the exception that the note length in R. toraro appears to be much longer.
Brown & Twomey et al. (2011) list the species as Least Concern due to the relatively large distribution, much of which is uninhabited by humans.
Although this species was “known” for many years (it has been present in collections since at least 1911, and was collected sporadically over the next century), it was always confused with some other species until its description in 2011. Most specimens, prior to its description, were referred to as either “Dendrobates quinquevittatus” or “Dendrobates ventrimaculatus”, however, redefinitions of those species and the descriptions of species contained therein revealed that these frogs belonged to an unnamed species. Thus, in the 2011 revision of Ranitomeya (Brown & Twomey et al. 2011), the name “toraro”was given to these frogs.
This species bears a striking resemblance to Ranitomeya uakarii in Porto Walter, which may represent an as-yet unstudied Müllerian mimicry system.