Play Ranitomeya variabilis Call
Widely distributed throughout the east-Andean versant of Peru and Ecuador and adjacent lowlands. Extends well into the Amazon basin and has been collected as far west as La Pedrera, Colombia. Occurs from ~150-1400 meters elevation. Previously thought to be restricted to northern San Martin, however, following the results from Brown & Twomey et al. (2011), the range of this species has been greatly expanded and now covers much of the upper Amazon basin.
This is a bromeliad-breeding species. These frogs can reach high abundances where bromeliads are common, such as high elevation ridgelines or other epiphyte-laden habitats.
Most suitable R. variabilis habitat is well conserved. Furthermore, this species has a broad distribution and is often locally abundant throughout its range. Smuggling pressure has been low when compared to other species.
Member of the variabilis group, sister to R. amazonica. This species was long known under two species names: R. variabilis, which was previously restricted in usage to spotted highland frogs, and R. ventrimaculata, which was used for lowland striped frogs. Following the results from Brown & Twomey et al. (2011), the highland and lowland frogs actually belonged to the same species, and due to incorrect usage of ventrimaculata, R. variabilis became the valid name.