Adults tend to be small (14.6-18.9mm SVL) males are not significantly very different in size when compared to females. Head width less than body width, head longer than wide, head width is approximately 32% of SVL; tibial length is approximately 44% of SVL; toe disc (pad) on third finger on hands is 1.5-2.5 times wider than fourth digit (outer). Teeth absent. Snout rounded when viewed dorsally, ventrally, laterally. Distance between nostril and anterior portion of eye is 55-60% diameter of eye. Tympanum length is 50% diameter of eye, supratympanic fold absent. Pupil rounded. Ankles slightly separated when hind limbs anteriorly adpressed longitudinally.
The head and approximately 2/3 of the body (anterior portion of the trunk) are scarlet in color. A gradient forms going posteriorly until scarlet is replaced by brown. Tympanum is dark brown. Forearms and thighs brown. Areas on hands and feet may have sky blue. Body granular (higher concentration on head and arms).
Tadpole globular, its width is 67% snout-cloaca distance. Spiracle is sinistral and angles ventro-posteriorly. Body/head coloration in life is reddish brown. Cream colored ventrally. Oral disc is concave laterally.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Colombia
Only known from the type locality in the department of Santander, on the western slope of the Cordillera Oriental, county of Charalá, Virolin, 6º 13’ latitude N, 73º 05’ W of Greenwich at an altitude of 1750 m. Its range may be wider, according to
Myers and Daly (1980) ; morphological characters unify Andinobates virolinensis with A. abditus, A. bombetes, and A. opisthomelas which occur farther north. Species divergences along with the distributions show possibilities for a wider range of suitable habitat for this species.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
It is found in zones of vegetation which are at the beginning of the formation of Andean forest. Adults were found active during the day in the cape of the forest and on bromeliads 0.5 to 2 m above ground. Tadpoles at different stages were found in the same bromeliad, along with 1-4 males, suggesting that this species is not as territorial for spawning pools as other species within the family Dendrobatidae.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
In 2011, the genus Ranitomeya was subdivided into seven genera, including the genus Andinobates by Brown et al (2011).
Brown J.L., Twomey E., Amézquita A., De Souza M.B., Caldwell J.P., Lötters S., Von May R., Melo-Sampaio P.R., Mejía-Vargas D., Perez-Peña P., Pepper M., Poelman E.H., Sanchez-Rodriguez M., and Summers K. (2011). ''A taxonomic revision of the Neotropical poison frog genus Ranitomeya (Amphibia: Dendrobatidae).'' Zootaxa, 3083, 1-120.
Myers, C.W. and Daly, J.W. (1980). ''Taxonomy and ecology of Dendrobates bombetes, a new Andean poison frog with new skin toxins.'' American Museum Novitates, 2692, 1-23.
Ruiz-Carranza, P.M. and Ramirez-Pinilla, M.P. (1992). ''Una nueva especie de Minyobates (Anura: Dendrobatidae) de Colombia.'' Lozania, (61), 1-16.
Written by Raul E. Diaz (lissamphibia AT gmail.com), AWeb Team
First submitted 2003-01-06
Edited by Michelle S. Koo (2011-10-30)
Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on
amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2013. Berkeley, California:
(Accessed: May 23, 2013).
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.