Ranitomeya uakarii
family: Dendrobatidae
subfamily: Dendrobatinae
Species Description: Brown, Schulte, and Summers. 2006. A new species of Dendrobates (Anura: Dendrobatidae) from the Amazonian lowlands in Peru. Zootaxa 1152: 45-58

© 2010 Maik Dobiey (1 of 13)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
CITES Appendix II
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Diagnosis: The first finger is shorter than the second, the feet lack webbing between the toes, and premaxillary and maxillary teeth are absent. Ranitomeya uakarii can be distinguished from all other known Ranitomeya species in the Amazonian lowlands by its coloration, including: complete red-orange dorsolateral and vertebral stripes, a broad yellow flank stripe, and a black U-shaped marking on the head formed by connecting posterodorsal and vertebral inter-stripe spaces. The similar species R. ventrimaculatus differs in having a yellow to orange-red “Y” or a single incomplete vertebral stripe on the dorsum, and a narrow flank stripe that often connects to the vertebral stripe. Another similar species, Dendrobates duellmani, differs by having reddish pink dorsolateral stripes and a narrow blue flank stripe that matches blue reticulation on the limbs (Brown et al. 2006).

Description: Ranitomeya uakarii is a small frog with a snout-vent length of about 15.4 mm (range: 13.04-16.16 mm). The head is slightly narrower than the body, with the widest part of the head occurring between the eyelids. The snout is rounded in dorsal view, slopes in profile, and is truncate ventrally. The canthus rostralis is rounded with a flat or slightly concave loreal region. The tongue is oval-shaped and small, and teeth are lacking. Eyes are very protuberant. The tympanum is round and partially concealed by skin posterodorsally. Hands are small with expanded discs are present on all fingers except finger I. Relative length of fingers is 3>4>2>. Finger III is twice as wide as distal end of adjacent phalanx. A large, round outer metacarpal tubercle is present on the base on the palm, and a smaller inner metacarpal tubercle is found on the base of finger I. Supernumerary tubercles, lateral fringes, and webbing are absent on the hands and feet. Limbs are short. Relative lengths of toes is 4>3>5>2>1. Moderate-sized inner and small outer metatarsal tubercles are moderately protuberant and rounded on the surface. Skin in preservative is completely smooth all over (Brown et al. 2006).

In life, coloration on the dorsum and upper flanks is black with a red-orange vertebral line and red-orange paired dorsolateral stripes. A yellow flank stripe is also present. Hands, feet, limbs, and belly are blue with small, finely reticulated black dots and larger spots. The throat is yellow with black spots and a large black gular spot. The iris is black. In preservative, the dorsolateral and vertebral stripes turn pinkish yellow, while the oblique lateral stripes and throat turn silver-white (Brown et al. 2006).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peru


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This species can be found throughout the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Community Reserve, department of Loredo, and further south to Pacaya Samiria Reserve on the Rio Yarapa. It may be distributed more widely in western Brazil and eastern Peru between the Ríos Amazonas, Javari, and Ucayali. It occurs in forests that do not flood (mainly primary but also late-secondary forests), at elevations between 100 and 220 m asl (Brown et al. 2006; Brown 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
R. uakarii is found primarily on the forest floor, but sometimes climbs up to a few meters into the canopy. The call is a series of soft, buzzing notes and sounds continuous (Brown et al. 2006). This species breeds year-round, with females able to breed 1-4x a month if both food and breeding pools are abundant (Brown 2008). Clutches average 3 eggs (range 2-7 eggs) (Brown 2008). Males carry up to four tadpoles up to large phytotelmata (e.g., bromeliads) (Brown 2008). This species is sympatric with R. ventrimaculatus sensu lato and R. flavovittatus (Brown et al. 2006).

Trends and Threats
Populations of R. uakarii are limited by reproductive resources (arboreal bromeliads and tree holes). Although the range of this species overlaps with two protected areas (Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo and Pacaya Samiria), threats include habitat loss and collection for the pet trade (Brown et al. 2006; Brown 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Intentional mortality (over-harvesting, pet trade or collecting)

This species was previously considered to be part of Dendrobates duellmani. Phylogenetic, biogeographical, acoustical, and morphological data now support the designation of R. uakarii as a separate species. R. uakarii is named after the red uakari, a highly endangered primate in South America that shares its historical distribution and bright red skin pigmentation (Brown et al. 2006).

In 2011, the genus Ranitomeya was revised including subdivisions into seven genera 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.

Brown, J. 2008. Ranitomeya uakarii. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. Downloaded on 28 September 2011.

Brown, J. L., Schulte, R., and Summers, K. (2006). ''A new species of Dendrobates (Anura: Dendrobatidae) from the Amazonian lowlands in Peru.'' Zootaxa, 1152, 45-58.

Written by Monique Picon (mopicon AT, UC Berkeley
First submitted 2010-09-30
Edited by Kellie Whittaker, taxonomy updated by Michelle S. Koo (2012-01-26)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Ranitomeya uakarii <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 23, 2017.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 23 Oct 2017.

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