AmphibiaWeb - Oophaga speciosa


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Oophaga speciosa (Schmidt, 1857)
Splendid Poison Frog
family: Dendrobatidae
subfamily: Dendrobatinae
genus: Oophaga
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Extinct (EX)
CITES Appendix II
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Oophaga speciosa has a snout-vent length ranging from 28-31 mm. it is relatively large and has its inner tarsal fold reduced to a tubercle (Savage 1986). Its skin is smooth except for the posterior belly and the ventral surface of the thighs. The tympanum is round, with a diameter slightly greater than one half the diameter of the eye (Silverstone 1975).

Coloration: Its color in life is red. In preservative, it is entirely gray except for a few possible light spots (Silverstone 1975).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Panama

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The Splendid Poison Frog hails from Panama, in a small geographic range found near the western Cordillera de Talamanca Central, adjacent to Costa Rica, at around 1370 m above sea level. It is mainly a terrestrial species that is found in the humid lowlands and very wet montane forest (Stuart et al. 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Oophaga speciosa is diurnal.

This frog exhibits uniparental care. Females deposit eggs in leaf litter, and once the eggs hatch, the females carry the tadpoles to small accumulations of water, formed in the leaf/stem axils of plants. Females return to feed tadpoles with infertile eggs (Summers 1999).

It is common for males to be very aggressive when defending territories for foraging and oviposition sites (Wells 2007).

Trends and Threats
IUCN Redlist has listed this species as extinct due to lack of any evidence of its persistence in its limited distribution since its last documented collection in 1992 by the pet trade. This species is highly visible and diurnal but despite extensive surveys it has not been seen in the wild. It occurred in a region known to have been part of a wave of chytridiomycosis Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) (IUCN 2020).

Relation to Humans
Its main threat is habitat loss from logging and human settlement, but it is negatively impacted by the pet trade. (Stuart et al. 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Habitat fragmentation
Intentional mortality (over-harvesting, pet trade or collecting)


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2020. Oophaga speciosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T55201A54344718. Accessed on 1 October 2022.

Savage, J. M. (1968). ''The dendrobatid frogs of Central America.'' Copeia, 1968(4), 745-776.

Silverstone, P. A. (1975). ''A revision of the poison-arrow frogs of the genus Dendrobates Wagler.'' Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Scientific Bulletin, 21, 1-55.

Stuart, S., Hoffmann, M., Chanson, J., Cox, N., Berridge, R., Ramani, P., Young, B. (eds) (2008). Threatened Amphibians of the World. Lynx Edicions, IUCN, and Conservation International, Barcelona, Spain; Gland, Switzerland; and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Summers, K., Weigt, L. A., Boag, P., and Berningham, E. (1999). ''The evolution of female parental care in poison frogs of the genus Dendrobates: evidence from mitochondrial DNA sequences.'' Herpetologica, 55, 254-270.

Wells, K. D. (2007). The Ecology and Behavior of Amphibians. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press.

Originally submitted by: Chelsea Deerinck (first posted 2011-06-23)
Edited by: Brent Nguyen, Michelle S. Koo (2022-10-09)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Oophaga speciosa: Splendid Poison Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 21, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 21 Jul 2024.

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