AmphibiaWeb - Oophaga speciosa
Oophaga speciosa
Splendid Poison Frog
family: Dendrobatidae
subfamily: Dendrobatinae
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Extinct (EX)
CITES Appendix II
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

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


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
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
O. speciosa 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
Its main threat is habitat loss from logging and human settlement, but it is also threatened by the pet trade. (Stuart et al. 2008).

Relation to Humans
O. speciosa is collected for 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)


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 (2012-04-05)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Oophaga speciosa: Splendid Poison Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Nov 29, 2021.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 29 Nov 2021.

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