AmphibiaWeb - Ranitomeya cyanovittata


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Ranitomeya cyanovittata Pérez-Peña, Chávez, Twomey & Brown, 2010
family: Dendrobatidae
subfamily: Dendrobatinae
genus: Ranitomeya
Species Description: Perez-Pena PE, Chavez G, Twomey E, Brown JL 2010 Two new species of Ranitomeya (Anura: Dendrobatidae) from eastern Amazonian Peru. Zootaxa 2439:1-23
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account
CITES Appendix II
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Ranitomeya cyanovittata is a small frog described from one female and one male specimen with a snout to vent length of 17.3 mm and 13.8 mm respectively. The sloping snout is rounded, almost blunt, from the dorsal and lateral views. The laterally facing nares are at the tip of the snout and the distance between the nares is about equal to the eye width. The canthus rostralis is rounded with a largely flat loreal region that is nearly vertical. The upper eyelid is about the same length as the distance between the eyes. The round tympanum is partially covered on the posterior and dorsal edge. The dorsal skin is smooth on the body and head while the limbs and posterior body are weakly granular. The ventral skin is also smooth on the head while being weakly granular on the limbs and body. The hands are quite large, being around 24.5% of the frog’s snout-vent length and have several distinct features. A metacarpal tubercle is found at the base of the palm with an additional inner metacarpal tubercle located at the base of the first finger. Proximal tubercles can also be found at the base of fingers II - IV, with another proximal tubercle half way up finger I. The fingers have a relative length of I < II < IV < III and end in moderately expanded discs with the third finger disc being around 1.9 - 2.2 times wider than the finger’s width. There are distal subarticular tubercles on fingers III and IV and dorsal scutes on all fingers. The fingers are unwebbed and lack lateral fringes. The hind legs are of medium length with the femur being roughly the size of the tibia (99.1% femur length) and the tibiotarsal articulation reaching the eye when the leg is adpressed along the body. There is no tarsal tubercle, but a tarsal keel is found that extends from below the knee to the medial metatarsal tubercle. One metatarsal tubercle is positioned at the base of the first toe while a second is at the base of the fifth toe. The toes lack webbing and lateral fringes. The relative toe lengths are I < II < V < III < IV with the first toe lacking a disc while the second toe has a slightly expanded disc and toes III - V have moderately expanded discs. Proximal subarticular tubercles can be found at the base of each toe but are particularly evident on toes I and II. Additionally, toes III and V have two subarticular tubercles and toe IV has three subarticular tubercles (Perez-Peña et al. 2010).

Despite occurring close to many other species of the Ranitomeya genus, R. cyanovittata is easily distinguishable by its patterning and coloration. Specifically, R. cyanovittata is bicolored with a black background and turquoises-blue lines and reticulations over the whole body. This coloration and patterning distinguish R. cyanovittata from R. biolat, which has grey legs with yellow/black dorsal striping; R. uakarii, which has dorsal striping with a red to yellow gradient from the snout to the vent; R. yavaricola, which has solid-colored legs; R. flavovittata, which has a set of broken, yellow/black dorsal stripes; R. lamasi has dorsal stripes that can be green, red, yellow, or orange; R. ventrimaculata, which has non-parallel, dorsal stripes that can either be yellow, orange, or red on a black background; and R. imitator, which can have black, dorsal spots or stripes on a green, yellow, orange background (Perez-Peña et al. 2010).

Live specimens exhibit a bicolored pattern consisting of a black background color with blue spots and stripes. Specifically, there is a blue spot on the snout and at the axilla. And there are several transverse stripes including, a pair that starts between the eyes, extend over the anterior eyelids, and end at the insertion of the thighs, and another set that extends from the upper labia to the insertion of the arm. Lastly, there is a vertebral strip that extends from the posterior of the head to the vent, however, this may merge with the spot on the snout. The legs are also bicolored, but exhibit black spotting or mottling on a blue background. The ventral side also shows a pattern similar to the legs with certain individuals having more mottled spots of black while others have more reticulated patches. Less notable are the faint patches of brownish on the ventral regions of the frog, particularly the limbs. The metacarpal, metatarsal, and some subarticular tubercles are unpigmented. The iris is black. Specimens stored in preservative have no notable difference outside of the blue regions appearing grey (Perez-Peña et al. 2010).

As with most Ranitomeya species, individual variation in patterning is present. Individuals may have varying amounts of rust coloration on their toe pads and ventral regions. Most of the dorsal stripes run across the full body length, but certain individuals possess a central blue dorsal stripe that ends just behind the eye, leading to a lateral blue stripe just past the eyes, and a blue nose spot. Ventral pattern variation is also observed and comes in the form of either black mottling on a blue background or slight reticulation (Perez-Peña et al. 2010).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peru


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
At the time of the species description, R. cyanovittata had only been documented twice, in two different locations near Sierra del Divisor, Peru, specifically near the Nueva Capanahua native community and in the Rio Blanco basin at elevations of around 200 - 300m (Perez-Peña et al. 2010).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The few documentations of R. cyanovittata were in the remote, undisturbed forests of Peru in sympatry with two Dendrobatids: Ameerega hahneli and Ameerega ignipedis (Perez-Peña et al. 2010).

It has been deduced that the preferred habitat is on leaf litter with generally limited plant coverage from various ferns and large, herbaceous plants (an example being Heliconia spp.). Surrounding the areas are accessible streams/rivulets, trees such as Cedrella spp. and Moronobea spp., and no nearby bromeliads (Perez-Peña et al. 2010).

Trends and Threats
At the time of the species description, the threats were unknown, but their habitat was remote and largely undisturbed (Perez-Peña et al. 2010).

Relation to Humans
Unknown, but their range places them close to the Nueva Capanahua community (Perez-Peña et al. 2010).


Ranitomeya cyanovittata are closely related to all other Ranitomeya based on a 2124 base pair Maximum Likelihood analysis of mitochondrial DNA. Of the various Ranitomeya species, Ranitomeya cyanovittata are likely placed within the R. vanzolinii group, which includes: R. flavovittata, R. imitator, R. vanzolinii, and R. yavaricola. This analysis further found R. cyanovittata to be sister toR. yavaricola (Perez-Peña et al. 2010)

The species epithet, “cyanovittata” can be translated to “blue stripped” and originates from two different words. The first half, “cyanos” or “κυανοσ,” comes from an ancient Greek noun describing “a blue substance used to adorn armor.” The second half, “vittatus,” refers to a Latin adjective that translates to “banded” (Perez-Peña et al. 2010).


Perez-Peña, P.E., Chávez, G., Twomey, E., Brown, J. (2010) “Two new species of Ranitomeya (Anura: Dendrobatidae) from Eastern Amazonian Peru.” Zootaxa, 2439, 1-23 [link]

Originally submitted by: Andrew Joonhyun Lee (2023-03-07)
Description by: Andrew Joonhyun Lee (updated 2023-03-07)
Distribution by: Andrew Joonhyun Lee (updated 2023-03-07)
Life history by: Andrew Joonhyun Lee (updated 2023-03-07)
Trends and threats by: Andrew Joonhyun Lee (updated 2023-03-07)
Relation to humans by: Andrew Joonhyun Lee (updated 2023-03-07)
Comments by: Andrew Joonhyun Lee (updated 2023-03-07)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2023-03-07)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Ranitomeya cyanovittata <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 13, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Apr 2024.

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