AmphibiaWeb - Ranitomeya fantastica


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Ranitomeya fantastica (Boulenger, 1884)
Crowned Poison Frog, Red-headed Poison Frog
family: Dendrobatidae
subfamily: Dendrobatinae
genus: Ranitomeya

© 2008 Devin Edmonds (1 of 21)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Vulnerable (VU)
CITES Appendix II
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (2 records).

Description: R. fantastica has a SVL of 20 mm. The dorsum and venter from the head to forelimbs is yellow, which is bordered with white. The rest of the body and limbs are black and has a grey reticulation. Males have a subgular vocal sac (Boulenger 1884).

Diagnosis: R. fantastica can be distinguished from R. tinctorius by its longer limbs, and a tarso-metatarsal articulation that goes beyond the tip of the snout. It can be distinguished from D. tinctorius and R. reticulata by its granulated belly (Boulenger 1884).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peru


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (2 records).
R. fantastica is endemic to Peru and is restricted to the San Martin and Loreto regions (Noonan and Wray 2006). It is found between 200-600 m above sea level (Icochea et. al 2004).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Generally R. fantastica associates with pools of standing water that collect in the axils of plants (approximately 125 ml) where they deposit eggs . Females are oviparous and lay their eggs on the underside of vegetation. Parental care consists of all male care. The male transports each egg to a different plant in order to decrease cannibalism rates among offspring, which occurs in over populated pools. Egg feeding is absent (Brown et. al 2008a).

Trends and Threats
Because its habitats are close to human settlements, this species is vulnerable to habitat loss and is susceptible to overharvesting from the pet trade (Icochea et. al 2004).

Relation to Humans
R. fantastica exists in the pet trade (Icochea et. al 2004)

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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

The species was first described by Boulenger (1884).

Its sister group is comprised of R. reticulata and is inside the ventrimaculata group within the Dendrobatidae species (Noonan and Wray 2006). The original species was recently revised into a complex of closely related species including R. summersi and R. benedicta (Brown et al. 2008b)


Boulenger, G. A. (1884). ''On a collection of frogs from Yurimaguas, Huallaga River, Northern Peru.'' Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London , (1883), 635-638.

Brown, J. L., Morales, V., and Summers, K. (2008). ''Divergence in parental care, habitat selection and larval life history between two species of Peruvian poison frogs: an experimental analysis.'' Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21, 1534-1543.

Brown, J. L., Twomey, E., Pepper, M., and Sanchez Rodriguez, M. (2008). ''A revision of the Ranitomeya fantastica species complex and two new species of poison frogs (Anura: Dendrobatidae) from the Rio Huallaga drainage in central Peru.'' Zootaxa, 1832, 1-24.

Icochea, J., Angulo, A., and Jungfer, K.-H. (2004). Ranitomeya fantastica. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. Downloaded on 28 April 2011

Noonan, B. P., and Wray, K. P. (2006). ''Neotropical diversification: the effects of a complex history on diversity within the poison frog genus Dendrobates.'' Journal of Biogeography, 33(6), 1007-1020.

Originally submitted by: Brianne Milano, David Strunk, and Jason Saenz (first posted 2010-09-28)
Edited by: Mingna (Vicky) Zhuang (2012-03-19)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Ranitomeya fantastica: Crowned Poison Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 20, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 Apr 2024.

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