Brief SummaryRead full entry
The spot-legged poison-arrow frog, Ameerega picta, is a common species of dendrobatid frog that occur in lowland humid and deciduous forests and up into montane forests on Amazonian slopes (to 1300 m asl in the Bolivian Andes). This small (about 2 cm (0.8 inch) snout-vent length) frog is widely spread across in eastern Bolivia, Peru, southwestern Brazil, Columbia, probably in Paraguay, and as an isolated Venezuelan population, however experts believe the name Ameerega picta is a composite that includes multiple species (Frost 2015; Kohler 2000; Haddad and Martins 1994; Caldwell and Myers 1990).
These terrestrial frogs inhabit leaf litter in primary and secondary forest and stream beds in open or moderately disturbed areas. Active during the day, spot-legged poison-arrow frogs hunt small arthropods. Males tend to make advertisement calls from perches above the ground, a high-pitched, one- or two-toned repeated call, which has been recorded and compared with closely related species. When calling, white spots on the males vocal sacks flash, perhaps giving visual cues to make them more noticeable to females (Kohler 2000). A wonderful video of this frog calling in its forest floor environment can be seen at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NPmDWGP8SOo.
Like most dendrobatid frogs, A. picta mate in the rainy season, and females lay clutches of eggs in pockets hidden in pockets under logs, branches, roots and leaves. After several weeks the larvae hatch from the eggs and males carry them on their back to nearby pools where the tadpoles complete their development in water (Kohler 2000; Hödl 1991).
More research is needed to resolve potential species boundaries within A. picta, especially since differentiation of species may not be assessed with morphological characters, but require understanding of habitat, vocalizations, and coloration of live frogs (rather than preserved specimen; Haddad and Martins 1994). Ameerega hahneli, A. braccatus and A. flavopictus are closely related species (Haddad and Martins 1994).
Caldwell, J. P., and C. W. Myers. 1990. A new poison frog from Amazonian Brazil, with further revision of the quinquevittatus group of Dendrobates. American Museum Novitates 2988: 1–21.