Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Ranitomeya benedicta is a relatively large species of Ranitomeya, with adults up to 20.2 mm in SVL. Adults bear a brilliant red head, a character which is diagnostic of this species. Frogs from near the type locality have a black body with distinct blue reticulation covering the body, limbs, and venter. Frogs from populations farther south typically have blue limbs with diffuse blue coloration on the dorsum and venter.
In tadpoles, the oral disc is emarginate. Marginal papillae present on posterior labium and lateral part of anterior labium. Jaw sheaths deep, serrate, lacking indentations. Labial tooth row 2(2)/3.
This species was considered by Silverstone (1975) to be a form of Ranitomeya fantastica. However, more detailed analysis of additional specimens by Brown et al. (2008) showed that R. benedicta and R. fantastica differ in acoustic, morphological, and genetic characters. In 2011, the genus Dendrobates was subdivided into seven genera, including the new genus Ranitomeya by Brown et al (2011).