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Oophaga arborea Myers, Daly and Martinez 1984

Endangered (IUCN 3.1)

Common name

Polkadot Poison Frog



Species description based on Walls (1994). A small poison frog (20-22 mm).


The dorsum is olive brown. The dorsum, upper surfaces of the hind limbs, and lateral surfaces are black with scattered large white or yellow spots.

Life history


Females lay clutches of 4-8 eggs inside bromeliads (Walls 1994). In captivity, hatching begins after 14 days (Walls 1994).


Newly hatched tadpoles are grey, with a flattened head and a thin tail with low tail fins (Walls 1994). The tadpole mouth is surrounded by large papillae and contains one upper and one lower row of teeth (Walls 1994). Walls (1994) suggested tadpoles may require nutritive eggs to survive.

Taxonomy and systematics


  • Kingdom:Animalia


Myers, Daly and Martinez 1984


Dendrobates arboreus

Type locality

in cloud forest at 1120 m. elevation on the continental divide above the upper Quebrada de Arena, at longitude 82° 12′ 31" W, on the border between the provinces of Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro, Panama

Habitat and distribution


Lowland to montane forest to 1120 m.


Oophaga arborea is found only in Panama.


Oophaga arborea distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)


Bauer, L. 1994. New names in the family Dendrobatidae (Anura, Amphibia). Ripa. Netherlands Fall: 1-6.

Grant, T, DR Frost, JP Caldwell, R Gagliardo, CFB Haddad, PJR Kok, DB Means, BP Noonan, WE Schargel, and WC Wheeler. 2006. Phylogenetic systematics of dart-poison frogs and their relatives (Amphibia: Athesphatanura: Dendrobatidae). Sistemática filogenética de las ranas venenosas y sus afines (Amphibia: Athesphatanura: Dendrobatidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 299: 1-262.

Ibáñez, R, F Solís, C Jaramillo, and AS Rand. 2000. An overwiew of the herpetology of Panama. In: Johnson, JD, RG Webb, and OA Flores-Villela. Eds. Mesoamerican Herpetology: Systematics, Zoogeography and Conservation. The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas.

Lotters, S, KH Jungfer, FW Henkel, and W Schmidt. 2007. Poison Frogs. Biology, Species & Captive Maintenance. Frankfurt am Main: Edition Chimaira.

Myers, CW, JW Daly, and V Martinez. 1984. An arboreal poison frog (Dendrobates) from western Panama. American Museum of Natural History Novitates 2783: 1-20.

Roberts, JL, JL Brown, R von May, W Arizabal, A Presar, R Symula, R Schulte, and K Summers. 2009. Phylogenetic relationships among poison frogs of the genus Dendrobates (Dendrobatidae): a molecular perspective from increased taxon sampling. The Herpetological Journal 16(4): 377-385.

Walls, JG. 1994. Jewels of the Rainforest-Poison Frogs of the Family Dendrobatidae. T. F. H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey, USA.

Additional resources