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Phyllobates lugubris Schmidt 1857

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)

Common name

Lovely Poison Frog, Lovely Poison-arrow Frog


Phyllobates lugubris is extremely toxic.



Species description based on Savage (2002). A tiny poison frog (males to 21 mm, females to 24 mm).

Phyllobates lugubris Adult 1


The dorsal surface is black, with a narrow gold, yellow, or orange stripe that extends all the way around the forward part of the body--across the snout, above the eyes, back along the sides of the dorsum. The upper surfaces of the arms and legs are speckled with similar colors. A light blue or white wavy stripe extends down from below the eye to just in front of the arm.


The ventral surface is mottle black with pale blue, green, grey or white.


The eye is black.

Life history


Eggs hatch in 9-14 days (Zimmerman 1982, Weygoldt 1987).


The tadpole is small and dark brown, with some darker blotches on the tail (Savage 2002). The tail is moderately long with reduced tail fins (Savage 2002). Metamorphosis takes place after 60 days (Zimmerman 1982, Weygoldt 1987).

Ecology behavior and evolution


A low, raspy trill (Savage 2002)

Behavior and communication

Males are not territorial (Savage 2002). In captivity, a male and female may court for many days prior to amplexus, frequently touching one another (Zimmerman 1982, Weygoldt 1987). Males stay close to eggs, and will rehydrate them if they begin to dry out (Zimmerman 1982, Weygoldt 1987). At hatching, the male carries the tadpoles, a few at a time, to a small body of water to continue development (Zimmerman 1982, Weygoldt 1987).


2N = 24 (Rasotto et al 1987)

Taxonomy and systematics



Schmidt 1857


Dendrobates lugubris, Hylaplesia lugubris, Phyllobates beatriciae

Type locality

der Weg zwischen Bocca del toro und dem Vulcan Chiriqui. . . zwischen 5000′ und 7000′ Höhe (Panama)

Habitat and distribution


Lowland and premontane forest to 600 m.


Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama


Phyllobates lugubris distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)


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