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Allobates talamancae Cope 1875

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Allobates talamancae
Allobates talamancae

Common name

Striped Rocket Frog, Talamanca Rocket Frog


The eggs of Allobates talamancae are laid in the leaf litter and usually guarded by the male (Ibanez et al 1999). Once the tadpoles hatch, the male or female (depending on the population, Summers 2000), carries them to a small stream to continue development (Ibanez et al 1999, Summers 2000).



Species description based on Ibanez et al (1999) and Savage (2002). Very small. Males 17-24 mm, females 16-25 mm.

Allobates talamancae Adult 1


Skin smooth. Dorsal surface dark brown; the limbs are a lighter shade of brown.

Allobates talamancae Dorsal 1


Ventral surface is smooth and white. Males have a black throat and chest, whereas in females, the chest is white.

Distinguishing characteristics

Flank black, bordered by tan or bronze line above (running from the eye to the rear end) and a white line below (running from the lip to the groin). Some additional white lines or spots may be present below the primary white line.

Allobates talamancae Distinguishing characteristics 1


Iris bronze.


Hands and feet without webs.

Life history

Breeding season

Breeds throughout the rainy season, and longer in wetter areas (Savage 2002). Males call during the day, mostly in the early morning or late afternoon, or after rainshowers (Savage 2002). This species avoids breeding in open pastures (Hawley 2008).


The tadpole is dark brown dorsally and slightly lighter ventrally, with a medium to dark brown, heavily pigmented tail (Savage 2002). Mouth contains a beak, with 2 teeth rows above and 3 below.

Ecology behavior and evolution


Allobates talamancae feeds on invertebrates, including ants (Toft 1981).


A somewhat high-pitched "chip-chip, chip-chip" repeated a variable number of times (Ibanez et al 1999). A detailed description of the call may be found in Edwards (1974).

Behavior and communication

This species is diurnal, and can be found in the leaf litter on the forest floor (Ibanez et al 1999). Both males and females are territorial (Ibanez et al 1999).


2N = 24 (Bogart 1991)


Although A. talamancae eats ants, it does not seem to accumulate alkaloids in its skin the way some other dendrobatids do (Darst et al 2005, Darst 2006). Thus, this species is non-toxic (Darst et al 2005, Darst 2006, Summers and Clough 2001).

Taxonomy and systematics


  • Kingdom:Animalia


Cope 1875


Colostethus talamancae, Dendrobates talamancae, Hylasplesia talamancae, Phyllobates talamancae

Type locality

"near Old Harbour, on the East coast" (Costa Rica)

Habitat and distribution


Humid lowland and premontane forest [from sea level] to 800 m.


Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama


Allobates talamancae distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)


Bogart, JP. 1991. The influence of life history on karyotypic evolution in frogs. In: Green, DM and SK Sessions. Eds. Amphibian Cytogenetics and Evolution. Academic Press, San Diego.

Brem, FMR and KR Lips. 2008. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection patterns among Panamanian amphibian species, habitats and elevations during epizootic and enzootic stages. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 81: 189–202.

Coloma, LA. 1995. Ecuadorian frogs of the genus Colostethus (Anura: Dendrobatidae). University of Kansas Natural History Museum Miscellaneous Publication 87: 1-72.

Cope, ED. 1875. On the Batrachia and Reptilia of Costa Rica. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 2(8): 102.

Daly, JW, SI Secunda, HM Garraffo, TF Spande, A Wisnieski and JF Cover, Jr. 1994. An uptake system for dietary alkaloids in poison frogs (Dendrobatidae). Toxicon 32(6) 657-663.

Darst, CR. 2006. Evolutionary and Ecological Dynamics of Aposematism and Mimicry in Poison Frogs. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Texas at Austin, Austin.

Darst, CR, PA Menendez-Guerrero, LA Coloma, and DC Cannatella. 2005. Evolution of dietary specialization and chemical defense in poison frogs (Dendrobatidae): a comparative analysis. American Naturalist 165(1): 56-69.

Edwards, SR. 1974. A Phenetic Analysis of the Genus Colostethus (Anura: Dendrobatidae). PhD dissertation, University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Faivovich, J, CFB Haddad, PCO Garcia, DR Frost, JA Campbell, and WC Wheeler. 2005. Systematic review of the frog family Hylidae, with special reference to Hylinae: Phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History: 1-240.

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Savage, JM. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna between two Continents, between two Seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Summers, K and ME Clough. 2001. The evolution of coloration and toxicity in the poison frog family (Dendrobatidae). La evolución de la coloración y toxicidad en la familia de ranas venenosas (Dendrobatidae). PNAS 98(11): 6227-6232.

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Summers, K. 2000. Mating and aggressive behaviour in dendrobatid frogs from Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica: a comparative study. Behaviour 137(1): 7-24.

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Additional resources

Audio Files

Vocalization of Allobates talamancae


Allobates talamancae
Allobates talamancae
Allobates talamancae
Allobates talamancae
Adult Allobates talamancae
Allobates talamancae


Striped Rocket Frog (Allobates talamancae)

Rocket Frog (Allobates talamancae)

Allobates talamancae