Epipedobates tricolor

Epipedobates (Epipedo Greek = of the ground + bates Greek = one that walks or haunts)

Tricolor = three colors*

Epipedobates tricolor is a great frog, well worth searching out. The brilliant colors of many tricolor morphs rival any dart frog, while their boldness make them easily viewed. E. tricolor also have a lively nature and wonderful, trill like, call that make them endearing.

Maybe it's their vivid, vermilion, reds, or their bold nature, but what ever it is the "Santa Isabel" tricolors has wrapped it's self in legends and tall tales (and at least one amazing true tale due to it's skin toxins). One of the common stories is that in captivity the stripes change. There are reports that the white stripes thin over generations of captive breeding leaving a mostly red frog, and there are reports that the red stripes thin in generations of captive breeding leaving a mostly white frog. It's unlikely that these both could be going on which makes me believe that neither is. I received a groups of "Santa Isabel" tricolors that had very thin white stripes and started to think that the variations in stripe thickness was not due to captive breeding but just variations in natural occurring populations.

I did a trade to receive a mix of tricolors from a long time collection. I was happy that part of the group was "Santa Isabel" tricolors but surprised when I received them because they where of the wide white stripe variation. Their skin is lipstick, (vermilion), red with thick off-white medial dorsal and lateral stripes. The medial dorsal stripe covers most of the head, (often leaving only a read spot over each eye) and tapers down at the vent. They have the same off with spotting on their bellies and lacked flash marks. P. A. Silverstone reports this variation is found at Rio Minas, west of Santa Isabel.

Copyright © 2007-2013, Tor Linbo & Trevor Anderson, tlinbo@u.washington.edu. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be duplicated or retransmitted without the expressed permission of the authors. Based heavily on original web design by Trevor Anderson 1999.