Ranitomeya uakarii — Uakari Poison Frog
Also known as:
Red Uakari Poison Frog
This species was formerly considered part of the Ranitomeya (Dendrobates) ventrimaculata species complex, and at one point this would have been considered Ranitomeya (Dendrobates) duellmani.
This little rainforest jewel was jumping about like a crazed grasshopper on the forest trail. Fortunately it didn't make a concerted effort to leave or hide; it would just not sit still for my camera. I stayed with it for ten minutes or so before it finally calmed down enough to pose for a few photos on the forest floor like this one. Since our group hadn't yet seen any of this beautiful species, I brought it back to the field station for others to photograph, and then returned it to its original hopping ground the next day.
I spotted a gaudy little poison frog hopping about on a large understory frond. For a moment it was posed perfectly for a photo, but before I could set up my shot it had hopped to this partially obscured position. I got a couple of photos from this angle, and then tried to encourage it to hop back into the open. Instead it hopped down into the leaf litter and quickly disappeared. I wasn't sure which species I had seen, because I didn't get a good look at the colors of the tiny frog. When I looked at my photos later I realized that I hadn't seen the colors on the back very well because they had been covered up by tadpoles! That made me glad that the frog had escaped me so easily.
I noticed the movement of this little jewel as it hop-climbed up the trunk of a rainforest tree. I spent the next twenty minutes following it around its stomping grounds with my camera, trying to sneak in a photo whenever the frog stopped for more than a few seconds, which was not often.
While unsuccessfully searching for more Atelopus spumarius, I found another of these almost unbelievably beautiful tiny frogs hop-walking on the forest floor.
- Bartlett, R.D., and Bartlett, P. 2003. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Amazon: An Ecotourist's Guide
- Duellman, W.E. 2005. Cusco Amazónico: The Lives of Amphibians and Reptiles in an Amazonian Rainforest
- Rodríguez, L. O. and Duellman, W. E. 1994. Guide to the Frogs of the Iquitos Region, Amazonian Peru