Epipedobates tricolor / Tri-color dartfrog - Care

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Specification Description
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Suborder: Neobatrachia
Family: Dendrobatidae
Scientific name: Epipedobates anthonyi
Dieet: Insectivorous
Average age: 10+ years
Average length: 3cm
Distribution: South America
Habitat: Tropical
Lifestyle: Terrestrial
Reproduction: oviparous / egglaying
Status: Stabile
Cites: B / II

Epipedobates anthonyi (tricolor), (Noble, 1921)

Most captive E. tricolor are actually the E. anthonyi, we will therefore in this short article talk about the E. anthonyi. However, the general care corresponds fits both species making this article also usable as a base for the E. tricolor. Nowadays there are several types and local forms of both E. anthonyi as E. tricolor in captivity. Try to get knowledge of the possible region where they come from as temperatures or other conditions can vary between these regions and populations.

This frog has become known as the ideal 'beginners' poison dart frog. But it is certainly a pleasure to be kept also by the experienced enthusiast. In general these dart frogs are easy to maintain and are absolutely not shy. This makes it very easy to observe all kinds of interesting behaviours. The whistle of the males are loud and resemble that of a canary.


General appearance:  It is a small frog that will average 2 to 2.5cm. Males are slightly smaller and are slimmer than the plumper ladies. Their general body colour is red and they have a pattern of light longitudal stripes or bands running along their body. The belly has the same colour as the rest of the body but has a irregular pattern of spots and blotches. The amount and insentity of the red may vary per local, line and generation. Also the amount of pattern may vary per local form.


Origin and habitat:  Originally, this species in southern Ecuador and a small part of North / East Peru from the Andes. 20m. to 1770m. above sea level. The E. tricolor has small populations around Moraspunga in Ecuador


Husbandry: You can keep this frog in a group of several males and females housed together. Always make sure that there are more females as males, for example 2.3 or 3.5. The housing of a single couple is possible but certainly if you'd like offspring and observe more of their behaviour keeping them in a group is the wisest. Males often find a suitable egg-laying site which they defend from other males and will be whistling to lure females. The paludarium for a group of 2.3 / 2.4 must be a minimum of 60x50x50. More space is always good especially if you want the offspring to grow up in the terrarium.

Plant the terrarium well with bromeliads and climbing plants like Philodendron scandens and Begonia. Cover the bottom with a lot of leaves to create additional hiding places. To possibly create additional egg laying sites u can use empty photo roll folders placed against the walls.

Illuminated 12 to 13 hours every day. The temperatures at which these species can be kept is quite broad. Always ask when purchasing these frogs at what temperatures the breeder kept the parents. On average daytime temperatures need to be 24C/23C and some cooler places at the bottom. This means that they often do not need to be additionally heated in most reptile rooms. At night, temperatures may drop to 17C.


Diet: Feeding can be done with small invertebrates like springtails, fruit flies and small bean beetles. Dust the feeders two times a week with a complete calcium supplement.

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