Acquired: Online breeder / seller
Illinois, United States
Posted Jul 13, 2012
Lowland Fantasticus, otherwise known as the phantasmal poison frog, is endemic to the Lowland Forests of the Caynarachi Valley of Peru. They are quite reclusive frogs that spend most of their time on the forest floor hiding under leaf litter. They have a relatively high degree of variation in their offspring and are stunning looking frogs. They are best kept in at least a 20 gallon that is planted heavily. Lots of ground cover is preferred and these frogs are rarely seen except when transporting tadpoles to deposition sites. These frogs are not suited for the novice frog keeper or for the hobbyist that wishes to see their frogs very often, as these frogs are known to be some of the most reclusive of all of the thumbnail dart frogs. Overall, they are beautiful specimens and are some of my favorite, in spite of their reclusive nature.
In order to successfully breed these frogs I would suggest planting a lot of ground cover and including a lot of leaf litter. Use black film canisters spread throughout the leaf litter on a 45 degree angle with a bit of water for egg/tadpole deposition sites. The frogs call is a bit quieter than other imitator species but is still able to be heard. Generally, when you see the frogs out a bit more there's a good chance there may be some tadpole deposition occurring, so check the film canisters at that point or let the parents raise the young themselves. Bromeliads are also a good choice to put in the tank for egg laying sites. Since they are a lowland species, I would also suggest seeding the tank with springtails and/or isopods for a variety in their diet.
The pluses to this species are their beauty and variability seen in their offspring. While the minuses are their reclusiveness and how tricky they can be to successfully keep. I would suggest this species for the intermediate to advanced keeper.