Pasco Poison Frog

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Other common names: Lamasi Frog

Scientific name: Ranitomeya lamasi

The basics:
The Pasco Poison Frog is a small and colorful poison dart frog which is native
to central Peru. Ranitomeya lamasi is diurnal and terrestrial. There are many different natural color morphs of this species, depending on its location.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists the Pasco Poison Frog as "Least Concern". The IUCN states, "No major threats, an adaptable widespread species with large areas of suitable habitat remaining. Severe habitat loss might lead to a localized decline in the species. Specimens have been reported in trade, however the impact of trade on wild populations of the species is incompletely known. It is presumed that wild caught specimens have been illegally exported by tourists; there is no official exportation of the species from Peru. Trade levels are suspected to be low but require further investigation."

Appearance / health:
Pasco Poison Frogs have a striped pattern on their backs, and their underlying color varies between black, yellow, orange and green, depending on the exact location they originate from.

Behavior / temperament:
These frogs take a lot of time, patience, and respect. Like all amphibians and especially dart frogs, these are not to be handled. They are much too fragile and flighty for safe handling and it will cause added stress that is not needed. Always corral them into a cup with a ventilated lid when doing tank maintenance. When raised in captivity, Poison Dart Frogs are not poisonous, but they are very fragile to catching diseases from our hands.

A pair of adults may be kept in a 10-15 gallon aquarium. More frogs need increased tank size so keep groups of 3 or more in a 20 gallon or above tank. A secure lid is needed.

Temperatures should be kept between 72 to 80F with humidity levels between 80-100%. These frogs do best with a tank set up with a false bottom (see the forum topic of “Building a False Bottom Tank”). Homemade or store bought misting systems are recommended since these frogs need to be misted regularly (thus the need for a false bottom). Live or fake plants can be used, but remember if using live plants the use of a UVB light will be needed. Some ideas for live plants: Bromeliads, Ferns, Mosses, Begonia, Orchids, Creeping Fig, Pothos, and various others. Hiding areas should be provided in many areas throughout the tank, especially if you have a group larger than 2 frogs. The most commonly used hide for poison frogs are coco huts which can be found in nearly any pet store. Of course, other hides may be used. A very shallow water dish (a jar lid or petri dish) can be used for the frogs to soak themselves. Spot clean as needed. Any water used in the tank should be dechlorinated or left out for 24 hours prior to use.

Adult frogs are only able to take small foods. Flightless fruit flies (Drosophila hydei) and 2 week old crickets are suitable for adults. Froglets and juveniles will need flightless fruit flies (Drospphila melanogaster) and pinhead crickets. Adults and juveniles also can eat springtails. Tadpoles must be offered spirulina, chlorella, flaked fish food, daphnia, and bloodworms (in the wild, the female frog would produce unfertilized eggs for the tadpole to eat).

If tank set up is correct, the male and females will breed. Eggs are usually laid in a very shallow water area (such as bases of Bromeliads, specially placed film canisters, etc). This species lays up to 4-12 eggs that are laid in the males territory where he will continue to guard them. The eggs usually hatch within 2 weeks and full transformation from tadpole to fully mature is usually within 10-12 weeks. Once fully metamorphosed, the young frogs should be cared for identical to the adults, but in their own enclosure.

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