Daddy Mimic Poison Frog carrying his tadpole
Ranitomeya imitator (Dendrobatidae), commonly known as Mimic Poison Frog, is a species of frog endemic to north-central Amazonian Peru. The species, which has several color morphs, exhibits some peculiar features.
They have a monogamous mating system. In fact, the species is the only known monogamous amphibian, with monogamy in the wild confirmed by paternity analysis in studies. They also are strict phytotelm specialists (they only breed in water-holding plants of the genus Heliconia, Dieffenbachia, and Xanthosoma), and as if that were not enough, they have biparental care.
Eggs are normally laid in pairs among the bracts of the host plant. Upon hatching, tadpole transport is carried out by the male, who will later help the female locate tadpoles so she can provide the developing tadpoles with unfertilized food eggs. Males are highly territorial and will defend breeding resources vigorously.
The photo shows a Varadero morph, which was first discovered in 2004 and was heavily smuggled from 2006 to present. This morph appears to be a mimic of the “orange-and-blue” fantastica morph.