Doyle's Dart Den


Morphs of E. Tricolor

The following is from Epipedobates tricolor by Volker Ennenbach and Stacy Surla ADG Newsletter # 9 May - June 1993 Used with the permission of the ADG.

Photograph by Gregory J. Sihler of ARIZONA DENDROBATE RANCH
Santa Isabel - This is the largest of the E. tricolor variations found.  The habitat in which the frog is found is around grasses or among bush and scrub around little rivers and springs at an elevation of about 1,700 m in the Rio Giron Valley near Santa Isabel.  This variety has a ground color varying from orange-red to reddish-brown.  The medial stripe is a creamy yellow-white and is always wide enough to be wider than the lighter white interstices between the stripes of the ground color.  Most commonly the ground color is reduced to very thin stripes on the lower part of the dorsum, which gives the frogs a nearly solid yellow-white appearance.  The ventrum is reddish brown to brown with light blues spots and markings.

Giron Valley - This variation occurs in very moist secondary growth at low elevation about 25 miles west of Santa Isabel in the Giron Valley.  It is a medium-sized variety ranging from about 22 to 24 mm.  Its ground color is deep, bright red with narrow stripes which are usually mint-green, but can range to whitish-blue.  The medial stripe is often interrupted and appears as a line of spots.

Balsas - This is the smallest variety of true E. tricolor recognized here.  It occurs in secondary and primary cloud forests at high elevations at Balsas in the Rio Poyango drainage.  It has a dark brown (chocolate brown) ground color with relatively thin green dorsolateral and medial lines.


Moraspunga - This broadly striped variation occurs in secondary and primary cloud forests at high elevations near Moraspunga in the Rio Zapotal drainage.  The lines are broad, solid and grass green in color while the background is a dark brown color.  The ventrum has a "clown pattern" of alternating white and brown spots.

Lower Rio Giron - This form occurs in very moist secondary growth at low elevations in the Rio Giron Valley and cannot with certainty be assigned to E. tricolor as it may be E. anthonyi, but frankly we have been unable to distinguish these two species.  The population was not included in the size range above, as it is smaller than normal, ranging in length from about 16 to 18 mm, they are reddish brown in ground color with light blue stripes or dots and orange flash marks.

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