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Ranitomeya imitator (also known as Dendrobates imitator) is a small, variable frog from northern Peru. Their common name is the Mimic Poison Dart frog, reflecting the frog's tendency to mimic other species' color and pattern. Various forms occur in the US hobby, including R. imitator 'nominat/standard', R. imitator 'Intermedius', R. imitator 'Varadero', and R. imitator 'Tarapoto', with each morph representing a specific population. Like all thumbnail dart frogs, these frogs are approximately ¾ of an inch. They have a moderately loud, buzzing call.
Like the rest of the Ranitomeya species discussed here, Imitators are non-obligate egg feeders, and show interesting parental behavior. Imitators will lay 1-5 white eggs (typically 3) at a time, after going through the typical Dendrobatid courtship rituals. Eggs are often laid on a flat leaf, or inside a film canister. The male will guard them, routinely wetting the eggs to avoid desication. After the eggs hatch, tadpoles are scooped up the frog's back, and transported to individual bodies of water (typically film canisters or bromeliads in vivaria). Ever so often, the female will deposit infertilized eggs into the water to feed the tadpoles, until they emerge from the water as minature versions of the adults. Being Non-obligate egg feeders, the tadpoles can be raised on an artificial diet, if you choose to remove eggs or tads to raise.
Ranitomeya imitator is fairly bold most of the time, especially when breeding. In smaller vivaria (such as a 12x12x18 Exo Terra Glass Terrarium), they are best housed in pairs. In larger vivaria (such as an 18x18x24 Exo Terra Glass Terrarium), they can be kept in groups – keep a close eye on the frogs, as they can stress each other. Ample leaf litter should be provided to the inhabitants, which will foster healthy microfauna growth – being smaller frogs, imitators love springtails and Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies. These small frogs appreciate temperatures in the low to mid 70s F, with a temperature drop of up to 10F at night.
Josh's Frogs offers COMPLETE Dart Frog Kits, which contain everything you need to keep dart frogs happy and healthy. Josh's Frogs COMPLETE Dart Frog Care Kits include an Exo Terra Glass Terrarium, Vivarium Lighting, Live Terrarium Plants, Fruit Fly Kits, and our Tankless Dart Frog Kits. Josh's Frogs COMPLETE Dart Frog Kits come with instructions, and make caring for dart frogs easy and enjoyable. Additionally, by purchasing a Josh's Frogs COMPLETE Dart Frog Kit, you save money!
Know you want a dart frog, but not sure where to start? CLICK HERE to read a helpful article that will get you started, and provide you with all the information you need to start off on the right foot.
All Frogs listed below are at least 2 months out of the water. Frogs are shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight and shipping usually runs $20-$60 depending on your zip code. To get a shipping quote, simply open up the page for one of the frogs and click on "shipping estimator".
Frog of your dreams momentarily out of stock? Simply open up the page for the frog you're interested in, click "Sign in to get notified when this product is back in stock" and enter your email. You will be emailed when we have more healthy, captive bred frogs of that type ready to go! At Josh's Frogs, we breed all of the dart frogs we sell ourselves in order to insure the healthiest captive bred frogs possible, so availability will vary.