Ranitomeya imitator

This frog has long been a favorite of mine, and one of the first on my list to recommend for first thumbnail species, for a variety of reasons. The first is that they are quite durable little frogs, and tolerate stress that would be the ruin of some more delicate species. The second is that they are not very shy, and are often out and about in the terrarium. The third is that they breed easily, and generally have very durable tadpoles. Babies are quite large and robust when they emerge from the water also, and so this frog makes the perfect introductory thumbnail frog!

They will feed the tadpoles if you allow them to transport them, (and sometimes even if you don't they will sneak the tadpoles to a deposition site and care for them!) and I have watched male imitators courting females, only to suddenly have the female back down into a bromeliad axil right in front of the male and lay some eggs in the water for a tadpole I didn't even know was there. Of course the tadpoles can be raised on the usual diet of fish flakes, or dried algae, which is what we use here.

Synonyms
Locality
Mimic Dart frog Eastern foothills of Andes Mts., Peru
Temps
Humidity
Terrarium Preferences
Mid to u pper seventies High Not particular, ten gallons, tall ten gallons, and fifteen gallons are all good for a pair. This species will climb if given a taller tank.
Size
Visibility in the tank
Groups of these compatible
Up to about ¾ inch, 15 to 20 mm Relatively bold and outgoing, two to three activity periods during day. While some success can be had with this species in groups, the safest approach is to keep this species in pairs. See thumbnail caresheet for more discussion of this.
Experience Level
Compatible with other species?
Intermediate in general, but beginner for thumbnails. Most often kept by themselves, but experienced keepers might try keeping them in tanks with larger species. Allow plenty of room.
Breeding :
Status in Hobby
Easily bred thumbnail species. Clutches of two to four eggs are laid in a variety of spots around the tank. Glass tank walls and leaves are favorite laying sites. Parents will raise tadpoles if eggs not collected. Stable and common. Not a great diversity of bloodlines, at this point about six different bloodlines are in the US hobby.
Our Availability
Links for this frog
Regularly available. Click here to check availability

This frog is unusually green for an imitator….very nice!