Ranitomeya reticulatus “Retics”

This is my favorite thumbnail species. They are relatively bold, and their brilliant red coloration shines from the tank, making them stand out. D. reticulatus are very small, certainly the smallest of the thumbnail frogs available in the United States. Despite their small size, adults in particular are fairly hardy frogs, and once established, these frogs are very tough and durable, but are very delicate as tadpoles and froglets.

This is a good species for any one who has gotten a bit of experience under their belt with some other thumbnails, but I don't suggest them as a starter thumbnail frog. Smaller tanks in the fifteen to twenty gallon range, with lots of plants and extra high humidity are vital to breeding these frogs, and to getting some good looks at them!

I have been working with this frog since 1995, and still have a female that I obtained that year. She is doing well, and one of my best egg layers! In fact, we have several bloodlines that are offered, for instance we have a wild caught pair that was part of an importation in the late 90's, a pair of unrelated F1s, and a pair of sibling F2s that are unrelated to the other two bloodlines. More bloodlines are in the works. Information identifying the bloodline, or a code will accompany each frog. Please keep this information so it can be passed on to any one who gets babies from you! I recommend using the pattern on the back as an identifier, you can either photograph them or make a sketch of any distinguishing marks on a piece of paper, to help you keep them straight in a tank with more than one frog.

This is an expensive frog, and part of the reason for this is the relatively high mortality rate we experience in the babies. We raise our babies until they are past the really touchy stage, and lose quite a few in the process, so hopefully you won't have to experience this. Generally speaking these frogs are four to five months old when we ship them. They are large enough to take melanogaster fruit flies, but since we raise them on pinhead crickets, you should be prepared to purchase some pinhead crickets a few times in the first several weeks you have them, and some established springtail cultures would be a good idea as well.
Red Backed Dart frog Eastern foothills of Andes Mts, Peru
Terrarium Preferences
Mid seventies to low eighties. Likes stable temps. High Not particular, ten gallons, tall ten gallons, and fifteen gallons are all good for a pair.
Visibility in the tank
Groups of these compatible
Up to about 5/8th inch, 13 to 16 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?
Very fragile babies and juveniles make this a species best recommended for advanced keepers. 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
Egg laying is fairly common with mature pairs. Eggs, tadpoles and babies can be difficult to manage, and all seem to have a high failure rate. 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. Film canisters and other smooth lay spots on the floor of the tank will often be used. Parents will raise tadpoles if eggs not collected. Has become more and more common in this country in the past few years. Quite a few different bloodlines are in the US hobby. We are working with about a half dozen unrelated bloodlines here.
Our Availability
Links for this frog
Regularly available. Click here to check availability
For a while we were producing a few of these albino retics, but none ever lived to adult hood.

This pair of reticulatus show quite a bit of the stripe pattern common in juveniles. This appears to be genetically inherited characteristic, and we are working on producing fully striped reticulatus.

A female reticulatus carrying her tadpoles