Ameerega flavopicta from Cocalzinho de Goiás, Goiás, Brazil. Photo by Jussano Ferraz dos Santos.
contributed by Jussano Ferraz dos Santos
Brazil, from the Southeast (Minas Gerais), crossing central Brazil (Goiás), up to the North and Northeast (Tocantins, Pará and Maranhão). Inhabits elevations from 400-1500 m above sea level. This species is usually found in Cerrado habitat (Brazilian Savanna), but can be found at Serra dos Carajás, which has an Amazon influence. View type locality in Google Maps.
This species breeds exclusively during the rainy season (December to March) on rocky locations. Generally found in the mountains of Central Brazil. Eggs are laid on the leaf litter, and the males perform the parental care, transporting them to local water bodies where the tadpoles develop further. This species is diurnal, and lives rock crevices, hunting insects, mostly ants, termites, arachnids. It is an opportunist hunter catching even flying insects if available.
Current populations appear to be at low risk, as the species is often locally abundant, even thought it is difficult to collect or observe. Mining and dam constructions are the major threats to the species. It is in the international pet trade, but not at a level that offers a real threat to the species.
This species was first described in 1952 by Adolfo Lutz under the name Hylaplesia flavopicta. Silverstone (1976) placed this species in synonymy with Ameerega picta. Haddad and Martins (1994) removed this species (as well as several other Brazilian species) from synonymy with A. picta on the basis of color pattern and body size. Grant et al. (2006) provided a phylogeny showing that A. flavopicta was the sister species of A. braccata, and was a member of the picta group. Ameerega flavopicta had historically been recorded in Bolivia, but this geographically isolated population was recently described as A. boehmei by Lötters et al. (2009) on the basis of call parameters, morphology, and molecular genetics.
Grant, T., et al. 2006. Phylogenetic systematics of dart-poison frogs and their relatives (Amphibia: Athesphatanura: Dendrobatidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 299: 1-262.
Haddad, C.F.B. and M. Martins. 1994. Four species of Brazilian poison frogs related to Epipedobates pictus (Dendrobatidae): Taxonomy and natural history observations. Herpetologica 50: 282-295
Lötters, S., A. Schmitz, S. Reichle, D. Rödder, and V. Quennet. 2009. Another case of cryptic diversity in poison frogs (Dendrobatidae: Ameerega)-description of a new species from Bolivia. Zootaxa 2028: 20-30.
Silverstone, P.A. 1976. Revision of the poison-arrow frogs of the genus Phyllobates Bibron In Sagra (family Dendrobatidae). Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 27: 1-53.