Oophaga occultator 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Dendrobatidae

Scientific Name: Oophaga occultator (Myers & Daly, 1976)
Common Name(s):
English La Brea Poison Frog
Dendrobates occultator Myers and Daly, 1976
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2016. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (31 March 2016). New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: This species is considered to be a derivative of Oophaga histrionica by Myers and Daly (1976).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-08-02
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Angulo, A. & Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Mejía, D., Castro, F., Lötters, S. & Bolívar, W.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Neam, K., NatureServe
Listed as Critically Endangered because of its extent of occurrence (EOO) of 50 km2, it is considered to occur in one threat-defined location, and there is a continuing decline in the quality of its habitat caused by mining and illicit crops. The species almost certainly occurs more widely, but civil unrest has prevented additional survey efforts. If the species is found more widely, it may qualify for Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from La Brea, near Saija River, Guangui, Cauca Department, in the Pacific lowlands of Colombia, where it has been recorded between 50 and 200 m asl. The species may occur more widely to the north, but the region is poorly explored and civil unrest has made additional survey efforts difficult. The EOO for the current known range, which is comprised of three records over an area of about 8 km, is 50 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):50
Upper elevation limit (metres):200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is difficult to detect (as per its scientific name), probably due to its minute size. Several individuals, however, were found in 2012 (D. Mejía unpubl. data 2016) and three more were photographed in 2016 (J. Guerrero-Vargas pers. comm. August 2016). The population trend is suspected to be decreasing due to ongoing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat, and it seems to require the presence and proximity of its forest habitat to survive.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species lives mainly on the ground in undisturbed, lowland rainforest, but it can also be found perching on leaves at different levels above the ground. It can be found in disturbed areas, such as cocoa plantations, that are near forest (Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016). This species lays its eggs in humid microhabitats, such as moss or leaf-litter (Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016). The larvae are transported by the female to bromeliads or fallen palm leaves where water has accumulated. The larvae feed on unfertilized eggs deposited by females in these tiny water bodies and complete their development.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There appears to be no trade in this species currently due to the difficulty of accessing localities where the species occurs. However, a market exists for the species and trade would probably commence once its range becomes more accessible (Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Major threats to the species are illegal mining, cultivation of illegal crops, and pollution resulting from the spraying of illegal crops. A potential future threat is the international pet trade, however civil unrest is currently preventing wider exploitation of the area (Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
This species does not occur in any protected area. Decree INDERENA No. 39 of 9 July, 1985, forbids the collection of Dendrobates spp. (from which Oophaga was split) from the wild for breeding (or other) purposes. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES. 

Conservation Needed
This species would likely benefit from improved habitat protection in the Pacific lowlands of Colombia (Colombia Red List Assessment Workshop August 2016).

Research Needed
Surveys to determine the range of the species, once it is safe to do so, are needed to better determine conservation measures. More information is needed on this species' population status, ecology, and threats.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2017. Oophaga occultator. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T55194A85891333. . Downloaded on 20 May 2018.
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