Phyllobates terribilis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Dendrobatidae

Scientific Name: Phyllobates terribilis Myers, Daly and Malkin, 1978
Common Name(s):
English Golden Poison Frog
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:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-08-04
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Mejía, D., Gómez, D., Vargas-Salinas, F., Gonzalez Duran, G.A., Bernal, M.H., Gutierrez, P., Lötters, S. & Bolívar, W.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hobin, L., NatureServe
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 1,473 km2, it occurs in fewer than five threat-defined locations, there is continuous decline in the extent and quality of its habitat due to illegal crops, logging, mining activities and pollution resulting from the spraying of illegal crops.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Colombia. This species was previously only known from tiny areas on the Pacific coast of Colombia on the Río Saija drainage, in Cauca Department, occurring up to 200 m asl. However it is now also known from Río Naya and Boca Yurumanguí in southern Valle del Cauca Department, which has extended the known range 60 km northward (Marquez et al. 2012). It altitudinal range is between 50–400 m asl (D. Mejía pers. comm. August 2016). It occurs in fewer than five threat-defined locations and its EOO is 1,473 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1-4
Lower elevation limit (metres):50
Upper elevation limit (metres):400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a common species. Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is from rainforest, and is found in the leaf litter of primary and secondary forest. The eggs are laid on the ground and the males transport the larvae to permanent pools.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This frog is present in international trade, with many surveys recording this species as imports of the pet trade e.g. between 2004-2008 in Asia (Nijman and Shepherd 2010), between 2008–2013 in the Philippines (Sy 2014). There are reports of 979 individuals traded in 2008, with most are presumed to be captively bred opposed to caught from the wild (Carpenter et al. 2014, D. Mejía pers. comm. 2016). Taking this species from the wild is prohibited by Colombian Law.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats include habitat loss due to illegal crops, logging, mining activities and pollution resulting from the spraying of illegal crops. It is reported in international pet trade (Carpenter et al. 2014), although the proportion caught from the wild is unknown but likely to be small.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
This species is recorded in a very small protected area called Reserva Rana Terribilis. Decree INDERENA No. 39 of 9 July 1985 forbids the collection of species of this genus from the wild in Colombia, for breeding (or other) purposes. It is listed on CITES Appendix II. 

Conservation Needed
Further protection of part of its range is needed. 

Research Needed
Research in population trends, ecology, threats and distribution are recommended for the species.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2017. Phyllobates terribilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T55264A85887889. . Downloaded on 17 August 2018.
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