Colostethus ruthveni


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Colostethus ruthveni
Species Authority: Kaplan, 1997

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-08-18
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Angulo, A.
Contributor(s): Amézquita, A., Lynch, J., Rueda-Almonacid, J., Ardila-Robayo, M., Osorno-Muñoz, M., Ramírez Pinilla, M. & Cortés, O.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Nowakowski , J.
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 2,340 km2, it is considered to occur in two threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
2004 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from two threat-defined locations in Colombia: 1) the lower slopes of the northwestern portion of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in Magdalena Department, and 2) near Nabusimake in the southeastern sector of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Granda-Rodríguez et al. 2008). These locations are geographically distinct and separated by high mountain formations; the threat of habitat loss differs in severity between sites. It occurs between 680 and 1,540 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 2,340 km2.

Colombia (Colombia (mainland))
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a common species and the population appears to be stable within protected areas (O. Cortés pers. comm. 2014).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs along streams in cloud forest and dry tropical forests near the Caribbean coast. The eggs are laid in bromeliads, and the larvae are then carried on the back of the adults to water where they develop further. It is not known if the species tolerates habitat alteration.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat is habitat loss and degradation resulting from crops and livestock, as well as logging, agricultural pollution and infrastructure development. Droughts also represent a plausible threat to this species (O. Cortés pers. comm. 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in Parque Nacional Natural Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and in the adjacent El Dorado Nature Reserve, which was established in 2006 (Fundación ProAves 2006). It also occurs within the Námaku Private Reserve (González-Maya et al. 2011). Additional habitat protection is needed outside of the protected areas and continued enforcement of these areas will be important for maintaining critical forest habitat within the range. Habitat loss resulting from forest conversion for livestock and agriculture has been documented in the southeastern sector of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Granda-Rodríguez et al. 2008). Research is needed to better understand its life history and current threats.  

Bibliography [top]

Fundación ProAves. 2006. Informe Anual 2006.

González-Maya, J.F., M. González, D. Zárrate-Charry, F. Charry, A.A. Cepeda and S.A. Balaguera-Reina. 2011. A new population record and conservation assessment of the Santa Marta Poison Arrow Frog Colostethus ruthveni Kaplan, 1997 (Anura: Dendrobatidae) from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(3): 1633-1636.

Granda-Rodríguez, H. D., Del Portillo-Mozo, A., and Renjifo, J. M. 2008. Range extension of the harlequin frog Atelopus nahumae (Anura: Bufonidae). Herpetotropicos 4(2): 85-86.

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2014).

Kaplan, M. 1997. A new species of Colostethus from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia) with comments on intergeneric relationships within the Dendrobatidae. Journal of Herpetology: 369-375.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Colostethus ruthveni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided