Dendrobates leucomelas 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Dendrobatidae

Scientific Name: Dendrobates leucomelas Steindachner, 1864
Common Name(s):
English Yellow-headed Poison Frog
Spanish Sapito Minero
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: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Enrique La Marca, Claudia Azevedo-Ramos
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from the Guianan Orinoco drainage of Venezuela north to the Río Orinoco (in Bolívar and Amazonas States), east into Guyana to the Essequibo River, south into extreme northern Brazil, and west into eastern Amazonian Colombia. In Venezuela it has been recorded from sea level up to 500m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Brazil; Colombia; Guyana; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a common species.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This brightly coloured diurnal frog is found in leaf-litter, on the ground, on open rocks, near rivers and rivulets, under logs and on trunks of fallen or inclined vegetation in tropical rainforests. During the dry season, specimens congregate under rocks and fallen tree-trunks. Eggs are laid out of water, and the tadpoles are then carried to streams where they develop further. It is adaptable to some habitat disturbance.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Agriculture, logging and fire are threats to the species' habitat. It is also in the international pet trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Some populations live within protected areas south of the Orinoco river in Venezuela. It is considered in the Venezuelan Red Data Book as Lower Risk, Least Concern. It is listed under Appendix II of CITES (listed 22-10-1987), and in the European Community, it is listed under regulation 338/97, Annex B, listed on 01-06-1997 (Walls 1994; Cites web-site). It breeds easily in captivity.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Barrio Amorós, C.L. 2001. Amphibian decline in Venezuela - The state of knowledge. FrogLog: 2-4.

Barrio Amorós, C.L. 2004. Amphibians of Venezuela Systematic List, Distribution and References, An Update. Review of Ecology in Latin America 9(3): 1-48.

Barrio, C.L. and Fuentes, O. 1998. Distribución de Dendrobates leucomelas (Amphibia: Anura: Dendrobatidae) en Venezuela. Acta Biologica Venezuelica: 35-41.

Duellman, W.E. 1997. Amphibians of La Escalera region, Southeastern Venezuela: Taxonomy, Ecology, and Biogeography. Scientific papers of the Natural History Museum of the University of Kansas: 1-52.

Duellman, W.E. 1999. Distribution patterns of amphibians in South America. In: Duellman, W.E. (ed.), Patterns of Distribution of Amphibians. A Global Perspective, pp. 255-328. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.

Frost, D.R. 1985. Amphibian Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Allen Press and the Association of Systematic Collections, Lawrence, Kansas.

Gorzula, S. and Señaris, J.C. 1998. Contribution to the herpetofauna of the Venezuelan Guayana I. A database. Scientiae Guaianae: 1-270.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2004).

La Marca, E. 1992. Catalogo taxonomico, biogeografico y bibliografico de las ranas de Venezuela. Cuadernos Geograficos, Universidad de Los Andes: 1-197.

La Marca, E. 1994. Proyecto EVE (Especies Venezolanas en vías de Extinción). Anuario de Investigación 1991: 75-76.

Myers, C.W. and Daly, J.W. 1979. A name for the poison frog of the Cordillera Azul, eastern Peru, with notes on its biology and skin toxins (Dendrobatidae). American Museum Novitates: 1-24.

Ruiz-Carranza, P.M. and Lynch, J.D. 1991. Ranas Centrolenidae de Colombia I. Propuesta de una nueva clasificación genérica. Lozania (Acta Zoológica colombiana) 57: 1-30.

Ruiz-Carranza, P.M., Ardila-Robayo, M.C. and Lynch, J.D. 1996. Lista actualizada de la fauna de Amphibia de Colombia. Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales 20(77): 365-415.

Silverstone, P.A. 1975. A revision of the poison-arrow frogs of the genus Dendrobates Wagler. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Bulletin 21: 1-55.

Walls, J.G. 1994. Jewels of the Forests - Poison frogs of the Family Dendrobatidae. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, N.J.

Citation: Enrique La Marca, Claudia Azevedo-Ramos. 2004. Dendrobates leucomelas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T55191A11255828. . Downloaded on 28 May 2018.
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