Selaginella erythropus

Bauer, 1986

At last count, the genus Ameerega was comprised of 32 species (Frost, 2013), most of which until recently were classified under the genus Epidobates.  Ameerega are medium to large-sized Dendrobatids; a number of species exceeding 5 cm (approximately 2”).  Coarse, granular skin and 2 or three bright dorsal stripes further typifies this group.  Often associated with rocky streams in their native habitat, they are strong jumpers and very fast.  Their clutches tend to be quite large for Dendrobatids, often containing a dozen or more eggs, which males guard ferociously.

Ameerega were named for J. Meere; the suffix “aga” is Greek, meaning good.  Currently I do not have information on Mr. Meere other than that he is said to have had a particular appreciation for what is known today as Ameerega trivittata.[1]

Ameerega are Amazonian endemics with populations in Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru.  Sizeable populations occur throughout the east-Andean versant and east into the Amazon basin.[2]

All of the major/minor alkaloids present in Ameerega are histrionicotoxins and decahydroquinolines[3], not epibaditine, the predominant toxin produced by species in the genus Epibates from which Ameerega were recently separated.

[1] Lötters et al; Poison Frogs:  Biology, Species and Captive Husbandry


[3] Daly et al: N-Methyldecahydroquinolines: An Unexpected Class of Alkaloids from Amazonian Poison Frogs (Dendrobatidae), National Institute of Health