Pleasing poison dart frog
Chrome green bassleri
Physical description
Binomial nameAmeerega bassleri
HabitatTropical rainfrorest; shallow streams
Lifespan10+ years
Average Size3-4.5 cm
Average weight4-6 grams
Conservational Status
StatusNear threatened
IUCN status3.1
Scientific classification
SpeciesA. bassleri
Distribution of speciesSoutheastern Peru

The pleasing poison dart frog, Ameerega bassleri, is a species of poison dart frog. It is endemic to Peru. The second-largest of its genus, A. bassleri requires higher humidity than many of its relatives. It is the sister species to A. trivittata.

Toxin Edit

As with all of the dendrobatine poison dart frogs, the main toxin secreted by A. bassleri is pumiliotoxin, specifically pumiliotoxin 251D. Wild A. bassleri also have the ability to convert their toxins into allopumiliotoxins. Direct contact with a wild pleasing poison dart frog can cause severe cramping, local paralysis, and seizures. The pleasing poison dart frog is believed to be the most toxic member of the Ameerega genus.

Description Edit

Ameerega bassleri is the second-largest member of the Ameerega genus, after A. trivittata. The two species are closely related and somewhat similar; however, there are notable differences. Ameerega bassleri typically reach 4.25 cm (1.7 in) in length from snout to vent; some large females have been known to reach 4.5 cm (1.8 in) long. Females are larger than males, which rarely exceed 4.0 cm (1.6 in).

Tarapoto bassleri

Tarapoto morph.

The pleasing poison dart frog is usually primarily black. Like A. pepperi, two lateral stripes run along each flank. The limbs are normally a uniform blue or green, with a few small stripes of black in some morphs. The underside is cobalt or royal blue with a reticulum of black or navy blue. In most cases, the dorsum is black with blue or green splotches. A predominantly yellow form with only a few small patches of black, known as the Tarapoto morph, can be found in the Cordillera Azul of Peru.

A. bassleri is more arboreal than the similar A. pepperi. As a result, it has visible adhesive toe pads that aid it in climbing; this is likely the best way to differentiate the two species.

Reproduction Edit

The pleasing poison dart frog, unlike many other poison dart frogs, does not live in specific groups of interacting individuals; instead, it lives in dense populations consisting of separate frogs living in close proximity to one another. As such, there are no "breeding gatherings" and males may court females at any time.

Ameerega bassleri calling01:02

Ameerega bassleri calling

Captive male specimen demonstrating the alternating periods of calling and resting.

Males set up their positions in a suitable place for egg-laying. The call is a loud but beautiful peep repeated about once every 1-3 seconds for four or five minutes. If a female does not respond, the male will rest for a period of time and then begin calling again. He will repeat this process until a female approaches, at which point his calls become more rapid and emphatic in an attempt to impress "his" female. Once the female is sufficiently impressed, she lays a small clutch of eggs which the male then guards. When the eggs hatch, they are carried by a male to a source of water; sometimes a puddle, and sometimes a water-filled tree hollow. The tadpoles are algae-eaters; they feed by scraping algae off of surfaces with their beaks. They are guarded by their father until their development is complete.

In Captivity Edit

Bassleri adapts very well to captivity. Being large Ameerga they are capable of large jumps, but are not quite as "jumpy" as trivittata, and should be provided a relatively spacious terrarium (we recommend no less than 24"Lx16Wx16H). Though closely associated with water in nature, running water in the terrarium is not mandatory. A varied diet and good lighting will help these frogs achieve their full potential.

Picture GalleryEdit

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