Oophaga is a genus of poison-dart frogs containing nine species, many of which were formerly in the Dendrobates genus. The frogs are distributed in Central and South America, from Nicaragua through the Colombian El Choco to northern Ecuador (at elevations below 1,200 m (3,900 ft)). Their habitats vary with some species being arboreal while other being terrestrial, but the common feature is that their tadpoles are obligate egg feeders.
Scientific classification :
Oophaga, Greek for "egg eater" (oon, phagos), is descriptive of the tadpoles' diet.
While presumably all dendrobatids show parental care, this is unusually advanced in Oophaga: the tadpoles feed exclusively on unfertilized eggs supplied as food by the mother; the father is not involved. Through the eggs, the mother also passes defensive toxins to the tadpoles: Oophaga pumilio tadpoles experimentally fed with eggs from alkaloid-free frogs did not contain alkaloids.
There are nine species in this genus:
Oophaga arborea (Myers, Daly, and Martínez, 1984) — Polkadot poison frog
Oophaga granulifera (Taylor, 1958) — Granular poison frog
Oophaga histrionica (Berthold, 1845) — Harlequin poison frog
Oophaga lehmanni (Myers and Daly, 1976) — Lehmann's poison frog
Oophaga occultator (Myers and Daly, 1976) — La Brea poison frog
Oophaga pumilio (Schmidt, 1857) — Strawberry poison-dart frog
Oophaga speciosa (Schmidt, 1857) — Splendid poison frog
Oophaga sylvatica (Funkhouser, 1956) — Diablito poison frog
Oophaga vicentei (Jungfer, Weygoldt, and Juraske, 1996) — Vicente's poison frog
Oophaga are kept as pets, but they are challenging to breed in captivity. Oophaga pumilio, however, is easier to breed and popular.
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Oophaga pumilio "Vulture Point" calling.
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The genus Oophaga was already separated 1994 by B AUER from the genus Dendrobates W AGLER , 1830. This taxonomic act was not acknowledged, however, for lack of traceable scientific reasons,taxon Oophaga B AUER 1994 was regarded as a synonym for Dendrobates W AGLER 1830. In the course of the extensive revision of the Dendrobatidae family, G RANT ET AL . (2006) the genus Dendrobates againdue to genetic, ethological and morphological similarities in several genera. Each of the proposed taxa (genera) is clearly defined according to the available data monophyletic a group in the family tree of the family Dendrobatidae. Also for species from the so-called Histrionicus group (sensu M YERS & D ALY 1984) by Dendrobates gives a clearly distinguishableclade, Although the description of BAUER did not contain sufficient supporting evidence for a secure separation, it sufficed, in its own way, to comply with the International Nomenclature Rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (abbreviated ICZN). Thus, for the monophyletic group according to G RANT ET AL . (2006) an older generic name is available: Oophaga B AUER 1994. This has taken precedence over newer generic names according to the guidelines of the ICZN (2001) and was therefore published by G RANT ET AL . revalidated. Type of the genus is Dendrobates pumilio S CHMIDT 1857. The generic name Oophaga comes from the Greek oophag (= eating) and refers to the highly specialized brood care (larva feeding with Abortiveiern) within the genus. Within the family Dendrobatidae the genus as an independent Klade in the subfamily Dendrobatinae C OPE 1865 stands together with thsister genre Dendrobates W AGLER 1830 beside the other enera Adelphobates G RANT ET AL . 2006 MinyobatesM yers , 1982, Phyllobates D UMERIL & B Ibron 1841 and Ranitomeya B AUER , 1988. The genus currently contains 9 valid species: Oophaga arborea, O. granulifera, O. histrionica, O. lehmanni, O. occultator, O pumilio, O. speciosa, O.
sylvaticaand O. vicentei * (sensu F ROST , 2007). The demarcation to the other genera was based onsynapomorph he genetic, morphological
The and ethologically he features. The genetically monophyletic Klade can be distinguished from all other genera by other features. Morphologically mainly due to some larval characteristics like the enlarged mouth, the strongly pronounced hornbill and enlarged Marginalpapillen (an oophagy custom mouth field). Ethically the genus is characterized by the common Chirp reputation (chirp-call) and female nurses with specialized egg feeding (obligatorye oophagia). G RANT ET AL . (2006) suggest some additional features which, however, are not always clear and even partial plesiomorphice characteristics of the subfamily Dendrobatinae. Many of the G RANT ET AL. S ILVERSTONE (1975) and M YERS & D ALY (1984) were used to delineate the representatives of the genus Oophaga(sensu G RANT ET AL .) from other representatives of the genus Dendrobates . This delimitation has so far been expressed in the division of the genus Dendrobates into subgroups (Histrionicus and Pumilio group sensu S ILVERSTONE , 1975 and Histrionicus group sensu M YERS & D ALY, 1984). The delineation criteria are therefore not fundamentally new. The splitting of the genus is thus only a more consistent interpretation of well-known criteria, which also adds a stronger weighting to the genetic data.
The genus Oophaga is a typical Westandine or Central American faunal element. The representatives of the genus are found only in Central America and in northwestern South America west of the Andean chain (western Colombia and northwest Ecuador). The spreading area coincides precisely with the spreading area of the genus Phyllobates (M YERS & D ALY , 1983). Both genera even show the same distribution gap in eastern Panama. Evidently, both genes have the same biogeographical distribution history. The genus probably originated after the unfolding of the Andes about 10 million years ago in the north-west of South America (S ILVERSTONE, 1975). From here immigration to the newly formed Central American land bridge took place about 3.5 million years ago (S AVAGE , 2002). Two relatively early inflected lines of Oophaga and Phyllobates were thought to be on the Pacific side throughout the earth's historyglaciale and interglaciae Climate change is island-like. The species Oophaga granulifera has presumably emerged from this early line and is today the most original representative of the genus Oophaga . It shows only a distant kinship with both Colombian and Central American species. Today are the species O. granulifera and Phyllobates vittatusin Central America in the territory of the Osa Peninsula, are separated from all other representatives of their genera climatically by dry forest areas in the north-west and southeast and the high mountain chain to the north. From this, for example, the species O. pumilio and O. arborea emerged, which according to H AGEMANN (2005) are more closely related to the Colombian O. histrionica .
Fig .: Spreading area of the genus Oophaga with spreading gap in eastern Panama. © 2006 Thorsten Mahn
The distribution gap of the genera Oophaga and Phyllobates also appears to be due to glacial and interglacial events. In the east of Panama is the isthmus very shallow and probably in the intervening ice ages below sea level. At the peak of the ice age the flat planes seem to have had a savannah-like character due to the drier climate (S ILVERSTONE , 1975). These climatic fluctuations have allowed spreading only in short-term geological periods in which the land bridge in the Darien area has a closed woodland. After the last Ice Age, it was probably only the adaptable Dendrobates auratus that succeeded to settle these areas again successfully. Representatives of the genera Oophaga and Phyllobates and the minutus group of Ranitomeya are not found in the eastern Darien, but only east again in the Choco region of Colombia or west of Central Panama.
Due to the feminine stem of the genus, a new combination with Oophaga (f) resulted in some changes in the gender-defining suffixes from -us (m) to -a (f). For example, from Dendroates histrionicus (m) the taxon Oophaga histrionica (f)
Fig .: Breed-like depiction of the relationships of the genus Oophaga. Neighbor Joining Tree based on 16S rRNA sequences. © 2007 Sabine Hagemann
Oophaga histrionica "Buenaventura"
Oophaga granulifera "Quepos"
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Oophaga Genus :
Oophaga Genus :