I added four Ranitomeya summersi to my collection in the spring of 2016. I have long considered bringing in a group of summersi, but I didn’t have the room, and most of my space was dedicated to larger frogs. Then I conducted a survey of different frogs offered for sale on the hobby boards and found this little gem was at the bottom of the list, below many of the large obligates that are rare, but all the rage right now. That survey caused me to rethink my investment in the hobby, and to realign the different species in my care to represent more of the under-appreciated animals in the hobby.
My tradeoff was to re-home my Dendrobates tinctorius “Robertus”, which cleared room for Ranitomeya summersi.
Ranitomeya summersi are a terrestrial thumbnail dendrobatid found within a small range in Peru. It’s said to prefer drier conditions than most other dendrobatids which has implications for its care within the vivarium. Like many other smaller frogs from Peru, the summersi habitat is under threat from deforestation.
History in the hobby
Prior to 2008, Ranitomeya summersi was considered a color morph of R. fantastica, going by the name “yellow fantastica” in the hobby. In 2008, Brown et al. elevated R. summersi to species status based on genetics, distribution, and audio analysis of their calls.
SNDF Yellow fantastica
Mark Pulawski has posted multiple times on different forums that all “yellow fantastica” in the hobby originated from a 1.2 group he brought in during the early 2000’s (circa 2002 / 2003) via Simply Natural Dart Frogs from Vancouver Canada. These animals made their way to Todd Kelley who has shepherded this line through the hobby for well over a decade. Most references to this old line yellow fantastica refer to them as “Todd Kelley Line”.
UE Ranitomeya summersi “Huallaga”
UE Ranitomeya summersi “Sauce”
It’s a bit too early as of this writing, but check back soon for updates on the success of these animals under my care 🙂