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Epipedobates tricolor 'Cielito' | Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog (Captive Bred)

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About This Product

Defining Characteristics:

  • Great beginner frog
  • Bright red and green coloration
  • Moderately bold
  • Easy to breed
  • Loud call
  • Small
  • Great in groups

Name: Epipedobates tricolor 'Cielito', commonly known as the phantasmal poison dart frog frog, is a small, bold, and patterned frog. 

Recommended Vivarium Size: A 10 gallon aquarium is suitable for 2-3 Epipedobates tricolor, but Josh's Frogs recommends a 20H or larger vivarium - these frogs do great in groups, and a larger vivarium means more frogs can be housed together.

Not sure how to set up a vivarium? Please watch our video on How to Set Up a Vivarium.

Temperature (°F): They can tolerate a temperature range of 65 to 80 degrees, but prefer temperatures in the low to mid 70s. Temperatures over 85 are dangerous.

Humidity: Like most poison dart frogs, tricolors prefer a humidity range of 80 – 100%, but can tolerate humidity down to 50% for short periods of time if the frogs have access to water. Low humidity levels, especially without access to water, can quickly be fatal.

Size: Adult female and male Epipedobates tricolor are similar in length, measuring in at around 1 inch. All of the Epipedobates tricolor 'Cielito' froglets Josh's Frogs sells are well started, and measure at least 5/8" long.

Age: Epipedobates tricolor 'Cielito' is capable of living well over 10 years in captivity under ideal conditions, although a lifespan of 5-8 years is more common. All tricolor for sale at Josh's Frogs are well started sub-adults, and are 3+ months old.

Feeding: Like most poison dart frogs, tricolors prefer smaller foods. All of the thumbnail dart frogs sold by Josh's Frogs will readily eat Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies. Adult Epipedobates tricolor will readily consume Drosophila hydei fruit flies and pinhead crickets. All ages of poison dart frogs will enjoy springtails and isopods. All feeder insects should be dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement.

For more information on what poison dart frogs can eat, please visit our How-To Guide on Feeding Dart Frogs: What, How Often, and How Much?.

Sexing: Epipedobates tricolor 'Cielito' are fairly easy to sex as adults. Females are much wider than males, especially before laying eggs. Josh's Frogs sells 3-4 month old juveniles that are not sexable unless otherwise noted.

For more information on sexing poison dart frogs, please visit our How-To Guide on How to Visually Sex Poison Dart Frogs.

Color/Pattern: The Cielio tricolor  are fairly unique in color and pattern. These frogs have a darker body with many lighter colored spots giving them each unique patterns.

Josh's Frogs does not recommend, support, or endorse line breeding as we believe this leads to weaker captive animals and nature has done a wonderful job of creating an amazing variation in color and pattern of poison dart frogs already.

Social Behavior: These frogs do well housed in groups their entire life as long as enough space is provided. Josh's Frogs recommends approximately 5 gallons per frog. As they reach sexual maturity at 5-8 months of age, the social dynamic in a group of tricolor may change and females may eat each other's eggs, although most will even breed together in the same film canister!

Josh's Frogs strongly recommends against housing different species/morphs of dart frogs - for the health of your pets, please avoid mixing! Josh's Frogs recommends purchasing multiple frogs if you are interested in breeding them – this greatly increases the chances of getting a pair.

Breeding: Best bred in groups, males call to attract a female to a suitable egg laying site. Then, 10-20 eggs are laid under water (often in a film canister or a bromeliad). The eggs hatch into tadpoles, which then take 60-80 days to complete metamorphosis into miniature versions of the adults. Tadpoles will feed on dead fruit flies, the standard frog and tadpole bites, and Sera Micron.

For more information on breeding and raising poison dart frogs, please visit our How-To Guide on Breeding Poison Dart Frogs.

Natural Range: Epipedobates tricolor 'Cielito', is native to Ecuador.

History in the Hobby: These frogs have fairly recently been introduced to the dart frog hobby, making their way from WIKIRI into the US. There have been successful attempts at breeding them in the states since they made their way here!

Links of Interest:

  • The Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog on AmphibiaWeb
  • Epipedobates tricolor (Dendroboard)
  • Phantasmal Poison Frog Epipedobates tricolor - IUCN Red List
  • Epipedobates tricolor | Dendroboard
  • AmphibiaWeb - Epipedobates tricolor
  • Phantasmal poison frog - Wikipedia

Still not sure if Epipedobates anthonyi 'Santa Isabel' from Josh's Frogs are the right poison dart frog for you? Read the reviews below and see what other customers are saying!


After placing an order containing a live animal, you will receive a scheduling email containing our JotForm scheduling link to schedule your new pet's delivery date.

With this scheduling link, you will be able to schedule your order's delivery up to 30 days in advance. You will be able to choose a date of delivery for Tuesday-Saturday (Saturday arrival depends on the carrier's service availability) with the estimated time of arrival generally being 12pm, or 4:30pm for more rural areas. Overnight lows must be above 40°F to ship directly to you (or above 30°F for FedEx Ship Center pickups) as well as below 90°F by estimated time of arrival.

If you require further assistance, or prefer to talk to one of our Customer Service agents, please feel free to reach out to our [email protected] email or our phone line 1-800-691-8178.

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