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Ranitomeya imitator 'Banded' (Captive Bred) - Mimic Poison Dart Frog

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5.0 out of 5 stars


About This Product

Defining Characteristics:

  • Great beginner thumbnail
  • Bright, variable coloration
  • Bold
  • Easy to breed
  • Moderate call
  • Small
  • Great in pairs or groups

Name: Ranitomeya imitator 'Banded'. Formerly known as Dendrobates imitator, this frog is commonly known as the Mimic Poison Dart Frog due to it's apparent mimicry of thumbnail species that occur sympatrically. Commonly called banded imis in the hobby, Banded imitators are a small, spectacularly colored poison dart frog.

Recommended Vivarium Size: A 10 gallon aquarium is suitable for 2-3 Ranitomeya imitator, but Josh's Frogs recommends a 20H or 18x18x18 Vivarium for 1-3 frogs. Not sure how to set up a vivarium? Please watch our video on How to Set Up a Vivarium.

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

Humidity: Like most poison dart frogs, imitators 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 R. imitator 'Banded' are similar in length, measuring in at around an inch. All of the Ranitomeya imitator 'Banded' froglets Josh's Frogs sells are well started juveniles, and measure approximately 1/2” long.

Age: Ranitomeya imitator 'Banded' is capable of living well over 10 years in captivity under ideal conditions, although a lifespan of 5-8 years is more common. All imis for sale at Josh's Frogs are well started juveniles, and are 2-3 months old.

Feeding: Like most poison dart frogs, imitators prefer smaller foods. All of the thumbnail dart frogs sold by Josh's Frogs will readily eat Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies. 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 Poison Dart Frogs.

Sexing: Ranitomeya imitator 'Banded' are fairly easy to sex as adults. Females are much wider than males, as they lay eggs frequently. Josh's Frogs sells 2-3 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 Sexing Poison Dart Frogs.

Color/Pattern: Banded imitators are fairly consistent in color and pattern. Exhibiting a black bodywith orange lines, they are a striking little thumbnaill dart frog! 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 imitator dart frogs 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: Imitators are one of the easiest poison dart frogs to breed. Best bred in pairs, males call to attract a female to a suitable egg laying site. Then, 4-8 eggs are laid on a smooth surface (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/sera micron fare, and even unfertilized eggs if left in with the adults! For more information on breeding and raising poison dart frogs, please visit our How-To Guide on Breeding Poison Dart Frogs.

Natural Range: Ranitomeya imitator 'Banded' is a lowland species, inhabiting the Huallaga region in Peru. These frogs mimic Ranitomeya summersi in the wild.

History in the Hobby: Imitators have been around in the hobby for decades. Banded imitators have never been common, but are quite a spectacular frog!

Links of Interest: - article on Ranitomeya imitator

Imitator Poison Dart Frog - Wikipedia

DendroBase - Ranitomeya imitator

Imitator - IUCN Redlist

Ranitomeya imitator caresheet on Dendroboard

Josh's Frogs Blog on Thumbnail Dart Frogs

Still not sure if Ranitomeya imitator 'Banded' 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.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

Based on 6 reviews

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Fat Frog Man

5.0 out of 5 stars


Active shortly after placing in new home and feeding right away. Very nice colors and entertaining to watch! Shipped well packed to Florida in the middle of July with no issues! (I recommend picking up at Fedex rather than delivery for peace of mind) I would buy again!


5.0 out of 5 stars

Excellent Beginner Frog!

This is a stunningly beautiful and active frog that arrived healthy and thriving. They hid out for the first couple days but now are pretty bold especially around feeding time. These are climbers and like to hang out in the top 1/3 of my 18x18x24 vivarium. To get the fruit flies to them I end up tossing the flies into the base of a climbing vine that is about 2/3 up the the tank. I bought three of these and less than four months later I have two tadpoles I am rearing. After about a month after receiving them the males started calling.


5.0 out of 5 stars

A Slice of Heaven

I debated between two species for a week and decided to go with the banded. They are outstanding!! Their colors/patterns are better than I imagined. They were super active right out of the box. Best choice I've made in 2020 so far! :)


5.0 out of 5 stars

Great Overall Choice

Picked up a few of these recently and one was calling within 15 mins of being put into quarantine. All frogs eating great and are fat and healthy. Thanks to Zach for helping me pick my animals and providing his great insight as always.


5.0 out of 5 stars

These little darts are awesome!

They arrived safely. Look amazing. Very active. 100% satisfied.

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