|Zimmermann's poison dart frog|
|Binomial name||Ranitomeya imitator|
|Average Size||1.6 cm (0.6 in)|
|Average weight||1.35 grams|
|Distribution of species||Southern Peru, possibly Bolivia|
Zimmermann's poison dart frog is a species of poison dart frog. It is endemic to Peru. R. variabilis is an arboreal species, found in the canopy of the Amazon Jungle. It lives alongside Ranitomeya imitator with which it shares a close resemblence.
Like many Ranitomeya species, Zimmermann's poison dart frog's toxins are relatively weak. Its skin secretes pumiliotoxin C, a less-potent version of the pumiliotoxins secreted by the Dendrobates and Oophaga species. Pumiliotoxin C, like other pumiliotoxins, interferes with muscle contraction in the heart and skeletal muscle. The very small amount of poison that the mimic poison dart frog carries is nonetheless enough to cause illness in humans.
Pumiliotoxin is deadly in high concentrations. Pumiliotoxin is weaker than allopumiliotoxin and especially batrachotoxin, with a lethal dose of 2 mg (R. varuabilis carries about a quarter milligram). There are three different types of this toxin A, B and C. The toxin works by affecting the calcium channels. Some of the symptoms of pumiliotoxins are partial paralysis, having difficulty moving, being hyperactive and in some cases it can result in death.
Zimmermann's poison dart frog is very similar to the mimic poison dart frog, but larger, at around 1.6 cm in length. It is also bulkier, having a somewhat pudgy appearence. It also lacks the toe discs present in R. imitator.It is difficult to decide whether R. variabilis should be referred to as primarily black or primarily green or orange. The black areas are usially prominent, rounded, and widely separated by a reticulum of the conteasting color. The secondary colour is often yellowish-green, but may also be lime green, pale green, yellow, orange, or even copper-coloured. The limbs bear tiny, fragmented spots of black separated by a reticulum of blue or green.
R. variabilis can be extremely difficult to differentiate from R. imitator. The former is generally larger than the latter, but there is some overlap in size. A more consistent means of differentiation is the number of spots on the nose (Ranitomeya imitator has two while R. variabilis only has one).