This species occurs in north-central Amazonian Peru, in the regions of Loreto and San Martín (Brown et al. 2011). It is found in the Cordillera Escalera, east to Huallaga with an altitudinal range between 200 and 1,200 m asl. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be around 10,000 km
Habitat and Ecology
It is diurnally active within primary and old-growth secondary lowland tropical moist forest. It exhibits a seasonal monogamous mating system and biparental care (Brown et al. 2011). The females lay eggs and after one to two embryos hatch, the male carries the tadpoles on its back and deposits each individually in a water-filled bromeliad, after which time both parents return on a regular basis, so that the female lays eggs for the tadpoles to feed on until they complete metarmophosis (Brown et al. 2011). This species is not thought to occur in human-modified habitats.
It appears to be locally common and relatively widespread. Between 2004 and 2007 over 500 individuals were observed in over 300 person/day surveys (von May et al. 2008).
This is a relatively widespread species with large areas of suitable habitat remaining. The main threats are localized habitat loss due to different human activities such as agriculture, livestock farming and logging. In recent years small-scale illegal trade has been observed in this species and some of the more colourful morphs may be more at risk (Brown et al. 2011).
It is present in the Parque Nacional Cordillera Azul and in the Regional Conservation Area of Cordillera Escalera. This is a highly polymorphic species with only a few morphs being currently protected (von May et al. 2008). Research is needed to determine the morphs in trade and to monitor numbers being harvested.
Ranitomeya intermedia is now considered to be a junior synonym of Ranitomeya imitator (Brown et al. 2011).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Ranitomeya imitator. In: IUCN 2014