Colostethinae Cope, 1867

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Superfamily: Dendrobatoidea > Family: Dendrobatidae > Subfamily: Colostethinae
67 species

Colostethidae Cope, 1867, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Ser. 2, 6: 191. Type genus: Colostethus Cope, 1866.

CalostethinaMivart, 1869, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1869: 293. Incorrect subsequent spelling and reranking of Colostethidae Cope, 1867, as a subfamily.

CalostethidaeCope, 1875, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 1: 7. Incorrect subsequent spelling.

Colostethini — Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 140. Tribe. 

Epipedobatini — Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 141. Tribe. 

English Names

None noted.


Mato Grosso do Sul and Goias throughout most of Amazonian South America to the eastern slopes of the Andes from Bolivia to Venezuela; southwestern Costa Rica to southwestern Ecuador along the Pacific coast and into the Andes and inter-Andean valleys of Colombia.


Santos, Coloma, Summers, Caldwell, Ree, and Cannatella, 2009, PLoS Biol., 7(3)e56: 44, rejected the recognition of this taxon on the basis of undisclosed evidence and assertion. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, confirmed the monophyly of this taxon. Guillory, Muell, Summers, and Brown, 2019, Diversity, 11 (126): 1–14, reported on the phylogenetics and evolutionary history of the family and suggested that Hyloxalinae is the sister taxon of Colostethinae. The claim by Portik, Streicher, and Wiens, 2023, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 188 (107907): 67, that their placement of Colostethus ruthveni in Dendrobatinae renders Colostethinae non-monophyletic is surprising inasmuch as Grant, Rada, Anganoy-Criollo, Batista, Dias, Jeckel, Machado, and Rueda-Almonacid, 2017, S. Am. J. Herpetol., 12 (Special Issue): 1–90 (not cited by Portik et al., 2023) already noted that the Colostethus ruthveni group (Colostethus ruthveni and an unnamed species) sits within Dendrobatinae and not within Colostethus. Grant et al. (2017) placed quotation marks around Colostethus to mark that its generic assignment remains to be identified. 

Contained taxa (67 sp.):

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