Oophaga pumilio “Rio Colubre” was first discovered/documented in 2005 by Adam Stein, with Syracuse University. The morph was kept secret until it was published in 2010 in Herpetological Review. He stated, “Individuals from this population were encountered on the mainland of the Bocas del Toro Province, Panama in the foothills between the Rio Changuinola and the Rio Risco…. Although individuals of the nominate color morph were often encountered in adjacent areas along the Rio Changuinola, the two morphs were never seen within the area.”
A dam on the nearby Rio Changuinola was installed a few years ago, resulting in nearby populations (Loma Colubre, Valle Del Ray, La Pava, etc) becoming increasingly separated from each other, by the now man-made lake.
The population was discovered by a Panmanian wildlife exporter in 2013 and live specimens were exported for the first time to the USA in late 2013, to SR. This locality was exported to Europe for the first time in early 2014 to Dutch Rana. High numbers of males came in all shipments. Many individuals exhibited sores and on the first shipments a fair number of specimens were lost. Males specimens can be difficult to distinguish from females. While some males have prominent vocal sacs, others do not.
Captive breeding has occurred to to F1 status, with a few reports of F2 specimens as of the time of writing.