The Silverstone’s poison frog gains its brightly orange, red, and black colors at 1 year of age to deter potential predators.
Despite lacking great potency, the Silverstone’s poison frog has bright coloration which deters predators. The color pattern is a convergent autapomorphy.
The head, body, and forelimbs of an adult Silverstone’s poison frog is orange or red, sometimes with heavy black spots, marbling, or mottling, especially towards the rear. Sometimes a black reticulum extends forward on the back, at times so extensively as to demarcate bright spots on a black ground. Individuals having extensive black on the dorsum usually have the tympanum concealed in a black postocular spot, and, with addition of a black preocular stripe, some have a complete face mask. Such individuals also may have black markings on the forelimbs. The hind limbs are largely or partially black and may have spots of body color on the thighs or with bright body color extending dorsally over the thighs and onto the shanks. Some specimens (e.g., holotype) have a large calf spot of body color concealed below the knee on the anteroventral face of the tibia. This mark is reduced or absent in others, or present but fused with bright color from atop the thighs in individuals having brightly pigmented limbs. The forelimbs and undersides of the head and body are variably pigmented, ranging from black to uniformly pale, faded orange. Any light ventral color is much paler and not as bright as on the dorsum and often suffused with gray, except the undersides of the arms. The palms of the hands and feet and the underside of the digits also vary from grey to immaculate, bright orange. The gular area is often pigmented gray or black in females as well as in males.
This pattern is developed within a month or so after birth, and expansion of the orange-reddish areas occurs after twelve months.
Bright orange or reddish parts of the body turn pale yellowish or grayish in preservative.