Dart frog info

Tiny dart frog - gorgeous red colour

The dart frog is so small!  See below for more dart frog info...

  • it is usually only about 1 inch in length.  
  • They come in many bright colours such as red, yellow, copper and blue.  
  • They are carnivores and so eat meat. 
  • In the wild, the dart frog can live between 3 - 15 years, though this is usually around 8 years generally.
  • Dart frogs do not perform amplexus
  • Males attract females by defending their area and making it appealing and attractive to the female dart frog. 
  • The female is very territorial over her choice of male frog and will protect him aggressively if need be from another female dart frog.
  • The male dart frog carries tadpoles on his back to small pools of water - there is not an unlimited supply of these pools for the frogs to choose from and so the frog will usually return to the same one each time.

Dart frogs are surprisingly small.  They are beautifully colored - bright and vivid coloring on them means they can come out during the day, whereas all other frogs tend to come out at night.  

The reason for this is that frogs have many predators and during the day they are easily spotted and so are easy targets and easy prey.  However, the brightly-colored dart frog does not have to live by these rules!  Oh no!  He is a very lucky frog that is able to come and go as he pleases and this is because of his bright vivid coloring.  Whenever he is around, any other creature that sees him, spots the coloring and that means only one thing!  It shouts out to predators 'I AM HIGHLY TOXIC - DO NOT EAT ME OR YOU WILL DIE!' and therefore the little poisonous dart frog can do as he pleases and come and go as he pleases.  

  • But how does the poison dart frog become poisonous in the first place?

The poison starts off in the leaves of plants and then ants eat the leaves and frogs eat the ants therefore taking in all the poison from the leaves and then the frogs sweat out the poison from their skin. 

  • Interestingly, dart frogs that are kept in captivity never develop this poisonous capability.  This is because the insects that they eat in captivity have not been exposed to leaves in their natural habitat that are not poisonous and so then can't transfer the poison to the frog. 

One of the golden poisonous dart frogs that comes from Columbia can carry enough poison its body to kill up to TEN people!  The indigenous people used the poison from the frog to use on the tips of their darts for throwing at prey to catch and the poison would kill the prey on touch.

The medicine industry is interested in frog poison as it believes it could be used to treat and cure ailments.  There is some evidence currently that it could be used as a painkiller.  There is a lot of work going on the field of medicine to find out more about how the dart frog can be used in medicine and healing.


Image by kham_me from Pixabay

More Dart frog info:

  • The female dart frog is more active at chasing down her male mate.  She will follow him where he is leading her to but will often stroke him or jump on his back
  • Even though a female actively pursues a male, the female frog is more likely to reject a male frog than the other way around

Dart frog Info...

Poisonous golden dart frog
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