20 Interesting Facts About Poison Dart Frogs

  1. Poison dart frogs, or poison arrow frogs, are famous for their poisonous and brightly colored skin. They can display various colors like red, yellow, orange, green, blue, etc.
  2. The bright skin color of poison dart frogs is generally considered a warning for predators. But on occasions, the same bright color can also act as camouflage on the rainforest floor for a few frog species. (Source)
  3. Poison dart frogs had uniform colors about 10,000 years ago. But rising seawater in Panama scattered these frogs on different islands. There, they developed different striking colors according to their toxicity level. Now the more poisonous frogs have more attractive and visible colors than frogs with less poison. (Source)
  4. snake species, commonly known as the fire-bellied snake, is the only natural predator of poison dart frogs. A substance in its saliva detoxifies the poisons of these frogs.
  5. After hatching eggs in the leaf litter, the tadpoles are carried away by a male poison dart frog on its back to far-off pools. These pools are usually away from nearly available ponds that help to minimize competition for resources. (Source)
  6. These poisonous frogs are present in the western hemisphere. They are endemic to the tropical rainforests of central and South America.
  7. Most amphibians are nocturnal (active at night) to avoid predators. However, poison dart frogs are diurnal due to their poisonous skin that hinders potential predators.
  8. Poison dart frogs in captivity are without poison, thanks to the consumption of non-toxic food. Even wild frogs lose their toxicity after spending some time in captivity.
  9. Poison dart frogs are carnivorous that eat ants, termites, beetles, and other insects. Their toxicity is due to the consumption of insects that eat poisonous plants.
  10. The mother of strawberry poison frogs feeds tadpoles with her unfertilized eggs. They provide nutrition and poison to tadpoles. (Source)
  11. There are more than 175 species of poison dart frogs. The toxicity level of various species is different. The indigenous people in Central and South America have long used poison from four of the deadliest species to make their arrows poisonous.
  12. Various species of poison dart frogs contain more than 500 different toxins, while scientists know the biological activity of about 60 of them. According to estimates, these toxins can prove beneficial for human health. (Source)
  13. Though most species of poison dart frogs are toxic, many are not dangerous to humans. They contain less amount of poison that can’t kill humans.
  14. Poison dart frogs don’t sting or bite, but even touching these frogs can be deadly. Touching even frogs with mild toxins can cause numbness. Few poison frogs get their toxins from food; others change mild toxins into potent ones, while few produce their toxins. These frogs are immune to their poison. (Source
    Two species of poison dart frogs
    Even touching poison dart frogs is lethal

  15. The golden poison frog, the most toxic poison dart frog species, is considered the most poisonous animal alive. Poison in a single frog is enough to kill ten grown men. They are between 1.5 and 6 cm long and are present only in Colombia. The local tribes use the poison of this frog on the tips of their blowgun darts for hunting. (Source)
  16. Poison dart frogs initially appeared around 40-45 million years ago. Their first destination was the forests of northern South America.
  17. The lifespan for poison dart frogs is from 3 to 15 years in the wild. They can live longer in captivity.
  18. Most frogs lay eggs in water. However, poison dart frogs lay their eggs on land, either under a leaf or in a small burrow.
  19. After deposition of the eggs, the male fertilizes them. The fertilization process of eggs takes place outside the female body. Unlike most other amphibians, the male protects these eggs until they hatch.
  20. The green and black poison dart frog is the only species of poison dart frog successfully introduced in Hawaii. Its native range is Central America and northwestern South America. It is reproducing in Hawaii without any conservation. (Source)


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