Poison dart frog

Morphed yellow and blue poison dart frog (Dendrobates tinctorius) at the Cincinnati Zoo

Ranging from yellow to blue to red, poison dart frogs are brightly colored to warn hungry predators that they harbor numerous poison glands in their skin. Not only does the toxin defend the frog against predators, it also prevents bacteria and fungi from growing on its skin. When raised in captivity, poison dart frogs lose their potency, which suggests that something in their natural environment is required to produce their poison.

Some South American tribes rub poison dart frogs on their blowgun darts and arrowheads for hunting.Parental care is unusual for frogs, but poison dart frog males guard the eggs until they hatch and then carries the tadpoles on his back to a pool of water.


  • Where to see them: Northern South America
  • Lifespan: More than 10 yrs
  • Habitat: Tropical rainforest
  • Diet: Ants, termites, and small flies
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