ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Some Fascinating Poison Dart Frog Facts

Updated on February 21, 2015

Toxic Amphibians: Dart Frogs of the Amazon Forest

Poison dart frogs of the family Dendrobatidae are found in tropical forests of Central and South America. Their name derives from the fact that indigenous hunters would tip their blowgun darts with the toxins produced by the frogs. The poisons are thought to be concentrated from the alkaloids in plants eaten by the ants and other insects that the dart frogs prey on. Captive bred frogs are not poisonous, since the flies and crickets that form their staple diet are not fed poisonous plants.

The golden poison frog, Phyllobates terribilis, found mainly in Colombia, is the most toxic frog known. Secretions for one, 2 inch frog, are enough to kill 10 grown men. It produces a poison known as batrachtoxin that blocks transmission at the neuromuscular junction, causing paralysis, including paralysis of the respiratory system, and death.

The bright colours of dart frogs act as warning to predators

The frogs are some of the most brilliantly coloured amphibians. The colours serve to warn potential predators that are considering the frog for their dinner that, if they eat it, it will be their last meal. There are about 75 different species of dartfrog, each one with a different colour. Frequently frogs of the same species exhibit different patterns and colours depending on the locality in which they are found

The azureus poison dart frog
The azureus poison dart frog | Source

Dart frog reproduction

One of the most remarkable poison dart frog facts is that, unlike most amphibians, they take care of their young. The male finds a suitable spot and calls to attract a female. Male frogs will often fight over territory and the female chooses the winner, reasoning that he is more genetically fit and will pass ‘good genes’ to her offspring. Females lay few eggs, usually between 1 and 5, unlike waxy monkey tree frogs that can produce hundreds or thousands of eggs. Depending on species, either the male or the female carries the tadpoles on his back, they stick to the mucus the frogs produce, and searches for a suitable place in which to deposit the children. Many dart frog species use bromeliads to rear their offspring, depositing the tadpole in the junction between leaves, which is flooded with rainwater. Each tadpole is placed in a different bromeliad, to prevent cannibalism, and also to increase the chance of at least some surviving, tadpoles are easy prey to other insects and animals.

David Attenborough presents the poison dart frog

In some species this is the extent of parental care, but the strawberry dart frog, Dendrobatis pumilio, male remembers the exact bromeliad in which he deposited each tadpole and checks on them regularly. When the tadpole is hungry, he calls out to attract their mother and induces her to lay an unfertilized egg in the bromeliad, which serves as food for the tadpole until it metamorphoses and can hunt its own food.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Thomas mack 

      4 years ago from Glasgow

      Thanks for sharing this info natures a great thing to watch n learn about

    • aa lite profile imageAUTHOR

      aa lite 

      6 years ago from London

      Thank you both, and may I say it is a very wise choice for a project. If you are ever looking for another frog to research, I highly recommend the giant waxy monkey frog, Phyllomedusa bicolour.

      It looks really cool it has a very interesting name, with an interesting explanation, I have kept a male for 7 years and he is a fascinating pet.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for all this information about Blue Poison Dart Frogs! I'm 10 years old and I'm in 4th grade, i needed to do a research project about amphibians so i chose a Blue Poison Dart Frog! After writing down some research notes, i'd like to thank you for posting these fascinating facts and images!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for this information about the Blue Poison Dart Frog! I'm 10 years old and I'm in 4th grade, so i had to do a research project my teacher chose for me which she chose was amphibians! so i chose Blue Poison Dart Frog and i would like to say thank you for posting these fascinating facts and images!

    • aa lite profile imageAUTHOR

      aa lite 

      7 years ago from London

      Thanks! In the UK Attenborough is basically a "National Treasure", I love his documentaries, all that beautiful photography, great facts, and that cultured calm voice narrating it all!

    • tsadjatko profile image

      7 years ago from now on

      Don't you just love David Attenborough? Great hub!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)