Family Friday

Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Family


Suborder: Neobatrachia
Number of Genera: 13 –  Adelphobates, Allobates, Andinobates,
Anomaloglossus, Aromobates, MannophryneAmeeregaColostethus, DendrobatesEpipedobates, Excidobates, Hyloxalus, Minyobates, Oophaga, Phyllobates, Ranitomeya, Rheobates, and Silverstoneia
Number of Species: 170

Poison dart or poison arrow frogs are one of the most popular frog families. They are known for the poison in their skin but not all have it. The frogs themselves do not produce the poison but accumulate it from the food they eat. Poison dart frogs are not poisonous in captivity. They are found in Central and South America.

Sometimes the family is split into two families, Dendrobatidae and Aromobatidae. Frogs in the family Aromabatidae are not as toxic as Dendrobatidae family frogs.

The genus Colostethus is known as the rocket frogs. They are brown in color with lateral stripes.

Bumblebee Poison Dart Frog by Photo by Arpingstone

The genus Denodrobates is the true Poison Dart Frog genus.

Phantasmal Poison Frog (Epipedobates tricolor) photo by Holger Krisp

The genus Epipedobates is known as the Phantasmal Poison Frogs.

Picture by Wilfried Berns

The genus Phyllobates is known as the Golden Poison Dart Frog even though not all of them are gold in color.  The species Phyllobates terribilis is the most poisonous frog in the world.

Ranitomeya is known as the Thumbnail Dart Frogs. A member of the genus, the Imitiator Poison Dart Frog (Ranitomeya imitator), is the only monogamous frog.
The genus Minyobates only has one species – the Demonic Poison Frog (Minyobates steyermarki). It is found in southern Venezuela.
Aromobates is known as the skunk frogs.
Mannophryne is known as the fingered poison frogs.

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Oophaga pumilio) photo by Marshal Hedin


The genus Oophaga is known as the egg eaters because the female lays unfertilized eggs for their newborn tadpoles to eat.

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