Frog of the Week

Lehmann’s Poison Dart Frog (Oophaga lehmanni)

photos by Gert Benaets


Common Name: Lehmann’s Poison Dart Frog or Red-banded Poison Frog,
Scientific Name: Oophaga lehmanni
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Location: Colombia
Size: 1.2 to 1.4 inches (31-36 mm)

These color poison dart frogs are named after Colombian biologist Frederico Lehmann. There are 3 different colors of the frogs shown above. The bright colors warn predators that they are in fact poisonous. They are diurnal (active during the day) because they don’t fear any predators due to their poison.

The Lehmann’s Poison Dart Frog breeds right after the rainy season. The males call to attract females to their territory.  The pair lays their egg and fertilizes the them around 3 feet above the ground. The males stay and protect the eggs from predators and rotates them. Two to four weeks after the eggs are laid, the male takes the eggs on their back and deposits them in bromeliads, hollow trees, and bamboo stalks. Each eggs gets its own space due to the cannibalistic nature of the tadpoles. The females come back to the tadpoles and lay unfertilized eggs in the water bodies for them to eat.

The Lehmann’s Poison Dart Frog is listed as Critically Endangered International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. The main threat to them is habitat destruction and fragmentation. Their native habitat is being destroyed to make way for cities,  for logging, and for agriculture. In addition, they are harvested for the illegal pet trade.

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