Frog of the Week

Golden Poison Dart Frog (Phyllobates terribilis)

Golden Poison Dart Frog
Golden Poison Dart Frog by Wilfried Berns

Common Name: Golden Poison Dart Frog or Golden Poison Arrow Frog
Scientific Name: Phyllobates terribilis
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Location: Colombia
Size: Male- 1.77 inches(45 mm) | Female – 1.8 inches (47 mm)

The Golden Poison Dart frog is the most poisonous frog in the world and one of the most poisonous animals. It is estimated that a single one of the frogs has enough poison to kill 10-20 people. Their poison is derived from their diet in the wild, thus captive bred frogs are not poisonous, allowing them to be pets. While the frog is found in the pet trade, it is important to remember that they are endangered. Before buying a frog, make sure to read my article Preparing to Buy a Frog or Toad and make sure to buy a captive bred one. Indigenous people use the poisons of the frogs on their darts to help with hunting.

The frog lives in the leaf litter of the western foothills of the Andes. These poison dart frogs are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. Their bright color warns predators that they are poisonous. They live most of their life in solitude in the wild. Occasionally, they are found in pairs. In captivity, they can be in groups as they are not hostile to eachother.

The Golden Poison Dart Frogs lay their eggs on land in clutches of less than 20. When the eggs hatch, the male parent moves the tadpoles to water on its back. They can even carry up 9 tadpoles on their back at once.

photo by Brian Gratwicke

Conservation of the Golden Poison Frog

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Golden Poison Dart Frog as an Endangered species. Their habitat is being destroyed for the a variety of reasons. The rain forests that they live in are being cut down illegally for agriculture, mining, and logging. Better enforcement of the laws are needed to protect the species.

Leave a Reply