Frog of the Week

Dyeing Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius)

Dyeing Poison Dart Frog
Azureus morph

Common Name: Dyeing Poison Dart Frog
Scientific Name: Dendrobates tinctorius
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Location: Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname
Size: 1.25 – 2.5 inches (31.75 – 63 mm)

The Dyeing Poison Dart Frog gets its named from legends of the members of the tribes of the Amazon. They were able to change the colors of a parrot’s feathers from green to red by rubbing a live frog on the parrot’s skin. This dyeing of the feathers gave it the name.

They are a very popular in the pet trade industry because of its bright colors, large size for a dart frog, and its hardiness. They can live up to 15 years in captivity. The frogs are not dangerous in captivity because their poison comes from their diet in nature. Remember to read my blog post Preparing for a Pet Frog or Toad before thinking about getting a frog.

Dyeing Poison Dart Frog
Giant Orange morph

The Dyeing Poison Dart Frog comes in a variety of morphs and colors. One of the most popular morphs is the azureus morph pictured at the top. The azureus morph used to be considered its own species until further research proved it was just a morph.

Reproduction of the Dyeing Poison Dart Frog

The frogs are good parents just like most of the other Poison dart frogs. After mating and laying the eggs, the male and sometimes the female watches over the nest to protect them from predators. Then after the eggs hatch, the tadpoles are transported on the backs of the parents to water bodies inside bromeliad plants. There, they continue their metamorphosis.

Dyeing Poison Dart Frog
Yellow Black morph – photo by H. Zell


The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Dyeing Poison Dart Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a very wide range and are thought to be abundant throughout it. It is illegal to collect the frogs from the wild and there is a large number of captive bred individuals in the pet trade.

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