Frog of the Week

Green Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates auratus)

Green Poison Dart Frog
photo by Brian Gratwicke

Common Name: Green Poison Dart Frog, Green and Black Poison Dart Frog
Scientific Name: Dendrobates auratus
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Native Locations:  Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama
Introduced Location: United States – Hawaii
Size: females – 1.6 inches (42 mm), males  – 1.5 inches (39 mm)

The Green and Black Poison Dart Frog is a very popular pet frog because of its bright colors and being diurnal (active during the day). The frog is poisonous in its native habitat but in captivity, it is not. Their poison comes from their diet of ants. Not all of the species are green, they can also be blueish or yellow in color. Poison Dart Frogs are one of the harder types of frogs to keep as a pet, so do not buy them unless you have experience.

Green Poison Dart Frog
photo by Henk Wallays

The males of the species are highly territorial during the breeding season and will fight males for breeding spots. The females are highly competitive for mates and will wrestle other females for males. Like other members of the genus Dendrobates, the Green Poison Dart Frog males provide parental care for their offspring. The males rotate the eggs and remove fungus on them until they hatch into tadpoles. The males can carry for many different clutches of eggs from different females. What a player. After the eggs hatch, the males then transport the tadpoles on his back to new bodies of water, usually in tree holes. Some eggs hatch earlier than others, resulting in some larger tadpoles in the water. These tadpoles can cannibalize the smaller ones.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list assess the frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and are thought to have a large population

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