Frog of the Week

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Oophaga pumilio)

photo by Marshal Hedin

leastconcern
Common Name: Strawberry Poison Dart Frog
Scientific Name: Oophaga pumilio
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Location: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama
Size: .6 – 1 inch (17 – 25.4 mm)

The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog is a colorful frog found in Central America. Because of its beautiful colors and different variety of morphs, the frog is popular in the pet trade. Also, the frog is also diurnal, active during the day, which is nice for a pet frog. The bright colors of their skin is a sign to predators that they are toxic and should not be eaten. The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog accumulates its poison from its natural diet, so captive bred individuals are not poisonous.

La Gruta morph of the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog

The dart frogs breed during the rainy season. Female Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs prefer to mate with brighter colored males. Both males and female Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs perform parental care. Males protect the egg clutches and keep them moist. Meanwhile,  the females carry the tadpoles after they hatch from the ground to water filled axils of bromeliads. The females also lay unfertilized eggs for the tadpoles to eat. This is one of the defining characteristics of the genus Oophaga, which translates to egg eater in Greek.

Blue Jean morph of the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog
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