Common Name: Phantasmal Poison Frog, Phantasmal Poison Arrow Frog
Scientific Name: Epipedobates tricolor
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Size: 0.9 inches (22.6 mm)
The Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog is a radiantly colored frog from the rain forests in the Andean slopes of Ecuador. Sadly, they are disappearing from this area due to a variety of reasons. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the frog as Vulnerable to Extinction. Some of their habitat is being cut down to make room for farms. They are over harvested for the pet trade and for medicinal purposes. The frog’s poison has an alkaloid compound called epibatidine, which could be used as an alternative to morphine. If you are planning on buying one as a pet, make sure that it is captive bred. Also check out my guide on Preparing for a Pet Frog or Toad before purchasing.
They are a diurnal species, meaning they are active during the day. They don’t have to be afraid of predators seeing them because their colors show that they are poisonous. During the breeding season, males call from elevated platforms to attract the females. The male frogs will carve out territories and defend them from intruders. The male frogs vocalize at the intruders to signal them to leave. If that does not work, they will fight them.
After the frogs mate, the females lay around ten eggs on land. The male frogs stick with the eggs and protect them. Once the eggs hatch, the male parent moves the tadpoles to bodies of water on their back.