Poison dart frogs are also known as dart-poison frogs, poison frogs and poison arrow frogs. These frogs belong to the Dendrobatidae family and are mainly found in Central and South America. They possess bright color bodies and are mainly active during the day. All the wild frogs belonging to the Dendrobatidae family, including the poison dart frogs, are somewhat toxic, though the level of toxicity varies among different species. Poison dart frogs are characterized by the brilliant color and complex patterns on their body. The bright color of these frogs is an indicator of the high level of toxicity present in their body. This bright skin of theirs can avoid predators from eating them. Small insects including flies, spiders and ants form part of their diet. However, according to scientists, one particular snake, the Liophis (Leimadophis ) epinephelus, can resist the poison of this frog. Read through the following lines to know some more interesting facts and amazing information on poison dart frogs.
Sub order: Neobatrachia
Super Family: Dendrobatoidea
Length: 1.5 cm to 6 cm
Lifespan: 1- 3 years
Habitat: Humid, tropical environments
Age of sexual Maturity: 2 years
Gestation Period: 14 days
Interesting & Amazing Information On Poison Dart Frogs
Most of the species of poison dart frogs are small in size. An adult poison dart frog can be as less than 1.5 centimeters in size, while the large ones will be up to 6 centimeters, rarely more.
As per a study conducted on poison dart frogs in 2006, they contain 12 genera, with 170 species. Some of the species also include a number of non-specific color morphs that emerged 6,000 years ago.
Most of these frogs are bright in color. They display aposematic patterns to warn predators against any potential attack.
The toxic secretions from the body of poison dart frogs also have medicinal benefits for human beings. They are used as muscle relaxants, heart stimulants and appetite suppressants.
The chemical Epipedobates tricolor, extracted from the skin of these frogs, is used to make a painkiller called Epibatidine, which is stronger than morphine.
Poison dart frogs lay their eggs in moist places, such as on leaves and in exposed roots of plants. They allow tadpoles to wriggle onto their backs shortly after they hatch. They also carry their tadpoles in water.
These frogs give their unfertilized eggs to their tadpoles, to eat. An interesting fact about the poisonous frogs is that, unlike other species in the same family; they provide parental care to their offspring.
Selection of a partner for mating is done by both the genders, in poison dart frogs. The males use vocal sounds to attract female frogs. They also fight with other males, for the purpose. The one who wins the fight is selected as the mating partner by the female frog.
Regarding the lifespan of poison dart frogs, there is not much scientific study to determine any facts. However, it is believed that these frogs can live from 1-3 years in the wild. In captivity, they have been reported to live for as long as 25 years.
When these species are born or kept in captivity away from its natural habitat, these become less poisonous.
Some of the poisonous species of poison dart frog include: the Golden Poison Frog, Black-Legged Dart Frog, Kokoe Dart Frog, Phantasmal Poison Frog, Variable Poison Frog, Blue Poison Dart Frog and Strawberry Poison Dart Frog.
The toxins produced on the bodies of these species are due to its diet. When frogs feed on insects such as termites, centipedes and ants, the toxins in these insects pass on to the frogs, which gets collected in the skin-glands of the frogs.