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Poison Arrow Frog

Animal Essentials

Scientific Name:
Dendrobates spp
Park Location:
Muddy Duck Farm
Origin:
Central and South America
Habitat:
Close to water and forest ranges

Amazing Facts

Some species of poison arrow frog produce a type of batrachotoxin so powerful that only 1/100,000 of an ounce can potentially kill a human.
Currently, poison arrow frog toxins are being tested medically, as small amounts may have muscle relaxant properties beneficial to humans.
The very bright colors of the poison arrow frogs, characteristic of many toxic species, are a warning to predators.

Tiny and brightly coloured, these frogs might look cute but some of them are among the most poisonous animals in the world.

Although nearly all frogs and toads have at least a trace of poison in their skin glands, some species of Poison Arrow Frogs have long been used by American Indians to kill their prey. Sometimes called ‘dart frogs’, the indians use the liquid found on the frog’s skin to create poisonous tips for their blowdarts. However, while there are well over 100 different types of Poison Arrow Frogs, only three are known to be used in this way.

Measuring just 1.5cm to 6 cm (0.5 to 2in) in length, these tiny jewels of the forest are found throughout Central and South America: including Bolivia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Suriname, French Guyana, Peru, Panama and Nicaragua.

A breading pair of frogs will nest among leaves that are close to ponds and slow moving streams. Once their tadpoles have hatched, the male will then carry each one down to the water on his back and set them on their way. No other parental care will be given by the adult frogs.

Threat Status

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