Banded poison dart frog

Banded poison dart frog

Banded poison dart frog

Conservation status: IUCN – LC (Least concern), CITES – Appendix II.

Geographic range: Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Venezuela, Bolivar republic. 

Physical description: This is one of the largest species in the genus Dendrobates, with an adult body length ranging from 3 to 5 cm with an average weight of 3 g. This species appearance is truly impressive. The body is black while the back and head are mottled with bright yellow spots or stripes. The black coloration helps this dart frog to get warm and the yellow color warns potential predators that it is poisonous. 

Biology: These are primitively social amphibians that live in small groups. There is usually a dominant male with a few females per group. Males are very territorial and fight for their territory, warning each other with various moves and poses. When trying to impress females, males jump on a higher surface and make sounds that are more similar to singing or whistling than croaking. They live in 50-800 meters above sea level. The frog itself doesn’t actually produce the crippling neurotoxins in its skin. These are produced as a product of certain insects in their diet (especially ants) and later secreted through its skin glands. In captivity, they usually lose this defense mechanism due to the deliberate removal of toxin-producing items from their diet. 

Lifespan: In the wild 5-7 years, in captivity 10-15 years.

Food habits: Flies, ants, spiders, termites and other small insects. 

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