Dyeing Poison Dart Frog

Dyeing Poison Dart Frog Dendrobates tinctorius

Type of Animal:

Humid forest, wetlands

Guiana Shield, E Venezuela, N Brazil bordering Guiana Shield/Venezuela, NE Brazil

Very colorful frog, blackish body w/ irregular yellow/white stripe pattern running along back/flanks/chest/head/belly, legs range from pale blue/sky blue/blue-gray to royal blue/cobalt blue/navy blue/royal purple often peppered w/ small black dots, highly variable coloration, many morphs occur, females larger than males

Ants, termites, fruit flies, crickets, beetles, spiders, mosquitoes, springtails, centipedes, insect larvae, tadpoles/froglets of own species. Tadpoles also eat algae & detritus.

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, & herpetoculture

Groups of 2-5 frogs

Additional Info:

Young: Tadpole
Group: Army

Male: 0.13 oz
Female: 0.23 oz

2.5 weeks 

Life Span:
5-7 years in wild, 10-15 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male: 1.5-2 in
Female: 2-2.5 in

Due to skin toxins, only a few snakes eat adults. Tadpoles/froglets preyed on by adults & each other.
Also called Dyeing Poison Arrow Frogs.
They’re great climbers.
Females lay 8-15 eggs per clutch.
After eggs laid, male fertilizes them & guards them.
When tadpoles hatch, tadpoles climb on male’s back & he takes them to small water body in multiple trips, where they’ll stay for 2-2.5 months. After tadpole stage, they enter froglet stage, reaching maturity at around 6 months old.
1st Poison Dart Frog species known to Europeans.
Males make fairly quiet musical buzzing noises.
Most active in morning & early evening.

Fun Fact(s):
Used in medical research due to skin toxins being possible medicine source.
Hunters use skin toxins on darts & arrows.
Local tribes use this species for decoration. Feathers plucked from back of young parrots & frogs rubbed on parrots’ exposed skin. When feathers regrow, toxin changes feather appearance making it brighter. Altered feathers highly prized.
Often hybridize w/ closely related Blue Poison Dart Frogs in captivity.
Bright colors serve as warning to most potential predators.
While highly poisonous in wild, they lose much/all of toxicity in captivity due to diet. In captivity, they’re only fed nontoxic prey items like crickets & fruit flies. In wild, they eat lots of ants, termites, & poisonous beetles.

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