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Strawberry Poison-Arrow Frog

(Dendrobates pumilio)

Poison Arrow Frogs (also called Poison Dart Frogs) are small, brightly-colored rainforest frogs that have extremely poisonous skin. They have glands in the skin that produce strong toxins. Their poison is used by some South American Indians for applying to the tips of their hunting arrows and blow-gun darts.

Poison and Predators: The bright coloration of the poison arrow frogs warns predators that they are poisonous. Once a predator has even licked a poison arrow frog, it gets very sick and will never try to eat one again. The poison protects them from most predators (except the snake Leimadophis epinephelus, which is immune to the frog's poison).

Habitat: Poison Arrow Frogs live in tropical rainforests of South and Central America.

Diet: Poison Arrow Frogs eat insects and other small arthropods, catching them with their long, sticky tongue. They eat ants, termites, flies, small beetles, spiders, etc.

Life cycle: Like all amphibians, frogs spend their lives near water because they must return to the water to lay their eggs. Frog eggs are laid in the water. When they hatch into tadpoles, they breathe with gills and swim using a tail. As they mature, they lose their tail, and they develop lungs for breathing air.

Animal Description: If you are looking for a colorful addition to your home, the Strawberry Poison Arrow Frog may be just the amphibian for you.

Strawberry Poison Arrow Frogs, also known as Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs, are an attractive little frog. Males of this type are known to be territorial and so, do not do well living together. Females can be aggressive too at times, so these frogs do best alone or as a pair, with one male and one female. The Strawberry Poison Arrow Frog does have harmful toxins on its skin as a form of protection from predators and this can cause a variety of reactions in other animals, including everything from convulsions to death. Although poison arrow frogs lose their toxicity after being in captivity for a while, it is important to make sure that your Poison Arrow Frog never encounters another animal where there may be an exchange of these toxins. Humans can hold this animal, however, it is very important to make sure that your hands are washed once you put this frog away. Also, make sure that you are not exposing any broken skin when holding this frog.

The Strawberry Poison Arrow Frog tends to be anywhere from 0.5 to 2 inches long. Its coloration is generally a vibrant red with legs that range from dark blue to purple. Though this coloring is typical of the Strawberry Poison Arrow Frog, they are also often found to display colors such as orange, blue, and green.

This Frog is commonly known as the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog. This name originated in South American rainforests, where native tribes use the toxins of the Poison Dart Frog on their darts, which they use to kill animals such as monkeys and birds. The natives do not kill the frogs but instead stimulate secretion of the toxin, which can be used on approximately 50 darts and then they release them back into the wild. The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog’s natural habitat is now being destroyed and it along with it.

Specific Care Information: Relative Care Ease: Relatively Difficult The Strawberry Poison Arrow Frog is a native of tropical rainforest areas and so in captivity, a high humidity must be maintained. After a while, these intelligent frogs will learn to come out of their hiding places and soak up a good misting. The terrarium should have an adequate number of plants growing within it so the frogs will have places to hide. The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog feeds on small insects such as beetles and ants in the wild and in captivity will eat small crickets as well as flightless fruit flies.

Breeding and Propagation: Relative Breeding Ease: Average Poison Dart Frogs do a very good job of taking care of their eggs and their young. These frogs breed during the months of the rainy season in the wild and if you imitate these conditions, they will do so in captivity. The male finds an adequate place to lay his sperm and after leading the female to this place she will deposit her eggs, which typically consist of 3 to 5 eggs in a clutch. The male and the female will both return to the eggs periodically to make sure that they survive by remaining moist. Once the eggs are ready to hatch, the nurse frog will help the tadpoles free themselves of the egg by stepping into the clutch. The tadpoles will instinctually attach themselves to the mucus on the back of this frog and they will them be taken to a source of water where they will undergo mitosis. Because they are known to sometimes eat each other, the tadpoles are deposited in separate places. If you are captive breeding, make sure that there are adequate places for all of the tadpoles to develop separately. The tadpoles will eat small insects as well as unfertilized eggs that are sometimes left by the female. After three weeks, the tadpoles have completed metamorphosis and will leave the water for land.

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