Blue Poison Dart Frogs

Blue Poison Dart Frog @ The Living Planet Aquarium 

Common Name: Blue Poison Dart Frogs 

Scientific Name: D. azureus

Variant of: Dendrobates tinctorius

Other names: okopipi 

If you've ever seen our blue poison dart frogs you'll agree that they're very brilliantly blue.  The beautiful color of their skin serves as a warning to predators that they're poisonous and if you eat them you will soon regret it. 

These frogs grow to be about 0.3 ounces and about two inches long.  They live about 4-6 years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity.  They have four toes with suction cups on the ends for gripping.

Female frogs are larger and longer than males but males have longer toes.  The tips of the toes are also different shapes with females having round tipped toes and males having heart shaped toes.  The black dots are different on each frog and are used for identification purposes. 

Habitat: These frogs live in the tropical rain forests in South America.  Their toes are not webbed so they aren't good swimmers and don't live in the water- but stay near it for moisture.   

Diet: In the wild these frogs eat spiders and small insects like ants and termites. They use their tongue to capture their prey.  In the aquarium we feed them fruit flies.  

Reproduction: They have a loud mating call that the males use to attract females. The female will lay the eggs on the forest floor and the male will continue to visit the eggs and watch them until the tadpoles hatch.  Then the tadpoles will swim up onto  sticky spot on the males back and he will carry them to a safer place to grow, like little holes in a broken tree or another small place where water collects. It takes three months for the tadpoles to develop into tiny little frogs. 

Protection Status: Poison frogs are protected and their biggest threat is the depletion of the rain forest (habitat).  The best way to ensure their survival is to advocate for protection of their habitat.  

Interesting tidbits:  While Blue Poison Dart Frogs are poisonous in the wild they aren't poison in captivity.  Scientists think that it's because of something in their natural diet that isn't reproduced in captivity.  

They are obviously named for their color, but also for the practice of the native people traditionally using the secretions from their skin in blow darts for hunting. 

We hope you'll come visit our Blue Poison Dart Frog at The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper when we open at the end of the year!