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POISON DART FROGS!

By achieverswales
Taken at Plantasia Swansea, they were no larger than my finger nail!

Poison dart frog is the common name of a group of frogs in the family Dendrobatidae which are native to Central and South America. Unlike most frogs, these species are active during the day and often have brightly-colored bodies. Although all wild dendrobatids are at least somewhat toxic, levels of toxicity vary considerably from one species to the next and from one population to another. Many species are critically endangered. These amphibians are often called "dart frogs" due to the Amerindians' indigenous use of their toxic secretions to poison the tips of blowdarts. However, of over 175 species, only three have been documented as being used for this purpose (curare plants are more commonly used), and none come from the Dendrobates genus, which is characterized by the brilliant color and complex patterns of its members.

Characteristics
Dyeing dart frog (Dendrobates tinctorius).Most species of poison dart frogs are small, sometimes less than 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in) in adult length, although a few grow up to 6 centimetres (2.4 in) in length. They weigh about 2 grams, depending on the size of the frog. Most poison dart frogs are brightly colored, displaying aposematic patterns to warn potential predators. Their bright coloration is associated with their toxicity and levels of alkaloids. Frogs like the ones of Dendrobates species have high levels of alkaloids, whereas the Colostethus species are cryptically colored and are non-toxic. Unlike most other frogs, they are diurnal, rather than being primarily nocturnal or crepuscular. When born and raised in captivity, poison frogs do not produce the skin toxins which they retain in their native habitat.

Adult frogs lay their eggs in moist places, including on leaves, in plants, among exposed roots, and elsewhere. Once the eggs hatch, the adult piggybacks the tadpoles, one at a time, to suitable water, either a pool, or the water gathered in the throat of bromeliads or other plants. The tadpoles remain there until they metamorphose, fed by unfertilised eggs laid at regular intervals by the mother. They are as small as your finger nail, which makes them very hard to see.

HabitatPoison dart frogs are endemic to humid, tropical environments of Central and Latin America (South America). These frogs are generally found in tropical rainforests, including in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Suriname, French Guyana, Peru, Panama, Nicaragua, and non-native to Hawaii.

Natural habitats include subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist montanes and rivers, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, lakes and swamps. Other species can be found in seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, arable land, pastureland, rural gardens, plantations, moist savanna and heavily degraded former forest. Premontane forests and rocky areas have also been known to hold frogs. Dendrobatids tend to live on or close to the ground, but also in trees as much as 10 metres (33 ft) from the ground.

Tags: Nature Macro Frog Amphibian Tiny Tropical Arrow Dart Endangered Poison Wildlife and nature

Voters: wonkers, pluckyfilly, Glostopcat and 28 more

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Comments


pluckyfilly Plus
9 350 33 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2011 12:15PM
I find frogs of any sort quite fascinating but I wouldnt want to handle oneWink superb picture today Trev with a great write up

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achieverswales 5 8 101 Wales
12 Jun 2011 12:37PM
Thank you Ann!

Regards

Trev.
EMJAYCEE Plus
7 9 10 England
12 Jun 2011 12:49PM
Very interesting information to accompany the image Trev. and considering their small size what a great image it is.
Joan.
CarolG Plus
9 195 18 Greece
12 Jun 2011 1:05PM
Nasty little devils! Well captured, Trev. Carol
Trev_B 9 146 68 England
12 Jun 2011 1:08PM
I could have done with a couple of these to poison the opposition in my dart playing days.....Wink nice detail in these little fellas Trev.

Trev
franken Plus
13 3.9k 4 Wales
12 Jun 2011 1:20PM
Not been there for many years Trev.

Colourful frogs but not the sort to have around your pond! Interesting write up Trev.


Ken.
12 Jun 2011 1:26PM
Brilliant write up and a fabulous image.

Len
achieverswales 5 8 101 Wales
12 Jun 2011 1:27PM
Thanks folk, the write up is off the internet, just copied and pasted.

Regards

Trev.
Brian65 7 2 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2011 1:54PM
Great shot and info Trev, thanks.
Brian
12 Jun 2011 1:58PM
thanks for taking the time to look them up and present the narrative excellent detail in this one Trevor and love the colour of them red for danger and the wee yellow stripe great stuff GrinGrinGrin
JackieB 5 18 3 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2011 3:29PM
Colourful little chaps, nicely captured

Jackie
achieverswales 5 8 101 Wales
12 Jun 2011 5:14PM
Thanks everyone.

Regards

Trev.
debu 6 India
13 Jun 2011 9:45AM
Lovely image with beautiful detail and colour.
debu
PaulLiley 7 2 13 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2011 11:30AM
Superb shot Trevor. and fascinating write up. So much interesting info. Paul

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