Thursday, December 08, 2005

Poison Dart Frog

Poison dart frogs are traditionally characterized by their brightly colored skin and small size. The skin color can range from bright orange and black to true blue, to yellow, blue, and black spots.

Poison dart frogs are only found in three geographical regions: Central America, South America, and on a few of the Hawaiian islands.

There are well over 100 different species of poison dart frog found in the wild, only a handful of which are actually toxic to animals and humans. It is believed the few species that are toxic become so through their diet, which consists in part of carpenter ants.

These ants are believed to eat an unknown wild plant which has toxic properties, which are passed from the plant to the ant to the poison dart frog, then digested and secreted on the outside of the amphibian's skin.

All species of poison dart frog raised in captivity have little to no toxicity, because their diet is not the same as in the wild. Frogs brought from the wild into captivity and fed a regular captive diet, usually fruit flies or pin-head crickets, eventually lose their toxicity.

Poison dart frogs range in size from 1/2" to 2 1/2" long when fully grown. Size depends not only on age of the frog, but also the species.

Poison dart frogs typically have a lifespan of 5 to 12+ years. Most species reach maturity around 1.5 to 2.5 years of age.


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