10 Types Of Dart Frogs

What are Dart Frogs? What are their Characteristics? Which Poison do they Secrete? What is their Habitat Like? How many Types of Dart Frogs are There?
types of dart frogs

Animals are found in different habitats depending upon their survival abilities. Some of them are not harmful to humans, but others can be fatal to us. Animals have a defense mechanism that is sometimes dangerous if you approach them at the wrong time in the wrong way. One such specie of frog is the dart frog. You will get to know about the different types of dart frogs and the type of dart frog habitat as you continue reading the article. 

Dart Frogs

These frogs are commonly known as poison dart frogs or poison frogs. They belong to the family Dendrobatidae and are mostly found in Central America and South America.

Dart frogs are referred to by this name because people from Native America used their toxicity to poison the tips of darts. (See Do Bees Have Ears?)

Characteristics of Dart Frogs

Dart frogs

Poison dart frogs are usually small. Their average length can be 1.5 cm to 6 cm (0.59 m to 2.4 m) and their average weight can be 28 grams (1 oz).

Dart frogs are aposematic organisms, which means they have bright-colored skin. Their level of alkaloids and toxicity is associated with their bright-colored skin. (See How to Describe Crocodile?)

Toxin Found on their Skin

Dart frogs secrete a lethal toxin from their skin glands. It is a steroidal alkaloid, and it is deadly to other animals. These toxins are the defense mechanism of dart frogs to protect them from predators. The toxicity can be fatal to humans as well and a few micrograms of this alkaloid can kill a healthy adult human. The lipophilic alkaloids secreted through their skin are:

  • Allopumiliotoxin 267A,
  • Batrachotoxin,
  • Epibatidine,
  • Histrionicotoxin, and pumiliotoxin 251D. (See 12 Catfish Whiskers Facts)

Colors of Different Types of Dart Frogs

Green and black poison frog.

Dart frogs have multiple colors on their skin and these color variations are known to be associated with their diet, aerobic capacity, chemical defense, and body mass.

Conspicuousness (the ability to be noticed) determines the toxicity because the researchers found that less conspicuous frogs are highly toxic in comparison to the more conspicuous species. (See 4 No Stripe Zebra Facts)

Dart Frog Habitat

Dart poison frogs are native to Central and South American humid and temperate environments. The most common place to find them is the tropical rainforest. The natural habitat of dart frogs includes

  • Tropical and subtropical,
  • High altitude shrubland,
  • Moist montane, Moist lowlands,
  • Rivers, Freshwater marshes,
  • Lakes, the intermittent freshwater marshes, and swamps.

The dendrobatids species mostly live near the ground, but they can be found on 30-feet to 33-feet tall trees also. Some other species of poison dart frogs can be found in flooded or seasonally wet lowland grasslands, pastureland, plantations, former forest (degraded), arable land, and rural gardens. (See How Fast Are Crocodiles on Land?)

10 Types of Dart Frogs

There are many types of frogs species and some of them are as follows. (See 5 Name of Mammals that Lay Egg)

1. Phyllobates terribilis (Golden Poison Frog)

Yellow dart frog.

It is also known as the golden poison arrow frog and is endemic to the Columbian rainforests. This specie has become endangered because of the continuous destruction of its habitat. They got the name terribilis because of the high toxicity levels.

They are the largest among poison dart frogs with a weight of 30 grams and a length of 6 cm. Yellow, mint-green, orange, and orange back foot are the common colors of this species. The toxic alkaloid batrachotoxin secreted by them makes them the most poisonous creatures. (See 8 Tame Wolf Facts)

2. Dendrobates

Black and green poison frog.

This genus of dart frogs includes several species in different vibrant colors. Among types of dart frogs, the genus name is derived from the Greek words Dendron (tree) and bates (treader), meaning tree climber. They are native to the tropical rainforests of Guiana, South America, Brazil, Venezuela, and Costa Rica. Pumiliotoxin poison is secreted from their skin.
Their average size ranges between 3.1 to 5 cm and the following species in this genus are:

  • Dyeing poison dart frog (Dendrobates tinctorius),
  • Green and black poison dart frog (Dendrobates auratus),
  • Rockstone poison dart frog (Dendrobates nubeculosus),
  • Yellow-banded poison dart frog (Dendrobates leucomelas),
  • Yellow-striped poison dart frog (Dendrobates truncates). (See 21 Healthiest Fish for Fishetarians)

3. Ranitomeya

Green dart frog

The dart frogs in this genus have more than two colors, with a dorsum in red, bright yellow, or green with a red, orange, or yellow throat. View them from a certain angle, and they will glitter. Adults in this species are only 0.83 inches (21 mm) in length. They are native to Panama, South America, Brazil, South Peru, the Amazon Basin, and the Northern Andes of Central America. The species in this genus are:

  • Ranitomeya amazonica, Benedicta, cyanovittata, and defleri,
  • Ranitomeya fantastica and flavovittata,
  • Ranitomeya imitator, reticulate, sirensis, and summersi,
  • Ranitomeya torero, uakarii,
  • Ranitomeya vanzolinii, variabilis, and ventrimaculata,
  • Ranitomeya yavaricola. (See Why Are Cats Tongue So Rough?

4. Epipedobates Tricolor

Red-blue poison dart frog.

These poison frogs, commonly known as phantom poison arrow frogs are native to the region of the Andean Slope in central Ecuador in the Bolivar Province. Among different types of dart frogs, their average length can be 0.9 inches (22.6 mm) with longitudinal stripes and green or yellow dorsal. These frogs are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. (See Do Anteaters Eat Ants?)

5. Oophaga

types of dart frogs 3

This genus consists of nine species of poison dart frogs that are distributed from Nicaragua through the Colombian El Choco to northern Ecuador. These species may live in different habitats where some are terrestrial and others are arboreal. Female frogs feed their tadpoles and feed on their unfertilized eggs. The term Oophaga is a Greek word meaning egg-eater. Species in this genus are:

  • Diablito poison frog (Oophaga sylvatica),
  • Granular poison frog (O. granulifera),
  • Harlequin poison frog (O. Histrionic),
  • La Brea poison frog (O. occultator),
  • Lehmann’s poison frog (O. lehmanni),
  • Polka dot poison frog (O. arborea),
  • Splendid poison frog (O. speciosa),
  • Strawberry poison-dart frog (O. pumilio),
  • Vicente’s poison frog (O. vicentei). (See 6 Stork Delivery Facts)

6. Epipedobates anthonyi (Anthony’s Poison Arrow Frog)

types of dart frogs 4

This species is native to Peru and Ecuador and got its name from Harold Elmer Anthony, an American mammologist, and Curator of Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History. These frogs can be 0.7 to 1.0 inches (19 to 26 mm) long with darker or brown dorsal and yellow-white indirect stripes with a longitudinal center stripe. Just like other types of dart frogs, their natural habitat is in the leaf litter on the floor of tropical dry forests. (See 7 Chupacabra Animal Facts)

7. Epipedobates

Epipedobates

These frogs are also known by the genus name phantasmal poison frogs and are native to the northern region of South America along with the western slopes and regions of the Andes. Their color is brown with irregular lateral stripes. You can identify a male by his third swollen finger. These are the seven species in this genus:

  • Anthony’s poison arrow frog (Epipedobates anthonyi),
  • Darwin Wallace Poison-Frog (Epipedobates darwinwallacei),
  • Marbled poison frog (Epipedobates boulengeri),
  • Phantasmal poison frog (Epipedobates tricolor),
  • Epipedobates espinosai, E. machalilla, and E. narinensis. (See 7 Facts About Dog Sled Teams

8. Hyloxalus

Hyloxalus

The frogs from this genus are inhabitants of the Andes (eastern foothills) from Bolivia to Venezuela and up to the upper Amazon Basin. Their average size ranges between 0.7 to 1.3 inches (19-33 mm) long. Brown, black, gray, or cryptic colored dorsal and an indirect lateral stripe is their identity. This genus consists of a total of 63 species. (See Why Are Pink Dolphins Pink?)

9. Excidobates Mysteriosus

types of dart frogs 5

Maranon poison frogs belong to the regions of the upper Maranon River drainage of the Cajamarca Department in Peru. Primarily, their natural habitat is the premontane forests. Their natural breeding is being threatened by the loss of their natural habitat. (See 8 Types of Possums)

10. Hyloxalus Azureiventris

Colored Dart Frogs

They are commonly known as Sky-blue poison frogs that are found in Peru and the upper Amazon Basin in the San Martin Region. Among the types of dart frogs, the primary lowlands, tropical rainforests, and inland Peru are some of their natural habitats. (See How Do Porcupines Attack?)

So, you got to know about the types of dart frogs and dart frog habitats. How about sharing it with some of your frog lover friends? (See 14 Interesting Facts about Mammals)

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