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Golden Poison-dart Frog

Golden Poison-dart Frog, Phyllobates terribilis

Golden Dart-frog (c) Andrew GrayDescription: Reaching an adult size of 37 – 41mm, this is a large poison dart frog. it is the most toxic species of amphibian in the world. The toxins in the skin are attained through chemical changes, with the frogs acquiring the necessary compounds through their wild diet; captive specimens are barely toxic at all as they receive different diet. The colour of frogs in this species varies upon which population they are from, with many specimens being a bright golden colour whereas others may even be white. This is the species that indigenous people of Colombia use to tip their hunting darts. The frogs are so toxic that that is all that is required to extract the poison from the skin and produce a deadly dart is for them to simply roll the tip of the dart on the frog’s back.

Reproduction:  Females deposit 10 – 15 eggs on the ground among leaf litter, once developed and ready to hatch they are carried to pools on the back of the male. The male is capable of carrying multiple tadpoles at one time. The tadpoles feed and develop within these pools until they metamorphose. Despite the extreme level of toxicity in the adult frogs, the tadpoles are non-toxic and the young frogs begin to develop small quantities of these toxins within the skin once they have been out of the water for only a few weeks.

Diet: Small invertebrates.

Distribution: Colombia.

Conservation Status: Endangered.



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