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Phantasmal Dart frog

Phantasmal Poison-dart Frog, Epipidobates tricolor,

e_tricolourDescription: This small species of poison-dart frog attains a total size of 22mm in length. Males have a loud trill like call that they use throughout the day to attract females and also defend their territory. They are inhabitants of lowland tropical forests and occur in small, localized areas in Ecuador. The species has skin secretions with amazing medicinal properties. A new drug called ‘Epibatadine’ has been developed from a chemical in the secretion that has pain killing properties 200 stronger than morphine and which is also non-addictive.

Reproduction: After a male has attracted a female, she spawns amongst the leaf litter on the ground or on the leaves of ground-dwelling plants. The species is capable of laying much more eggs than other species of poison dart frog, and clutches may number up to 10 eggs or more. The male guards the eggs as they develop and upon hatching the tadpoles carefully wriggle onto his back, using their sucker like mouths to hold on. He then transports the tadpoles to a suitable pool within his territory where he deposits them. The tadpoles will feed on a wide variety of food as they develop in the water.

Diet: Small invertebrates.

Distribution: Ecuador.

Conservation Status: Endangered.

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