Poison dart frogs (Dendrobatidae) mainly live in the South and Central American rainforest. Because of their rich colors, the diurnal lifestyle and an interesting reproductive strategy – the parent animals practice brood care – many species enjoy great popularity and are regularly bred in differently colored local forms. Some popular species include; Dendrobates tinctorius, D. auratus, D. leucomelas, Epipedobates anthonyi, Phyllobates terribilis and Oophaga pumilio. Many other species from different genera can be found in the trade as offspring.
How To Sex A Poison Dart Frog
The gender distinction is not easy with tree frogs. Females are usually larger, more powerfully built and have smaller adhesive discs on the toes than the males. Males ready to mate shouting.
Poison Dart Frog Behaviour
The diurnal tree frogs can be individually, in pairs or groups. The socialization of several species is usually not a problem in sufficiently large terrariums. Males occupy small areas.
Poison Dart Frog Terrarium
A terrarium for poison dart frogs should have some special features: So-called “dendrobate terrariums” have fine-meshed (drosophila-tight) ventilation surfaces and a seal between the sliding washers to keep the very small food critters, such as. B. fruit flies, woodlice and springtails, to not let them escape. Slanted windscreens and generously dimensioned ventilation surfaces prevent the windows from fogging up in high humidity and, together with a drain integrated into the floor window, help to avoid dangerous waterlogging.
The terrarium should have a size of at least 60 x 40 x 50 cm for a group of a maximum of 6 animals of the smaller species (up to 4 cm body length), at least 80 x 40 x 60 cm for larger species (length x width x height) for up to 6 species.
Fluorescent tubes with a daily light duration of 10 to 12 hours are suitable for lighting. A UV component can have a positive effect on the well-being of the animals. Due to very different areas of origin, it is important to create the right temperature conditions for each species; for example, species from the highlands do not tolerate higher temperatures. A floor temperature of around 24 to 26 ° C with local warming to up to 28 ° C is optimal for the species listed. At night the temperature should drop to around 23 ° C. Weak heating mats installed outside the terrarium can be used for the basic temperature. They can be used to heat the floor (a maximum of a third of the floor area!) Or the walls.
The air humidity should be at least 80% and can occasionally rise to almost 100%. This can be achieved by spraying the terrarium frequently with lukewarm water or using an irrigation system. Artificial waterfalls or streams, whose moving water ensures high humidity, are also well suited. Precise thermometers and hygrometers are required to measure temperature and humidity.
For the climbing 2, or better 3 sides of the terrarium should be covered with cork, coconut fiber panels or similar. Climbing options such as roots, vines, branches, etc. have proven to be useful. Arched cork bark or halved coconut shells are often accepted as hiding places.
A shallow water bowl (or watercourse) is also part of the basic equipment. Terrarium soil, coconut substrate or moss is suitable as a substrate, which must always be kept slightly moist. A drainage layer made of expanded clay at the bottom prevents waterlogging. A natural planting with ferns, epiphytes (e.g. bromeliads) as well as climbing and creeping plants (such as éfeutute or climbing ficus) creates additional climbing and retreat options and ensures evenly high humidity.
Poison Dart Frog Diet
Poison dart frog feed on the smallest (living) insects, which must be given in sufficient quantities daily . In addition to small or micro-crickets, fruit flies (Drosophila), bean beetles, springtails etc. are particularly suitable. Regular administration of a mineral preparation ensures healthy bone growth.
Maintaining The Poison Dart Frog
Food residues and feces must be removed daily. Water bowls should also be cleaned daily and filled with fresh water.
The health of the animals must be checked daily. Health problems common to poison dart frog are bone softening, emaciation, balance problems and skin changes. Poison dart frog are particularly sensitive to stress factors! An amphibian veterinarian should be consulted in the event of any abnormalities.
Handling of Poison Dart Frog
Amphibians are pure observation and NOT petting animals! For the first few days in their new home, the amphibian need to rest to get used to their new surroundings. If necessary, the amphibian should not be caught by hand, but with the help of plastic jars or similar. Handling not recommended for beginners.
Poison Dart Frog Characteristics
Poison dart frog are very sensitive to a fatal infection with the dangerous chytrid fungus. Before handling the terrarium, all objects should therefore be disinfected and thin rubber gloves put on. Newly acquired animals should be kept in strict quarantine for several months.
Even if the name poison dart frogs is incorrect because only a few species can be dangerous to humans, all Poison dart frog have skin secretions that can cause irritation when they come into contact with human skin. It is therefore also advisable to only catch the animals with the help of a small jar.