|Newly laid Dart Frog eggs.
The Dart frog eggs are laid in jelly like fluid and will begin their
The dart frog eggs are incubated at 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
|7 day old Dart Frog Tadpoles
At this stage the eggs have clearly metamorphasized into tadpoles.
The tadpoles are beginning to move about in a mucous type
of fluid. The Dart frog tadpoles are
|14 day old Dart Frog Tadpoles
Growth is rapid as the tadpoles grow larger.
|21 day old Dart Frog Tadpoles
|28 day old Dart Frog Tadpoles
Legs can be seen emerging as well as eyes developing. Tail
absorption is just beginning.
|35 day old Dart Froglets
By this stage of their development the dart frogs are beginning to become
very active both at dusk and dawn. Searching for food becomes a major
portion of the frogs day. The color pattern of the adult frog
can also be seen forming on the skin.
The Natural History Of Dart
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Lissamphibia
Order - Anura
Family - Dendrobatidae
Well over 100 species of poison
dart frogs are known to exist, recent discoveries also point to the potential
medical importance of certain compounds found in specific species of dart
Tropical Americas- The dart frog family is found primarily in the
rainforests of central and northern South America. Relatives known as
the mantellas exist on Madagascar
All species of dart frogs live in a very damp, dark environment. Light rarely
passes through the canopy of the rainforest to the floor where the majority of
poison dart frogs reside.
Like many other frogs the dart frog eats small insects, termites, crickets,
ants and fruit flies. Certain species of insects that are consumed by the
frogs assist the dart frogs in producing a chemical called a cutaneous poison.
Frogs that are reproduced in captivity do not have access to this food source
and have greatly diminished toxins found in their skin.
In many cases the habitat of the dart frog is being lost
to development. Amphibians in general are having a very difficult time
Given the toxic nature of the animals skin this little
frog has very few natural predators. The tadpoles of the dart frogs have
not yet developed the toxic cutaneous poison that the adult dart frogs
possess, as a result of this lack of protection the tadpoles of all species of
dart frogs are at the greatest risk of predation. Many species of snakes
as well as other carnivores consume a high percentage of the eggs and tadpoles
of the dart frog. The dragonfly larvae is a serious threat to
tadpoles as these voracious little predators inhabit the same bromeliad vases
Like many other brightly colored animals, the amazing
color palette found on many of the dart frog species is a warning signal to
potential predators that the animal is dangerous. Ounce for ounce the toxins
found in the skin of dart frogs is some of the most dangerous on earth.
The native peoples (Chocó Indians) of South America
utilize the secretion from the dart frogs skin to tip their blowgun darts for
hunting game. This powerful weapon even allows the Indians animals as
large, and inaccessible as arboreal monkeys.