Dart Frog (Yellow Banded Poison)

Dendrobates leucomelas

IUCN Red List status: Not Evaluated

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Not Evaluated


Where they live

Guyana, the northern region of Brazil, the south eastern Colombia and Venezuela.


Tropical or evergreen rain forests.


Length 5cm


Weight: 3g


5 to 7 years. 10 and 15 years in the zoo.


Some poison dart frogs are endangered due to habitat loss, which is causing numbers to decline among many species.

More about yellow-banded poison dart frogs...

The yellow-banded poison dart frog is a native of South America. These diurnal (day active) frogs usually live in tropical or evergreen rain forests. They are frequently found over damp rocks and soil, below logs and underneath heaps of foliage close to rivers and other humid locales.

Insects make up the bulk of the yellow-banded poison dart frogs’ diet. Some of their preferred foods include crickets, beetles, termites and ants. They also also feed on various spiders and other invertebrates. They find their prey on the forest floor using their excellent vision and capture it by using their long sticky tongues.

The formacine ants, which make up the majority of the prey in the wild, contain toxins which are absorbed by the frogs and which make their skins highly toxic to predators. Zoo bred frogs lack this toxicity because they lack ants in their diet.

Poison dart frogs do not possess a lot of natural predators, thanks to their bright coloration which serves to warn potential predators of their highly toxic skin secretions. This is referred to as Aposematic or warning colouration.

The breeding season takes place during February to March. The males use vocalizations such as chirps, buzzes, trills, and hums to get the attention of females. Female members of this species are usually bigger and sturdier than the males and actively compete for a mate. After choosing a mate, a female follows her mate to his chosen breeding ground. There she deposits her eggs (2-12 eggs in a clutch; up to 1000 in a breeding season) on leaves, in areas of high humidity. The male cares for the eggs, keeping them moist. The eggs hatch into tadpoles about 10-14 days after fertilization. The tadpoles ride on the male’s back while he climbs up into the forest canopy, where he deposits the tadpoles into one of a variety of water-holding plants such as bromeliads. After 70-90 days, tadpoles metamorphose into froglets. They are mature at 12-18 months.

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