Bumblebee Dart Frog

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Other common names: Bumblebee Poison Frog; Orange and Black Poison Frog; Yellow and Black Poison Frog, Yellow-banded Poison Dart Frog, Yellow-headed Poison Dart Frog

Scientific name: Dendrobates leucomelas

The Basics:
It is no surprise that these rainforest beauties are among the most desirable of all amphibian pets. The colors of the Bumblebee Dart Frog are so spectacular as to appear unreal, and they are active by day and care for their tadpoles in “mammal-like” fashion…and are not at all shy about doing so!

The Bumblebee Dart Frog’s natural range extends from Columbia’s Amazonian region through the Orinoco River Basin of Venezuela to Guyana and south to northern Brazil, where it inhabits moist and wet lowland forests.

Appearance / Health:
The Bumblebee Dart Frog’s body is jet black in color and sports 3 broad bands of yellow, orange, or orange/yellow across the back. These bands, and the yellow or orange limbs, are marked with black spots and blotches. With an average length of 1.3-1.5 inches, it is one of the largest Dart Frogs. No two Bumblebee Dart Frogs are identical in pattern or color…making for some very interesting breeding results!

Well-cared-for pets may reach 15+ years of age. Calcium deficiencies and other nutritional disorders are the most commonly-encountered health problems.

Behavior / Temperament:
You can expect to see many interesting behaviors from your Bumblebee Dart Frogs, as they are very bold, and active by day. Unlike most frogs, they are always foraging, exploring, interacting, and otherwise on the go.

As is true for all amphibians, they should be handled only when necessary, and then only by being urged into a plastic container so that the skin’s protective mucus is not removed. Be wary of escapes when moving any Dart frog – they are slippery little rockets! While they do not produce their typical virulent toxins when fed standard captive diets, other skin secretions may cause irritations when transferred to their owner’s wounds, eyes, or the mouth.

Bumblebee Dart Frogs do best in terrariums planted with ferns, bromeliads, and other plants. A densely-planted tank will provide you with opportunities for interesting observations, as the frogs will feel secure and behave normally. A pair or trio can be kept in a 10 gallon aquarium; larger tanks can support small groups.

These terrestrial frogs drown easily. One-half inch of de-chlorinated water should be provided in a shallow bowl or sloping pool. Poison Frogs will escape through even the tiniest of openings, so the terrarium’s cover must be secured with clips. A mix of “Eco-Earth” (coconut husk), peat moss and topsoil works well. Sheet or sphagnum moss should cover the substrate to help retain moisture.

Low levels of UVB light, and UVA, may be of some benefit. Temperatures should range from 75-84 F, and can dip to 73 F at night. Humidity of 80-100% should be maintained by keeping the moss layer damp and spraying the terrarium heavily. If your home is unusually dry, consider a small mister.

Many keepers have done well by providing their frogs with 10-day-old crickets, flightless fruit flies, and springtails, but a more varied diet is preferable. Ideally, your pets should be offered as many small insects as are available, including flour and bean beetle larvae, (available commercially), termites, ants, aphids and “meadow plankton” (insects gathered by sweeping through tall grass with a net). Native insects should be collected or trapped in pesticide-free habitats, and with care to avoid toxic and biting/stinging species.

Most meals should be coated with a powdered Calcium/Vitamin D3 supplement. A vitamin/mineral supplement should be used 2-3x weekly.

Poison Frogs have quite large appetites and should be fed every day or two.

Mature females may be distinguished from males by their larger size and stouter build. Breeding occurs year-round, and may be stimulated by a month long period during which time misting is reduced significantly (but this is not always necessary).

The Bumblebee Dart Frog’s courtship behavior is one of the amphibian world’s most interesting and complex. Males trill and buzz to potential mates, which then follow their partners about, stroking them on the back and head. Both sexes may also circle one another and stamp their feet. Females compete for males, and may devour the eggs of others.

Eggs will be deposited on petri dishes or plastic leaves left below small, dark shelters. Females produce multiple clutches of 2-12 eggs, with a potential yearly output of 100-1,000 eggs. Males guard the eggs, and may turn them to improve access to oxygen.

De-chlorinated water in which almond leaves (available online) have been soaking should be added to the petri dish so that it just touches, but does not cover, the egg mass. Newly-hatched tadpoles are carried on the males’ backs to small pools of water. Tadpoles may be reared within the terrarium if pools are available, but most folks remove them.

The tadpoles are carnivorous and are best housed individually in small plastic containers. No aeration is necessary, but a bit of water should be poured-off and replaced every few days. The tadpoles readily accept fish food flakes, commercial tadpole pellets, and freeze-dried Daphnia. At 75-80 F, metamorphosis is achieved in 70-90 days. The tiny froglets should be offered flightless fruit flies, pinhead crickets, springtails and other minute insects.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


fantastic, Elegant little frogs, terrestrial tank, black dotted skin, hardy frog, beginner frog species


bit expensive.Other


toxins, different pattern morphs, certain specialist breeders, husbandry mistakes, loud trill

Bumblebee Dart Frog Health Tip

Bumblebee Dart Frog

From mattolsen Oct 2 2012 12:48PM


Bumblebee Dart Frog Behavior Tip

Bumblebee Dart Frog

From KendraV Jan 30 2015 6:21PM


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