Other common names: Dyeing Poison Arrow Frog; Giant Poison Frog
Scientific name: Dendrobates tinctorius
Although it’s quite a job to standout in a group strikingly-beautiful as the Poison Frogs, this “giant” among them does so with ease! In fact, native people in its range are said to have used the Dyeing Poison Frog to dye parrot feathers (hence the common name). Like many of its relatives, the Dyeing Poison Frog is active by day and relatively easy to breed…a perfect choice for serious amphibian fans.
The Dyeing Poison Frog is native to northern South America, where it is found it Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname and northern Brazil. It favors stream-sides within primary rainforest, but sometimes climbs trees to heights of 20 feet or more.
Appearance / health:
So variable is this frog that until recently one of its color phases, formerly known as the Blue Poison Frog D. azureus, was considered to be a distinct species (as that name is long established, we cover the Blue Poison Frog separately here). The Dyeing Poison Frog’s body may be blue and black with yellow stripes, yellow and black, or blue, yellow and black. With an average length of 6 cm (2.4 inches), it is one of the larger Poison Frogs. As no two individuals are identical, breeding results are always exciting!
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 Dyeing Poison Frogs, as they are always foraging, exploring, interacting, and otherwise on the go.
These slippery little speedsters should be handled only when necessary, and then by being urged into a plastic container to protect the skin’s protective mucus layer. While they do not produce virulent toxins when fed typical captive diets, other skin secretions may cause irritations when transferred to wounds, eyes, or the mouth.
Dyeing Poison Frogs do best in terrariums planted with ferns, bromeliads, and other plants. A pair can be kept in a 20 gallon aquarium. 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 coconut husk, peat moss, and topsoil, covered with sheet moss, makes a good substrate.
Low levels of UVB and UVA may be of some benefit. Temperatures should range from 72-80 F; extended periods above 85 F may prove fatal. Humidity of 80-100% should be maintained.
Males may be distinguished by their larger front toe pads and thinner builds. Breeding occurs year-round, and may be stimulated by a month long period during which time misting is reduced. Males trill and buzz to females, which then follow the males, stroking them on the back and head. Both sexes may also circle one another and stamp their feet. Females may devour the eggs of others. Multiple clutches of 2-6 eggs will be deposited on petri dishes left below dark shelters. The tadpoles, best reared singly, hatch within 14-18 days and accept tropical fish flakes, tadpole pellets, and freeze-dried Daphnia. At 75 F, metamorphosis is achieved in 70-90 days.
If tank set up is correct, the male and females will breed. Eggs are usually laid in a very shallow water area (such as bases of Bromeliads, specially placed film canisters, etc). This species lays up to 4-12 eggs that are laid in the males territory where he will continue to guard them. The eggs usually hatch within 2 weeks and full transformation from tadpole to fully mature is usually within 10-12 weeks. Once fully metamorphosed, the young frogs should be cared for identical to the adults, but in their own enclosure.
Written by Frank Indiviglio
distinct personalities, easier dart frogs, rainforest display, Spectacular Animal, beautiful frogs
noise, high humidity, couple inevitable escape
Mini rainforest display
I've been keeping this species (Dendrobates tinctorius) for about 2 years now. I currently have 5 different localities. There are probably hundreds of different localities available, and each is not only massively different in colour, but actually has distinct personalities. Unfortunately, you absolutely cannot mix them. Even though they are the same species, they can be toxic to each other and can be territorial and aggressive, so you have to pick one locality per tank.
Most of my tinctorius are active and confident. I can actually tap the side of the tank, and have four frogs come hopping out to see if it's dinner time - they love their food. Unfortunately they prefer fruit flies, which are an absolute menace as no matter how hard I try, a couple inevitable escape. Luckily captive bred fruit fly can't actually fly - they are bred to have curled wings which keep them on the ground, but they can still climb any surface, and I find the occasional one on my desk or climbing the curtain.
Like most frogs, they're not really handleable. They require specific humidity and heat requirements and are very sensitive to chemicals, so handling them can actually harm them. I only touch mine if absolutely necessary. The males will also call - I have a tank in my bedroom, but I'm a heavy sleeper. If you're a light sleeper don't keep males around.
But although this so far sounds quite negative, I do recommend them as a pet. Keep them in a live planted setup and you've created a miniature rainforest with an absolutely amazing habitat and display. I could sit and watch mine for hours, but are definitely not a pet for handling..
From Athravan Jun 14 2015 4:32AM