Granular Poison Frog

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Patrick Gijsbers

Other common names: Granular Poison-arrow Frog; Granulated Poison-dart Frog

Scientific name: Oophaga granulifera

The basics:
The Granular Poison Frog is a small and colorful poison dart frog which is native to Costa Rica and Panama. Oophaga granulifera is a terrestrial species which lives in moist lowland forests.

The Granular Poison Frog is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), however some Oophaga granulifera have been illegally exported to Europe and North America. The Granular Poison Frog is currently classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), "as Vulnerable because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat."

Appearance / health:
The Granular Poison Frog is a very small frog, ranging from 18-22 mm in length.

A pair of adults may be kept in a 10-15 gallon aquarium. More frogs need increased tank size so keep groups of 3 or more in a 20 gallon or above tank. A secure lid is needed.

Temperatures should be kept between 72 to 80F with humidity levels between 80-100%. These frogs do best with a tank set up with a false bottom (see the forum topic of “Building a False Bottom Tank”). Homemade or store bought misting systems are recommended since these frogs need to be misted regularly (thus the need for a false bottom). Live or fake plants can be used, but remember if using live plants the use of a UVB light will be needed. Some ideas for live plants: Bromeliads, Ferns, Mosses, Begonia, Orchids, Creeping Fig, Pothos, and various others. Hiding areas should be provided in many areas throughout the tank, especially if you have a group larger than 2 frogs. The most commonly used hide for poison frogs are coco huts which can be found in nearly any pet store. Of course, other hides may be used. A very shallow water dish (a jar lid or petri dish) can be used for the frogs to soak themselves. Spot clean as needed. Any water used in the tank should be dechlorinated or left out for 24 hours prior to use.

Adult frogs are only able to take small foods. Flightless fruit flies (Drosophila hydei) and 2 week old crickets are suitable for adults. Froglets and juveniles will need flightless fruit flies (Drospphila melanogaster) and pinhead crickets. Adults and juveniles also can eat springtails. Tadpoles must be offered spirulina, chlorella, flaked fish food, daphnia, and bloodworms (in the wild, the female frog would produce unfertilized eggs for the tadpole to eat).

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.

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