Green and Black Poison Frog

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Brian Gratwicke

Other common names: Green and Black Poison Arrow Frog

Scientific name: Dendrobates auratus

The basics:
Although it makes an excellent “First Poison Frog” for novices, the Green and Black Poison Frog is so interesting that even old-hands generally reserve a place for it in their collections. Bold even by Poison Frog standards, it is also quite hardy and long-lived.

The Green and Black Poison Frog ranges from southeastern Nicaragua and southeastern Costa Rica to extreme northwestern Columbia, South America. They have been introduced to Oahu, Hawaii. Humid lowland rainforests are favored, but disturbed woodlands, brushy scrub, and farm fringes may also be occupied. They are often most found along streams, and sometimes climb trees to heights of 20+ feet.

Appearance / health:
Typical specimens exhibit brilliant green on a black background. However, at least 25 different color phases have been identified. Their colors range from off-white to blue-green, with color patterns that may be in the form of stripes, dots and/or circles. Green and Black Poison Frogs range from 2.5 – 4.3 cm (1 to 1.7 in) in length, and are stoutly built.

With proper care, these hardy little frogs may reach 20+ 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 Green and Black Poison Frogs, as they “care little” about being observed, and are very active.

These agile little frogs 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.

Green and Black Poison Frogs do best in terrariums planted with ferns, bromeliads, and other plants. A pair can be kept in a 15 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.

Ideally, your pets should be offered springtails, flour and bean beetle larvae, 10 day-old crickets, fruit flies, termites, aphids, tiny butter and silkworms, and “meadow plankton” (insects gathered by sweeping through tall grass with a net). Most meals should be coated with a Calcium/Vitamin D3 supplement; a vitamin/mineral supplement may be used 2-3x weekly.

Males call with an insect-like buzz, while females wrestle and will consume their rivals’ eggs. Multiple clutches of 4-6 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 60-100 days.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


great beginner frog, beautiful dart frog, branches, completely glass vivarium


egg deposition site, high humidity, minimal ventilation

Green and Black Poison Frog Health Tip

Green and Black Poison Frog

From mattolsen Sep 30 2012 2:15PM


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