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6 Types of Poison Dart Frogs (With Pictures)

Codee Chessher

By Codee Chessher

a golden poison dart frog

Poison dart frogs are some of the deadliest frogs, famous for their brightly colored skin and potent poison. These poisonous amphibians come in colors from blue, red, yellow, orange, black, and more, and you may have heard about how some Amazon tribes used their poison on darts. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about these brilliantly colored critters, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s wade in below with some info about different types of poison dart frogs and what makes them unique.

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The 6 Types of Poison Dart Frogs

1. Blue Poison Dart Frog

a blue poison dart frog on a tree
Image Credit: Efraimstochter, Pixabay
Native to: Suriname
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Scientific name: Dendrobates azureus

Sometimes called the blue arrow dart frog, this azure amphibian is only native to the Sipaliwini Savannah in Suriname, which is the smallest country in South America. They live on tree trunks, but also in the dead layer of leaves on the rainforest floor or leaf litter.

Unlike some more aggressive poison dart frogs, the blue frog isn’t aggressive toward other animals and only uses its poison in self-defense or to deter predators. Their habitat has decreased a bit because of human encroachment, but not as much as other species of dart frogs.

2. Golden Poison Frog

a golden poison dart frog carrying tadpoles
Image Credit: Thorsten Spoerlein, Shutterstock
Native to: Colombia
Conservation status: Endangered
Scientific name: Phyllobates terribilis

Commonly called the golden poison dart frog, this frog ranges from bright yellow to orange colors but with the same potent poisonous skin. Golden poison frogs are only native to a region in western Colombia, where indigenous peoples today still rub their darts on the frogs to borrow poison for hunting. Most notably, the golden poison frog has enough poison to kill up to 10 grown men! Sadly, this species has become endangered because of rampant deforestation in Colombia.

3. Strawberry Poison Dart Frog

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog
Image Credit: Olga Nosatova, Shutterstock
Native to: Central America, South America, Hawaii (invasive)
Conservation status: Least Concern
Scientific name: Oophaga pumilio

Also called the blue jeans dart frog, the strawberry poison-dart frog is famous for its numerous color variations, including the beautiful blue-jeans coloration on the legs. Among the smaller poison dart frogs, this species is native to parts of Central and South America and imported to Hawaii in the early 20th century. They were supposed to be for pest control but quickly ran amuck and became highly invasive. They’re one of the few dart frogs at little risk for endangerment.

4. Green and Black Poison Dart Frog

green and black poison dart frog on a leaf
Image Credit: worldswildlifewonders, Shutterstock
Native to: Central America, South America, Hawaii
Conservation status: Least Concern
Scientific name: Dendrobates auratus

The green and black poison dart frog was also introduced to Hawaii as a pest control measure gone wrong. Despite the name, this species of dart frog has a wide color palette ranging from muted black and light blue to deep black and bright green. Most interestingly, the so-called mint poison dart frog is also endemic to Costa Rica’s rainforest.

5. Mimic Poison Frog

Mimic poison frog
Image Credit: JenuineLtd, Shutterstock
Native to: Peru, Brazil
Conservation status: Least Concern
Scientific name: Ranitomeya imitator

Originally thought to be just one species, the mimic poison frog was found in 2017 to actually be several distinct species with their own colors and behavioral patterns. Whether these subspecies are actually distinct enough to merit being separate species is up in the air. A fun fact about this dart frog is that it’s much less toxic than other species, and its body can’t hold very much venom either.

6. Dyeing Poison Dart Frog

Dyeing dart frog
Image Credit: Thorsten Spoerlein, Shutterstock
Native to: Venezuela and the Guinea Shield
Conservation status: Least Concern
Scientific name: Dendrobates tinctorius

Native to tropical parts all over French Guinea, Venezuela, and more, the dyeing poison dart frog is the largest dart frog at just 2 inches long. The most common colors are white, black, yellow, and blue, with countless patterns to be seen in different frogs. Their venom is moderately poisonous to humans, with the signs including numbness, cramping, and pain. However, varying reports of their poison’s toxicity make it seem as though some individual frogs are more poisonous than others.

frog divider hepperConclusion

With their diminutive size, gorgeous colors, and concentrated poison, the poison dart frogs are a favorite among indigenous peoples and exotic animal collectors alike. Species vary drastically, from endangered and super venomous to plentiful and relatively mild.

Featured Image Credit: garten-gg, Pixabay

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