Wednesday, June 29, 2016


"You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince"
Author: E.L. James

Yes, I’ve kissed one or two in my time, but the frogs we’re talking about in this post are not kissable.

Poison Dart Frogs are indigenous to Central and South America. They dress in strikingly beautiful colors, but these frogs are not fashionistas for nothing. Their vibrant pigment sends a loud message to possible predators—DON’T EAT ME, OR YOU’LL DIE! However, not all species of poisonous frogs are deadly, and only three of the over one hundred species is dangerous to humans.

Scientists are unsure as to how these frogs become poisonous. It is believed that they develop the toxins from the plant poison carried in the insects they eat. It is interesting to know that when a Poison Dart Frog is raised in captivity and isolated from their natural environment, they never develop poisonous venom.

Red-Eyed Tree Frog
Photo credit: Mario Villalobos

Yellow-banded poison dart frog
Photo credit: Tennessee Aquarium

And one of these small amphibians is called the Demonic Frog (Minyobates steyermarki). The Demonic Frog is, according to the IUCN, critically endangered. Studies are ongoing, but the greatest threat is habitat destruction. It lives in bromeliads that grow in the rain forests of southern Venezuela. Why is this frog’s habitat being destroyed? The mining of gold in that area of the country is the main cause of the destruction of this frog’s habitat. Pollution and fires resulting from that mining are also causing a problem.

Demonic Frog
Photo credit: Karl-Heinz Jungfer

There are more than one hundred different species of poison dart frogs, and they range in length from less than an inch to about two and a half inches. Many of these species of frogs are endangered. It would behoove us to ensure their survival as their toxicity may prove helpful to humans for use in medications. A synthetic version of the toxin from the Golden Poison Frog (see below) has recently been created and found to be a powerful painkiller.

The Golden Poison Dart Frog (Phyllobates terribilis), is one of the most poisonous animals on the planet. 

Golden Poison Dart Frog
Photo credit: Camilo Mutis

This particular frog measures about two inches in length, and it has enough poison to kill ten grown men. It is found in a small area of Colombia and the indigenous people of the jungle, the Embera people, have used its toxin on their darts when hunting. Hence, these frogs are sometimes referred to as poisonous dart frogs.

Poison Dart Frogs have only one natural predator, and it’s a snake called Leimadophis epinephelus, or fire-bellied snake, which has developed a resistance to the frogs' poison. 


Here are a few more pictures of these wonderful creatures. They are beautiful to look at.

Blue jeans or strawberry poison dart frog
© hotshotsworldwide/Fotolia

Blue jeans or strawberry poison dart frog
Photo credit:

Blue Poison Dart Frog
Photo credit: Elmwood Park Zoo, Norristown, PA

Harlequin poison dart frog
Photo credit: Anyka/Fotolia

I found a wonderfully filmed and informative video. I know you’ll enjoy it

I’ve brought you just a bit of information about these unusual frogs. If you’d like to learn more, visit one or all of the following sites:


Jeanne E. Rogers, Author
The Sword of Demelza, The Gift of Sunderland, and
One Hot Mess, a Child’s Environmental Fable
Award Winning Middle Grade Fantasy, Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!