Green and Black Poison Dart Frog

Latin Name Dendrobates auratus
Class Amphibia
Family Dendrobatidae
Habitat Tropical Forest Lowlands
IUCN Status Least Concern
Distribution Central and South America

General Information

The green-and-black poison dart frog is a brightly colored member of the order Anura native to Central America and northwestern parts of South America. This species has also been introduced to Hawaii where it is now an invasive species. It is considered to be of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

The green-and-black poison dart frog is found in the humid lowlands from southeastern Nicaragua on the Atlantic slope and southeastern Costa Rica on the Pacific coast through Panama to northwestern Colombia.

Whilst this species is not the most toxic poison dart frog, is still a highly toxic animal. The very small amount of poison the frog possesses is enough to make a human heart stop beating. However, like most poison dart frogs, the green-and-black poison dart frog only releases its poison if it feels threatened, and wild specimens can be handled provided the human holding it is calm and relaxed. The green-and-black poison dart frog, as with all poison dart frogs, loses its toxicity in captivity due to a change in diet. This has led some scientists to believe that the green-and-black poison frog actually takes its poison from the mites and other insects on which it feeds.

They feed on a diet of insects, travelling up and down trees using their specially adapted suction-cup discs on the ends of their toes. Their adhesive feet make them agile climbers in the hunt for their prey. 

Fun Fact

This species was released onto Hawaii in 1932 to aid in mosquito control. They are now well established on a couple of the Hawaiian islands as an invasive species.