Animals Blog

Phantasmal Poison Dart Frogs at Fota Wildlife Park

Phantasmal Poison Dart Frogs at Fota Wildlife Park

Have you seen the Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog in Fota Wildlife Park's Tropical House? This tiny frog makes it home on the Western slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes and secretes a venom through its skin that's so deadly just touching it can kill you. The minuscule frogs measure only 4 tenths of an inch. 

The tiny frogs are part of a group of diverse amphibians known as poison dart or Poison Arrow frogs a description coined by Amazon explorers in the 19th century. The Frog venom was used by indigenous South American natives to coat darts projected by wind-driven devices called blowpipes.

The males sing to attract females who then lay eggs. The females will deposit the eggs in the leaf litter and when the eggs are ready the male will then carry the larvae on their back to running or standing water for development. When the tadpoles have grown back and front legs, they are ready to leave the water. After attaining Adulthood, they can turn a bright red and have three parallel green stripes across their back. 
-Check out the video below of their life cycle at Fota Wildlife Park

 

 

They are carnivorous and like to feed on a selection of ants, beetles, flies, mites, spiders, termites and caterpillars.

One of the world's threatened amphibian species the Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog is listed as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

To learn more about threatened amphibian species visit http://www.amphibianark.org. The Amphibian Ark Organisation is working to ensure the survival and diversity of amphibian species, focusing on those that cannot currently be safeguarded in nature.