The blue poison dart frog’s brilliant blue color tells predators to stay away. This tiny frog packs a poisonous punch.
The frog has a slim body with a rounded snout, slender legs with toes and fingers having small adhesive discs for climbing when necessary. The frog is less than two inches long. It has no teeth.
Its color, bright blue with black dots on its back and a light blue stomach, alerts potential predators that its skin holds a poisonous liquid which is unpleasant to the taste. The alkaloid poisons are capable of paralyzing, even killing predators.
They have four toes per foot, each with a wide,flattened tip and a suction cup pad to help grip. Males and females appear quite similar.
The Zoo is protecting amphibians in partnership with Amphibian Ark.
The frogs secrete poisons in their skin in the wild but not in captivity because their diet in captivity does not typically include the toxic insects that they eat in the wild.
The frog is active during the day, foraging in the leaf litter for its food. It moves in short hops and is rarely still for more than a few moments. These frogs are solitary except for fighting and breeding. They are territorial, and will dispute their territory by have 'wrestling matches.'
Mating is done, during the rainy season, by amplexus in which the male clasps the female while she lays her four to six eggs. He fertilizes these immediately after they are expelled before the jelly that surrounds them swells. All eggs are laid on the ground and are guarded by the parents until they become larvae. The male then attaches the larvae to his back by a mucous secretion and carries them to a small pool of water. Here they develop into tadpoles and eventually into frogs through metamorphosis. (Females have been observed fighting aggressively over males, the winner then begins the courtship.)