Green Poison Arrow Frog

By Marla Lise

Green Poison Arrow Frog

Scientific Name: Dendrobates auratus

The green poison arrow frog is a tiny frog that is big in its defenses. This brightly colored frog grows to about 2.5 inches in size but can hold up to 200 micrograms of toxins in its skin. Its bright colors warn other animals of its poisonous nature. The American Indians used to dip their arrows in the poisons secreted from the frog’s skin. The secretions from 1 frog could coat the tips of up to 50 arrows!

Studies have shown that the frogs actually get their poison from a certain types of ants that they eat in the wild. Due to this, frogs kept in captivity usually do not have any toxins.

These little frogs are found in Central and South America in Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia, usually on the rainforest floor near water bodies – although they do not swim. They feed on insects such as ants, flies, maggots and beetles.

Males are smaller than females and fight with each other over territory and partners, by throwing each other off-balance, like Sumo wrestlers. They attract their female mates by making chirping and buzzing sounds with their throat sac.

These little amphibians are not considered a threatened species, however as their rainforest homes continues to be cleared, they could face risks. Should they decline, it would be a terrible loss because scientists are now investigating the use of their secretions in medicines for humans.

Animal profiles

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Blue and Gold Macaw
Common Potoo
Green Honeycreeper
Grey Winged Trumpeter
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Jabiru Stork
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Mealy Parrot
Northern Cassowary
Savanna hawk
Scale-crested pygmy-tyrant
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Scarlet Ibis
Wattled Jacana

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Capybara [2nd profile]
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Spider Monkey
Squirrel Monkeys
White-lipped peccary
Woolly Monkey

Green Basilisk
Leatherback Sea Turtle not a rainforest species
Pygmy stump-tailed chameleon
Spectacled Caiman

Giant Chinese Salamander
Gladiator Tree Frog
Green Poison Arrow Frog
Indian Purple Frog
Monkey Frog
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