What Do Poison Dart Frogs Eat? Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know | Kidadl

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What Do Poison Dart Frogs Eat? Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know

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Since Indian tribes rubbed their arrow tips and blow darts on these frogs before hunting they are known as poison dart frogs or poison arrow frogs.

There are more than 100 dart frog species in the world. Most species are small and nocturnal.

These poison frogs are brightly colored. The bright coloration of the frog's skin which helps them warn potential predators is called aposematic coloration. They are mostly spotted on leaf litter. They can climb trees and are spotted on branches of trees that are not far from the forest floor. They live in the tropical forests of South America. These poison frogs squeak to attract mates. The lifespan of poison dart frogs varies from one species to another. On average, the poison dart frog species can live for four to six years. They are known to live longer in captivity. Adult frogs are dedicated to the young ones. Parents carry the frogs on their backs. This is commonly observed in poison dart frogs from the Ranitomeya and Oophaga genera. Poison dart frogs, especially the blue poison frog have piqued the interest of people all over the world. Many species of poison dart frogs are now being reared as pets. The population of dart frog species has steadily been declining in the past few years. Apart from the effects of the illegal pet trade, climate change and habitat loss these tiny frogs also contract diseases like the chytrid fungus. This fungus grows on the skin of adult frogs. As the fungus grows it interrupts the frog's capability to absorb water and oxygen, causing death.

To know more about the poison dart frog's diet, continue reading. You can also check out other related articles on what parrots eat and what seals eat.

What do poison dart frogs eat in captivity?

Poison dart frogs need vitamin A and vitamin D3 to survive and thrive. Supplements of these components can also be given to dart frogs. They also need calcium and phosphorous in their diet as they help in strengthening the bones.

Poison dart frogs are insectivores. So a major part of their diet consists of insects. In the wild, these frogs have a variety of options when it comes to insects. Bean beetles and young crickets are two of their most favorite foods. In captivity, they predominantly eat two types of flies. Flightless fruit flies are known for their phenomenal nutritional values. They have large amounts of calcium and iron making them an irreplaceable part of a dart frog's diet. The most common fruit fly administered to poisonous dart frogs is Drosophila melanogaster. Since dart frogs like tiny insects, this little fly is a great choice. This fly has a short life cycle which means it multiplies quickly as well. Every 14 days, there are new flies. Drosophila hydei can be fed to some dart frogs who like big insects or flies. When compared to Drosophila melanogaster this fly is slightly larger and fleshier. It might take time to produce new flies. Drosophila hydei cultures can be difficult to cultivate since they are susceptible to grain mite infestations and dry up rapidly.

Crickets are extremely good sources of vitamins and minerals. They are packed with vitamin A, D, and K. This makes cricket the most important source of food for poison frogs in captivity as well as in the wild. Crickets are not easy to cultivate. And since they grow quickly they might not fight in a dart frog's diet often.

Poison dart frogs can also eat ants and beetles. Ants might look like they are too small to hold any nutrition, but have small quantities of almost all essential nutrients like phosphorous, zinc, and magnesium. They have large amounts of proteins as well, but only feeding ants to you poisonous dart frogs can lead to malnutrition. Hence ants must only be given as snacks. The amount of fatty acids in ants is fairly high. This can cause obesity and make your frogs fat. The rise in fat content will have an adverse effect on the overall health of the poison dart frog.

Bean beetles can also be given as treats a few times. Due to the toxic nature of the poison dart frog, it should be handled carefully. The golden poison frog is the most poisonous frog. It secretes enough toxins to kill 20 adult humans. Two drops are enough to kill a human. There is no cure for the poison of a golden poison dart frog. The conservation status of this frog is Endangered.

Banded Poison dart frog.

What insects do poison dart frogs eat?

Poison dart frogs are dependent on small insects and eat a wide variety of insects. Some of the most common insects which dart frogs eat are as follows.

Beetles: Beetles can be given as treats. Since these frogs are attracted to smaller insects tiny beetles are one of their favorite foods.

Fruit Flies: As previously said, fruit flies are a great source of vitamins and calcium. Poison dart frogs in the wild, as well as the ones in captivity, prefer these flies. There are more than 4000 fruit fly species in the world so finding one will not be a tough job.

Pinhead Crickets: Pinhead crickets are excellent sources of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Poisonous dart frogs will happily consume pinhead crickets. High-quality meals must be given to the cricket 48 hours before feeding it to a dart frog. You need not give the dart frog anything to eat for a couple of days after feeding crickets. This allows the frog to eat all the crickets.

Isopods: Isopods, often known as pill bugs, woodlice, or rollie pollies are an order of crustaceans. Not all isopods are easily digestible for drat frogs. Some krills and shrimps are small and have soft bodies. Such isopods are perfect for dart frogs. Isopods are very easy to cultivate since they proliferate fast and are simple to manage.

Rice Flour Beetles: For poison dart frogs, the confused rice flour beetle (Tribolium confusum) is a handy food supply. Rice flour beetles grow in a flour-based medium. Since they take a long time to reproduce rice flour beetles can be used as treats. They also come in handy when you run out of other insects. Once they start producing, maintenance is easy as they can last for months without any care. Rice flour beetle larvae are nutrient-dense and tasty.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae: Black soldier fly larvae, also known as reppti worms, phoenix worms, and calci worms have a nutritional value that is comparable to that of a fish diet. This makes them not only a delicious meal but also a healthy one. They are rich in calcium and phosphorus.

Poison dart frogs also eat different species of ants, beetles, and termites.

Fun Fact: These poison frogs get their poisonous toxins from the food they consume. Insects like tiny beetles, termites, and ants have toxins that are consumed from poisonous plants and are transferred to these amphibians making them poison frogs. Dart frogs that are raised under human care and kept away from such insects present in their natural habitat are not poisonous.

How do poison dart frogs catch their food?

Poison dart frogs live on leaf litter. They manage to hide among the leaves and wait for their prey. Their bright colorations exhibit a toxic nature and will warn predators and keep them at bay. So these poison frogs hunt freely. Once the prey appears they will dart out their sticky tongue and capture the prey. The animals which are consumed by a poison dart frog have small amounts of poison. Hence the animals themselves are not harmful. Since the poison dart frog consumes many animals the cumulative poison makes it extremely toxic. Most frogs are not harmful to humans but other species have enough poison to kill adult humans.

The poison dart frog is the most toxic frog in the world. A single drop of poison from a poison dart frog can kill small mammals and other animals. The poison released by poison dart frogs is used in the medical field. These secretions are being used to develop muscle relaxants, pain killers, and heart stimulants. The only predator that can put up with the toxic nature of a poison dart frog is the fire-bellied snake.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what poison dart frogs eat then why not take a look at what quails eat, or poison dart frog facts?

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