Dyeing poison dart frog

Dyeing poison dart frog

The Dyeing poison dart frog is a brightly-colored species of frog that makes its home in the northern regions of the Amazon rainforest. At about four to five centimeters in length, these tiny frogs pack quite a toxic punch for their size. The toxins that are secreted by their skin can be deadly to humans, and animals who attempt to feed on Dyeing poison dart frogs will quickly learn to associate their bright colors with pain, warning them never to attempt such a meal again. This adaptation of bright coloration is an evolutionary way of telling potential predators that the Dyeing poison dart frog is not to be trifled with. Dyeing poison dart frogs get their name from an interesting practice reported among indegenous tribes in the Amazon. These tribes supposedly use the Dyeing poison dart frog to dye the feathers of green parrots. A parrot is captured alive and the frog is rubbed against the skin of the bird (where feathers have been plucked). When these feathers regrow, they are now yellow or red in color. These dyed feathers are highly prized by the indigenous people. This dyeing process has not been replicated by scientists; however, and the process may be more legend than fact. One interesting behavior of the Dyeing poison dart frog is the care exhibited by parents for their tadpole young. After the eggs of a Dyeing poison dart frog are fertilized, they take two weeks to hatch. Once hatched, the young tadpoles are carried by both of their parents between pools of water. If one pool of water dries up, or if there is a better pool of water nearby, the parents will move their tadpoles repeatedly to ensure their safety. This is a fascinating adaptation that allows for a sturdy population of Dyeing poison dart frogs to be maintained within the rainforest. Interestingly, the poisonous quality of these frogs is a product of their diet. Dyeing poison dart frogs feed on toxic spiders and insects such as certain ants native to the Amazon. These toxins enter the frog’s body and make them poisonous in turn. Dyeing poison dart frogs that are raised in captivity are not poisonous for this reason.

Keywords to learn

Secrete: to produce or discharge a substance (such as poison) from the skin

Vocalize: to make a sound or utter a call

About Me

Hey Kids, my name is Dillon the Dyeing poison dart frog and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ www.kids.nationalgeographic.com







Dyeing poison dart frog

  • Order:
  • Lifespan:
    5 years.
  • Class:
  • Scientific Name:
    Dendrobates tinctorius.
  • Mass:
    3g–6g (0.1oz–0.21oz).
  • Length:
    3.8cm–5cm (1.5in–2in).
  • Region found:
    French Guinea and Northern Brazil.
  • Population Status:
    Least concern.
  • Current population trend:
  • Diet:
  • Sexual maturity:
    1 year.


The Dyeing poison dart frog is a fascinating amphibian with bright features and dangerous characteristics. At home in the Amazon jungle, these frogs have also been raised as pets by frog enthusiasts.


Now that you know more about the Dyeing poison dart frog by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.


Download questions about the Dyeing poison dart frog here: Dyeing poison dart frogs (answers are on this page)


Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on poison dart frogs . Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets

Ruby-throated hummingbird Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. Dyeing poison dart frogs are highly variable in coloration between populations.
  • # 2. Dyeing poison dart frogs were discovered by Europeans.
  • # 3. Dyeing poison dart frogs have been raised in captivity—reaching large sizes when given proper vitamins.
  • # 4. Some snakes have developed an immunity to the dart frog poison, making them one of a small number of predators.
  • # 5. Only male dyeing dart frogs vocalize in order to attract a mate.

Q&A Corner

  • # 1. What makes the Dyeing poison dart frog poisonous?
  • # 2. From what practice does the Dyeing poison dart frog get its name?
  • # 3. How do Dyeing poison dart frogs watch over their young?
  • # 4. Where do Dyeing poison dart frogs live?
  • # 5. Are captive Dyeing poison dart frogs toxic?


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