The strawberry poison dart frog has bright red skin, polka dot pattern and is very small in size. It is one of the most gorgeous and dangerous frogs in Costa Rica.
But there’s a lot more to this species than what meets the eye! Here are just a few strawberry tree frog facts that range from the amusing to the horrifying.
Strawberry Poison Dart Frog Summary
- Latin name: Dendrobates pumilio
- Range: Central America (Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama)
- Population Status: Least concern
- Length: About 0.75 to 1.5 inches
- Life Span: Best case scenario is up to 15 years (zoo type atmosphere)
- Diet: Insect eggs and insects such as ants, mites, flies, beetles and millipedes.
- Physical Features: Poison Dart Frog skins can range from strawberry red, blue, yellow, white, green, orange to black. Their bodies are compact, with four un-webbed fingers on each hand and foot.
- Where it lives in Costa Rica: These frogs can be most commonly seen in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui or Tortuguero National Park.
Are you in interested in learning more about the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog? In this post, you will learn 17 Strawberry Poison Dart Frog facts including their diet, range, giving birth and much more!
1. What Is A Strawberry Poison Dart Frog?
The Strawberry Tree Frog is a part of the poison dart frog species, it is famous for its brilliant hues, in this case strawberry, and their toxic skin. They live in the forests and humid lowlands of Costa Rica. However you may have seen them in private reserves in Costa Rica and zoo’s around the world.
2. How Many Species of Poison Dart Frogs Are There?
There are more than 100 species of poison dart frogs, including those that live in the Amazon.However the Strawberry Poison Tree Frog are only found in the Central America countries of Panama, Nicaragua and of course, Costa Rica.
3. What Do They Look Like?
They have a red colored body with bluish (purple or black) limbs. This color morph is often referred to as ‘blue jeans morph’.
4. What Species of Poison Dart Frogs Live in Costa Rica?
In Costa Rica there are 7 species of poison frog (known at this time) that can be found in Costa Rica. They are:
- Golden Poison Dart Frog,
- Yellow-banded poison dart frog,
- Strawberry poison dart frog (of course)
- Blue poison dart frog
- Green Poison Dart Frog
- Black poison dart frog
- Copper Poison Dart Frog
5. How Big is a Strawberry Poison Dart Frog?
Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs measure anywhere for 3/4 of an inch to an 1 1/2 , so were talking small and only weigh about 1oz on average.
6. How Did The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog Get Its Name?
This is pretty self explanatory since the Strawberry refers to bright red coloring and “dart frog” comes from the way the indigenous people used the toxins from these frogs on darts (not arrows, by the way) for killing animals.
7. What is the Latin Name of the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog?
The scientific name of the strawberry Tree Frog is Oophaga pumilio. Oophaga refers to genus and Pumilio refers to the species.
8. Are Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs Nocturnal?
While most species of frogs are noctural, the poison dart frogs are different. They are generally active during the day when their bright colored bodies, (in this case strawberry or red) are best scene and avoided ( they hope)
9. Can a Strawberry Poison Dart Frog Kill a Human?
In a word No.. but even that they are not known for being leathal to humans, that doesn’t mean you should not be careful when handling them as the subtance they secrete from their skin can have some ill affects and of course, you certainly don’t want to eat them!
10. How Long Does a Strawberry Poison Dart Frog live?
In a more pristine environment like a zoo they can live anywhere from 7 to 15 years but in the wild its anyone’s guess.
11. What Eats a Strawberry Poison Dart Frog? Predators and Threats
Because they are very toxic, they are not the best tasting things in the world and as far as I could find out, the only predator that this poison dart frog and in fact all dart frogs have is one particular snake called the fire bellied snake or Leimadophis epinephelus.
The larger concern for these frogs is the destruction of their habitat which seems to happening at an ever increasing rate.
12. Is the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog Endangered?
No. Not yet anyway but they are facing increased pressure due to habitat loss.
13. What do Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs Eat?
When they are adults they eat the eggs of insects like ants, mites, flies, beetles and millipedes. The ants, in particular are of special importance as by eating them that they get the toxins that make them unappetizing to others
14. How do Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs Detect Their Prey?
Since Poison Dart frogs hunt during the day, they are able to use their fantastic vision to spot their prey. Its also interesting to note that, specific to the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog and for some unknown reason, they have special cones and rods that help them tell the difference between different colors
15. How Often Do Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs Eat?
Out in nature they are known to eat up to 14 times every hour! and there preferred meal are the formicine ants. In captivity they are know to eat up to 50 to 75 fruit flies a day
16. How Often do Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs Lay Eggs?
Strawberry poison dart frogs only lay anywhere between 2 to 12 eggs at a time, which is unusual when compared to other species of frogs which use the “spray and pray” method of laying hundreds of eggs at time.
The Strawberry poison dart frog does, however, lay eggs several times during their breeding season which in Costa Rica is May – November (rainy season).
The eggs are put on either leaves or on the ground whichever is closer to water.
17. How do poison dart frogs communicate?
Since Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs, like other species of frogs, do not have ears, they communicate with vibrations that attract mates, make their territories known( they are VERY territorial) and to let it be known they are under duress.
An unusual aspect of communication that poison dart frogs in general have, is they have the ability to tap their middle “toe” for which their can be a variety of meanings such as letting others know their around or even to flush out any prey that may be around.
In general, however, strawberry poison dart frog have minimal need for communication between themselves unless its mating seaon (of course)