Green and Black Poison Arrow Frogs

green and black poison arrow dart frog on rainforest leaf

Green and black poison arrow frogs (Dendrobates auratus) are colorful amphibians from Central and South America.

They are members of a family of frogs who all secrete poison in their skin. This helps to keep them safe from predators because other animals that eat them because very ill or may even die.

In fact, some South American natives used to put the poison from the frogs on their arrow tips or on the end of blow darts to poison enemies or prey. That is how these frogs became known as "poison arrow frogs" or "poison dart frogs."

Because most poison arrow frogs (or poison dart frogs, whichever you prefer) have bright coloration they are easily seen by predators. If not for the poisonous skin secretion they would have long ago become extinct or would have evolved more drab coloring so that they weren't quite so noticable to predators.

They normally reside on land near small bodies of water in the rainforest. They mostly eat insects.

They typically lay their eggs in moist vegetation, and when the eggs hatch, the tadpoles climb on the male frog's back and are carried into the water where they eventually develop into adult frogs (Savage, 2006).

Because of their pretty coloration, green and black poison arrow frogs are popular pets. There is also a blue and black color variation.

Captive bred poison arrow frogs aren't as poisonous as wild frogs. This is because there are insects that are part of the wild frogs' diet that contributes to the poisonousness of the frog. Because most frogs aren't fed these insects in captivity they typically aren't as poisonous.


Savage, S. (2006). Focus on Habitats: Rainforest Animals. Wayland Publishers Ltd: London.