Blue poison dart frog

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"Okopipi" redirects here. For the anti-spam software tool, see Okopipi (software tool).

Blue Poison Dart Frog
Dendrobates azureus rect.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Suborder: Neobatrachia
Family: Dendrobatidae
Genus: Dendrobates
Species: D. azureus
Binomial name
Dendrobates azureus

Dendrobates azureus is a type of poison dart frog found in South America, specifically in the Sipaliwini District in Suriname. Dendrobates azureus is widely known as the Blue Poison Dart Frog or by its Tirio Indian name, Okopipi. It takes its species name from the fact that it is colored azure.

Physical description

The frog has blue skin and black patches, which serve as a warning to would-be predators that the skin contains poisonous alkaloids. It grows between 3 and 4.5 cm in length and has a typical lifespan of 4-6 years in the wild.

Ecology and behavior

Within its native range, Dendrobates azureus is found in dark moist areas, especially under rocks near streams. Unlike most frogs, it lays its eggs on land, usually under a rock in a mossy area.

Although poison dart frogs are known for their skin toxin, used on the tips of arrows or darts of natives, in reality only the species of the Phyllobates genus are used in this manner, although all poison dart frogs have some level of toxicity.

The paralytic neurotoxins are not produced by the frog itself, but taken from many of its insect prey in the wild and deposited in the skin. As a result, frogs raised in captivity (often for the pet market) lack defensive poison. When these frogs are tadpoles, they also lack defensive poison.

In Herpetoculture

The blue dart frog is very popular in captivity. Besides being beautiful, D. azureus is both a hardy frog and easy to breed. They are highly recommended for beginner hobbyists. However, they are somewhat aggressive frogs, and are best kept in pairs. Some believe them to be a morph of Dendrobates tinctorius, and not a separate species.[1]

Like most captive dart frogs, they eat a staple diet of fruit flies, pinhead crickets, rice flour beetle larvae, and springtails.

Trivia

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References

External links