Jun 28 2008
05:36 pm
By: B Harmon

Dendrobate Tinctorus "Patricia"

It is too hot to be outside right now, so I thought this was a good time to post some of my new critters. These are dendrobates, also known as “poison dart frogs”, or just dart frogs because when bred and raised in captivity they are not poisonous. I got interested in these colorful amphibians when exploring options for a large aquarium that had become available to me. My
internet search led me to a Massachusetts company called Black Jungle whose website ((link...)) has a photo gallery of tropical rain forest “vivariums” with waterfalls, live plants and natural wood. They are quite beautiful and that sold me because I have always loved frogs and these habitats were just wonderful. I now have 3 tanks with 7 frogs, mostly because I was hoping to have a breeding pair so I can experience the tadpole, metamorphosis and joy of raising a tiny new frog. Since their sex is not determined till they are older, you have to buy several in hopes of getting a breeding pair.

In addition to the special tank design and prep (temp and humidity monitored), I grow 3 different types of bugs, 2 specialized fruit flies and springtails. It will get even more complicated if there are ever any tadpoles.

They are not very big. They have grown some since this photo was taken. The largest ones are about the size of a thumb.

This is Tony and Biff, the smallest of all my frogs

Irene here is the largest. She loves to climb on the cork bark that is imbedded in the back of the tank. She and Milo are my only breeding pair, but no tadpoles yet.

Dendrobate Azureus - I call the three in this tank "my blue ladies".

Tropical rain forest vivarium- it took me several weeks to make this. The dining room table was my staging area.

These frogs are not recommended for children because they should not be handled and they do require a bunch of work. I tell all my friends with young children to get them something furry that likes to be cuddled and can eat critter chow, not live bugs.

(And I still have not made it to the zoo to see their dart frogs!)

So now you know what THIS commissioners wife does in her spare time.

Becky Harmon

R. Neal's picture

Great photos of some great

Great photos of some great looking frogs. Colorful and diverse! Nice work, all around.

bizgrrl's picture

Cool hobby. Pretty frogs.

Cool hobby. Pretty frogs. Can that be said about frogs?

WhitesCreek's picture

I have a pet frog, too

I've had very good success with this particular variety:

redmondkr's picture

Beautiful images. I had a

Beautiful images.

I had a biology teacher way back in high school who impressed us with the notion that "the bullfrog has the most beautiful eyes in the animal kingdom."

I went Googling to see if anybody else felt the same and became distracted by this "Bullfrog Ballet" from the Vancouver Aquarium.

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Justin's picture

Very cool!

Very cool!

rikki's picture

Do you rear springtails in

Do you rear springtails in their own container or just inoculate the aquariums and hope for the best?

What is it in the frog's native habitat that makes them poisonous?

B Harmon's picture


I have two cultures of springtails, one in charcoal and another in coconut husk chips (different vendors and work about the same). I have stocked each of the tanks with springtails prior to introducing the frogs, but cannot tell how many there actually left in there. The frogs spend their life looking for food, so not too much escapes their hunting. It is best for the frogs to eat the fruit flies (FF) because I dust them with a vitamin/ mineral combination that provides more nutrients. One variety is a wingless FF that looks like an ant with a read head. The other is called a "hydei" which is bigger, has wings but is "flightless".

In the wild the frogs eat poisonous ants and special esters in their skin make them poisonous to predators. Many dart frogs in the wild are endangered.

rikki's picture

Cool to know that mutant

Cool to know that mutant Drosophila have some utility beyond genetic experiments!

Pam Strickland's picture

Very, very cool. And

Very, very cool. And fascinating information.

My godson's nickname when he was a little person was Frog Boy. We learned a great deal about frogs, and at one time had frog rainboots, raincoat and umbrella. I've seen pictures of your blue babies. :)

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

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