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Dendrobate à tapirer © MNHN - F-G Grandin

The poison arrow frog

The dyeing poison arrow frog, Dendrobates tinctorius, is an amphibian species and one of the most well-known species of poison arrow frogs.


Class, order and family :
Amphibia, Anura, Dendrobatidae
Life span :
up to 15 years in captivity
Size & Weight :
4 - 5 cm in length and 3 - 5 g
Larval stage :
10 - 12 weeks, 3 - 10 eggs per clutch
Natural habitat :
tropical rainforests
Diet :
insectivore - ants, mites
Native region :
South America
Statut UICN : 

Least Concern (LC)

Distinctive features

This frog’s bright blue or yellow colour is a warning to its predators that it is poisonous – the mucus covering its skin contains a toxin which is dangerous if in contact with a wound or mucus membranes.


The Amerindian tribes would rub the skin of young parrots with this mucus. The normally green feathers would then grow bright red. The tribes would then adorn themselves with red feathers. It was this that gave the frog the name of dyeing "tinctorius" (to dye) poison arrow frog.