The Poison Dart Frog of Costa Rica
Did you ever wish for a beautiful orange colored frog for a pet? Well…you don’t want this one. He is very poisonous! His name is Poison Dart Frog. And no, he will not turn into a prince.
There are seven species of poison dart frogs in Costa Rica. They are found in the tropical lowland rain forest such as in the east central part of Costa Rica called Sarapiqui. Often these poison dart frogs are found in the water soaked leaves of the bromeliads high up in the rain forest canopy. They are small, very beautiful frogs and come in many colors of red, green, blue, orange, and a combination of blue and black or red and black. They are active during the day, eating ants and termites.
The poison dart frog has only one predator that is the snake which has a natural resistance to the frog’s poison.
Indigenous tribes in Columbia used it’s powerful venom for centuries to tip their blow guns when hunting so the frog became known as the poison dart frog.
The golden poison dart frog has enough poison to kill 20,000 mice, if he could ever find 20,000 mice at one time and ate them all at once, he would be the dead one. Now, are these frogs poison to humans if they are touched? Yes, some of these frogs are very harmful if touched. Moral of that story..don’t touch the frog. You will get severe nausea and vomiting and require immediate medical attention. And where do you find a doctor is the jungle? There are other species of these frogs which are not so harmful if touched (comforting thought) but we don’t know which ones they are, so don’t touch any of them.
From the poison in these frog’s skin medical researchers are working on a medicine to treat slowed nerve and muscle system disorders. So, some day your life may be saved by a frog.
This beautiful photograph of the poison dart frog was taken by Scott Wilkinson. You can see more of his beautiful Costa Rican wildlife photographs at www.scottwilkinson.com