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Gold Poison Dart Frog

Gold Poison Dart Frog
Author: Godfrey R. Bourne, Pd
via Wikimedia

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The Gold Poison Frog, sometimes called the Gold Poison Dart or Gold Poison Arrow Frog, is an amphibian with the scientific name Phyllobates terribilis. It is most famous for its poisonous skin.

Where does it live?

The Gold Poison Frog lives near the coast of the Pacific Ocean in the South American country of Colombia. Its habitat is the rainforest, where there is lots of rain and the temperature is warm. They are social animals and live in groups of four to seven in the wild.

Gold Poison Dart Frog
Author: Brian Gratwicke, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia

What does it eat?

The Gold Poison Frog eats what a lot of frogs eat; insects such as crickets, ants, termites, beetles, and flies. They use their long tongue to capture food from a distance.

How poisonous is it?

The Gold Poison Frog's poison is very dangerous. It has been known to kill humans and in fact there is enough poison in one frog to kill up to 10 humans. Its poison is called an alkaloid poison and it is all over the skin of the frog. Just touching the frog can kill. It is so poisonous that it could kill a small animal that touched a paper towel which the frog just walked across.

It is believed that the frogs get their poison from an insect that they eat. If they are in captivity long enough, they begin to get less poisonous. Gold Poison Frogs born in captivity are generally harmless.

What does the Gold Poison Dart Frog look like?

These frogs grow to between one and two inches long. Unlike their name, they are not all gold colored. They can come in a variety of bright colors from green to yellow to orange. Their bright colors are meant to ward off predators who sometimes will recognize the bright colors as something poisonous or that won't taste good. This type of defensive coloring is called aposematic coloring.

Is it endangered?

Yes these frogs are listed as endangered. Even though there are a good number of them in their habitat, their habitat is fairly small and is in danger of encroachment by people.

Fun facts about the Gold Poison Frog

For more about reptiles and amphibians:

Alligators and Crocodiles
Eastern Diamondback Rattler
Green Anaconda
Green Iguana
King Cobra
Komodo Dragon
Sea Turtle

American Bullfrog
Colorado River Toad
Gold Poison Dart Frog
Red Salamander

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