The Beautiful Poison Dart Frogs of Costa Rica. .
One of the most unique creatures for you to enjoy. . if you can find one!
Costa Rica is home to 8 known species of poison dart frogs, also called "poison arrow frogs". The toxin from this frog was and is being used on arrow tips to make sure that anything that the tribesmen in the Amazon Rainforests shot, died almost instantly!
A common misconception is that if you touch these frogs, you will die. The strength of the poison depends on the subspecies, and the poison of Costa Rica’s dart frogs isn’t strong enough to penetrate through unbroken skin. With that said, one should not risk it as you may have tiny cuts on your hand that you are not aware of. These frogs are small, fragile and best left alone and viewed from afar.
Most frogs are active only at night, when it is cooler and wetter. However, the dart frogs are active throughout the day as well. They do avoid direct sunlight so that they don’t dehydrate. They are usually found in damp soil, under leaf litter and on mossy foliage. They are shy, keep to themselves and will jump away as you approach them.
The strawberry poison dart frog is slender compared to similar species. The frog’s colorful skin features "bilateral symmetry". This means that the patterns on their skin are symmetrical. However, the color variations for this species are the most diverse in the entire poison dart frog family. Their skin can range from strawberry red, blue, yellow, white, green, orange to black. Their bodies are very tiny, with four unwebbed fingers on each hand and foot.
This species resides in rainforest habitats and also in cacao and banana groves. Unlike some other poison dart frogs, this frog spends most of its time on the rainforest floor in leaf litter. They also climb trees and vines.
Strawberry poison dart frogs use a “wide foraging” feeding method where they stick out their tongues to catch ranging numbers of small prey. They mainly eat smaller insects like ants, which is where they get the alkaline toxins for their poisonous skin. They have also been known to eat mites and other small arthropods.
With their highly territorial behavior, males must establish certain areas in order to find a successful partnership with their mate. If other intruding frogs invade an established territory, the resident male frog will begin wrestling the invading frog until it has pinned it completely on the ground. Strawberry poison dart frogs will spend most of their energy feeding, mating and caring for their offspring by defending their territory.
The strawberry poison dart frog features unique traits in their eyes that enable them to differentiate between different color variations of their species. Females rely on this ability, as they often select mates that are of the same color pattern.
As with other brightly colored poison dart frogs, this species is vital to researchers, as they study how predators interpret color variations in their prey.
With hundreds of thousands of animal species inhabiting Costa Rica, the poison dart frog is one of the most unique and beautiful. . here for all to see when visiting one of the happiest and MOST BIODIVERSE countries on the planet!
There are many studies being done now regarding the use of the poison dart frog's toxins to help mankind. One such study is one which is trying to develop a pain killer for humans.
While in Costa Rica, make it a point to spend some quality time deep in the jungle. We sincerely hope that you see one of these beautiful creatures!
Also, please enjoy our over 1,160 episodes of our "Costa Rica Minute / Costa Rica Pura Vida Lifestyle Podcast Series". We are found on all major podcast venues, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Radio FM, Anchor & many more. Here's our link: www.anchor.fm/costa-rica-pura-vida
About the author
Costa Rica is a magical place. Since November, 2002, when I first visited this country, I have been in love with the people, the culture, its biodiversity, the food. . everything about it makes me happy! Now I share my excitement with you!