DON’T LICK IT! This is the golden poison frog, Phyllobates terribilis, possibly the most poisonous animal on earth. It lives on the border between Colombia and Equador close to the Pacific ocean. Not this one though, cause I visited her at the beautiful zoo Tropikariet in Helsingborg, Sweden today.
Hey, you might say, she’s not golden at all! Well, there are a couple of different colored morphs.
Poison dart frogs consist of the family Dendrobatidae and are native to the rainforests of South and Central America. They are known for their bright colours and toxic secretions, which have been used by indigenous cultures to create poisonous darts for hunting.
The conspicuous colorations and patterns of the frogs warns potential predators of their toxicity. It is hypothesised that the frogs gain their poisons from their diet, which can consist of ants, centipedes and mites. In captivity, frogs which are reared on diets without these alkaloid poisons have a significantly lower level of toxins.
Around 4 species are used by indigenous peoples to lace darts with deadly toxins. The frogs are carefully exposed to fire, which causes them to exude a poisonous fluid. The tips of arrows and darts are soaked in this fluid and will remain deadly for 2 years.