Sunday, May 6, 2018

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog

Erika was surprised at the small size of this red poison dart frog. We had been looking for one, discovering this frog at the dragonfly pond at La Selva Tropical Research Station on 15 July. The race of Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs (Dendrobates pumilio) in Costa Rica is sometimes called the Blue Jean Poison Dart Frog. They kind of seem to be wearing blue jeans.

Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs are abundant from Nicaragua to Panama. Poison dart frogs are named for their poisonous skin. Their bright color serves as an effective warning to most predators. As a result these frogs are active during the day. Males tend their eggs after mating, even keeping them damp by bringing water to them or urinating on the eggs (Animal sake). Females feed their young with the female’s unfertilized eggs (Wikipedia). This sacrifice of reproductive potential seems to be odd and suggests low survival of clutches that lack such maternal care.

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