The Strawberry Poison Arrow Frog (aka Strawberry Poison Dart Frog), scientifically known as Dendrobates Pumilio, is one of the species that belongs to the Poison Arrow Frog family. They are locals to the Caribbean area of the Central America, with a large population on countries of Costa Rica, and Nicaragua up to Panama. They live in rainy and moist places such as rainforests. Being plentiful in those nations, these frogs can even be found in banana plantations or piles of coconut shells which have been discarded. They exhibit well adaptation with humans.
These poisonous frogs are small in size. Adults usually measure to about 18 to 20mm in length. They are very light, weighing only an approximate 0.5 ounce. They also have different hues. These colours range from Blue, Red, Green, Orange, Yellow, Red and White, as well as Black and White, Green and Yellow, Orange and White and a whole lot more. They may also have patches which can either be big or small or have none at all. They come in about thirty different variations, making them a popular choice for frog-keepers. These colours are aposematic in nature which means the frog’s skin contains amounts of toxins. It serves a warning sign to predators. The hide of this frog is quite thin, allowing the said toxic secretion to coat their skin continually. The gender of this frog can be distinguished easily since the male frog has a grey neck area.
These amphibians also exhibit a high level of aggressiveness and territorial behaviour. The male frogs fight other males when they hear one another making breeding and territory calls. Females also tend to show signs of aggression.
In mating, the male frog would make chirping sounds. The female would then heed this prompting. When the mating is done the female would lay her eggs. This is usually on Bromeliad leaves. Shortly the eggs are fertilized.
The Strawberry Poison Arrow frogs have demonstrated parental care of a high degree. Both the male and females of this species have such behaviour. The male frog uses his cloaca to transport water so as to ensure that the eggs are hydrated. When the eggs hatch into tadpoles after ten days, the female frog carries them on her back to a water retaining place. She deposits them one in each site, since they tend to be cannibalistic. After that, she would come back in every few days to lay unfertilized eggs for the tadpoles to feed on. These types of frogs are obligate egg feeders. This is because tadpoles will not accept any other food except unfertilized frog eggs. In a month’s time, they metamorphose into juvenile frogs.
This frog specie is one of the most widely collected of its kind. Hobbyists like them since they are very colourful and have different variations. The blue jean variant of these frogs is one of the most commonly sold in the market. They are recently exported from frog farms in the regions of Central America.
Currently, it’s specie classification was changed to Oophaga Pumilio from the original Dendrobatees Pumilio. This happened last August 2006 based on a study of Grant et al. The original classification of Dendrobates Pumilio is still the more widely used scientific name to pertain to this frog.