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Spot Legged Poison Dart Frog

Spot Legged Poison Dart Frog
Ameerega picta

The Spot Legged Dart Frog have a black body with two cream lateral stripes running from the nose down each side of the body. Yellow is present around the groin area and blue spotting present on their feet.

OriginBrazil, Bolivia and Peru
EnvironmentTropical Rainforest
Adult Sizeup to 3cm
Lifespan5 years +
DietFruit Flies and Micro Crickets

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What do Spot Legged Poison Dart Frogs look like?

Spot Legged Poison Dart Frogs are a small sized species, reaching a length of around 2.5cm. The Spot Legged Dart Frog has a base colour of dark brown-black with two creamy yellow coloured stripes extending from the tip of the nose, downwards towards the top of the thighs. There is also a creamy yellow coloured line running from the bottom lip towards the armpit, with a marbled black  throat and belly. Females are usually slightly larger than males, and males will tend to have a darker throat and sing to attract a mate.

Where are Spot Legged Poison Dart Frogs from?

They are endemic to Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela, found in tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf rainforest areas near to streams. 

How do I keep Spot Legged Poison Dart Frogs?

These frogs are terrestrial, meaning that they will spend the majority of their time on the bottom of the tank. Though these frogs are small the glass terrarium should have plenty of space. We recommend a minimum of 45 x 45 x 30cm (18 x 18 x 12”) for two frogs, though larger is always better - especially if you plan on keeping more than two. Sexed groups can cohabit and are best kept as single sex, pairs, or trios with one female to two males; as females can express dominant behaviour towards one another in competition if housed with males, often eating one anothers eggs.

During the daytime the Spot Legged Dart Frogs require ambient temperatures of around 18-26°C when they are most active during the day. Temperatures can be as low as 18°C at night, to as in the wild the temperature naturally drops as the sun sets. Warming the air temperature by way of a basking bulb is best. Heat mats provide surface temperature only and can quickly dry out the substrate if used underneath. To maintain the optimum temperature, all heat sources must be controlled using a suitable thermostat. Dart Frogs are notoriously sensitive to warmer temperatures, so care must be taken during the summer months to not overheat the terrarium.

A low level UVB light that sits within the parameters of Ferguson Zone 1 is perfect for this species. UVB helps frogs to synthesise vitamin D3 which is essential in the absorption of Calcium - keeping their bones healthy and strong. By mimicking the UVB exposure they have in the wild, the light should be on for 12 hours during the daytime and turned off at night. The rainforests of Peru are always humid, the humidity levels in the wild will fluctuate and can rise and fall between 70-100%. Misting the enclosure using a spray bottle or mist system, dampens the substrate decor and foliage. The chemicals in tap water can cause health problems for amphibians so we always recommend using treated tap water, bottled, or rain water. Doing this both morning and late afternoon helps maintain humidity levels and a shallow water dish can be added, which will be readily used by the frogs. Some owners choose to make a paludarium by adding in a shallow pool and building a waterfall within the terrarium, which helps to maintain humidity without the need to mist as often. 

Dart frogs do best in a live planted bio-active terrariums, they can be a little shy to begin with and often hide amongst dense foliage as it offers the frogs plenty of safe hiding places. For bio-active setups, adding in a drainage layer before a soil based substrate to cover the floor and then a layer of moss and leaf litter on top can help to retain moisture and aid plant growth. Cork bark and vines also work well, adding to the natural look of any rainforest habitat. We suggest looking at the natural habitat of these frogs and aim to recreate a small piece of the rainforest in your own home- The only limit with a natural terrarium is your imagination!

Dart frogs of all species have a very fast metabolism and will need feeding daily, they are tiny with huge appetites! They will primarily eat Fruit Flies(which can be cultured to maintain a constant supply) and hatchling crickets, these are nutritious and encourage natural hunting and foraging behaviours. The frogs will also prey upon other small insects such as clean up crews such as Springtails and Isopods.

On all live feeds, it is important to use a good quality supplement powder to provide an essential calcium and vitamin boost to your dart frogs. The easiest method of application is to use a spare live food tub to dust the insects lightly in supplement. We advise dusting your insects on every feed, alternating between calcium and vitamin powders according to manufacturers recommendations.

Did you know... Poison Dart Frogs are NOT poisonous in captivity! They are so named because of their toxins being used by natives to lace the tips of darts for hunting. Their natural diet consists of ants, millipedes and mites which are extremely high in alkaloids; these toxins are accumulated in the skin of the frog. The captive diet of poison dart frogs lacks any alkaloids, meaning they pose NO risk to humans.

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