Poison Dart Frog Care Sheet
When properly bred in captivity, the poison dart frog loses much of its toxins and has become harmless to humans. They are quite challenging to care for and are usually kept in vivariums or terraniums. Challenges aside, they are certainly fascinating to look at and can be a great conversation centerpiece in any gathering at home.
Captive-bred poison dart frogs are available from local breeders who advertise on the net and elsewhere. Get them only from established reputable breeders. Brokers may not always be a good choice as their frogs come from different sources you know nothing about. You should be selective with your breeder choice and ask plenty of questions. The poison dart frog is among the most challenging of pet frogs to own and not a good choice for first-time frog owners.
It is important to note that transporting and handling can be stressful to dart frogs, as with all pet animals. Sometimes they exhibit behavior that can give the impression they just died. Not to worry, this is their way of coping with the stress. They can remain in this spasmic immobile state called hypocalcemic tetany for hours and should recover the next morning.
Now you need to understand a little about these creatures of the Amazon jungle. The poison dart frog is diurnal, meaning they are active by day, compared to other frogs that are nocturnal. They like to hunt for their food rather than being spoon fed. The avid frog pet lover should find ways to make fruit flies and crickets invade the habitat. In addition, they exhibit interesting mating habits that involve elaborate courting of the opposite sex. So in addition to their exquisite colors and patterns, dart frogs are also exciting to watch during the courting season.
As tropical creatures, captive dart frogs are best kept in a habitat where sunlight, humidity and temperature are maintained in the 30 – 32 degrees centigrade. Assuring some humidity means installing a small pond-like formation in the habitat. This further allows the female dart frog to have a natural nesting area for her tadpoles.
The importance of knowing the particular species of your dart frog is important as its environmental habitat requirements can vary. While tropic conditions are common, some dart frog species prefer to live on the ground, while others prefer the branches of rain forest trees. Others are dry land dwellers while others prefer proximity to swampy water formation.
With regards to feeding, local pet stores may not be able to consistently provide the stock to feed them. A home food source is the alternative. Cultivating fruit flies is one good option. You will need to culture the right yeast-based environment to breed wingless fruit flies. Finally, as with other frogs, crickets are a great option and keep your poison dart frog happy.