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Darting Colors

February 20, 2023

Darting Colors

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Jacqueline Buonfiglio Jacqueline Buonfiglio

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo recently reopened its exhibit featuring a variety of poison dart frogs. The exhibit was temporarily closed for renovation, and now features two waterfalls and a spectacular assortment of plants. These brightly colored frogs can be seen in their revamped exhibit within the Hall of Animals.

The exhibit holds several species of frog, including green and black poison dart frogs (Dendrobates auratus), yellow-headed poison dart frogs (Dendrobates leucomelas), dyeing poison dart frogs (Dendrobates tinctorius), and Golfodulcean poison frogs (Phyllobates vittatus). If you look closely, these frogs will appear as tiny pops of yellow, green, blue, and orange scattered among the leaves and branches (above, a dyeing poison dart frog).

Native to Central and South America, indigenous peoples rub the toxins secreted through the skin of these frogs onto darts and arrowheads that are then used for hunting. These practices resulted in the adoption of the name “poison dart frog” for multiple species of frogs that secrete potent toxins. The frogs acquire these toxins by eating poisonous bugs and repurposing the bugs’ poison to use for their self-defense. Our frogs are fed non-toxic bugs, so they do not secrete any poison and are safe for keepers to handle.

When you visit the exhibit, be sure to listen carefully, and you’ll also hear the trilling sound of these tiny frogs calling to each other.

Nikon D6

Brooklyn, US Map It


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