16 Different Types of Poisonous Frogs

Different Types of Poisonous Frogs
Photo by Csaba Talaber

These small, brilliantly colored different types of poisonous frogs are known as the jewels of the jungle; yet, if their prey isn’t careful, they can kill them or, at the very least, cause them a great deal of misery.

Because of their one-of-a-kind appearance, they can ward off potential enemies and thrive in an environment that is not very friendly to them. Their stunning exterior is not just for show.

Poison frogs are small, terrestrial, diurnal frogs that dwell largely in the leaf litter on the forest floor; However, some different types of poisonous frogs reside high in the forest canopy and may never come down. Poison frogs are nocturnal when they are breeding.

Even though most frogs are thought to be poisonous but not fatal, any animal that eats them will find them repulsive, and they may die as a result.

The poison can induce severe swelling, nausea, and paralysis in the muscles. If a predator is lucky enough to live through the experience of tasting such a frog, it will remember the flavor of the frog and will not try to eat anything else that is comparable in the future.

Because of this, an entire population of frogs of a specific color can profit from a predator’s experience with only one of their kind.

However, a species of snake known as the Leimadophis Epinephelus is resistant to the toxins produced by poison frogs and feeds on venomous amphibians.

Each poison frog species is responsible for producing a unique toxin composed of a unique combination of alkaloids and other compounds.

In their research into the potential medical applications of frog poisons, scientists have uncovered that some of these alkaloids may benefit patients suffering from specific heart and circulation disorders.

Different Types of Poisonous Frogs

1. Kokoe Poison Dart Frog

When found in the wild, the golden poison dart frog and the black-legged poison frog are the two most deadly members of the Phyllobates genus.

The kokoe poison dart frog, also known as Phyllobates aurotaenia, is the third most toxic member of the Phyllobates genus.

It is also the smallest of the three but makes up for its diminutive stature with its beautiful singing. When two males compete for dominance, instead of wrestling with each other, they will confront each other and shout out loudly until one of them backs down.

However, even though these frogs have incredible vocalizations, you should not get too close to them since glands in their skin store batrachotoxin, which is lethal to humans.

2. Golfodulcean Poison Frog

The second mention on our list of different types of poisonous frogs is the Golfodulcean poison frog (Phyllobates vittatus); this exquisite species belongs to the Phyllobates genus and is the fourth most poisonous member of that group.

The poison it produces can cause agonizing agony, minor convulsions, and even paralysis in some instances. The method by which the golfodulcean poison frog acquires its lethality is a mystery to the scientific community.

Scientists are clear that it is not a product of the frog’s own internal production and originates from an external source. The golfodulcean is in danger of extinction due to the destruction of its natural habitat in Costa Rica.

3. Variable Poison Frog

The rainforests of Ecuador and Peru are home to the stunning Ranitomeya variabilis, also known as the variable poison frog. But you shouldn’t even bother looking for it; even if you find it, you shouldn’t touch it.

Variable poison frogs are so small that people sometimes call them thumbnail frogs. Their primary diet consists of bromeliad plants.

The “splashed” back of the frog can range from lemon yellow to vivid orange to bright red, and sometimes the color covers the entire back, leaving behind very little or no black other than on the legs and underside of the animal.

4. Red-backed poison-dart frog

The Ranitomeya reticulata, more commonly known as the red-backed poison frog, is the second most poisonous member of its genus, right behind the variable poison frog.

Even though this particular frog’s toxicity is significantly lower than that of most other different types of poisonous frogs, it can still kill smaller predators like birds and cause serious injury to humans.

The neurotoxic venom of the ants that this poisonous frog consumes provides the source of the frog’s toxicity.

This particular species of poison dart frog is native to the Amazon rainforests of Peru and Ecuador. It is one of the more diminutive of the poison dart frog species.

5. Green and Black Poison Dart Frog

The green and black poison dart frog, a species of Dendrobates, contains enough venom to make a human unwell, although it is not as poisonous as some other types of poisonous frogs.

These adorable tiny frogs can be found in various green colors, ranging from dark forest green to mint green, lime green, emerald green, and turquoise.

They can also have colors that are not in the green spectrum, such as a pale yellow or a cobalt blue coloring.

These brightly colored frogs are native to Central America as well as the northwestern sections of South America. Researchers also took them to Hawaii, where they have flourished since their introduction.

6. Yellow-banded Poison Dart Frog

It is not difficult to comprehend why the yellow-banded poison dart frog (Dendrobates leucomelas) is also known as the bumblebee poison frog.

There is a valid explanation for why they have warning sign colors, despite having a toxicity level that is slightly lower than some other species.

Females of the Yellow-banded Poison Dart Frog are often larger than males of this species. The Yellow-banded Dart Frog is one of the largest species in its genus, Dendrobates.

Yellow-banded poison dart frogs are most prevalent in Venezuela, northern Brazil, Guyana, and southeastern Colombia. These frogs require a moist and humid environment to survive.

7. Granular Poison Frog

The Oophaga granulifera, also known as the granular poison frog, is native to Costa Rica and Panama, and its body is a brilliant shade of red, which acts as a warning of its toxicity.

It is categorized as a vulnerable species despite its bright colors and built-in protection system because of the loss of habitat and degradation caused by agriculture, logging, and human settlement, despite its bright colors and built-in protective system. People also harvest them for the pet trade.

However, the exact numbers of animals taken for this purpose are unknown. In the case of these frogs, as is the case with many other species, humans pose a greater risk than natural enemies.

8. Harlequin Poison Frog

Histrionicotoxin is a poison produced by the harlequin poison frog (Oophaga histrionica). These histrionicotoxins are distinct from the highly toxic batrachotoxins produced by other frog species, such as the golden poison dart frog.

The harlequin poison frog has a playful name but is quite dangerous. It is less toxic than other different types of poisonous frogs, but it is still dangerous enough that these frogs were sought after for their use in manufacturing blowgun darts.

Due to the one-of-a-kind qualities it possesses and how it influences the body, this little amphibian is also of interest to scientists. Colombia is home to this fascinating and unique species, which faces an extremely high risk of extinction.

9. Corroboree Frog

The corroboree frog, scientifically known as Pseudophryne corroboree, is substantially distinct from the other species.

To begin, you won’t find it in the tropical rainforests of South and Central America; instead, you’ll find it in the sub-alpine regions of Australia.

Second, rather than obtaining the toxins, it needs from the animals it kills, it actually makes its own poison. It is the first vertebrate ever identified to produce its alkaloids, and like other different types of poisonous frogs, it uses them for self-defense. It is also the first vertebrate ever discovered to create its own alkaloids.

They don’t start reproducing until they’re four years old, and they hibernate during the year’s colder months.

Unfortunately, much like so many other species of frogs, it is considered to be in a state of critical endangerment since its population has been steadily declining over the past three decades due to tourism, pollution, and the chytrid fungus.

10. Golden Poison Dart Frog

The golden poison frog is not only the most dangerous of all the poisonous frogs but also maybe the most poisonous animal on the entire planet.

Even its scientific name, Phyllobates terribilis, demonstrates that even very harmless-looking organisms can pose a significant threat.

It gets the poison it carries from the food it eats, and depending on where it lives and what foods it eats, the typical wild golden poison frog generates enough poison to kill ten humans.

Even though it possesses an incredibly potent method of self-defense, it is nevertheless an endangered species since its habitat and population are declining due to pollution.

11. Blue Poison Dart Frog

The blue poison dart frog, scientifically known as Dendrobates tinctorius, can be found in certain southern Suriname and Brazilian regions.

Even though all members of this species have the same dazzling blue coloration, the pattern of the black spots on each individual is different.

Although some populations of poison frogs can be stable, those populations aren’t very large, and their habitats are rapidly disappearing.

These intriguing and gorgeous tiny frogs are in danger of extinction due to the destruction of their natural rainforest environment and the excessive harvesting of their species for the pet trade.

The striking appearance of the blue poison frog has contributed to its meteoric rise in popularity as a pet in the United States.

Because of the illegal trade of thousands of these animals into retail pet stores worldwide, their natural habitat is rapidly disappearing.

Diseases present yet another significant obstacle to the survival of these little frogs. One of these conditions is chytrid fungus.

It develops on the surface of the skin of adult frogs and causes them to suffocate because they cannot take in water or oxygen through their skin as the growth progresses.

The poison in these frogs is sufficient to inflict severe injury or even death on humans. Because people alter their food in captivity, just like most other poison frog species, they lose their deadly properties. Poison dart frogs of the blue variety are also common pets.

12. Black-Legged Poison Dart Frog

The black-legged poison dart frog is a common mention on our list of different types of poisonous frogs. You may have seen that this frog, the black-legged poison dart frog (Phyllobates bicolor), appears to be visually comparable to the golden dart frog.

Indeed, both of these frogs share the distinction of being members of a group of three species of frogs, one of which is the kokoe poison dart frog, which contains a poison that humans have utilized in the production of poison darts.

Even though it is slightly less robust than the toxin produced by the golden dart frog and the frog itself is smaller and more slender, researchers believe the frog’s poison can still kill people.

The black-legged poison dart frog, which you may find in Colombia, is under the endangered species category due to the destruction of its natural habitat.

13. Dyeing Dart Frog

Although it only grows to be about 2 inches long, the dyeing dart frog, also known as Dendrobates tinctorius, is one of the largest species of poison dart frogs.

It is a species of the genus Dendrobates, which, compared to the genus Phyllobates, is known for its lower toxicity.

According to research, the vibrant color pattern of the dyeing dart frog not only alerts close predators to the fact that it is not desirable to eat, but it also provides superb concealment when viewed from a greater distance.

Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname are home to colorful frogs like this. According to a local urban legend, the skin secretions of the dyeing dart frog were once used to color the feathers of young parrots.

14. Phantasmal Poison Frog

The phantasmal poison frog, commonly known as Epipedobates tricolor, is stunning in appearance and quite small.

The maximum length it can attain is only approximately one-half inch to one-and-a-half inches. However, despite their diminutive stature, Phantom poison frogs carry lethal doses of poison that are capable of killing an adult human.

The deadly poison of this frog is epibatidine, a naturally occurring alkaloid. Researchers have investigated the possibility of utilizing epibatidine to create a non-addictive analgesic that is more potent than morphine.

Even though it has a lot of potential, researchers have found that epibatidine is probably not safe for human consumption.

15. Strawberry Poison Dart Frog

Although it is not the most toxic poison frog in the world, the strawberry poison dart frog, also known as Oophaga pumilio, is the most toxic member of its genus, Oophaga.

And you’ll want to be aware of this species since it’s possible that you won’t know what you’re looking at, at least not right away. So proceed with caution.

This species is often a brilliant shade of red. However, anywhere from 15 to 30 other color variants can be seen.

These can range from an entirely red coloring to a blue coloring to a green coloring with black spots. Their eye-catching hues serve as a cautionary message that they are poisonous.

The strawberry poison dart frog is a dart frog, much like any other type of poisonous frog. The poisonous nature of the dart frog is a direct result of the ants and termites that make up its diet. These poisonous frogs do not retain any toxicity when kept in captivity.

16. Lovely Poison Frog

The striped poison dart frog (Phyllobates lugubris) is another name for the Lovely Poison Frog (Phyllobates lugubris). This species of Phyllobates is one of the least harmful in the genus (but is still in the most toxic genus of poison frogs).

Even though it has a charming appearance, it is quite dangerous. It has enough poison to cause heart failure in any carnivore that consumes it.

The Lovely Poison Frog is endemic to Central America, and you can find them across the entirety of Costa Rica, as well as southeastern Nicaragua and central Nicaragua.

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