Two colourful dyeing poison arrow frogs touching noses

Poison dart frogs

Poison dart frogs are so named because their poisonous secretions have been used by Amerindian tribes to poison blow darts for hunting. Only three species are dangerous to humans. One of those - the golden poison frog - is considered the most toxic vertebrate on Earth. The beautifully bright colours and patterns of these frogs are a warning to potential predators that they don't make good eating. There could be over 175 species in this family of amphibians, all found in the rainforests of Central and South America. Many species of poison dart frogs are classified as critically endangered.

Did you know?
The golden poison frog is considered the most toxic vertebrate on Earth.

Scientific name: Dendrobatidae

Rank: Family

Common names:

  • Dart-poison frogs,
  • Poison arrow frogs,
  • Poison frogs

Watch video clips from past programmes (2 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

Distribution

The Poison dart frogs can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Poison dart frogs distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Rainforest Rainforest
Rainforests are the world's powerhouses, the most vital habitats on the planet. Characterised by high rainfall, they only cover 6% of the Earth across the tropical regions, but they contain more than half of its plant and animal species.

Behaviours

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Poison dart frogs

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Nature's record breakers Nature's record breakers

    Animal kingdom record breakers - how fast can a cheetah run, how heavy is an elephant and what's bigger than a dinosaur? Watch amazing video clips from the BBC archive and uncover the fascinating facts about our smallest primate, the longest stick insect and the most venomous snake.

Elsewhere on the BBC

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.