Blue poison frog

Scientific Name
Dendrobates azureus
Animal type
Suriname, French Guiana.
Conservation Status


The poison frogs of Central and South America are famous for their toxic secretions, used by native communities when hunting. The poisons are not made by the frogs themselves, but are taken up from their diet of invertebrates, which have in turn ingested plant chemicals. However, in captivity the poison decreases considerably in strength as the food chain needed to supply them with their raw materials does not exist.

The frogs’ bright colours advertise their poisonous nature. The blue poison frog’s pattern of black spots on a blue background is particularly striking and varies from individual to individual.

Living near streams, often under rocky overhangs or moss, it feeds on invertebrates that it catches during the day.

Males advertise for females by calling, and defend their eggs vigorously. After they metamorphose into tadpoles, the male carries the young on his back to a small pool, water trapped in a hole or a bromeliad, where they develop into frogs after 10-12 weeks.

With the world’s amphibians in crisis, captive populations are vital to conservation efforts. Extremely sensitive to environmental change, amphibians give us early warning of problems that might be due to global warming, pollution and so on. Fungal disease is also threatening many species worldwide.

The blue poison frog, like many others, is threatened with extinction. It has a very small distribution, though the area it lives in is protected.

Durrell has successfully bred this species, and our new biosecure facilities here at the Trust's headquarters will enable us to continue studying and breeding the blue poison frog and other threatened amphibians in captivity, developing techniques to help slow their decline.



Photo by Arturo Munoz -

Other Vulnerable Animals