Barely noticeable in the leaf litter this frog of only 2 centimeters jumps from one hiding place to another. His stripes are thought to be designed to keep predators away but it doesn’t seem to make him any less cautious. After all he is just one cow hoof away from death by mud inhalation.
The striped poison dart frog is a member of a family of frogs that have been know to secret a toxin through their skin, this particular type, Phyllobates lugubris, has less than its cousins. The toxin is acquired through a diet of ants and beetles. You are what you eat.
The lovely dart frog is only found in the lower elevations of tropical humid rain forests from Southeastern Nicaragua through to Northeastern Panama. They like slow moving water and moist terrain. This frog was found in a low area between our two creeks.
There is a frog that has similar markings but the stripes are colored red. This dart frog, the Eleutherodactylus gaigeae, has no toxicity just good survival tactics. Much like me getting most of my facts from this site, Amphibiaweb, he plagiarizes without malintent.
His next jump is done in peace as this species is not territorial. We hope to see him again one day but until then may he enjoy each leap forward.
A Different Pattern and a Baby
This is another Yellow Striped poison dart frog we found along with a baby found in the same area. The markings are similar but this one has 3 dots down the middle of its back and the blue of the underbelly is not as bright.
There is another similar dart frog in the phyllobates family that lives only on the South Pacific side of Costa Rica. If you find a frog with similar marking there it is the Golfo Dulce poison dart frog.