Blue Poison Dart Frog Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

The blue poison dart frog is a kind of colorful frog that is found in one small area on Earth. Come learn about how this frog got its name, where it lives, what makes it poisonous and some other neat facts about it.

What is a Blue Poison Dart Frog?

Imagine walking through an isolated rainforest. There are colorful plants and animals all around, but something small and blue catches your eye on the ground near a stream. You see it hop, and know it must be a frog, but you also notice that no other animals are getting near it. There's a good reason why they are leaving it alone. It's a blue poison dart frog!

Blue Poison Dart Frog
Blue Poison Dart Frog

A blue poison dart frog is a small, bright blue, spotted frog whose skin oozes a very strong poison that tastes bad and can kill an enemy. They are only about two inches long and weigh less than half an ounce.

No two frogs have the same spot pattern, just like no one else has your same fingerprints.

Blue Poison Dart Frogs with Different Spot Patterns
Blue Poison Dart Frogs with Different Spot Patterns

Blue poison dart frogs are diurnal, which means they are most active during the day, just like you. Their bright blue color makes them easy to see, and warns enemies to stay away, like a big 'Beware' sign.

Even though they are poisonous, some snakes and spiders still think they are a delicious snack and aren't affected by their poison.

What's in a Name?

You might think with the name blue poison dart frog that these frogs shoot darts at their enemies, but that's not how they got their name.

Native people would use the poison of a yellow poison frog, putting it on the sharp point of their darts. That poison borrowed from the frogs would kill the animals they hunted and shot for dinner with those darts.

Even though they didn't use the blue frogs' poison, all poison frogs got the name poison dart frog.

A Poisonous Diet

Blue poison dart frogs don't actually make their own poison. It comes from poisons in the insects they eat in the wild, including beetles, ants, termites and centipedes. Because they only eat meat, they are carnivores.

If you see these frogs in a zoo, they probably aren't poisonous because they don't eat the right combination of insects that help them make the poison.

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