Poison frog

Family Dendrobatidae

At the Detroit Zoo
Several species of poison frogs can be seen at the award-winning National Amphibian Conservation Center – a leader in amphibian conservation and research – which houses a spectacular diversity of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians. While there are many species of poison frogs at the Detroit Zoo, the most toxic species is not among them; these frogs in human care are not toxic. Species viewable to Zoo guests include the Golfodulcean, black-legged, green-and-black, dyeing, mimic and yellow-headed poison frogs.

These small frogs have aposematic coloration, which means their bright and contrasting colors indicate toxins to potential predators. In fact, they are considered to be one of Earth’s most poisonous animals. Much like the mantellas, their toxins are produced from their diet.

Fun Facts

  • These frogs were formerly referred to as "poison dart" frogs because indigenous people would rub the tips of their darts on the frog's back, which loads them with poison.