Strawberry poison dart frog

One of the most colorful amphibians in Costa Rica is the poison dart frog, a group of species known for their brilliant hues and their toxic skin.Poison dart frogs all belong to the scientific family Dendrobatidae, which contains more than 175 individual species spread across a range that includes large parts of Central and South America. Although this clade is remarkably diverse, just seven kinds of poison dart frog reside in Costa Rica – and only three of those species have the bright colors for which the family is most famous. Travelers in Costa Rica who want to see these animals can do so on a visit to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui or Tortuguero National Park.

In general, poison dart frogs are diurnal, meaning that they are most active during the day. Their diet includes ants and termites, and they primarily make their home in the dense rainforests of Costa Rica’s lowlands. These animals get their name from the toxins produced by their skin. This poison serves as a natural defense mechanism, and any animal that eats a poison dart frog is likely to die as a result. Some native groups made use of this toxin to tip blowdarts with poison, using the frogs’ means of defense for their own purposes. Poison dart frogs’ trademark coloration serves as a warning, telling potential predators that the tiny amphibians are much more dangerous than they appear