Yellow-banded Poison Frog

(Dendrobates leucomelas)


Yellow-banded Poison Frog IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

31-38 mm long, some reach 50 mm. Black dorsally with three broad crossbands colored bright yellow, yellow-orange, or orange; black spots or blotches are often present in the crossbands as well as on the yellow or orange limbs. The belly is black and usually lacks color. All markings are variable, making each frog unique. Equally unique is the presence of glandular adhesive pads on the toes and fingertips, helping D. leucomelas to climb and stay in stationary positions. It is an insectivore (mostly ants, but also termites, tiny beetles, crickets, and other small insects and spiders) and is diurnal. During the breeding season from February to March males will chirp, buzz, trill, and hum to get females attention after sunrise and before sunset. The females compete for males, and the terrestrial eggs (2 to 12 eggs per clutch) are guarded by the male parent in a moist, sheltered area. The male rotates the eggs every so often so that they receive enough oxygen. Once they hatch, the tadpoles are carried on the father's back to small pools of water where they continue to develop. Metamorphosis takes 70 to 90 days.

Did you know?
It is the only poison frog known to estivate during the dry season. They congregate under rocks and fallen tree-trunks.


Name (Scientific) Dendrobates leucomelas
Name (English) Yellow-banded Poison Frog
Name (French) Rainette jaguar
Name (German) Gelbgebänderter Baumsteiger
Name (Spanish) Rana flecha amarilla
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
© Brian Gratwicke



Range Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Venezuela
Habitat D. leucomelas prefers moist or wet, forested, lowland regions and temperatures often reaching 30° C or warmer, between 50 and 800 meters above sea level in leaf litter, fallen trees, forest floors, stones and occasionally trees, near rivers and rivulets.
Wild population It is a common species. In general, Dendrobatids are exploited for the pet trade and they could face declines unless strict trade regulations are set. Their habitat is also being destroyed by timber industries and agriculture.The population trend is stable (Red List IUCN 2012)
Zoo population 761 reported to ISIS (2007).

In the Zoo

Yellow-banded Poison Frog


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 45 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
© Brian Gratwicke

Why do zoos keep this animal

Neotropical frogs are threatened by habitat distruction, disease and other factors. Zoos and aquariums keeping these species want to build up reserve populations and to raise awareness of the global amphibian crisis. Several zoos have also linked their ex situ activities with involvement in in situ conservation.