Strawberry Poison Frog

(Oophaga pumilio)


Strawberry Poison Frog IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

Diurnal and terrestrial and with its 1.5 to 2.5 cm a tiny frog with highly variable colour in particular in Panama (e.g. red with blue legs, orange with black spots, green above and white below, with small spots, olive with grey legs, entirely orange or blue etc.). The male attracts the female with its far reaching call. The female lays a few (2-9) eggs, which are first guarded and tended for by the male (to keep them moist they periodically empty their bladders on the eggs until they hatch). After about 7-10 days the larvae are transported by the female one by one into small water bodies in the bromeliads. During the app. 50 days until metamorphosis the female visits each of the larvae regularly and feeds them by laying unfertilized eggs. Tadpoles must receive an egg meal within 3 days of being placed in a bromeliad water pool in order to survive. The oophagous larvae eat nothing else (or would each other). Metamorphosis needs 6-8 weeks. Adults eat tiny arthropods, in particular ants (even Drosophila could be too big for them).

Did you know?
that the Wold Bank is supporting a project on Poison Dart Frog Ranching in highly threatened sites in Peru to protect rainforest and alleviate poverty? The objectives are to promote sustainable cultivation and harvesting of poison dart frogs for export, so local people can earn a better living from conserving the forest than by cutting it down and are thus protecting the tropical forest.Conservative estimates indicate that a campesino could easily produce 50 frogs every 4 months and sell them for $8 to $20 apiece. This would increase a campesino's annual income from a current $200 per year to between $1,000 and $3,800. Thus, the potential of poison dart frog ranching for income generation in poor rural areas is considerable. The project could be replicated throughout tropical Latin America where more than 100 different species of frogs live and could also be replicated with butterflies, beetles, aquarium fish, and other species. Similar projects could ideally be located in buffer zones around conservation areas. The population trend is decreasing (Red List IUCN 2012)


Name (Scientific) Oophaga pumilio
Name (English) Strawberry Poison Frog
Name (French) Rainette des fraises
Name (German) Erdbeerfröschchen
Name (Spanish) Rana de punta de flecha roja
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Encarna Sáez Goñalons & Víctor Martínez Moll



Range Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama
Habitat In the rainforests (but also humid premontane forests, cacao plantations, and abandoned forest clearings) of the Caribbean coast of Central America from sea level up to 1000 m; on the ground in the foliage, the grass or in the rots of big trees.
Wild population This is a common species throughout its range. However breeding in captivity is not easy. Therefore most of the specimens in trade are from the wild and their mortality is relatively high. It is believed that the species is currently being unsustainably collected.
Zoo population 239 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Strawberry Poison Frog


How this animal should be transported

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


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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.