Dyeing Dart Frog

The Dyeing Dart Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius), is a species of poison dart frog. This species is distributed throughout the eastern portion of the Guiana Shield, including parts of Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, and nearly all of French Guiana. It exists in discrete patches throughout this region, being restricted to highland areas. While this species can be found at sea level, these individuals have been collected at the base of nearby hills or mountains. The isolation of populations has presumably occurred as a result of the erosion of these highland areas and the seasonal inundation of the inter-patch areas.

It is the largest species of poison dart frog, reaching lengths of 2 inches. The species encompasses a great diversity of color and pattern variants (subspecies and morphs). Some batrachologists suspect that some of these are actually different species. The specific name tinctorius comes, however, not from the variety of colors, but from the way some indigenous tribes use the frogs. They rub them on the skin of young parrots, and the poisoning of the parrots’ skin causes them to grow feathers of different colors.

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