Check out the Blue Poison Dart Frogs at Memphis Zoo

The Bluff City is home to four of these frogs who get their name from their bright blue colors and the fact that they secrete a poison through their skin that can paralyze or kill potential predators. 

The blue dart frog is one of the more unique species that can be found at Memphis Zoo.  The Bluff City is home to four of these frogs who get their name from their bright blue colors and the fact that they secrete a poison through their skin that can paralyze or kill potential predators.  While the ones at Memphis Zoo aren’t poisonous, their bright blue colors actually serve as a warning to any potential predators in the wild.

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This particular species of dart frog is only found in one area of the world: The Amazon Rain forest.  They love the hot, humid environment of the rain forest and are often found near freshwater sources like streams and lakes.

In the wild, blue dart frogs eat tons of different insects like ants, beetles, mites, etc.  This is actually where the frog gets its poisonous skin.  The toxins from its diet, especially from the ants it eats, are excreted through its skin.  Because the frogs’ diet at Memphis Zoo consists of only crickets and fruit flies, they aren’t poisonous.

In South and Central America where these frogs are found, native tribes in the area use this poison in hunting.  They will dip their arrows and darts in poison collected from the frogs and use it to paralyze and kill their prey.  While this particular species of poison dart frog isn’t strong enough to kill a human, others species like the Gold poison dart frogs are potent enough.

Populations are beginning to be threatened by human contact and activity.  Because of deforestation for farming and other industries, the dart frogs’ habitats are being destroyed.  Other practices, like the exotic pet trades, are also beginning to have an effect on populations in the wild.

For more information on the Blue Dart Frogs at Memphis Zoo, visit their website by clicking here.