Most Poisonous Frogs on the Planet

Most Poisonous Frogs on the Planet

Many frogs contain mild toxins that make them unpalatable to potential predators. Some of them, such as some poison dart frogs, are especially toxic. The chemical makeup of toxins in frogs varies from irritants to hallucinogens, convulsants, nerve poisons, and vasoconstrictors. Many predators of frogs have adapted to tolerate high levels of these poisons. Others, including humans, may be severely affected.

Golden Poison Frog

Phyllobates terribilis

image by wilfried berns

The golden poison frog’s skin is densely coated in alkaloid poison, one of a number of poisons common to dart frogs (batrachotoxins), which prevents nerves from transmitting impulses, leaving the muscles in an inactive state of contraction. This can lead to heart failure or fibrillation. Some native people use this poison to hunt by coating darts with the frogs poison. Like most poison dart frogs, uses poison only as a self-defense mechanism and not for killing prey.

Kokoe Poison Dart Frog

Phyllobates aurotaenia

image by tomr

The Kokoe poison frog is the third-most poisonous of the poison dart frogs. It, like many of the highly poisonous dendrobatids, secretes batrachotoxins through its permeable skin. This poison is a highly potent neurotoxic alkaloid, which functions like an acid, by seeping through open wounds, and, it is believed, through the pores. In humans, this causes a variety of symptoms, including excruciating pain, fever, and seizures. Later, paralysis occurs. While not as toxic as its larger relatives, the black-legged dart frog (neari) and golden poison frog, the Kokoe poison frog is still extremely poisonous.

Giant Leaf Frog

Phyllomedusa bicolor

image by jean
The Giant leaf frog  is jeopardized by biopiracy because it produces a waxy secretion that may have medicinal uses against AIDS, cancer and other diseases. The Matses and Mayoruna people apply the poison of the frog to self-inflicted burns in order to enter an altered state of consciousness. The poison has been reported to produce a variety of effects ranging from stimulation, to sedation, anorexia, and hallucinations. The poison contains dermorphin and deltorphin which act on opioid receptors.

Strawberry Poison Frog

Oophaga pumilio

image by splette

The strawberry poison frog is perhaps most famous for its widespread variation in coloration, comprising approximately 15–30 color morphs, most of which are presumed to be true-breeding. O. pumilio, while not the most poisonous of the dendrobatids, is the most toxic member of its genus.

Blue Poison Dart Frog

Dendrobates azureus

image by wildfeuer

Dendrobates azureus is widely known as the blue poison dart frog. Its species name comes from the fact that it is colored azure. Its color is also usually darker around its limbs and stomach. The glands of poisonous alkaloids located in the skin serve as a defense mechanism to potential predators. These poisons paralyze and sometimes kill the predator. The black spots are unique to each frog, serving as an identification tool. Each foot contains four toes which each have a flattened tip with a suction cup pad used for gripping.

Lovely Poison Frog

Phyllobates lugubris

image by maciej

The lovely poison frog is a species of frog in the Dendrobatidae family. It is found in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical, moist, lowland forests, rivers, plantations , and heavily degraded former forest. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Yellow Banded Poison Frog

Dendrobates leucomelas

imege by wiki
D. leucomelas is is often found on flat rocks, trees, plants  and the leaf litter of the forest floor. During the dry season, specimens are known to congregate in damper places, such as under rocks or fallen tree trunks. Like all Dendrobatidae, D. leucomelas frogs secrete toxins from their skin, which they gain from eating certain unspecified arthropod prey. It is uncertain precisely which arthropods lend their toxicity to which genus of Dendrobatidae, but one such arthropod is thought to have been identified as a possible source of the toxin for Dendrobatidae Phyllobates terribilis, and it is a local variant of the Melyrid beetle.

Phantasmal Poison Frog

Epipedobates tricolor

image by krisp

A phantasmal poison frog  is a species of poison dart frog. Their natural habitat is the Andean slopes of the central Ecuadorian Bolívar province. They have radiant color and powerful poison. Even though they are not the smallest frog in the world, their size usually is between 1 centimetre (0.39 in) to 4 centimetres (1.6 in). Phantasmal poison frogs have one of the strongest toxins of frogs. Their toxin is known to be lethal. One of commonly related organisms, the blue triden frog Epipedobates anthonyi, is frequently mistaken for the phantasmal poison frog.

Golfodulcean Poison Frog

Phyllobates vittatus

image by patrick

Golfodulcean poison frogs have highly potent neurotoxic alkaloid poisons in their skin. While it is only the fourth-most toxic of the genus, the Golfodulcean poison frog is still a highly toxic animal. Its poison causes severe pain, mild seizures, and paralysis in severe cases. Captive examples lack the toxin, which suggests they do not manufacture the poison themselves, but instead acquire it from a species of insect or other small invertebrate on which it feeds.

Black Dart Frog

Phyllobates bicolor

image by esteban

One of the few frogs confirmed to have caused human fatalities. Just 150 micrograms of its poison is enough to kill an adult human. This frog is often heated over a flame to make it “sweat” the liquid poison for hunting darts. The poison causes death by respiratory and muscular paralysis.  As with all dart frogs, captive-raised individuals are not toxic; the animals require chemicals found only in their wild food sources, mainly insects. In captivity, these chemicals are not available to them from their food sources.

Zimmermann’s Poison Frog

Ranitomeya variabilis

image by wiki
The frog lives in leaf litter on the rain forest floor of the southern Amazon River Basin in South America. Medium sized poison frog (30-40mm). The colouring is usually black with a yellow or orange “splashed” back, like a paint splash has been dropped on his back. The colouring on the splash can vary from yellow via orange to (red)brown.

Red-backed Poison Frog

Ranitomeya reticulatus

image by brian
The red-backed poison frog is a moderately toxic dendrobatid. Its toxins are used as the frog’s natural defense mechanisms. To advertise its poison and further reduce the risk of injury, the red-backed poison frog displays its brilliant warning colors, especially its red-orange back, for which it is named.  The poison seeps through open wounds and orifices, and, it is believed, through the pores. This defense is especially effective against mammalian and avian predators, and, to a lesser extent, reptilian ones.

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