Phantasmal poison dart frog

Found only in a few places in Ecuador, these endangered frogs are beautiful to look at.

Good things really do come in small packages.

First of all, what about the name? Quite possibly the coolest in the animal kingdom? Phantas-tic in fact!

They love nothing more than hopping around in the tropical and sub-tropical rainforests of South America. They need an area with lots of leaf litter and access to fresh water. In particular, they like to live on or near banana and cacao (that means chocolate) plantations. And who wouldn’t?

So where does the name ‘poison dart frog’ come from? Well, South American tribes used to use the secretion, or discharge, from this type of frog’s skin to poison their arrows and darts whilst hunting.


They are listed as endangered due to low numbers in their native Ecuador. They can be found in only seven locations in a 2000 square mile area.

There are lots of reasons as to why the numbers are so low. These include habitat destruction due to deforestation and farming, natural predators, disease and the illegal pet trade.

Phantasmal poison dart frog questions and answers

What do poison dart frogs eat?
Insects. These include woodlice, aphids, weevils, crickets and fruit flies.

How long do they live for?
In zoos they can live up to fifteen years.

How long is it before a tadpole becomes a frog?
Anywhere between six to 12 weeks.

We have other species too…

The phantasmal is not the only species of poison dart frog we have at Folly Farm. We also have ‘green and black’ and ‘yellow banded’ which are both native to Central America and northern parts of South America and ‘bicolored’ which are from India.

All of these amazing, brightly coloured frogs can be found in our Folly Interactive education centre.

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