Can I keep a poison dart frog as a pet?

Poison dart frogs can be kept as pets, just like other frogs. This is because, for some unknown reason, when they are kept and bred in captivity, poison dart frogs are not poisonous. Scientists think maybe this is because their diets are different.

Poison dart frogs should be kept in a vivarium, which is a kind of terrarium that is very warm and humid. The vivarium should have lots of plants and water, especially running water. You can also spray the plants every day to keep the tank moist.

You should have an ultraviolet plant lamp to keep the plants healthy. Don't make it too bright or your frogs will hide. Remember that they live in the jungles and not lots of light comes through all those tropical forests.

Poison dart frogs like company. It's good to have about five together. But they also like space. For five frogs, it would be best to have a 55 gallon tank. The frogs spend more time near the ground than up high, so it's good to have a long tank instead of a tall one.

If there isn't enough space, your frogs will be unhappy and they may stop eating. They may even die from stress!

In captivity, poison dart frogs usually live about 2 to 4 years. Some can live as long as 15 years!

Poison dart frogs can even be bred in captivity. The green poison dart frog, Dendrobates auratus, was among the first to be bred in captivity and is still a favorite as a pet. Dendrobates truncatus also breeds well in captivity. Phyllobates vittatus is the easiest Phyllobates species to breed.

If you want your frogs to breed, put 'honeymoon huts' in your vivarium. A honeymoon hut is a half of a coconut shell with its meat removed. Saw a door in it, turn it upside down and put a petri dish inside with water and a leaf in it. Your male frogs will go inside and call to the females. The frogs can also hide in the honeymoon huts if they are feeling stressed.

You can buy a poison dart frog for about $25 to $250 each. There are places on the Internet, like Vivaria Projects in Amsterdam, where you can buy poison dart frogs and the vivarium and supplies you need. But poison dart frogs are not good pets for beginners.

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