What Do Poison Arrow Frogs Eat?

Poison arrow frogs, more commonly known as poison dart frogs, eat insects such as ants, beetles, flies and termites. They also eat spiders. Scientists believe that the spiders actually give the frogs their toxins, which protect the frogs from predators.

Biologists believe poison dart frogs get their toxins from spiders because poison dart frogs that are raised in captivity and not allowed to eat their normal prey don't develop the toxins in their skin.

Poison dart frogs eat like other frogs. They lie in wait for their prey, then capture it by shooting out their long, sticky tongues. Since they can't chew their prey, they eat it whole. Poison dart frogs don't swallow like other animals. When they shut their eyes, the subsequent increased pressure in the mouth pushes the food into their digestive tract.

Poison dart frogs are considered to be among the most beautiful of frogs, with vivid, jewel-like colors. However, the toxins in their skin are so poisonous that it can be dangerous to even handle them. Scientists believe this extreme toxicity evolved because many of their predators, such as spiders and snakes, are immune to milder poisons.

Poison dart frogs got their name because the indigenous people where they lived smeared their skin secretions on the tips of their arrows or darts.