The Yellow-banded Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates leucomelas) is a little frog As its name suggests, this species can secrete poison through its skin. Other names for this species include the Yellow-headed Poison Dart Frog and the Bumblebee Poison Frog.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION
The Yellow-headed Poison Dart Frog comes from northern South America; mainly Venezuela, but also Guyana, Brazil and Colombia. It inhabits rainforests where it can be found among leaf litter, tree roots and moist/damp stony areas, especially near fresh water.
The Yellow-headed Poison Dart Frog, as its name suggests, is a bright yellow colour with black banding and spotting. This aposematic colouring is a warning to potential predators that it is toxic or distasteful. Like all poison frogs, it is thought to synthesize the toxins from some of the insects and invertebrates that make up its diet (although the exact species are not known), as captive specimens lose their toxicity. It has an overall length of 3.0 - 5.0cm with females being larger than the males, and an average weight of 3 - 4g.
DIET, BEHAVIOUR AND REPRODUCTION
The yellow-banded poison dart frog is not only one of the largest in the Dendrobatidae family, but it is also the only member to aestivate (similar to hibernation) during very hot and dry times. They are very territorial and are known to get quite aggressive when defending their territories. The average lifespan in the wild is around 5 -7 years, this can be double for animals in captivity.
OTHER NOTABLE INFORMATION
The Yellow-headed Poison Dart Frog has many morphs including the Venezuelan morph (standard), Fine Spot morph (bands break in to small spots), Blue Foot morph (greenish-yellow bands, bluish feet), British Guyana morph (black with narrow yellow bands), Banded morph (large, neat yellow and black bands).
The yellow-banded poison dart frog is listed by the IUCN as Least Concern.