Feed of the poison dart frog

Source: De Pijlgifkikker, een temperamentvolle Zuid-Amerikaan, Stichting Sauria, 2005
Poison dart frogs (Dendrobatidae) are meat-eaters that live off small insects. In the wild, their diet consists of ants, termites, larvae, beetles, mites and flies. Some species have teeth and can eat larger prey.
In captivity the feed consists of springtails, greenflies, fruit flies, wax worms, curl flies and meadow plankton.

  • Springtails: are fed especially to young frogs.

  • Greenflies or plant lice: not desired on plants, but a delicacy for frogs.

  • Fruit flies: Different species, are used a lot as feed.

  • Wax worms: The small larvae are fed. Not very often, though, as the frogs may get fat. Maximum of once every 2-3 months.

  • Curl flies: For larger frogs, but not all animals like them.

  • Meadow plankton: is very diverse and can be caught by beating a dip net through the high grass. A disadvantage is that this can mainly be done during the summer when the weather is dry, and that also harmful animals can end up in the net.

  • All these animals can be cultivated. Information about the cultivation of feeding animals can be found in several books and sites. Every hobbyist or organization has its own ‘tips and tricks’.

    It is recommended to give the frogs extra vitamins and calcium. These products can be bought in specialist shops. The vitamin preparations and the calcium can not be given simultaneously. The feeding animals can be powdered for each feed or 2-3 times a week, depending on the chosen feeding schedule.
    Fruit flies can be powdered before use by putting them in a small box, adding the powder and shaking well. After this, the powdered flies can be fed to the frogs.
    Calcium can also be presented by mixing a solution of calcium and magnesium in the spraying water. The solution can be bought from the vet.