The Virtual Rainforest
A Neotropical Rainforest
Rainforest Research


Tree Seedlings

Forest Flowers



Army Ants

Bullet Ants
Leafcutter Ants

Rhinoceros Beetle

Swallowtail Butterfly



Keel-billed Toucan

Howler Monkeys

White-faced Monkeys

Three-toed Sloth
Baird's Tapir
White-lipped Peccary
Reptiles and Amphibians:
Red-eyed Tree Frog
Poison Dart Frog
Helmeted Iguana
Eyelash Viper
Terciopelo Viper
Spectacled Caiman
American Crocodile
Human Systems:
Rainforest Boy
Rainforest Girl
Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Rainforest Research

About the Authors





Blue Jeans Poison Dart Frog
Oophaga pumilio (formerly Dendrobates pumilio)

This full-grown male poison dart frog is only about 3/4 of an inch long (2 cm)! It lives on the floor of the rainforest, hopping among leaves and up some logs to sing. Here it is singing to a mate or to warn some other males off.

These frogs are very good parents. The females lay the eggs inside of leaf-cups made by Bromeliad plants. The parents take care of the tadpoles after they hatch, often transporting them to other leaf-cups.

This type of poison dart frog is not too dangerous, but some have toxic chemicals in their skin that are so dangerous they can kill a person. The poison in poison dart frogs is to keep predators from eating them, and the bright colors are to warn a predator that the frog is poisonous.

Poison dart frogs got their names because some native South Americans use their poison to make poisonous darts for hunting. They capture the frogs by using a leaf to pick it up, so the poison doesn't get on their hands. They rub the tip of the dart in the poisonous mucous of the frog's skin and the arrow is ready for the blowgun. The particular species of frog they use produces a very potent poison, and the darts are so poisonous that they will kill monkeys and other big animals.









The Virtual Rainforest

Back to the Rainforest

Copyright Gerald R. Urquhart
Michigan State University

Students and teachers have permission to quote text and use images from this website in class assignments. Images may be used in classroom and academic presentations with notification of author. All other use should request permission.


Virtual Rainforest development supported by grant #0815966 from the
National Science Foundation

Center for Global Change and Earth Observation

Michigan State University