The strawberry poison dart frog, Oophaga pumilio, has an extraordinary reproductive strategy. Females lay their eggs in leaf-litter or on plants on the rainforest floor. When the tadpoles hatch, one of the parents will coax them to climb onto their back. Then the parent frog transports the tadpoles to small pockets of water in bromeliads or other vegetation, often high in the trees. That is like if you carried a human baby to the top of the Empire State Building!
The dedicated parent returns intermittently through their development to lay unfertilized eggs in the water. These eggs serve as the tadpole’s primary food source. The name of this frog’s genus is “Oophaga”, which literally means egg-eater! Eggs for breakfast, anyone? The strawberry poison dart frog occurs throughout the Caribbean coast of Central America, but it is a frog we will see often next summer in Costa Rica!
It should be known that there are some incredibly dedicated “cold-blooded” parents in the Wild World Of Frogs! Amphibians are ectotherms, which means they rely on the environment to regulate their own body heat. However, the term “cold-blooded” has a negative connotation and sometimes amphibians are perceived to not have concern for other members of their own species. The strawberry poison dart frog is definitely a dedicated and caring cold-blooded parent!
Do you want to see these amazing frogs for yourself? Then join SAVE THE FROGS! next summer in Costa Rica! We will travel to this beautiful country and meet its amazing amphibians on July 14th-25th, 2018. We have already filled ten spots on this ecotour, so hop to it if you want to join SAVE THE FROGS! in Costa Rica! See the amazing strawberry poison dart frogs for yourself and learn all about this exciting ecotour here: