Undoubtedly, poison dart frogs are marvelous and bold-bright-looking creatures. It definitely makes sense you’d be interested in them, but when we keep something as a pet, we need to know their average lifespan in order to plan a good life for them.

In terms of living, these frogs have different lifespans in the wild & captivity. Dart frogs in the wild enjoy an average life of about 3-5 years. In captivity, most dart frogs enjoy more than 10+ years.

You will also find that there is a difference in the lifespan of multiple dart frog species. In this brief article, you will have a clear idea about how long does a dart frog live.

dart frog lifespan varies in the wild and in captivity

The average lifespan of a dart frog

If you look at both the wild and captive poison dart frogs to tell the average lifespan then it would be around 3-12 years. Because of their high toxic level, they are rarely preyed upon.

Moreover, the ultra-bright color is a red signal to the predator. As a result, they are less likely to become the food of their higher-level animal in the food chain.

Inside a fertile rainforest where the climate and food are in favor of the dart frog, they can live quite a long life. Sometimes they can reach even 6-7 years old in their natural habitat. But mostly in wild, they survive 3-5 years. Not all dart frogs are equal to the frog hobbyists. Some species are famous due to their ultra-unique color and ease to care.

According to my findings, the most demanding poison dart frogs are Blue poison dart frog, Bumblebee poison dart frog, and Dyeing poison dart frog. Let’s have a look a bit details of these species’ lifespan…

The average lifespan of a dart frog
Image Credit: B Ranitomeya, Instagram

How long do Blue poison dart frogs live?

This morph of poison dart frog is so beautiful that the first time you see it’s hard to blink for a few moments. However, these are one of the top poisonous amphibians on the entire globe. Blue poison dart frogs can live up to 12 years under a frog hobbyist. While in the wild, this creature can hardly live around 4-6 years.

How long do Bumblebee poison dart frogs live?

Bumblebee poison dart frogs are found in Venezuela, northern Brazil, and the Columbians. These magnificent vibrant frogs can live a healthy life for around 10-15 years in captivity. While the forest living species can survive up to 5-7 years.

bumble bee poison dart frog

How long does the Dyeing poison dart frog live?

The South & Central American-based Dyeing poison dart frog gets an average life span of around 8 years in captivity. However, some healthy frogs can even get a life up to 12-15 years in captivity.  In the deep forest, these dart frogs can survive 7-11 years.

However, these are not the only dart frogs to exist in the world. Let’s have a look at how long other variants of this puny frog usually lives for:

Versatile dart frog’s species & their lifespan

There are around 100 types of species of poison dart frogs. And among all those, some are well reputed in the frog lovers community.

Let’s have a look at those frog’s lifespans in the following part…

NameScientific name Lifespan
Blue Poison Dart Frog Dendrobates tinctorius ‘ Azureus’Wild: 4-6 years

Captivity : Around 10 years

Dyeing Poison Arrow Frog Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Vanessa’ Wild : 4-6 years

Captivity : Up to 20 years

Dyeing Poison Arrow Frog Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Boulanger’Wild : 4-6 Years

Captivity : Around 10 years

Golden Poison Dart FrogPhyllobates terribilisWild : 6-10 years

Captivity : 10-15 years

Dyeing Poison Arrow FrogDendrobates tinctorius ‘Alapadu Cobalt’ ALBINOWild : Not available

Captivity : 10 years

Kokoe Poison Dart FrogPhyllobates aurotaeniaWild : Up to 10 years

Captivity : 8-15+ years

Granular Poison Dart FrogOophaga granuliferaWild :8-15 years

Captivity : Not available

Three Striped Poison Dart Frog Ameerega trivittataWild : 7-15 years

Captivity : 10+ years

Blue and Black Poison Dart Frog Dendrobates auratus ‘Panamanian Blue & Black’ Wild : Around 8 years

Captivity : 10-20 years

Green and Black Poison Dart FrogDendrobates auratus ‘Costa Rican Green & BlackWild : 3-15 years

Captivity : Average 10 years, Maximum up to 20 years

Black Legged Poison Dart FrogPhyllobates bicolorWild : 8-15+ years

Captivity : 10-20 years

Spotted Poison Dart FrogDendrobates auratusWild : 4-6 years

Captivity : 10+years

Harlequin Poison Dart FrogOophaga histrionicaWild : 3-15 years

Captivity : 8-15+ years

Peppered Poison Dart FrogAmeerega pepperiWild : 8-12 years

Captivity: Not available

Cloud Forest Poison Dart FrogEpipedobates darwinwallaceiWild : 6-8 Years

Captivity : 10-15 years

Red-Backed Poison Dart Frog Ranitomeya reticulataWild : 8-12years

Captivity: Around 10-15 years

Red Headed Poison Dart FrogRanitomeya fantasticaWild : 6-10 years

Captivity : 10+ years

Marbled Poison Dart FrogEpipedobates boulengeri Wild : 8-12 years

Captivity : Around 10-15 years

Please take note that the life of the dart frog can goes ups and down due to the level of caring, sickness, etc.

If you want to know from where to buy these dart frogs and how much they cost then I suggest you to read this article.

What helps Poison darts frogs to survive?

The common scenario among the amphibians is that they usually don’t get a long life due to a long list of predators. Even some amphibians get a little life because in their larvae and baby stage they are attacked and killed. This thing is a bit different in the case of a poison dart frog. There are some reasons which make the hunter list of the dart frog very small.

What helps Poison darts frogs to survive
Image Credit: 쥬스룸 (왕눈이/유인원인간), Instagram

Dart frog has mind-boggling growth and they become a full adult in only one year. During the growth process, these buddies learn a hell lot of adapting techniques to survive in the tough forest. In simple words, the poison dart frog has ultimate survival ability. Starting from their toxicity level, extra sharp vision, vibrant skin color, and small size help them a lot. The combination of these attributes helps it to dodge its predator swiftly.

Why Poison Dart Frogs Have A Longer Lifespan In Captivity?

Due to its ease to take care of and maintaining, the dart frog is a popular choice for amphibian lovers.  An ample amount of love and care helps the frog to live healthy for a long time. In captivity, the average dart frog life is 12 years while some rare case has been around 20 years.

However, if you don’t care for them properly, they might survive less than their wild counterpart. Why does the wild dart frog have an average lifespan of just 3-5 years, while one in captivity can easily live more than 20 years? So, what’s the secret to a captive dart frog’s longevity?

The answer lies in diet, habitat, and stress levels. In the wild, dart frogs are constantly on the lookout for predators and have to compete for food and mates. This leaves them little time to rest and digest properly, which can lead to malnourishment and high-stress levels. 

Why Poison Dart Frogs Have A Longer Lifespan In Captivity
Image Credit: Bluestem Exotics, Instagram

In captivity, however, dart frogs are protected from predators and have a steady supply of food. They also don’t have to expend much energy looking for mates since they’re usually kept alone or with other frogs of the same species. As a result, captive dart frogs are better able to digest their food properly and stay healthy overall. 

Another factor that contributes to a captive dart frog’s longevity is its habitat. In the wild, dart frogs live in humid rainforests where temperatures can vary widely from day to night.  While this natural variation is good for their health, it also puts them at risk for exposure to harmful bacteria and parasites. And natural disaster is a part of the forest system so it also plays a big role in the shorter lifespan of dart frog in the wild.

What Do Dart Frogs Eat In The Rainforest? [Read From Here]

Why are your dart frogs dying fast?

Just right on top of this section, you saw that the poison dart frog gets usually a longer life in captivity. In spite of that if you notice your frogs are dying then you need to find out the underlying reason.

As long as your dart frog’s terrarium climate is okay there would be no problem. But access to anything or lacking anything would be harmful and fatal for the frog.

Factors like humidity level and temperature have to be within the preferable range of dart frogs. Moreover, an unhealthy and uncleaned tank can easily become the home of parasites and it will ultimately attack the frog and make it sick and dead. Ignoring the water quality and using tape water instead of distilled water for cleaning and misting would be deadly for the captive poison dart frog.

Why are your dart frogs dying fast
Image Credit: Bluestem Exotics, Instagram

The last thing is the proper food and supplementations lacking. You cant do overfeed while having to ensure they are getting the right proportion of food to move and roam normally. You can read my article here for more details about why your dart frog died.

Why are the poison dart frogs endangered?

Just like many other species of frogs, the dart frogs are also becoming endangered animals. Sadly, many types of dart frog species are already lost from the phase of the earth. And some species are going to extinct very soon.

Let’s get a bit idea of why this is happening to these magnificent creatures that make the forest more colorful.

Why are the poison dart frogs endangered
Image Credit: Frogfather, Instagram

Habitat loss

Majority of the dart frog belongs to the beautiful dense rainforest of Central & South America. Dart frogs main diet in the wild are insects but due to the destruction of forest by human, they are losing their food. Because when there are fewer trees that means there’s less space for insects to grow and live. Not only that, but dart frog also lives in trees.

So their natural habitat where they take shelter, reproduce and hunt food is getting limited every single day. Thus the numbers of these frogs are declining rapidly.

Global Trade

The marketplace for dart frogs is getting bigger day by day. These frogs are extensively used for research purposes, as bait, and also for lab dissection. And a big number of them are treated so that people can pet them.

Climate changes

The impact of climate change on dart frogs is striking. Due to climate change, the weather became two bad ways for the dart frog. The first one is the forest becoming dryer and less humid. While the other one is the front temperature is increasing. Both of these make it hard for them to lay their eggs and they are moving to the mountainous area for suitable weather.

Sickness & disease

Most of the dart frog species became the victim of chytrid fungus. Along with that, a bacterial infection is present in the forest which brings a long range of sicknesses around the year.

Toxic chemicals

Due to their skin’s ability to absorb the liquid, they became the major victim of industrial zones. A large number of industry resides close to the forest which ultimately affects the frog’s habitat.

Wrapping up

This magnificent animal deserves a better & healthy life in the forest and in captivity. When their food and habitat safety are met appropriately, they can live a good life with long age.

Hopefully, you got a good idea about how long the dart frog lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *