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Old 01-29-2018, 06:21 PM
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Lightbulb Classroom: Frog Identification Key

I've posted about the vivarium I'm building for my wife's 3rd grade classroom, and so far things are going slow, but well. One of the things my wife has asked me about is whether there is any sort of identification key out there for dart frogs. Rather than simply telling the classroom "this is what our tadpoles/frogs are", she'd like to have them work it out for themselves.

So, is anyone aware of any sort of diagnostic key for poison dart frogs? My google searches came up empty. I think there are a few levels to this. Students should have to work out:
  • The Genus
  • the Species
  • the Morph

Obviously, you could use 3 separate keys to get you there...it's easy enough to find good rundowns of the tinctorius morphs (they'll have Azureus in the classroom) and then the kids just have to thumb through a list to visually match it up. It's a little harder to hit this first two points though.

Thoughts? Ideas? Resources?
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:23 AM
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https://www.exploringnature.org/db/v...ue-Poison-Dart

You can look here, they have age appropriate but fairly accurate information.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:14 AM
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Default Re: Classroom: Frog Identification Key

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetiteP View Post
https://www.exploringnature.org/db/v...ue-Poison-Dart

You can look here, they have age appropriate but fairly accurate information.
Great link in general, thanks!
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Classroom: Frog Identification Key

Interesting, I haven't been able to find any dichotomous keys for dart frogs. You'd think there would be, since they're almost as popular as jewel scarabs.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Classroom: Frog Identification Key

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Originally Posted by Entomologist210 View Post
Interesting, I haven't been able to find any dichotomous keys for dart frogs. You'd think there would be, since they're almost as popular as jewel scarabs.
I couldn't tell if that was a sarcastic response or not...but since I found this within 15 seconds...I'm thinking this is legit befuddlement on your part...

Field Guide to the Jewel Beetles (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) of Northeastern North America ยป Biodiversity in Focus Blog

Given the responses here and on Facebook, I think I'm going to have to come up with my own key of some sort. Not a fun project given I don't have the time to come up with it really, but maybe I can post some drafts here for feedback. I think the folks who bring up geography as an important point are certainly correct, however, what if you were to find a new species or variant? Geography might not be helpful there...

I suppose the questions have to start at the genus level; how can you look at a dart frog and determine which genus it belongs in? If you were to find a new frog, how would you know it's a Dendrobates, Ranitomeya, something else..?
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: Classroom: Frog Identification Key

No, I was serious about not finding a dichotomous key for Dendrobatidae. I'm more than familiar with beetle keys, just haven't sen them for dart frogs. Also, those are buprestids. They're cool I guess, but nowhere near as epic and alluring as rutelline scarabs in the genus Chrysina.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Classroom: Frog Identification Key

Try this:
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/db/75...2162d3ce9b.jpg

I don't know the ultimate attribution or and rights holders, but I'm sure they'd be fine with printing this for a classroom.
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Old 02-02-2018, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Classroom: Frog Identification Key

Not a dichotomous key... but still pretty cool. That is a cladogram. It shows the relationships between organisms.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Classroom: Frog Identification Key

So if there's no key out there, I'm gonna have to try to make one. Perhaps leveraging educational fair use (it IS for a classroom after all) to lift photos from vendors (unless there are more creative commons resources out there than I suspect).

So, brainstorming, how would you best sort out an ID key to the genus level out of common dart frog genera. Remember the ultimate key here is to not create an exhaustive functional key that goes to every species, but instead, to maybe give them a 3-step process whereby if they finally get the Genus, then they can get to species, and once they figure out the species, we can get them to the morph. ANY ideas?
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