The main toxin is called batrachotoxin (BTX) but there are also other more minor species specific toxins found in frogs. It's one of the strongest naturally occuring toxins in the world, one P. terribilis has enough to kill 10 adult men. The toxin shuts down the nervous system and paralyzes the victim.
It depends on the species and location of the frogs. Batrachiotoxin was already mentioned. It's the most potent and found in Phyllobates. There are also pumiliotoxin, histrionicotoxin and epibatadine (sp?). In addition, something like 150 other lesser alkaloids have been found in dendrobatid skin. Most long term captives lose their most potent toxins and cb lack them completely.
I don't know if you have access to scientific journals but I read an interesting article yesterday. Most people don't have access to these journals but if you have a university nearby I would check it out. Heres the article information:
A DNA-Based Assay Identifies Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis in Amphibians. 2004
Journal of Wildlife Diseases 40(3):420-428
So check it out. I go to Rutger's library just to read the new journal articles. Guess its worthwhile to keep up to date with grad school looming around the corner.
Ive read where the Batrachiotoxin found in Philobates can have a so to say "shelf-life" for many years. So in knowing that would not a wild caught specimen remain extremely toxic for a very long time if not till its death ?This may explain why in other threads ive read , some people spoke of other breeders experiencing the effect of the toxins when bare handling the Philobates. :roll: