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Phyllobates Terribilis & Bicolor:
  • Difficulty: Novice

    Note: Terribilis & Bicolors are difference species and should not be mixed, the care sheets are combined as their care is very similar.

  • Location & History: Terribilis:Colombia in the La Brea, Rio Saija, and Quebrada Guangui; Discovered in 1978 by Myers, Daly, and Malkin (1)
    Bicolor: Choco area of Western Colombia near the San Juan river. Discovered in 1841 by Dumeril and Bibron

  • Descriptions & Behavior:
    Terribilis is one of the largest poison dart frogs at 41mm as an adult. This frog is capable of taking much larger prey than other dendrobatids. They occur in three morphs: Mint green, yellow, and orange. These colors are variable including a light yellow cast to orange frogs or silver "green" individuals. Bicolors are slightly smaller animals and exist in orange or yellow with black limbs and belly, and solid golden yellow. Some orange bicolor lack black makings altogether. They can consume prey as large as a full-grown cricket. Females of both species are able to call in a slightly different fashion than the males.

    Bold and highly aggressive feeder. Often stands in the open, undaunted by onlookers.

  • General Care:
    Terriblis and bicolor are large, hardy frogs. Being from cool, rainy forest, temperatures should be kept from 68-78ºF; They can be sensitive to higher than 80ºF. Humidity should be kept at 80% or higher. Both species are capable of taking large prey and as adults, can swallow a full-grown cricket. Hydei, waxworms, crickets, and phoenix worms are eagerly eaten. Smaller insects maybe ignored, but bicolor will eat springtails if given the chance. These frogs are not as territorial as some dendrobatids and can be maintained in groups. Both frogs tend to stay on the ground and will rarely climb as adults.

  • Breeding & tadpole Care:
    Sexually mature at 12-18 months of age. Males call to females to begin courtship. Both species will breed in coco hut or other covered area, petri dish or other smooth surfaces. The Female lays eggs in the male's presence and he then fertilizes them. Breeding frenzies may occur if kept in large enough groups. Leave eggs inside the enclosure for at least 48 hours. Eggs should not be fully submersed yet need good hydration through high humidity. Terribilis tadpoles often hatch early enough to display branching gills. Terribilis and bicolor males may carry the tadpoles for several days before finally depositing them into a water source. The average clutch size can be from 8-18 for terribilis and 3-24 for bicolor. Tadpoles are not cannibalistic. However, some tadpoles may outcompete others for food resulting in some smaller, underdeveloped froglets when raised communally.

    Note: Terribilis and bicolor are not the same species. They are sister species from similar habitats isolated by a great distance. Mint green terribilis are more common the US due to high mortality rates in the yellow and orange during importation due to fungal infection.

  • Pictures:
    Mint: Just out of the water:

    Mint: Subadult:

    Orange from AZDR (range from a light orangey yellow to bright pumpkin orange - some animals may look "yellow" but when next to a true yellow terribilis they have an orange cast):

    Calling Male Orange Terribilis:

    Yellow Terribilis:

    Orange adult:

A dangerously toxic new frog (Phyllobates) used by Emberá fabrication and dart poisoning. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 161, article 2]Indians of western Colombia, with discussion of blowgun

(2) Frogs main

Jeremy Britton (Onagro)
Doug (Rain Frog)
Corey Wickliffe (KeroKero)
Kris (SandyClaws)

Note: We are looking for more Bicolor, and Mint Terribilis pictures to add to this care sheet if you would like to offer any please contact me.

If you would like to see any updates or modifications to this care sheet please let myself or a moderator know.

Last updated 8/8/2006
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