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Hello, I was wondering about the actual average lifespan of P. terribilis. I saw lots of conflicting information while researching the species. Many places say 3-5 years, although I highly doubt that, considering the much longer lifespan of other darts. They also take a while to reach sexual maturity, so it just doesn't seem very evolutionarily efficient to only live a few years after that. Some other places say 10-15 years, which I find more believable, but I wanted to know for sure.
 

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Average = the mean number of years that they in fact live in captivity, or the mean number of years they should be expected to live given high quality care and an ideal captive environment?

I know what you mean, of course :), but the distinction is both worth thinking about and largely explains the range of claims you have read.
 

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I don't know for certain, but I can't see how it would be that much less than other dendrobatids which I've heard reliable accounts of hitting 15-20 years and continuing to reproduce.

My oldest group are yellows at 5 years that show no signs of slowing down. My 4 year-old group of Mints is breeding and show no signs of being geriatric; I'd hazard a guess that 3-5 is definitely wrong.

Outside of gross husbandry errors leading to catastrophic failure (incorrect environments leading to infection or other fatal outcomes, incorrect diet or supplementation etc.) my guess is that a significant cause of shortened lifespan could be overfeeding and obesity. I've seen some obviously overweight frogs in my time.

I keep pretty good records, so check back with me in 2031. 😬
 

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I know someone who's eldest terribilis tot to 30 years old
That's great to hear. I'm looking forward to being an old man, haunted by the chilling call of The Mighty Terribilis echoing through my home. 😬

One of the criticisms I have of herpetoculture as I've experienced it in North America, is the lack of long-term thinking. After decades I've seen trends come and go, and animals with them.

Nothing is ever going to be perfect, but I think it's important to emphasize long-term thinking, best practices and a quality-driven approach every chance we get.

At the same time it's important not to turn that into gatekeeping or condescension. Everyone was new to the hobby at some point.
 
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