Golden Poison Frog (Phyllobates terribilis)

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Golden Poison Frog
Golden Poison Frog (Phyllobates terribilis)
Image: Marcel Burkhard




The Golden Poison Frog is native to the lowland tropical rainforests of the Pacific coast of Colombia. It is the most toxic of the poison dart frogs (Family Dendrobatidae) and thought to be the most poisonous vertebrate on earth. Merely touching this frog results in instant death. The single gram of the neurotoxin ("batrachotoxin") present on the skin of one of these frogs would suffice to kill 15,000 human beings.

Like other poison dart frogs, the toxicity of P. terribilis depends on diet. Captive frogs, without access to the prey eaten in the wild, are not poisonous. Batrachotoxin, then, is either produced originally by certain prey eaten by poison frogs, or the frogs themselves convert some substance derived from prey into the toxin.

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