Rare Morph: The New River Poison Dart Frogs

Rare Morph: The New River Poison Dart Frogs

Rare Morph: The New River Poison Dart Frogs
Posted on March 23rd, 2024

The Amazon Rainforest, a bastion of biodiversity, has once again revealed one of its hidden treasures—like a rare morph: Dendrobates tinctorius New River poison dart frogs.

The many morphs of Dendrobates tinctorius (tincs) that are available underscores the endless mysteries of the jewels that the Amazon continues to unveil, reminding us of the rich tapestry of life that thrives within its dense foliage. The New River morph has been in the hobby since at least the late 1990s.

The continued breeding of this rare morph adds a thrilling chapter to the already fascinating narrative of these amphibians. With each new observation and discovery, we gain invaluable insights into the complexities of ecosystems and the critical importance of conservation efforts.

For enthusiasts eager to bring a piece of this exotic wilderness into their homes, having the New River poison dart frog in your vivarium represents a unique colorful opportunity.

Not only do these frogs offer a glimpse into the vibrant life of the Amazon, but they also serve as colorful jewels of the rainforest that we need to protect such irreplaceable gems of natural wonders.

According to some sources, the New River has a false name, because there are no Tinctorius on the river of the same name in Suriname. This morph apparently comes from Brazil from a steppe-like landscape with remnant forest islands crossed by a river. More likely that they're found between Suriname and Guyana near the Koetari River/Kutari River located on the southeastern border of Guyana and the southwestern region of Suriname in the disputed Tigri Area in the extreme South East region of Suriname. There doesn't seem to be a clear answer on this so I think we're just going to have to go there and find out the truth for ourselves.

Poison dart frogs, known for their striking aposematic colors and the potentially potent toxin they carry only in the wild, have long fascinated Victorian Age explorers, scientists and hobbyists alike. The allure of these creatures has made them sought-after additions to vivariums worldwide, where their mesmerizing colors and patterns can be appreciated up close.

As we discover the specifics of the latest find, let's not forget the role each of us can play in preserving their natural habitats. For those looking to buy New River poison dart frogs, including the new arrivals, our shop offers a convenient way to own a piece of the Amazon's magic jewels.

Characteristics of the New River Morph

The nearly forgotten New River poison dart frog morph brings a fresh wave of excitement with their distinct characteristics, setting them apart from their counterparts.

These frogs boast an array of vibrant aposematic colors and unique patterns that not only make them a marvel to observe but also raise intriguing questions about their color biology and evolutionary history and why there’s so many variations.

The specific traits of these new morphs provide invaluable clues to understanding the complex web of life within the Amazon's ecosystems.

Physical Traits

The physical appearance of these New River poison dart frogs is nothing short of stunning. They exhibit a variety of colors, ranging from vivid two toned blues to occasionally but usually growing out of having striking yellows, intermixed with unique patterns of black spots and dots that serve as their signature in the wild. Such diversity in aposematic coloration is not merely for show; it plays a critical role in their survival, from warding off predators to attracting mates.

Additionally, these frogs are some of the largest tinc morphs making their vibrant presence in your vivarium all the more remarkable. They have the typical bulldog stance with a hunched back who watch you as much as you watch them.

New River have lighter blue on the hind legs but otherwise looks similar to Blue Sipaliwini.

New River are often confused with D.tinc 'Villa Nova', which occur about 50 km further south and are significantly darker blue.

Behavioral Patterns

Behaviorally, the New River poison dart frogs exhibit fascinating aspects that contribute to their survival and ecological role. They will carry tadpoles to water filled tree hollows and bromeliads.

Unlike many amphibians, these frogs are diurnal, active during the day when their vivid colors can be most effective against predators. Tincs in general are very quiet callers. Their buzzing mating calls, territorial behaviors, and parenting strategies are also subjects of interest for researchers, providing insights into the complex social structures that these animals navigate. These patterns are crucial for their conservation, as it helps scientists and conservationists tailor protection efforts to their specific needs.

As typical with tincs, babies can raised in groups but adults need to be housed in pairs or with two males to one female. Because females act jealously aggressive towards each other. The dominant female will stress out the subordinate female and could wrestle her into a water feature and drown her. Tincs may be frogs but they’re not great swimmers and don’t have webbed feet.

Habitat and Ecology

The habitat of the New River poison dart frogs is as diverse and complex as the frogs themselves. These amphibians thrive in the Amazon's unique ecosystem, which offers a rich tapestry of environments from dense forests to flowing streams. They however avoid the streams.

The ecological role of these frogs within their habitat is pivotal, as they contribute to the delicate balance of their ecosystems.

The Amazonian Home

New River poison dart frogs are found native to Suriname, each species adapted to its specific niche within this vast ecosystem.

This morph prefers the damp, shadowy floors of the rainforest, where humidity is consistent, and breeding grounds are plentiful.

This preference for specific habitats underscores the importance of preserving the Amazon's diverse environments, each of which supports a unique set of species and ecological interactions.

Ecological Impact

The ecological impact of New River poison dart frogs extends far beyond their immediate surroundings.

As both predators and prey, they play a crucial role in the food web, helping to control insect populations while serving as food for a range of larger predators. Their presence indicates the health of their environment, making them key species for conservation efforts.

The loss of habitat and the resulting decrease in frog populations can have cascading effects on the ecosystem, highlighting the need for comprehensive conservation strategies that protect the entire ecosystem, not just individual species.

Conservation Status and Efforts

The New River poison dart frog and other morphs in the Amazon brings to light the critical need for conservation efforts to protect these unique creatures and their habitats.

The conservation status is ranked as of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN), although their habitats are increasingly threatened by human activities.

Effective conservation strategies are essential not only for the survival of these frogs but also for the maintenance of the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest, which is vital for the health of the planet.

Threats to Their Survival

The primary threats to the survival of New River poison dart frogs include deforestation, pollution, agriculture, deadly chytrid fungus (chytridiomycosis) and climate change.

Deforestation, driven by logging, agriculture, and urban development, destroys the natural habitats of these frogs, fragmenting their habitats, reducing their living spaces and breeding grounds.

Pollution from pesticides. mining and other chemicals can poison the water and soil, further endangering these sensitive species. Climate change exacerbates these threats, altering the delicate balance of the ecosystems upon which these frogs depend. These challenges highlight the urgency of implementing effective conservation measures.

Conservation Initiatives

In response to these threats, a variety of conservation initiatives have been launched to protect New River poison dart frogs and their habitats. These efforts range from establishing protected areas and reserves that safeguard critical habitats to conducting research that informs conservation strategies.

Environmental education programs raise awareness of the importance of these frogs and the broader environmental challenges facing the Amazon. Rehabilitation and breeding programs aim to bolster populations of endangered species, ensuring their continued presence in the wild. These multifaceted approaches are crucial for the survival of New River poison dart frogs and the preservation of the Amazon's unparalleled biodiversity.

Bringing the Amazon to Your Home

For enthusiasts and hobbyists, the allure of adding a New River poison dart frog to their vivarium is not just about owning an exotic pet; it's about connecting with the rich biodiversity of the Amazon and contributing to the conservation of these remarkable creatures.

By choosing to house these amphibians, hobbyists play a role in the broader efforts to raise awareness and support for their conservation.

Some species of Poison Dart Frogs are now known to only exist in captivity as they haven't been seen in the wild for many years where the forests have been turned into stubble.

Care and Maintenance

Keeping New River poison dart frogs as pets requires understanding and commitment to their specific needs. These amphibians thrive in humid, temperature-controlled environments that mimic their natural habitats in the Amazon. I like to keep Mourning Geckos Lepidodactylus lugubris in with all my hundreds of poison dart frogs in their same enclosures. DO NOT MIX POISON DART FROG SPECIES OR MORPHS or as I put it, don’t mix your poisons.

A well-maintained vivarium should include elements such as live plants, clay baths, and appropriate substrates to support the frogs' health and well-being. I like using front opening tanks with two doors like Exoterra 18x18x18” (45X45X45cm) or 18x18x24” (45X45X60cm) and I have used ZooMed 18x18x25” (45X45X63.5cm) or 30x12x16” (76x30x40cm).

Feeding them a diet of small insects, like fruit flies, ensures they receive the nutrition they need. Proper care and maintenance are essential for the longevity and quality of life (10-20+ years) of these pets, reflecting the hobbyist's respect for the natural world and dedication to conservation. Babies should have smaller prey items than adults like springtails and Drosophila melanogaster while the adults can also eat the larger Drosophila hydei for example. Watch them carefully, sometimes they get a little overexcited about being fed and may try to jump out to get the flies before you get them in their habitats. After having jumped out once, they've usually learned their lesson. Some other types never learn their lesson.

Flies are not a complete diet. Please supplement by dusting the flies with calcium, vitamin A and a color enhancer like you would use for fish. Color enhancers aren’t necessary but they sure help your frogs look good and scientific studies show that female poison dart frogs prefer to mate with shiny colorful males and not dull males. That might be true for the bright species of frog keepers too. Check out what supplements we offer in our store.

Educational Opportunities

Beyond the joy and satisfaction of caring for New River poison dart frogs, therein lies a valuable opportunity for education.

These pets serve as living ambassadors of the Amazon, sparking curiosity and fostering a deeper appreciation for the complexity of rainforest ecosystems.

Frogs are the environmental canary in the coalmine which offers a tangible connection to conservation issues, encouraging discussions about biodiversity, environmental responsibility, and the global significance of preserving habitats like the Amazon.

For families, educators, and hobbyists, New River poison dart frogs can be a captivating tool for teaching and learning about the natural world, promoting a culture of conservation and stewardship for future generations.

New River Poison Dart Frogs are sexable at about a year old and may start breeding shortly after reaching maturity and will breed the rest of their lives. They may take seasonal breaks from breeding. Most Poison Dart Frogs breed from about December to June in the wild. This can be variable as I have some that start breeding a bit early in October and some take shorter breaks from breeding before starting again. They will lay eggs on leaf litter and other surfaces that can be difficult to maintain so I include a petri dish under a half coconut made into a hut. I will typically find egg clutches in there. The father keeps the eggs hydrated and clean. Healthy black eggs will be encapsulated in protective clear gelatinous gel which makes it easy to watch the eggs develop into tadpoles in the next 10-14 days when they will hatch into free swimming tadpoles. In the wild, the father would pick up the tadpole on its back and transport it to a small spot holding water. The father bids it adieu, where it will grow until it is emerging as a froglet. I put the petri dish into an incubator and raise tadpoles in deli cups until they’re froglets. Once they’re established for a few months, they’re ready for their forever homes.

Discover the Enchantment of River Poison Dart Frogs

Embark on an extraordinary journey into the heart of the Amazon with our exclusive selection of New River Poison Dart Frogs.

At BugEaters.co, we bring the vibrant world of these exquisite amphibians right to your doorstep. Owning one of these stunning creatures is not just about adding a pet to your home; it's about embracing an incredible piece of the natural world and supporting the conservation of one of the planet's most biodiverse regions.

Let's now discuss why a New River Poison Dart Frog from our collection is the perfect new addition to your vivarium.

Some of the Gems of the Amazon in Your Home

Our New River Poison Dart Frogs are a living mosaic of the Amazon's beauty. Each frog boasts unique, mesmerizing patterns and colors, from the deepest blues into their deep black depths that you could get lost in thought inside their depths, capturing the essence of the rainforest's vibrant life.

Imagine the tranquility of watching these graceful creatures navigate a carefully crafted habitat in your own home, bringing the magic and mystery of the Amazon right into your living room.

Perfect Pets for Enthusiasts and Conservationists

Choosing a New River Poison Dart Frog from BugEaters.co means more than just acquiring a new pet; it signifies a step towards conservation and ecological awareness. These frogs are bred with the utmost care, ensuring they adapt seamlessly to life in a vivarium while maintaining their captivating beauty.

The frogs are non-toxic in captivity, making them safe and fascinating pets for enthusiasts of all ages. In the wild, poison dart frogs obtain their poisons from their prey. 90% of their natural prey consists of various ants with some other prey like mites and other very small insects. Their skin is incredibly porous which means that they can absorb water through it but also other substances. They love to play in the mud like little children. They will sit in clay which is rich in calcium and absorb the calcium through their underbelly. If there’s water on rocks, bark and plants, they may pause to absorb water there as well and perhaps something will transfer from those surfaces as well. This is why we have to be careful if we have to handle them. I wouldn’t say they also have an eye of newt in there but they have quite the concoction brewing. Different species have different concoctions. Toxins are sequestered in glands in their skin and when stressed are released through their pores. The effects can be anywhere from a mild tingling, numbness up to being toxic enough to have fatal consequences. Captive bred frogs are very far removed from the wild having been kept since at least the 1950s by European bromeliad growers but grew in popularity in North America starting in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Since we’re talking about how captive bred frogs can’t harm us, we can actually harm them by handling them. Our skin is rougher than theirs and can cause abrasions. Think of them as having a protective slime coat like fish in water do except these are like fish out of water. There are many things on our skin as well like oils and salts, soap residue, lotions, hand sanitizer and if you take medicines, some of those come out through our skin and can harm them when they absorb it through their skin. They can also absorb fumes from the air like from smoke, either forest fires or smoking and vaping. Be careful of aerosols and other airborne chemicals around them as well. Wear brand new nitrile rubber, non latex and non powdered gloves when handling is necessary. When moving frogs is necessary, I use a dedicated container like the plastic part of a turkey baster. I say dedicated turkey baster because this would be new and only used for the frogs, not also for Thanksgiving turkey!

By welcoming one of these frogs into your home, you're not only gaining a remarkable companion but also contributing to the sustainability and protection of their species and habitat.

Visit Our Shop for Your New Exotic Companion

We invite you to explore our selection of New River Poison Dart Frogs at BugEaters.co.

Our shop features a variety of these incredible frogs, each waiting to enchant you with its unique colors and patterns. Whether you're a seasoned amphibian hobbyist or new to the world of exotic pets, our expert team is here to guide you every step of the way.

From selecting the perfect frog to setting up your vivarium and providing ongoing care advice, we ensure that your experience is as rewarding as possible.

Embrace the opportunity to bring a piece of the Amazon's extraordinary biodiversity into your life.

Our New River Poison Dart Frogs offer a unique blend of beauty, intrigue, and the chance to contribute to meaningful conservation efforts. Visit BugEaters.co today to find your new exotic companion and take the first step in creating your very own rainforest oasis.

Dyeing poison dart frogs are an excellent choice for novice enthusiasts due to their durability and straightforward care requirements. Their diverse range of patterns and colors adds vibrancy to any display setup, particularly within a thoughtfully designed, lush terrarium environment. Because of their small size, they coexist peacefully with delicate flora such as orchids, facilitating the creation of captivating rainforest-inspired ecosystems teeming with life.

Why Choose BugEaters.co for Your Exotic Pet Needs

When it comes to expanding your vivarium with exotic pets, particularly the captivating New River poison dart frog, BugEaters.co stands out as the premier choice.

Our dedication to quality, expertise, and a unique selection sets us apart in the world of exotic pet suppliers. We understand that enthusiasts who choose to bring these vibrant creatures into their homes are looking for more than just a pet; they are looking for a piece of the wild, a touch of the extraordinary.

That's precisely what we aim to provide at BugEaters.co.

Expert Guidance and Support

At BugEaters.co, we believe that every potential pet owner should have access to comprehensive information and expert advice. Our team of specialists is deeply knowledgeable about the needs, behaviors, and care requirements of New River poison dart frogs.

We are here to guide you through the selection process, help you set up the perfect habitat, and offer ongoing support to ensure your new amphibian thrives in its new environment. Whether you're a seasoned frog keeper or new to the hobby, our expertise is at your disposal to make your experience both enjoyable and successful.

Healthy, Vibrant Specimens

One of the core commitments at BugEaters.co is to the health and well-being of our frogs. We understand that the vibrancy and longevity of these creatures are paramount to our customers. That's why we go to great lengths to ensure that all our New River poison dart frogs are bred and raised in optimal conditions.

Our breeding programs are designed to promote genetic diversity and robust health, resulting in frogs that are not only beautiful but also strong and lively. When you choose to purchase from us, you're choosing specimens that are a cut above, ready to bring the dynamic colors and energy of the Amazon into your home.

Commitment to Conservation

Beyond providing exceptional pets, BugEaters.co is deeply committed to the conservation of New River poison dart frogs and their natural habitats.

We recognize that these exotic creatures are a part of a delicate ecosystem that needs protection. A portion of our proceeds goes towards conservation efforts and research aimed at preserving the Amazon rainforest and its myriad of inhabitants.

By choosing BugEaters.co, you're not just acquiring a new pet; you're contributing to a larger cause that supports the survival and flourishing of New River poison dart frogs in the wild.

Secure and Ethical Practices

Ensuring the ethical treatment and secure transportation of our frogs is paramount. We adhere to the highest standards of animal welfare, from breeding to your doorstep. Our shipping methods are designed to ensure that your new pet arrives safely, stress-free, and ready to adapt to its new environment.

We believe that the joy of owning a New River poison dart frog comes with the responsibility of supporting ethical practices, and BugEaters.co is committed to upholding these principles at every step.


As we've journeyed through the wonders of the Amazon and unveiled the secrets of one of its rare inhabitants, the New River poison dart frogs, we hope to have sparked your curiosity and passion for these mesmerizing creatures.

For more information on our exotic pets and to explore our comprehensive range of vivarium supplies visit our shop. Whether you're ready to welcome a new pet amphibian into your family or simply seeking advice on creating the perfect habitat, we're here to help. 

If you made it this far, let us know if you liked this longer blog format. Are there any other subjects that you would like to read about?

Reach out to us by texting at (801) 390-1158 or [email protected], and let's embark on this remarkable journey together.

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