Tinging Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius)

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Tinging Frog
Dendrobates tinctorius
Tinging Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius)
Name Tinging Frog
Name Lat. Dendrobates tinctorius
Family Dendrobatids
Family lat. Dendrobatidae
Order Frogs & Toads
Order lat. Anura
Origin Guianas
Habitat Rainforest
Diet Small live insects
Humidity 70-100 %
Behavior ♀ aggressive
Keeping Pair
Care Level Moderate
Breeding Moderately difficult
Housing Rainforest terrarium
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection CITES Appendix II; EU Annex B
Metric Units
Size 3.5-5.5 cm
Temperature 25-28 °C
Housing Size 40 x 30 x 35 cm
US Units
Size 1.2"-2.2"
Temperature 77-82 °F
Housing Size 15" x 10" x 15"

Distribution and habitat

The distribution range of the diurnal, ground-dwelling dyer frogs extends from the Guyana States through Suriname to neighboring Brazil. They live primarily in the bottom substrate of lowland rainforests near bodies of water (ponds, pools, etc.), up to elevations of 400 meters. There are numerous populations, which differ in coloration and markings.


For 1-2 animals, the minimum terrarium area is 1,200 cm², with a minimum effective height (measured without substrate) of 25 cm. This corresponds to a base area of e.g. 40 x 30 cm. For each additional animal, provide an additional 400 cm² of space. The terrarium should be placed in a quiet place without sunlight.

You need a terrarium with a substrate of loose, absorbent, not rotting substrate such as sand-peat mixture, coconut fibers or sphagnum moss with a drainage and a shallow, 3-5 cm deep watering place, in addition branched climbing branches, preferably entwined with climbing plants, with horizontal perches, back and side wall coverings of e.g.Tree fern panels (Xaxim) and dense planting (e.g. Tradescantia, Ficus, Scindapsus, ferns, bromeliads). Potted plants that can be easily removed for cleaning are advantageous. At least twice a day the inside of the terrarium must be finely sprayed with water (humidity), but a rain or mist system is better

Temp. day: 25-28 °C Temp. night: 22-24 °C Humidity: 70-100 %

The lighting duration must be 10-14 hours depending on the season. Daylight fluorescent tubes with low UV content are very suitable.


The food supply consists of live, small insects such as ants, spiders, micro crickets, tiny grasshoppers and crickets, springtails, enchytraea and drosophila. Food should be offered to adults 2-3 times per week, young animals must be fed daily. It is important to add minerals and vitamins regularly (e.g. by dusting the feed animals). The quality of the feed animals can be enhanced by feeding overripe fruit and honey water

A varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

The heart-shaped adhesive discs on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers are much larger in sexually mature males than in the larger and plumper females. The spawn, 4-9 eggs, is deposited in a brood cavity where it is fertilized by the male. After 10-14 days, the larvae hatch. The parents perform brood care and carry each larva (tadpole) on their backs out of the brood burrow into a small water body (e.g. leaf axils of bromeliads). After 60-80 days the transformation (metamorphosis) is completed and the frog leaves the water

Species protection

The animal population must be reported in writing to the responsible authority immediately after the beginning of the keeping. It is essential to find out about any bans on keeping or permits for keeping dangerous animals in your state or municipality (e.g. public order office).

Protection of species: WA Annex II; EU Annex B. The proof of purchase is the required proof of origin for the animal. Please keep it safe! Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information.


There are numerous populations that differ in their markings and color. Females can behave aggressively within the species. Keeping several pairs or a group is only recommended in a much larger, richly structured terrarium. Only in the wild they have a skin toxin, which is absorbed through the food of poisonous insects and converted into the body's own toxin. Therefore they lose their skin poison after some time in terrarium keeping. Offsprings are non-poisonous. Prior to purchase, a terrarium should be prepared that meets the species specific needs. Necessary are good ventilation without drafts and equipment for measuring temperature and humidity. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and should be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Special attention must be paid to thorough hygiene and impurities must be removed regularly.


Text: Serena Werle; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: ENGELMANN (2006): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Reptilien und Amphibien, Harri Deutsch Verlag; VDA & DGHT (2006): Haltungsrichtlinien für die Haltung von Anuren

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF