Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates azureus)
Dendrobates azureus is a type of poison dart frog found in the forests surrounded by the Sipaliwini savannah, which is located in southern Suriname and Brazil. Dendrobates azureus is widely known as the Blue Poison Dart Frog or by its Tirio Indian name, Okopipi. It takes its species name from the fact that it is colored azure.
D. azureus is a medium-sized frog that weighs approximately three grams. It grows between 3 and 4.5 cm in length and has a typical lifespan of 4-6 years in the wild. Its bright blue skin serves as a warning to predators. The glands of poisonous alkaloids located in the skin serve as a defense mechanism to potential predators. These poisons paralyze and sometimes kill the predator. The black spots are unique to each frog, serving as an identification tool. Each foot contains four toes which each have a flattened tip with a suction cup pad which is used for gripping. This species of frog is also identifiable by a hunch-backed posture.
Physical appearance also differs with the sex of the animal. Females are larger and about half a centimeter longer than males, but males have larger toes. The tips of the toes in females are round while males have heart-shaped tips.
Tadpoles vary greatly in appearance from adults. The larvae have a long tail, about six millimeters, with a total length of about ten millimeters. They lack legs and have gills instead of lungs.