How to Lessen Aggressive Behavior in Poison Dart Frogs

Poison dart frogs are pets for the experienced frog lover. They are prone to aggressive behavior towards one another if not managed carefully. Here are some tips to assist you in avoiding such trouble.


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    Note the signs of aggression. If you have more than one frog in the terrarium, watch carefully for signs of aggression. These can include chasing one another and wrestling. Sometimes one frog will sit on top of another, preventing the one underneath from moving. It might look funny to you as an observer but it is highly distressing to both the attacking frog and the attacked frog to be worked up into such a state.
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    Solve the problem quickly. If you do not fix the problem quickly, the victim frog will deteriorate quickly and may sicken and even die. There are several steps that you can try:
    • Change the "terrain" or scenery of the terrarium. Consider adding new elements of interest to deflect the bullying frog's interest in the other frog. Possibly the bullying frog is in need of space or is bored. Provide new shelter spaces, extra plants and different cage furniture (for example, waterfall, pond, logs, rocks, ledges). Watch carefully to see if any of this makes a difference for the better.
    • Change the lighting. Dim or increase the lighting that is falling into the terrarium. It may be overwhelming or insufficient for the frogs' needs - you will have to check this by trial and error but be conscious of the origin of your poison dart frogs. Those that come from nearer to the equator will be used to more regular lengths of daylight throughout the year; whereas frogs from other regions may be more used to light variations.
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    House the aggressive frog separately. If making changes to the layout of the terrarium does nothing to alleviate the aggression, it is time to put the dominating frog in its own terrarium. It cannot be reintroduced to the other frog (or frog community) because it has now learned this behavior and will only repeat it. If you have difficulties finding space for a new terrarium, consider dividing the existing one in two. If you use something transparent, you will need to add some sort of camouflage barrier to prevent the frogs from seeing each another.


  • Poison dart frogs do not thrive in dull terrariums. Make sure you include plenty of interesting objects for them to hide in, crawl over, bathe in and generally feel as if they are back in their rainforest origins. You should also recreate the rainforest as much as possible, including live plants, ledges for the frogs to crawl onto and under and water access.
  • The terrarium should be warm, humid and clean at all times. Refer to a good frog-keeping manual for correct temperatures and humidifying suggestions.


  • Always react swiftly to aggressive behavior or you may lose the victim frog quite quickly.
  • Never directly handle a poison dart frog, mainly for the sake of the frog's health. If it becomes necessary, always rinse your hands before and immediately afterwards.

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Categories: Frogs