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Strawberry dart frogs (Oophaga pumilio) are a species of frog found in the tropical rain forests of countries such as Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. These poisonous amphibians are primarily found on the forest floor among vegetation, although they do commonly climb trees. Strawberry dart frogs, like many other species of frogs, are insectivores.
Female strawberry dart frogs lay up to five unfertilized eggs per clutch, which males fertilize and care for during the first two weeks of the eggs' lives. Upon hatching, the mother returns and transports the tadpoles on her back to a damp area with vegetation. The female feeds the tadpoles with unfertilized eggs, which provide them with the protein and nutrients necessary for survival. The tadpoles stay and grow among the vegetation, being fed by their mother daily. As the tadpoles grow, they consume seven prey items per hour.
Adult strawberry dart frogs consume 14 prey items every hour. Such prey items include insect eggs and insects such as ants, mites, flies, beetles and millipedes. These frogs feed by using their tongues to capture numerous, small prey all at once. Prey such as formicine ants provide strawberry dart frogs with toxins when eaten. These toxins do not harm the frogs themselves. Instead, the frogs excrete the toxins through their skin to deter predators from eating them.
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