Dendrobates auratus






D. auratus Costa Rican Green & Black Juvenile
Dendrobates auratus
"Costa Rican Green & Black"

Known as "The Green & Black Dart Frog", this morph of D. auratus originates from Costa Rica. D. auratus also makes an excellent starter frog. Typically ground dwellers, D. auratus will enjoy a horizontal tank with plenty of floor space to explore. D. auratus has gotten a reputation for being shy in the vivarium; however, in our experience they can be very bold frogs if given plenty of hiding locations.

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Difficulty: Beginner - D. auratusare have been in the hobby for a very long time and have enjoyed great popularity as a favorite display animal. Some morphs have a reputation for being shy, but if given the proper conditions (i.e high humidity and plenty of places to hide) they will generally settle in with time and become rather bold and prolific breeders.
Location & History: D. auratus is widespread throughout Central America and Columbia. Populations can be found in Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica and Columbia. Populations have even been established in Hawaii! Due to the tremendous range of these frogs one would expect a great deal of variation in the populations scattered throughout their territory. Those expectation would be correct! Green, Blue, Black, White, Bronze, Silver and Yellow can all be found. D. auratus is certainly one of the most diverse and colorful frogs available. The auratus has been heavily imported over the years, with many "Panama Farm Raised" animals sold over the last 6 or 7 years.
Descriptions & Behavior: There are many morphs of auratus in the US, and probably many more that are yet to be discovered.
General Care: Temperatures of 70-80 F during the day with drops as low as 65 F at night are recommended.

auratus are generally mid-sized frogs (though some morphs can grow rather large), and tend to be more terrestrial. It's best to give them a good amount of floor space, though they will climb if given the opportunity. Pairs of frogs should not be kept in tanks smaller than 10g, with larger tanks preferable (20, 20L). Small groups of frogs consisting of 2-3 males to a single female are fine. Multiple females can can be housed together, but egg-eating is not uncommon in female heavy groups.

Individuals can be difficult to sex, but females generally display greater length and girth. Males do also call, which has been described as a soft buzz, but this may or may not be audible outside the tank.
Breeding & tadpole Care: Auratus require approximately 10-12 months to become sexually mature. Courtship typically involves a calling male and a female that will follow the male around the tank, stroking his back with her forelimb when the male pauses to encourage him onward. The courtship may go on for a couple of hours before the male will lead the female to a bower where the eggs are laid and fertilized.

Eggs and tadpoles are typically black (with the exception of albinos), with the tads gaining color only just before the front legs emerge. Tadpoles can be raised communally or individually. Tadpoles should be fed a varied diet, including tropical fish flakes, frog and tadpole bites and specialty mixes distributed by breeders (Ed's Fly Meat Tadpole Food, MJM Tadpole Food, AZDR tadpole food, Josh's Frogs Tadpole Food). Do not use completely algae based diets as these result in smaller froglets. Instead algae should be used as a supplement to the above listed base diets. I recommend including an oak leaf for the tadpoles to nibble on as needed. The oak leaves provide a food source and the added benefit of creating a "tadpole tea" that has antifungal properties.

Tadpoles typically require about 2-3 months to morph. They morph looking similar as they do as adults, although the amount of change in pattern with age varies according to morph. Coming out of the water, the froglets should be able to take melanogaster FFs, springtails are not needed. Froglets should be raised in groups (5+) of similar size or alone, and fed constantly. It is generally observed that they do not do well when raised in pairs or smaller groups, when it has been noted that usually at least one will develop serious problems. Young froglets can be quite skittish, but they gradually develop boldness as they age.

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