Tue, Jul 18, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Poison frog brought from Japan has first offspring

By Tsai Ya-hua and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The first golden poison arrow frog bred at Taipei Zoo is pictured at the zoo on Friday.

Photo courtesy of Taipei Zoo

Golden poison arrow frogs brought three years ago from Japan’s Maruyama Zoo in Sapporo have produced offspring for the first time, Taipei Zoo officials said on Friday.

It took the mother 12 tries before it could produce offspring, the officials said, adding that the latest batch contained about 20 eggs, and only one has hatched so far.

“When high-quality eggs are laid we see complete membranes and all of the eggs stay together in a cluster. Tadpoles grow into fully developed frogs in about two to three months,” they said.

The officials said they are closely watching the tadpole to ensure it develops properly, adding that caretakers have been removing unfertilized eggs from the mother’s tank and changing the water.

The tadpole is mostly black and will gain its telltale golden yellow color after it reaches maturity, they said.

The tadpole will grow to up to 4cm, they said, adding that it is currently about 1cm long.

“People can visit the zoo’s Amphibian and Reptile House to see the frogs’ brilliant colors,” a zoo official said.

“Just like the green and black poison dart frogs and yellow-banded poison dart frogs we received from Maruyama Zoo, golden poison arrow frogs are not afraid of being in the open. Visitors will have plenty of chances to see them,” they added.

The golden poison arrow frog (Phyllobates terribilis), which is endemic to the rainforests along the Pacific coast of Colombia, reaches sexual maturity at about one-and-a-half to two years of age. Ideal breeding conditions for the frog are warm, humid environments and their first batch of eggs usually do not hatch. The rate at which the frog breeds is initially low, but increases over time.

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