H is for…Oophaga histrionica

Today is the eighth day of the April A to Z Challenge.  I will be writing about different frog species based on their latin species names!  See the introduction here.


Oophaga histrionica – Harlequin Poison Frog

This adorable frog is only 1-1.5″ long and can be found in tropical rainforests located in the El Choco region of western Colombia.  Typically they can be found on the ground scurrying throughout the fallen limbs or leaf litter.


O. histrionica can be found in a variety of color morphs, these vary from one valley to the next in its native range.


As pretty as these frogs are, they are also very dangerous in the wild.  Unlike most dendrobatine poison dart frogs, the harlequin frog contains histrionicotoxin.  Histrionicotoxin is more poten than many of the pumiliotoxins, but is weaker than batrachotoxin.  Symptoms include: physical weakness, blurred vision, heart palpitations and in some cases cardiac paralysis leading to death.  Although this frog is dangerous, it was not used by the local tribes for poison blowdarts.

File:Oophaga histrionica.jpg

The IUCN redlist does list these frogs as of least concern, however with frogs this beautiful how can you not worry about them going extinct.  Rainforests are being destroyed at a rapid rate, and O. histrionica along with other frogs are found in no other habitat in the world.



(1) INaturalist(2) Amphibiaweb (3) IUCN redlist (4) Wikipedia (5) Reptiles Wikia (6) EOL.org

Image Sources:

(1) Reptiles.wikia(2) Inaturalist (3) Wikipedia



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35 thoughts on “H is for…Oophaga histrionica

  1. It’s heartbreaking to realize how many species we’re losing because we don’t consider them important–or because they’re not cute–or for a million other reasons. Thanks for bringing this issue to people’s attention!

    1. I hope that many visitors will see how beautiful these creatures are and will want to help save them 🙂 Frogs definitely are important to the ecosystem, especially if you don’t like bugs!

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