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What is Frog of the Week?
Every week we'll choose and highlight one frog to be the frog of the week! Doesn't that sound fun?
Episode Forty Four: Dartch | Week of March 7th
[LILLY BY BOQEH PLAYS THROUGHOUT]
Hi there! It's March 7th, 2022, I’m Kim, and the frog of the month is the Poison Dart Frog. Say goodbye to March and hello to Dartch.
If you’ve listened to our show before, you likely know that we frequently feature frogs suggested by our audience. But no frog is requested as often as the Poison Dart Frog. There’s just one problem with that request- well, really, 200 problems. Because the name “Poison Dart Frog” refers to a taxonomic family of frogs containing around 200 different species.
For the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting just a few of the most fascinating among them, but for today, we’ll just talk about poison dart frogs more generally.
These frogs are best known for two things: first, of course, is the fact that they are toxic when eaten. It is believed that they do not synthesize these toxins themselves, rather, they derive toxic alkaloids from the food they eat- particularly, certain arthropods including ants, termites, and mites. The Poison Dart Frog species with the highest toxicity eat these kinds of prey exclusively, whereas other species that exhibit a lower toxicity tend to have more diverse diets.
The second thing Poison Dart Frogs are known for is their bright coloring, which varies between species. These colors are a form of aposematism- that is, a method by which an animal warns predators that it is not worth attacking. A predator that decides to taste the forbidden frog candy may experience swelling, nausea, paralysis, and in some cases, death.
Poison Dart Frogs are native to South America. They get their name because the indigenous people of Columbia, known as the Emberá, once hunted using blow darts rubbed in frog poison. However, only a handful of poison dart frog species are actually documented as having been used this way.
I like this frog because you like this frog. As I mentioned, of all the frogs you’ve requested, Poison Dart Frogs are the most popular, so we’re excited to devote a whole month to these little beauties.
And that’s the frog of the week and the month. Thank you to Rachel, Elsie, Dimitri, Simran, Larken, Piper, Hayden, Charlotte, and hyperintelligent frog for requesting that we cover Poison Dart Frogs. To keep up with all the latest Dartch developments, follow us on Twitter @WeeklyFrogPod.
Thanks for joining us. See you next week.
[LILLY BY BOQEH FADES OUT]