Bumblebee poison dart frog
Bumblebee poison frog
Physical description
Binomial nameDendrobates leucomelas
HabitatTropical rainforest
Lifespan18-24 years
Average SizeUp to 4.5 cm (1.8 in)
Average weight8 grams
Conservational Status
StatusNear threatened
IUCN status3.1
Scientific classification
SpeciesD. leucomelas
Distribution of speciesVenezuela

The bumblebee poison dart frog (Dendrobates leucomelas) is a species of poison dart frog. It is endemic to Venezuela. Formerly common, its habitat is now in decline and the species is diminishing. D. leucomelas is the most toxic of its genus, the second-most toxic being D. azureus.


The bumblebee poison dart frog can reach 4.5 centimeters (1.8 inches) long from snout to vent, with females being slightly larger and more robust than males. Occasionally, some individuals may grow to 5 cm, but this is fairly rare.

The bumblebee poison dart frog has an irregular pattern of bands, ranging from yellow, through golden, to orange; and black or dark brown. Some degree of variation is possible; a few have a thick, "netted" mesh of yellow or orange with only a few small spots of black on their bodies. Others have thinner bands of yellow on a mainly black body. A few have the black and yellow pattern inverted, particularly the "Guyana banded" morph.

They have glandular adhesive pads on their toes (which aid in climbing and positioning) and, in common with other species in their order, they have a short, protrudable, unnotched, sticky tongue, which extends to catch prey.

Distribution and Habitat

Beach leuc

This wild specimen has strayed onto a beach.

Dendrobates leucomelas was formerly common. It was most frequently seen in Venezuela, but it also had populations in Brazil, Guyana, and Colombia. Recently, however, due to habitat loss and the fungal infection chytridiomycosis, the populations of the bumblebee poison dart frog have diminished and today the species is only found in Venezuela.

The natural habitat of D. leucomelas consists primarily of tropical or subtropical rainforest, where it can be found on the forest floor, or up to 6 meters (19 feet) from the ground. It is somewhat adaptable, being able to adopt an arboreal existence from a terrestrial one quickly, or vice versa. Their ability to live at the edge of rainforests can result in their straying onto beaches and farms; however they often quickly return to their natural habitat.





In captivity

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