Parque Reptilandia houses not only creatures from the reptile world, but also has a small exotic variety of frogs that can be seen. Some of these like our poison dart frogs, family of Dendrobatidae, are living together with snakes, turtles or lizards. The poison dart frogs do have toxins, and their bright colors warn off predators. This is called aposematic coloration. They get their toxins from their prey like ants, termites and other little arthropods.
The Golfo Dulce poison dart frog (Phyllobates vittatus) is related to the deadliest frog on the planet, the golden poison frog (Phyllobates terribilis), which is endemic to Colombia. Also present is the green and black poison frog (Dendrobates auratus). These frogs occur on both coasts of Costa Rica. The ones from the Atlantic coast do have a green basic color with black markings. With the frogs from our Pacific coast it’s just the opposite.
The smallest in the collection are the strawberry frog (Oophaga pumilio) and granular poison dart frog (Oophaga granulifera),the latest from our region. Frogs are amphibians, like reptiles they are ectothermic. So they rely on external sources to regulate their body temperature. This is essential for their metabolic process. The breathing of amphibians is via gills, lungs or through their skin. The exchange of oxygen and CO2 can be made through their skin. Their profound change in form or metamorphosis, from egg to adult, is another great difference with reptiles. Newborn reptiles are exact copies of their parents.
Besides the frogs we have in the vivarium, our beautiful garden and ponds attract many other species of local frogs and toads. The most famous ones are the red eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) and cane toad (Rhinella marina). Most of them are nocturnal, but you might catch a glimpse of them while visiting the park.
By Roel de Plecker