Introduction to Development

Click on pictures to enter...


It is easy to think that darts of similar appearance, size, and environment would be closely related. Comparing their tadpoles can give a hint whether this is true.

The developmental stages of different species and lines of dart frogs are visually cataloged through Trevor Anderson's photographs. The stage are based on K.L. Gosner's anuran embryo staging tables.* Click here to print the stages.

D. amazonicus
D. amazonicus
(BLSV3) D. amazonicus ( D. ventrimaculatus )- These animals have coppery bronze legs with irregular black spots. Their backs are a lighter shade of yellow and there is usually less black, in the "Y" on their back, than other forms of D. amazonicus that I have. They have a single black nose spot, (missing in some animals), and black spotted, bluish white bellies. These animals were obtained as wild-caught's, but I have been unable to verify whether they truly are.
D. amazonicus
D. amazonicus
(BSSV4) D. amazonicus ( D. ventrimaculatus )- These animals have coppery bronze legs with irregular black spots. The back is gold with a black "Y" pattern irregularly on it. They have a single black nose spot, (missing in some animals), and black spotted, bluish white bellies. These animals were obtained as wild-caught's, but I have been unable to verify whether they truly are.
D. amazonicus
D. amazonicus
(BV1) D. amazonicus ( D. ventrimaculatus )- These have a gold back with the black "Y" on it. They have a single black nose spot, (missing in some animals), and bluish white bellies with black spots on them. The legs of the adults are a metallic green-blue with closely spaced irregular black spots on them. This line is from the Netherlands. As juveniles the legs are metallic blue with black spots.
D. amazonicus
D. amazonicus
Data not yet staged for this species.
(HV) D. amazonicus (D. ventrimaculatus)- These have a deep gold back with the black "Y" on it. They have a single black nose spot, (missing in some animals), and bluish white bellies with black spots on them. The legs of the adults are a metallic bronze with closely spaced irregular black spots on them. This is a German line. As juveniles the legs are metallic olive with black spots.
D. amazonicus
D. amazonicus
(OV1-2) D. amazonicus (D. ventrimaculatus)- These have a gold back with the black "Y" on it. They have a single black nose spot (missing in some animals) and bluish white bellies with black spots on them. The legs of the adults are a metallic bronze with closely spaced irregular black spots on them. This is a German line. As juveniles the legs are metallic olive with black spots.
D. amazonicus
D. amazonicus
Data not yet staged for this species.
"red" D. amazonicus (D. ventrimaculatus)- They have metallic red backs with the classic black "Y" pattern (slightly reduced) and metallic blue-green legs. They have a single black nose spot (missing in some animals). This is a German line. As juveniles the legs are metallic blue-green with black spots, their backs are more gold than red. "Red Vent" is the common name.
D. casteaneoticus
D. casteaneoticus
D. castaneoticus- The adults have black bodies with white, irregular, pin strips. The limbs are dark with sunburst flash marks, mid limb. It is supposedly in the "Vent" group of dart frogs, if so, it has the largest tadpoles of any of the members I've worked with. Called the "Brazil nut frog" because of its' tendency, in the wild, to rear its tads in the husk of Brazil nuts.
D. fantasticus
D. fantasticus
D. fantasticus- These have a sunset red head with back crown. The flaming color is broken up mid back by large irregular black spots. The limbs are a golden white covered by closely packed irregular black spots. One of my lines has bluish legs. My breeding stock is a combination of wild-caught's and F1's.
D. Imitator
D. Imitator
D. Imitator- Metallic spring green back covered by large, somewhat uniform, black spots. There are a pair of spots on the nose that is one of the defining characteristics of this species. The limbs are metallic blue / silver and stomach is green, all covered by black spots. These are from Alex Sense collection.
D. Imitator
D. Imitator
Data not yet staged for this species.
(TIM) D. imitator- Metallic spring green, with some individuals having golden heads or rarely golden bodies, covered by large black spots. There are a pair of spots on the nose that is one of the defining characteristics of this species. The limbs are metallic blue / silver and stomach is green, all covered by black spots. A line of Todd Kelley's.
D.intermedius D.intermedius (INT 1-2) D.intermedius- Their beautiful pattern looks like a metallic sunset with black clouds on it. The back spots and the amount of other colors in the animal are variable on this animal. Like imitator, they have the two nose spots although they are sometimes absent. "Red imitator" is a name that has been used for them and they do seem to be very closely related to D. imitator. There are reports that they are a hybrid of D. imitator and D. Fantasticus, but the tad development and behavior, in captivity, does not fit with this hypothesis, at least not a recent hybridization.
D. reticulatus
D. reticulatus
(RET1-5) D. reticulatus- Metallic blood-red back surrounded buy a large black spots. These fade in to a closely packet collection of irregular shaped dark spots on a metallic gray to blue back ground. Some animals have halos of iridophores around these spots. Most animals have a small red mark on their chin. These are a wild caught breeding group. The froglets are similar in appearance to the adults, but often have a pair of black stripes, (some times broken in to spots ), running down their red backs.
D. variabilis
D. variabilis
D. variabilis- They have vivid metallic green backs with regular black spots. The legs are a grayish blue metallic with black spots on them. They have a single nose spot. This is a line from the Netherlands. They are what D. imitator, imitate.
E. tricolor
E. tricolor
Data not yet staged for this species.
'Giron Valley' E. tricolor- A shy, medium sized tricolor. Adults are brick red with slight blue/white striping. Their body shape is slightly different than other tricolors with their nose appearing to be rounder and their eyes more pronounced. My original breeding stock is 1.2.0 captive bred animals. The juveniles are brown with black spots.
E. tricolor
E. tricolor
Data not yet staged for this species.
'Moraspunga' E. tricolor- A large and bold tricolor. Stripes vary from lime to mint green on a coppery red back ground. Their sides are black and their bellies are covered with large greenish white spots, tightly packed, over a dark brown background. They have orange / red flash marks on the pit of they limbs. The generation of my breeding stock is unknown, but I can confirm they are at least F3's. The juveniles are brown with black spots, occasionally their side stripes show as they come out of the water but usually develop within one week.
E. tricolor
E. tricolor
Data not yet staged for this species.
(RON) 'Rio Minas' E. tricolor- Large tricolor, lipstick / blood red base color with off white stripes. The center stripe is much wider than the side stripes at the head, (some times leaving 2 red spots over the eyes), but tapers down toward the vent. These are F1's. The juveniles are brown with black spots, occasionally their side stripes show as they come out of the water but usually develop within one week.
E. tricolor
E. tricolor
Data not yet staged for this species.
'Salvias' E. tricolor-"P. anthonyi" A smaller, bold, wine red tricolor with a triplet of baby blue pinstripes. Splotched bluish white belly with slight orange / red flash marks in the pits of its arms and legs. I have F1 and F2 unrelated blood lines. The juveniles are brown with black spots, occasionally their side stripes show as they come out of the water but usually develop within one week.
E. tricolor
E. tricolor
Data not yet staged for this species.
'Santa Isabel' E. tricolor- A large and bold, (especially the males which are proudly vocal), tricolor. Lipstick / blood translucent red background with off white stripes. The center stripe is slightly wider than the side stripes and is sometimes broken. I have two F1 blood lines. The juveniles are brown with black spots, occasionally their side stripes show as they come out of the water but usually develop within one week.

* Gosner, K.L. 1960. A Simplified Table for Staging Anuran Embryos and Larvae.  Herpetologica, 16: 183-190

Copyright © 2007-2013, Tor Linbo & Trevor Anderson, tlinbo@u.washington.edu. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be duplicated or retransmitted without the expressed permission of the authors. Based heavily on original web design by Trevor Anderson 1999.