Phyllobates bicolor is a fairly common poison dart frog in captivity. Bicolor are known for their loud, trilling call, large egg clutches, and very bold nature. Phyllobates bicolor is the second most toxic vertebrate on Earth.
Family & Scientific Name
Dendrobatidae; Phyllobates bicolor
Range & Origin
Northwest Colombia, from the Choco and Cauca provinces.
Adult female Bicolor are typically about 2” long, with males slightly smaller.
Generally, poison dart frogs are kept in naturalistic vivaria with live plants and little to no ventilation. Phyllobates bicolor hails from humid tropical rainforests, so replicating that habitat in captivity is ideal. Live plants should be used, and actually help to keep the environment clean. Provide 10 gallons or more of space per frog when adult.
With naturalistic vivaria, substrate typically consists of a 2” base layer of hydroton, followed by substrate barrier, then a well-draining substrate such as ABG mix in a 2” layer. On top of this, long fiber sphagnum is placed in a thin layer, followed by a hearty coating of leaf litter. The substrate can be seeded with various species of microfauna, including springtails and isopods, which are cultured and sold specifically for such applications.
For the most part, Phyllobates bicolor need to be kept above 60F and below 80F, with an ideal temperature in the mid to low70sF. Although they can tolerate brief cold spells, poison dart frogs are very sensitive to heat. Monitoring temperature is very important – we recommend using a digital thermometer.
Phyllobates bicolor does fine in groups or pairs.
Like most Poison Dart Frogs, Bicolor prefer smaller foods less than 1/8” long. Flightless Fruit Flies are an ideal staple food, as they are easy and inexpensive to culture. Other common prey items include pinhead or 1/8″ crickets, bean beetles, springtails, isopods, aphids, rice flour beetles, lesser wax moth larvae, and phoenix worms. It is important to dust each prey item with a vitamin/mineral supplement.
If housed in a naturalistic vivarium, cleaning is kept to a minimum. As long as water does not saturate the ABG substrate (it will smell like rotten eggs if it does), the substrate needs to be replaced only every 3-5 years. New leaf litter should be added every 6 months or so, as the old leaf litter breaks down. Plants will need to be trimmed to keep them from outgrowing the vivarium, and the front glass can be wiped down with a paper towel to remove any algae or debris that collects there. All of the inside surfaces of the vivarium (ie plant leaves, wood, glass) should be sprayed down with a hand mister once to twice a month.
Phyllobates bicolor is a very bold species of poison dart frog that does well in groups, has a loud call, and appreciates plenty of cover and a water feature in the vivarium. Bicolor lay large egg clutches and can be a prolific breeder.