Blue azureus dart frogs, Dendrobates tinctorius azureus

Blue azureus dart frogs are an ideal beginner Dart frog species

At a glance...
  • Blue azureus dart frogs make the perfect beginner Dart frog
  • Bold and active making them a great display pet
  • Stunning colours and markings to show off to friends and family
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Do Blue azureus dart frogs make good pets?

Blue azureus dart frogs are one of the most popular Dart frog species in the exotic pet trade, and for good reason, they are one of the larger Darts, have bold personalities and are hardier than most. All of this coupled with their stunning blue and black markings makes them a truly spectacular pet to have around for beginner and experienced hobbyists alike.

The striking colours and patterns of Blue azureus and other dart frogs is a form of aposematism, which deters potential predators by indicating that the animal is highly toxic. This should not put off potential owners, though, as dart frogs lose their toxicity in captivity since they do not have access to the same food sources. At Swell Reptiles, all of our Blue azureus dart frogs are captive bred in the UK, meaning you can rest assured that your frog came from a reliable source with minimal impact on the environment.

Which enclosure should I choose for my Blue azureus dart frog?

Blue azureus dart frogs require high humidity, sitting between 70-80%, therefore, glass or PVC enclosures work the best for them, with wooden vivariums being likely to become warped in this consistent moisture. At Swell Reptiles, we recommend an enclosure size of 60 x 45 x 45cm (24 x 18 x 18in) for a pair of adults, so the Exo Terra Glass Terrarium 60x45x45cm is a perfect choice. To make things easier, why not take a look at our range of Frog Starter Kits.

Do Blue azureus dart frogs need to be heated?

As with most Dart frogs, Blue azureus dart frogs are not very tolerant of high temperatures, and do much better with an ambient warm end temperature sitting around 24°C (75°F), with a cooler area dropping closer to 18°C (64°F). In most instances, this can be achieved without any outside intervention, however, if you do need to add some supplementary heating this should be done in the form of a heat mat stuck up the side or back of the terrarium and hooked up to an on/off thermostat.

Do Blue azureus dart frogs need UVB?

Despite inhabiting the forest floor, Blue azureus dart frogs would still be regularly exposed to sunlight in nature, and as such should be kept with a low-level UVB, providing them with a UVI between 1-2. The best way to achieve this is using an Arcadia ShadeDweller ProT5 Kit positioned between 25-40cm (10-15”) from the basking area. If your light fixture will need to be higher than this, however, then the Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6% is a better option.

How can I maintain the humidity for my Blue azureus dart frog?

First and foremost, a loose moisture-retaining soil-based substrate is required for this species, this can be something simple such as coco soil, or a more complex planting substrate such as Arcadia EarthMix or ProRep Bio Life Forest. The substrate can then be topped using mosses such as Sphagnum Moss, or Carpet and Cushion Moss, which work great for holding moisture and releasing more humidity back into the atmosphere.

A drainage layer is also an important consideration, particularly with bioactive enclosures which are extremely popular for Dart frogs. The drainage layer should consist of a layer of Hydro Rocks with some Hydro matting placed on top before adding the substrate. Not only will this prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged, but can also provide a water reservoir that allows water to wick back up into the substrate if it begins to dry out.

Once you have your drainage and substrate in place, you will still need to regularly add moisture into the enclosure to maintain the correct humidity levels between 70-80%. This can be done by spraying a few times a day with a handheld spray bottle, or to make things easier, using an automated fogger or rain system.

Dart frogs do not have webbed feet like most frog species, so they are not very good swimmers and are likely to drown if too large a water body is provided. It is, however, still important to provide them with a shallow water dish that they can soak in, but not deep enough to cover the whole body. All water provided to Blue azureus dart frogs should be dechlorinated with a safe water conditioner, and if you can provide RO water, this is even better.

How do I decorate a Blue azureus dart frog terrarium?

The most common way to decorate a Blue azureus dart frog terrarium is by going bioactive. Dart frog keepers often become plant enthusiasts, and plant enthusiasts often end up becoming Dart frog keepers. This is because Dart frog enclosures provide the perfect environment for many interesting and rare tropical plants, that may not fair well as house plants or in the enclosures of larger or more destructive animals.

Live plants and bioactivity are not a necessity for Blue azureus dart frogs, although they are definitely more beneficial, but you can still provide foliage in the form of artificial plants if live plants seem like too much work. Other pieces of decor to consider are hiding caves, cork bark flats, rounds or half rounds and leaf litter, all of which will provide cover and help to reduce stress.

What do Blue azureus dart frogs eat?

Blue azureus dart frogs are insectivorous but are only small frogs, so they are primarily fed on a diet of live fruit flies, but this species can also take small live crickets from time to time being one of the larger Dart frog examples. All feeder insects for this species should be supplemented according to a strict schedule to ensure they get all of the required nutrients from their diet.

At Swell Reptiles, we recommend using a calcium-rich multivitamin on every feed, such as Arcadia EarthPro-A, a calcium plus magnesium supplement on every fourth feed, such as Arcadia CalciumPro Mg and finally, a vitamin D3 supplement on every eighth feed such as Arcadia EarthPro RevitaliseD3 and finally, a vitamin a reptile supplement on every 12th feed, which is particularly important for most amphibians.

Can I Handle my Blue azureus dart frog?

The short answer is no. Blue azureus dart frogs, like all amphibians, have a semi-permeable skin membrane across which they absorb water and other substances. Human skin often has a plethora of substances contaminating it, from salts to oils and lotions, all of which can cause discomfort to the sensitive skin of frogs when handled.

There are instances when handling cannot be avoided (rehoming for example), however, this should always be done with clean, damp hands or even whilst wearing gloves and should be kept to an absolute minimum.

How do I buy a Blue azureus dart frog?

If you would like to purchase one of our UK captive bred Blue azureus dart frogs, please feel free to come into our superstore and see us.

We will ask a few questions and also to see a few photos of a suitable set-up ready for the frog to go into. We reserve the right to refuse purchase to anyone who cannot provide evidence of suitable species-specific long term accommodation.

For more detailed husbandry information, please see our Blue Azureus Dart Frog Care Sheet.

Common names Blue azureus dart frog, Dyeing dart frog
Scientific name Dendrobates tinctorius azureus
Country South America
Captive-bred Yes
Adult size 3-5cm (1-2”)
Natural habitat Mossy forest floors
Housing 60 x 45 x 45cm (24 x 18 x 18”)
Ideal temperature 24°C (75°F) (warm end); 18°C (64°F) (cool end)
UVI 1-2
Ideal humidity 70-80%
Diet Insectivorous
Average lifespan 10-12 years
Personality Bold
Ease of handling Handling should be avoided
Cohabitable No
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  1. Blue azureus dart frog, Dendrobates tinctoruis azureus, care sheet
    Categories: Care sheetsAmphibians

    Blue azureus dart frog, Dendrobates tinctoruis azureus, care sheet

    Blue azureus dart frog, Dendrobates tinctorius azureus, husbandry guide from the experts at Swell Reptiles, covering housing, heating, lighting and more.