Dendrobates ventrimaculatus, known more commonly as 'vents' in the hobby, are a species of thumbnail poison dart frog. Known for their small size and exceptional ability to raise their own tadpoles with feeder eggs, vents make a small, beautiful, and interesting addition to any dart frog collection.
Trade Name(s)Dendrobates ventrimaculatus are commonly known as 'vents' in the hobby. An older common name is the Amazonian Dart Frog.
Family & Scientific NameDendrobatidae; Dendrobates ventrimaculatus. Recent taxonomic revisions redefines them to
Ranitomeya ventrimaculata, and possibly
Range & OriginDendrobates ventrimaculatus are found throughout the Amazonian drainage basin, including Peru, French Guiana, Brazil, and Ecuador.
Adult SizeAdult female
Dendrobates ventrimaculatus are typically about .75” long, with males slightly smaller. Being ""thumbnail dart frogs"", they remain relatively small.
Life SpanCaptive life span of
Dendrobates ventrimaculatus is estimated to be 5-10 years, with individual instances of vents living over 10 years reported.
EnclosureGenerally, poison dart frogs are kept in
naturalistic vivaria with
live plants and little to no ventilation.
Dendrobates ventrimaculatus 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.
Dendrobates ventrimaculatus utilizes bromeliads in order to breed, and a variety of bromeliads should be provided.
SubstrateWith 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
isopods, which are cultured and sold specifically for such applications.
TemperatureFor the most part,
Dendrobates ventrimaculatus need to be kept above 60F and below 80F, with an ideal temperature in the mid to low 70sF. Although they can tolerate brief cold spells, poison dart frogs are very sensitive to heat. Monitoring temperature is very important - we recommend using a
Social StructureDendrobates ventrimaculatus does fine in groups or pairs. If they are allowed to breed in tank and the offspring are not removed, the population will eventually reach a certain density, then all breeding activity will stop.
Dendrobates ventrimaculatus is very non-aggressive.
DietLike most Poison Dart Frogs,
Dendrobates ventrimaculatus prefer smaller foods less than 1/8” long.
Flightless Fruit Flies are an ideal staple food, as they are easy and inexpensive to culture, and available from several online stores, including
www.JoshsFrogs.com. Other common prey items include pinhead or 1/8""
crickets, bean beetles,
rice flour beetles, lesser wax moth larvae, and
phoenix worms. It is important to dust each prey item with a vitamin/mineral supplement.
CleaningIf 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.
HandlingPoison Dart Frogs should not be handled except when they are being moved to or from a vivarium. They are harmless and non toxic in captivity, but household chemicals and oils on your skin can easily harm them.
ConclusionDendrobates ventrimaculatus is a small but beautiful thumbnail dart frog, hailing from the jungles of the Amazonian Basin. They can be prolific breeders, do well in pairs or groups, and have a soft, buzzing call.
Dendrobates ventrimaculatus is an excellent addition to any dart frog collection.