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HomeAny CategoryLive AnimalsFrogsPoison Dart FrogsDendrobates tinctorius 'Nikita' (Captive Bred) - Dyeing Poison Arrow Frog

Dendrobates tinctorius 'Nikita' (Captive Bred) - Dyeing Poison Arrow Frog


5.0 out of 5 stars


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Quantity Available: 10

About This Product

Defining Characteristics:

  • Great beginner frog
  • Contrasting yellow and black coloration
  • Bold
  • Easy to breed
  • Quiet call
  • Large
  • Can be kept in groups when young
  • Best kept in pairs as adults
  • F1s also available - new blood from 2017 imports

Name: Dendrobates tinctorius 'Nikita'. Commonly called 'Nikita' in the US frog hobby, reoprtedly named after the exporter's daughter.

Recommended Vivarium Size: A 10 gallon aquarium is suitable for a single Dendrobates tinctorius 'Nikita', but Josh's Frogs recommends a 20H or 18x18x18 Vivarium for 1-3 frogs. Not sure how to set up a vivarium? Please watch our video on How to Set Up a Vivarium.

Temperature: They can tolerate a temperature range of 65 F to 80 F, but prefer temperatures in the low to mid 70s. Temperatures over 85F are dangerous.

Humidity: Like most poison dart frogs, Nikita prefer a humidity range of 70 – 100%, but can tolerate humidity down to 50% for short periods of time if the frogs have access to water. Low humidity levels, especially without access to water, can quickly be fatal.

Size: Adult female Nikita are larger, measuring in at approximately 2 inches. Male Nikita are a bit smaller, averaging about 1.75 inch at maturity. Think of nikita as a smaller citronella. All of the Dendrobates tinctorius 'Nikita' froglets Josh's Frogs sells are well started juveniles, and measure approximately 5/8” long.

Age: Dendrobates tinctorius 'Nikita' is capable of living well over 20 years in captivity under ideal conditions, although a lifespan of 10 years is more common. In the wild, it is thought that Nikita may live 4-6 years. All Nikita for sale at Josh's Frogs are well started juveniles, and are 2-3 months old.

Feeding: Like most poison dart frogs, Nikita prefer smaller foods. All of the Nikita Josh's Frogs sells will readily eat Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies. Adult Dendrobates tinctorius 'Nikita' will readily consume Drosophila hydei fruit flies and pinhead crickets. All ages of poison dart frogs will enjoy springtails and isopods. All feeder insects should be dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement. For more information on what poison dart frogs can eat, please visit our How-To Guide on Feeding Poison Dart Frogs.

Sexing: Dendrobates tinctorius 'Nikita' is not sexable until 10-12 months of age. Male Nikita tend to be smaller than females, which often appear both longer and wider. Males also tend to have wider front toe pads and a less defined back arch than females. Josh's Frogs sells 2-3 month old juveniles that are not sexable unless otherwise noted. For more information on sexing poison dart frogs, please visit our How-To Guide on Sexing Poison Dart Frogs.

Color/Pattern: Reportedly a very variable poison dart frog in the wild, Dendrobates tinctorius 'Nikita' appear similar to Citronellas, but with a darker colored yellow. In some individuals, they are reportedly nearly identical in appearance to cobalts. Nikitas typically have wrist bracelets present. Josh's Frogs does not recommend, support, or endorse line breeding as we believe this leads to weaker captive animals and nature has done a wonderful job of creating an amazing variation in color and pattern of poison dart frogs already.

Social Behavior: These frogs do well housed in groups up to sexual maturity, as long as enough space is provided. Josh's Frogs recommends approximately 10 gallons per frog. As they reach sexual maturity at 10-12 months of age, the social dynamic in a group of Dendrobates tinctorius may change, and all but one female may need to be removed. Female D. tinctorius may fight with each other over a mate. For that reason, many breeders recommend keeping Nikita in pairs as adults. Josh's Frogs strongly recommends against housing different species/morphs of dart frogs - for the health of your pets, please avoid mixing! Josh's Frogs recommends purchasing multiple frogs if you are interested in breeding them – this greatly increases the chances of getting a pair.

Breeding: Nikita are very simple and easy to breed. Like most Dendrobates tinctorius, Nikita are best bred in pairs as adult females may fight with each other in the presence of a male. Generally, eggs are deposited on a smooth broad leaf, or on a petri dish under a cocohut. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, which then take 60-80 days to complete metamorphosis into miniature versions of the adults. For more information on breeding and raising poison dart frogs, please visit our How-To Guide on Breeding Poison Dart Frogs.

Natural Range: Dendrobates tinctorius 'Nikita', as present in the US frog hobby, is native to Suriname. Nikita tincs occur where Suriname, Brazil, and Frend Guiana meet. 

History in the Hobby: Nikitas became available in the US hobby in the mid to late 2000s, from imports from Suriname distributed by Marcus Breece of Simply Natural Dart Frogs. They were imported in relatively small numbers. Captive bred animals were reportedly male heavy, but that does not appear to be the case with froglets bred at Josh's Frogs.

Links of Interest:
Tinctorius Morphguide, with great information on all morphs of Dendrobates tinctorius.
IUCN Redlist article on Dendrobates tinctorius.

Still not sure if Dendrobates tinctorius 'Nikita' from Josh's Frogs is the right poison dart frog for you? Read the reviews below and see what other customers are saying!


After placing an order containing a live animal, you will receive a scheduling email containing our JotForm scheduling link to schedule your new pet's delivery date.

With this scheduling link, you will be able to schedule your order's delivery up to 30 days in advance. You will be able to choose a date of delivery for Tuesday-Saturday (Saturday arrival depends on the carrier's service availability) with the estimated time of arrival generally being 12pm, or 4:30pm for more rural areas. Overnight lows must be above 40°F to ship directly to you (or above 30°F for FedEx Ship Center pickups) as well as below 90°F by estimated time of arrival.

If you require further assistance, or prefer to talk to one of our Customer Service agents, please feel free to reach out to our [email protected] email or our phone line 1-800-691-8178.

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5.0 out of 5 stars

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5.0 out of 5 stars

Nice color

He's so stinking cute


5.0 out of 5 stars

Chubby and healthy

Great looking darts! Arrived alive, active, and well feed! These guys are somewhat skiddish in the tank, often hiding in the plants, but have learned the sound of me tapping the fly container and come out on que for food!


5.0 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Specimens

I received my three only Tuesday. They are bright, lively, and NOT shy at all. The second they crawled out of their containers into their new home, they were hopping around, exploring, hopping in the water dish, checking everything out. I let them get situated for about an hour and then gave them about 25 fruit flies. They gobbled them all up with in about 2 minutes. I am extremely satisfied with these little ones.


5.0 out of 5 stars

Great first time buying experience!

Just recieved my little Nikita yesterday and he is settled in and doing awesome. Great all around experience - awesome customer service, great packaging and healthy vibrant frog. I'm both a first time customer and now a customer for life. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!!


5.0 out of 5 stars

very pleased

Second Nikita purchased and this transaction went as smooth as the first. Had to wait a few days to receive him because of the weather but well worth the wait. Healthy and hungry little frog and not shy at all, plus the slight delay with shipping gave me an opportunity to add more frogs. Lol

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