Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Oyapock’

Name: Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Oyapok’. Commonly the Dyeing Poison Dart Frog (based on an early belief that natives used brightly colored frogs to dye fabric). In the hobby, simply known as Oyapoks. Sometimes, this is spelled ‘Oyapock’, most likely in reference to the Oyapock River which forms the border between French Guiana and Brazil.

Recommended Vivarium Size: A 10 gallon aquarium is suitable for a single Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Oyapok’, 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. These are a smaller tinctorius.

Temperature: Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Oyapok’ 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, Oyapoks 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 Oyapoks measure in at about 1.5-1.75 inches inches. Male Oyapok are a bit smaller, averaging about 1.25 inches at maturity. All of the Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Oyapok’ froglets Josh’s Frogs sells are well started juveniles, and measure approximately 3/4” long. These are a smaller sized tinctorius.

Age: Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Oyapok’ 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 Oyapok may live 4-6 years. All Oyapoks for sale at Josh’s Frogs are well started juveniles, and are 2-3 months old.

Feeding: Like most poison dart frogs, Oyapoks prefer smaller foods. All of the Oyapoks Josh’s Frogs sells will readily eat Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies. Adult Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Oyapok’ 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 ‘Oyapok’ is not sexable until 10-12 months of age. Male Oyapok 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: A very variable poison dart frog when it comes to pattern, all Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Oyapok’ are very similar when it comes to color – mostly bone white interrupted by black spots or blotches, and no spots in some individuals. Leg color tends to be black with a varying amount of dark blue. 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: Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Oyapok’ 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 Oyapoks 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: Oyapoks are very simple and easy to breed. Like most Dendrobates tinctorius, Oyapoks 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. Please try to breed this morph – it is quite uncommon, and in danger of disappearing from the US hobby.

Natural Range: Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Oyapok’ is native to French Guiana, presumably along the Oyapock River which borders Brazil.

History in the Hobby: This species was never common in the hobby, and over time it has become harder and harder to find. Many older hobbyists have claimed this morph is heavily inbred, and as a result is weak and difficult to produce. This was my experience with a pair I had years ago, but is not the case with our current breeding stock. Being a smaller tinc, they produce fewer offspring, but those animals seem just as hardy as an azureus.