Leaves
Leaves

We have chosen our top 5 mini beasts for you to look out for this half term!

Poison dart frogs

These funky coloured frogs come in some dazzling colour combinations - yellow and blue, green and black to red and black. However their dazzling exterior is not for beauty but to warn others that they are both dangerous and poisonous. Although a lot of species of dart frogs aren’t poisonous, there are a few which are deadly. Their poison is thought to be passed onto them through the insects they eat in the wild. Specific toxins are passed from each bug to the frog when eaten. Not one for our daily 2.00pm creepy crawly encounters held at the zoo - I don’t think anyone would want to handle one of these little fellas! However they are very cool to look at. We have a selection of these dart frogs in our Tropical House.

Peruvian firestick’s

Originally from South America their gadget like name refers to the colouration of their fiery body, females sporting yellow and black and males being bright red. Their colouration acts as a warning to predators that they will emit a stinky fluid if attacked. It goes without saying that you will notice these a mile off - but don’t get too close or you could get a whiff of their stink!

Fire salamander

Their striking yellow and black colouring tells the world that these Salamanders are not to be messed with. The surface of the glands in the back of their skull are dotted with pores. When the salamander is threatened the pores will release neurotoxins, which are capable of squirting to distances of over a foot! The venomous fluid will deter most predators -humans may develop skin irritations if sprayed. Precautions against the salamander’s secretions include wearing latex gloves and washing of hands after handling. Another tasty fact about salamanders is that when they grow they tend to shed their skin at regular intervals, pushing the old skin off and usually eating it to not waste any nutrients. Yummy!

Sun beetle

These attractive beetles like many others go through complete metamorphosis during their lifecycle. Like butterflies they have a larval stage, transforming from a grub, cocooning and then finally changing into their lovely yellow beetle form. This whole process usually takes 3 to 5 months dependant on temperature. Let’s see how long you can last in our humid Tropical House with these little mini beasts.

Lemur leaf frog

Greenish-yellow by day and reddish-brown by night these nifty little frogs are able to change colour dependent on their level of activity. These Critically Endangered frogs are so tiny they could fit on your fingertip! I wonder if their bulging eyes will make them noticeable or will their day-time colouration and dainty frame inspire a game of where’s Froggy? Have a go and see if you can spot them on your next visit.

And that’s that! From the weird to the wonderful. Let’s see if you can spot any of these mini beasts this half term in our Tropical House and at Toad Hall.

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