Are tomato frogs poisonous or dangerous?


Tomato frogs are rare and little-known amphibians that are not exactly popular for being poisonous, but they are poisonous, and cases of them harming humans have been observed and reported; in most cases, these amphibians are not considered a serious threat to humans. But in any case, it is useful to be careful against poisoning and injury when encountering these frogs. Because you never know the consequences of contact with these creatures and how toxic they are.

Join us in reading this article to discuss tomato frogs, their toxicity, and the dangers of contact with them. Also, we will talk more about the habitat, laboratory breeding conditions, and environmental protection of these amphibians.

Stay with All Amphibians to learn more about tomato frogs and their poison.

Are tomato frogs poisonous?

are tomato frogs poisonous?

The answer to the question of whether tomato frogs are poisonous or not? They definitely are poisonous. But there are doubts about whether they are considered a major human threat. The reason for this confusion is that there have been few studies on these amphibians.

Hence, it is suggested to be cautious when dealing with these amphibians, and if you come in contact with their secretions and excrement, see a doctor immediately. And, of course, the fact that these kinds of frogs are endangered, and there aren’t many of them left.

Also, remember that tomato frogs are not the only amphibians that can harm humans. There are some other different species of frogs and toads that can cause severe problems for humans within contact. For this reason, familiarity with first aid and emergency procedures will be very important and practical when dealing with such cases.

What to do in case of contact with tomato frogs?

If you ever touch a poisonous frog or a toad, you must see a doctor as soon as possible. Depending on the exact condition, It will significantly help the victim neutralize the poison in their body and prevent the occurrence of problems and body failures caused by the effect of the poison in their system.

In addition to poison, the droppings of these amphibians are also dangerous and should be avoided.

Therefore, it is vital to be aware of the risks associated with contact with amphibian waste because some of these species of frogs and toads excrete toxic secretions through their skin, which can cause skin irritation and other problems.

So, avoiding these amphibians seems to be the right option.

Learn more about the appearance of tomato frogs!

the appearance of tomato frogs

Tomato frogs are known by this name because of the bright orange-red color of their skin. The fully grown version of this poisonous amphibian has many differences between the two sexes in terms of appearance. The body length of the female frog varies between 8.5 and 10.5 cm, while the males are slightly smaller and are 6 to 6.5 cm long. In terms of color, there is also a difference between female and male specimens, and female frogs often have a higher color variety. The color of the male frog is a little darker, and they look almost brown. In the belly and stomach area, their color changes from red to white. So, it is easy to tell these frogs apart.

There is a black strip that starts from behind the eye to the belly of these frogs. This is another way to identify them. Juvenile frogs are primarily black, and as they mature into adulthood, they will change to yellowish brown. Adult frogs often change color a few months after spawning and reproduction.

Physical Description

Average mass  Range length
26 g

0.92 oz

 6 to 10.5 cm

2.36 to 4.13 in


How does the tomato frog hunt?

The Information on how the tomato frogs hunt is very limited. These types of frogs also live in urban areas and can cause a problem for domestic animals such as dogs and cats.

There are two different species (D.antongilii and D.guineti), which are very much alike in appearance. They’re both bright and colorful. Both of these specimens have the ability to secrete a white, glue-like substance that can be mildly irritating and toxic to humans. These secretions contaminate and poison the eyes and fingers of possible predators.

What are their feeding and hunting habits?

tomato frog hunt

In the laboratory tests, the operators usually feed these frogs with crickets and edible worms. In the wild, these amphibians often feed on insects.

The main source of food for newborn and adult frogs are small invertebrates and arthropods. However, in laboratories, these animals often feed on insects, worms, and larvae.

As for their hunting method, it is pretty much like other species of frogs. They use their tongue to catch and hunt prey.

What do we know about their behavior?

Studies show that tomato frogs can live not only in nature but also in urban environments and cities. They can be found in drainage ditches and farmland where there is easy access to water and shelter. In the laboratory tests, it has been proved that these species are interested in burrowing, and they usually show this behavior in soft, muddy, and swampy lands. They try to pick a safe and quiet environment.

How long is their life span?

tomato frog life span


Studies in wildlife have shown that females live up to 11 and males up to 7 years. And that the larger frogs live longer. Tomato frogs live more than 12 years in laboratory reproduction.

Reproduction: synthetic and organic

In laboratory tests, the operators and doctors created an artificial climate condition (close to Madagascar’s climate with native storms and rains) for mating and reproduction. The male frog, in such conditions, influences the female with special movements and sounds and finally calls for mating. However, for various reasons, these tests are mildly different from how it goes down in the wilds.

Studies have shown that reproduction happens in all seasons in Madagascar because observers found tomato frog eggs in most months of the year (eleven out of twelve months). Most studies suggest that reproduction begins after heavy rains and storms. So, after a storm or a heavy rain, the frogs begin to amplexus (mating), and then they lay several thousand eggs. Sexual maturity in these amphibians usually lasts between two and three years, and with the right conditions, reproduction can occur throughout the year. However, there have been reports of minor changes to their Instinctive schedule due to climate changes and global warming.

Growth: from hatch to sexual maturity

Tomato frogs prefer to lay their eggs in water, and in a few days, they’ll hatch. However, many factors surround the hatching time, such as temperature and humidity. In laboratory conditions, frogs usually start metamorphosing after one month. Within a few months, the newly born frogs turn from black and reddish-brown to red as they reach sexual maturity.

Geographic habitat of tomato frogs

Geographic habitat of tomato frogs

Tomato frogs, also known as (Dyscophus Antonelli) are native to Madagascar, specifically in the northeastern part of the island. These frogs have also been Seen in different regions such as Antongil Bay, Andivoranto, Marwantstra, and Ambatwaki Reserve. There are other reports of similar-looking frogs in other habitats and locations. But there is still confusion about whether they are tomato frogs or not.

What do we know about the conservation and export status of the tomato frog?

Tomato frogs are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN. Several species in the Dyscophus branch, including D. Antonelli, are listed in Appendix II of CITES, meaning exporters and importers must obtain a permit from their government. There have been propositions from Madagascar’s authorities to try to protect these special and endangered creatures. Most of these efforts are aimed at preventing the destruction of the habitats of these creatures and are carried out to protect all amphibian species in Madagascar and just tomato frogs.

Along with success in increasing the number of laboratory breeding of these kinds of species to prevent their extinction, the commercial export of them as pets has also been stopped. In addition, their breeding populations are carefully monitored in zoos to promote genetic diversity.

FAQ about are tomato frogs poisonous


  1. Are all frogs and toads poisonous?

No, not all frogs and toads are poisonous. However, there are a number of different species that can deliver a venomous bite.

  1. I was bitten by a tomato frog; what should I do?

If a tomato frog bites you, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Some frogs and toads can release a toxin when they excrete, which can cause skin irritation and other problems.

  1. What should I do if I confront amphibian excrement?

If you come in contact with amphibian excrement, it is important to wash the area with soap and water.


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