Dendrobates tinctorius “Azureus” dart frog breeding and egg development

Calling

The male. The male calling. The female approaching
the calling male.

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Depositing

The breeding behavior of D tinctorius azureus is quite interesting. The pair selects a spot for depositing eggs and rotates through the spot laying and fertilizing. This sequence shows the frogs in the process of rotating positions. The sequence starts with the female in the brom.
 After a few minutes they switch positions. The brom is quite small, so it’s an awkward transfer.
Now they have switched positions and the male is in the base of the brom with the female above him on a brom leaf.
 Here they are switching again.
And now the female is back in the brom stem and the male is above her. They continued this behavior for over 9 hours.

 

Developing

First daily photo journal

Our azureus laid approximately 5 eggs on Saturday July 14. The following images are taken in approximately 24 hour increments as the eggs developed. I focused on the front right egg since it was on the outer edge of the brom leaf and more accessible for photographing. It also seemed to be developing better than the egg on the left. Click on an image for a higher resolution view. And keep checking back for updates!

7/14 7/15 [1] 7/16 [2] 7/17 [3] 7/18 [4] 7/19 [5] 7/20 [6]
 week 1
7/21 [7] 7/22 [8] 7/23 [9] 7/24 [10] 7/25 [11] 7/26 [12] 7/27 [13]
week 2
7/28 [14] 7/29 [15] 7/30 [16] 7/31 [17] 8/1 [18] 8/2 [19] 8/3 [20]
 week 3

died after

hatching

 

Second daily photo journal

Following the death of the first tadpole after it’s hatch, we experienced limited success with the next few weekly clutches, raising approximately 12 tadpoles over the next few months. Success rates were roughly 1 to 2 tadpoles per clutch (4 to 6 eggs deposited). Starting in October, the success rates on developing eggs began to rise, and another progression was started.

10/17 [1] 10/18 [2] 10/19 [3] 10/20 [4] 10/21 [5] 10/22 [6] 10/23 [7]
 week 1
10/24 [8] 10/25 [9] 10/26 [10] 10/27 [11] 10/28 [12] 10/29 [13] 10/30 [14]
week 2
10/31 [15] 11/1 [16] 11/2 [17] 11/3 [18] 11/4 [19] 11/5 [20] 11/6 [21]
 week 3
11/7 [22] 11/8 [23] 11/9 [24] 11/10 [25] 11/11 [26] 11/12 [27] 11/13 [28]
 week 4
11/14 [29] 11/15 [30] 11/16 [31] 11/17 [32]  11/18 [33]  11/19 [34]  11/20 [35]
 week 5
———— shift in scale ————
11/21 [36] 11/22 [37] 11/23 [38] 11/24 [39] 11/25 [40] 11/26 [41] 11/27 [42]
 week 6
11/28 [43] 11/29 [44] 11/30 [45] 12/1 [46] 12/2 [47] 12/3 [48] 12/4 [49]
 week 7
12/5 [50] 12/6 [51] 12/7 [52] 12/8 [53] 12/9 [54] 12/10 [55] 12/11 [56]
 week 8
12/12 [57] 12/13 [58] 12/14 [59] 12/15 [60] 12/16 [61] 12/17 [62] 12/18 [63]
 week 9 Oct17-day61-1216_2138 Oct17-day56-1211_2014 Oct17-day63-1218_2147
12/19 [64] 12/20 [65] 12/21 [66] 12/22 [67] 12/23 [68] 12/24 [69] 12/25 [70]
week 10 Oct17-day64-1219_2150 Oct17-day65-1220_2155 Oct17-day66-1221_2156 Oct17-day67-1222_2165 Oct17-day68-1223_2168 Oct17-day69-1224_2190 Oct17-day70-1225_2214
12/26 [71] 12/27 [72] 12/28 [73] 12/29 [74] 12/30 [75] 12/31 [76] 1/1 [77]
week 11 Oct17-day71-1226_2218 Oct17-day72-1227_2303 Oct17-day73-1228_2341 Oct17-day74-1229_2346 Oct17-day75-1230_2350 Oct17-day76-1231_2368 Oct17-day77-0101_2376
1/2 [78] 1/3 [79] 1/4 [80] 1/5 [81] 1/6 [82] 1/7 [83] 1/8 [84]
week 12 Oct17-day78-0102_2377 Oct17-day79-0103_2383 Oct17-day80-0104_2390 Oct17-day81-0105_2391 Oct17-day82-0106_2397 Oct17-day83-0107_2405 Oct17-day84-0108_2407
1/9 [85] 1/10 [86] 1/11 [87] 1/12 [88] 1/13 [89] 1/14 [90] 1/15 [91]
week 13 Oct17-day85-0109_2411 Oct17-day86-0110_2416 Oct17-day87-0111_2423 Oct17-day88-0112_2429 Oct17-day89-0113_2443 Oct17-day90-0114_2449 Oct17-day91-0115_2484
1/16 [92] 1/17 [93] 1/18 [94] 1/19 [95] 1/20 [96] 1/21 [97] 1/22 [98]
week 14 Oct17-day092-0116_2488 Oct17-day093-0117_2492 Oct17-day094-0118_2501 Oct17-day095-0119_2503 Oct17-day096-0120_2520 Oct17-day097-0121_2524 Oct17-day098-0122_2533
1/23 [99] 1/24 [100] 1/25 [101] 1/26 [102] 1/27 [103] 1/28 [104] 1/29 [105]
week 15 Oct17-day099-0123_2534 Oct17-day100-0124_2538 Oct17-day101-0125_2541 Oct17-day102-0126_2563 Oct17-day103-0127_2573 Oct17-day104-0128_2575 Oct17-day105-0129_2581
1/30 [106] 1/31 [107] 2/1 [108] 2/2 [109] 2/3 [110] 2/4 [111] 2/5 [112]
week 16 Oct17-day106-0130_2588 Oct17-day107-0131_2594 Oct17-day108-0201_2598 Oct17-day109-0202_2602 Oct17-day110-0203_2604 Oct17-day111-0204_2607 Oct17-day112-0205_2610
2/6 [113] 2/7 [114] 2/8 [115] 2/9 [116] 2/10 [117] 2/11 [118] 2/12 [119]
week 17 Oct17-day113-0206_2618 Oct17-day114-0207_2620 Oct17-day115-0208_2631 Oct17-day116-0209_2637 Oct17-day117-0210_2649 Oct17-day118-0211_2654 Oct17-day119-0212_2656
2/13 [120] 2/14 [121] 2/15 [122] 2/16 [123] 2/17 [124] 2/18 [125] 2/19 [126]
week 18 Oct17-day120-0213_2666 Oct17-day121-0214_2676 Oct17-day122-0215_2684 Oct17-day123-0216_2698 Oct17-day124-0217_2733 Oct17-day125-0218_2755 Oct17-day126-0219_2763

 

Tadpole development

Selected development shots of our first tadpole. It took quite a while for the rear legs to develop, then in the final month the process accelerated.

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