Defining Characteristics: Great beginner frog | Contrasting Coloration | Bold | Easy to Breed | Quiet Call | Very Large | Can be kept in groups when young | Best kept in pairs as adults
Name: Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Blue'. Some individuals of this population which had more gray legs were once (and sometimes still are) referred to as Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Gray'. In the hobby, these poison dart frogs are commonly called powder blue tincs, or simply powder blues or powders.
Recommended Vivarium Size: A 10 gallon aquarium is suitable for a single Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Blue', 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: Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Blue' 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, Powder Blues 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: These are one of the largest forms of Dendrobates tinctorius. Adult female Powder Blue tincs are larger, measuring in at approximately 2.5 inches. Male Powder Blue tincs are a bit smaller, averaging about 2 inches at maturity. All of the Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Blue' froglets Josh's Frogs sells are well started juveniles, and measure approximately 1” long.
Age: Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Blue' 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 tincs may live 4-6 years. All Powder Blues for sale at Josh's Frogs are well started juveniles, and are 2-3 months old.
Feeding: Like most poison dart frogs, Powder blues prefer smaller foods. All of the powder blue tincs Josh's Frogs sells will readily eat Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies. Adult Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Blue' 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 'Powder Blue' is not sexable until 10-12 months of age. Male Powder Blues 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, all Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Blue' are mostly black in color with a varying degree of yellow or white striping on the back. This poison dart frog has very variable leg color and pattern. Named for the predominately powder blue color of their legs, these frogs can have gray or blue legs with varying degrees of black spotting (no spotting in rare individuals). In the past, these frogs were separated after import as 'powder blue' and 'powder gray' tincs. After breeding these frogs in captivity and observing the resulting variable offspring (blue legs threw offspring with gray legs, and vice versa), both Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Blue' and D. t. 'Powder Gray' are the same morph, and should be mixed/housed together. 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 'Powder Blue' 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 Powder Blues 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 mxing! Josh's Frogs recommends purchasing multiple frogs if you are interested in breeding them – this greatly increases the chances of getting a pair.
Breeding: Powder Blues are very simple and easy to breed. Like most Dendrobates tinctorius, Powder Blues 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 'Powder Blue' hails from the southwestern side of Suriname. Powder blues live east of the Tapanahony River, where the river originates Eilerts de Haan Mountains near Brazil. This locale is surrounded by typical 'Cobalt' looking tinctorius, and it obviously very closely related.
History in the Hobby: Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Blue' was one of the earlier tincs available in the hobby, having been imported from Suriname by 1994 (if not a year or two earlier). Powder Blue tincs have been present in the hobby ever since, but are often overlooked as a 'common' (and thus undesirable) frog. Due to their large size, bold behavior, and ease of breeding, I'm sure Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Blue' will continue to be in the hobby for years to come.
Links of Interest:
Dendrobates tinctorius Morphguide article on Powder Blues
A good thread on Dendroboard about the Powder Blue/Gray debate
Still not sure if Dendrobates tinctorius 'Powder Blue' from Josh's Frogs are the right poison dart frog for you? Read the reviews below and see what other customers are saying!