Deadly frogs find new home in Hastings

One of the poison dart frogs now at Blue Reef
One of the poison dart frogs now at Blue Reef

THIS web-footed fella may look harmless but don’t be fooled by its size – the poison dart frog is one of the most deadly amphibians on the planet.

Five of the endangered frogs have arrived at Blue Reef Aquarium on Rock-a-Nore and, despite being able to fit inside a thimble, each one has poison 200 times more powerful than morphine.

The tiny amphibians were donated by their sister aquarium in Portsmouth where they were born as part of a captive breeding programme.

Blue Reef’s Kate Buss said: “Poison dart frogs are facing a number of threats including disease, pollution and loss of habitat so captive breeding programmes are becoming more and more important.

“Hopefully these individuals will one day become part of a satellite breeding colony here at the aquarium and help ease pressures on the wild population.”

The seafront attraction is also holdings its annual fish stock take this weekend.

Visitors to the aquarium will be asked to help spot and record the number of species like sharks, seahorses, octopus and lionfish to see if the numbers have gone up since last January,

Experts at Blue Reef will then do an official check and the child who most accurately reports the population will win a year’s free membership to the aquarium for them and their family.

Miss Buss said: “January has traditionally always been the time of year when we do an official check on all our stock numbers.

“Obviously some creatures will be rather more easy to count than others; the sharks are usually fairly straightforward, although there are a number of species that like to spend much of their time either hidden among the rocks or under the sand.

“Seahorses can be a little tricky and hermit crabs are always something of a guesstimate as it’s difficult to tell which shells are inhabited and which are currently vacant.”