Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Golden poison frogs are the most highly toxic of all frogs. Colombian tribes, such as the Embre and Choco Indians, use poison secreted from the frogs’ skin to poison their blowgun darts. After heating darts over a fire, they are wiped over the frogs’ backs. Heat causes the back of the frog to moisten with poison which makes it easily accessible. Poisoned darts can stay lethal for up to two years. The toxin enables these tribes to catch small animals for food. These frogs are also being captured, bred, and sold as pets. This is possible because of their decrease in toxicity once held in captivity for a certain period of time. Medical research is also being done to see if these poisons can be developed into muscle relaxants, anesthetics, and heart stimulants. It is thought that it could even become a better anesthetic than morphine.
Positive Impacts: pet trade ; body parts are source of valuable material; source of medicine or drug ; research and education; controls pest population
Michael Wunderli selected "Economic Importance for Humans: Positive" to show in Overview on "Phyllobates terribilis Myers, Daly and Malkin, 1978".