Oophaga is a genus of poison-dart frogs containing nine species, many of which were formerly in the Dendrobates genus. The frogs are distributed in Central and South America, from Nicaragua through the Colombian El Choco to northern Ecuador (at elevations below 1,200 m (3,900 ft). Their habitats vary with some species being arboreal while other being terrestrial, but the common feature is that their tadpoles are obligate egg feeders.
Oophaga, Greek for "egg eater" (oon, phagos), is descriptive of the tadpoles' diet.
While presumably all dendrobatids show parental care, this is unusually advanced in Oophaga: the tadpoles feed exclusively on unfertilized eggs supplied as food by the mother; the father is not involved. Through the eggs, the mother also passes defensive toxins to the tadpoles: Oophaga pumilio tadpoles experimentally fed with eggs from alkaloid-free frogs did not contain alkaloids.
Oophaga are kept as pets, but they are challenging to breed in captivity. Oophaga pumilio, however, is easier to breed and popular.
There are nine species in this genus:
Oophaga arborea (Myers, Daly, and Martínez, 1984) (Polkadot Poison Frog) Oophaga granulifera (Taylor, 1958) (Granular Poison Frog) Oophaga histrionica (Berthold, 1845) (Harlequin Poison Frog) Oophaga lehmanni (Myers and Daly, 1976) (Lehmann's Poison Frog) Oophaga occultator (Myers and Daly, 1976) (La Brea Poison Frog) Oophaga pumilio (Schmidt, 1857) (Strawberry Poison-dart Frog) Oophaga speciosa (Schmidt, 1857) (Splendid Poison Frog) Oophaga sylvatica (Funkhouser, 1956) (Diablito Poison Frog) Oophaga vicentei (Jungfer, Weygoldt & Juraske, 1996) (Vicente's Poison Frog)