Dendrobates tinctorius "Giant Orange"

These beautiful forms of tinctorius are from French Guiana, and original specimens were apparently collected near a town called Regina. Regina is located on the Approuage River, not far from the coast. This area of French Guiana has been hard hit by a destructive method of gold mining, in which the soil is mixed into a liquid slurry and mercury is used to extract small amounts of gold. Then the mercury poisoned soil is pumped back into the river. I have been told that this collection site no longer exists, but its hard to say if that just refers to one small population, or all Regina, or all Giant Orange, or…….?

These frogs are the subject of considerable confusion. Giant Orange were a sought after morph when I first got into dart frogs, and as far as I know at that point only the Giant Orange was available, but in very limited supply. US specimens came in from Europe under this name. This was in the early 90's. In the mid to late nineties Giant Orange that were called “Regina” began showing up, more on price lists and rumor than in reality! When the quizzical hobbyist (me) asked the difference, it was explained that the Regina had more yellow on them. I was even told at one point (by a European frogger of some experience) that Giant Orange could produce Regina, it was merely a term to indicate that this frog had more yellow on it than the average. I now know differently, and while there are many similarities, the differences are distinct in most cases.

Recently Dr. Sean Stewart, at posted some information on the subject of which frog is which, on his site. Dr. Stewart is a highly respected frogger, and has been working with frogs since before I was involved in this hobby. I believe what he says is largely accurate, and many Europeans do use the names Giant Orange and Regina to designate the opposite frogs to what we do here. However I feel that the names were fairly well established here, and that reverting to the European names is very confusing. In addition I have personally spoken with more than one European hobbyist who felt that the names were confused there as well.

The Giant Orange I have came from Dr. Stewart, and when I purchased them, in about 1997, they were called Giant Orange, and came from the NAIB I believe. About two years later I had the opportunity to obtain some wild caught Regina, directly from Europe, through an American friend. The Europeans he dealt with definitely called these frogs Regina, and they are definitely a different frog form the Giant Orange I offer.

Anyway, this all goes to show that collection data is vital, and the lack of it is at the root of our current sorry state of confusion. Now in the dart frog hobby, we need to do all we can to make sure that things don't get more confused, and that these two different frogs are not bred together. Please make sure your frogs “match” before breeding them, and when obtaining frogs from vendors, ask questions and write down the source information they give you.

None, but often confused with Regina morph. Some US and European breeders refer to each form as the other. Eastern French Guiana, near town of Regina
Terrarium Preferences
Low to mid Seventies High Almost exclusively terrestrial, recommend terrarium of 20 gallon tall size minimum for a pair.
Visibility in the tank
Groups of these compatible
Up to about 2 inches Quite bold and active No, unless tank over 75 gallons
Experience Level
Compatible with other species?
Intermediate, a more delicate tinctorius. Yes, should be ok with other species (other than D. azureus) if not crowded
Breeding :
Status in Hobby
Best done in pairs, not easy to breed. Not common. Very few bloodlines in this country.
Our Availability
Links for this frog
Occasionally available. Click here to check availability

In this picture you can see the classic back pattern of a Giant Orange. The back i s rarely filled in with yellow on this frog.