A RARE species of poison dart frog has bred successfully for the first time at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks.

The strawberry poison dart frogs are renowned for their high levels of parental care, with both the male and the female looking after their young.

Originally from Central America, the tiny frogs, which measure just two centimetres in length, are also famed for their vivid colouration which warns would-be predators of their deadly poison.

Despite their name, strawberry dart frogs occur in up to 30 different colours ranging from bright red to green, blue and even white.

Females lay an average of three to five eggs, usually on a leaf. Once they have hatched into tadpoles she carefully places them on her back and takes them to a water-filled hole.

The male will then guard the eggs and keep them watered while the female provides them with a diet of her own unfertilised eggs for up to a month until they metamorphose into froglets.

Blue Planet Aquarium curator Andrea Redfern said: “Despite their small size, the strawberry poison dart frog is considered the most toxic member of its genus.”