from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A steroid alkaloid derived from skin secretions of the Phyllobates and Dendrobates genera of South American poison-arrow frogs. It is one of the most potent venoms known.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An extremely neurotoxic and cardiotoxic steroidal alkaloid found in poison dart frogs.
  • n. Any one of a group of extremely neurotoxic and cardiotoxic steriodal alkaloids found in poison dart frogs, Melyridae beetles and birds.


Greek batrakhos, frog + toxin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek βάτραχος (batrachos, "frog") and τοξίνη (toxine, "poison") (Wiktionary)


  • Incidentally, (1) it seems that not all pitohui species are poisonous (although further study is required to be absolutely sure about this), (2) that another New Guinean passerine, the Rufous shrike-thrush Colluricincla megarhyncha, also produces batrachotoxin, and (3) that multiple other non-poisonous New Guinea passerines (including some other pitohuis) may mimic poisonous pitohuis and therefore gain protection from predators too (Diamond 1992, Dumbacher & Fleischer 2001).

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • While it’s nowadays reasonably well known that pitohuis (a group of six species of pachycephalid passerines, also endemic to New Guinea) produce batrachotoxin in their skin and feathers, it was shown in 2000 that Ifrita does too (Dumbacher et al. 2000).

    Archive 2006-05-01


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