Acquired: Pet store
Cumbria, United Kingdom
Posted Jun 12, 2014
The very first amphibians I ever kept were Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads. This readily available breed is incredibly hardy and easy to care for and has the added bonus of having beautiful markings and colouration.
These toads reach around 2-3 inches in length and are semi-aquatic. They are brown and green on the top, the shade changes depending on many factors such as heat and happiness. Their underside is bright orange and black. When threatened, the toad flips over on to its back and displays its bright colours to warn predators of its toxins. Although not dangerous to humans, it is important to wash your hands after handling these toads as their toxins can cause irritation to sensitive skin. It is even more important to keep these amphibians away from other pets such as cats or dogs as their toxins can be deadly to smaller creatures if ingested.
The Fire-Bellied Toad is from the Discoglossidae family, which contains toads that do not have extendable tongues. This means that once these toads have found their prey, they must jump on to it and push their unlucky insect victim in to their mouths using their arms. As with most amphibians, Fire-Bellied Toads will eat anything that moves and is small enough to fit in to their mouths. A diet of gut-loaded crickets is very adequate. I have found that mealworms are a bit too tough for them to digest properly and they usually end up ‘throwing up’ the brittle husks.
The habits for these amphibians can have fairly pricey start-up costs, but once the initial expenses have been covered it is both cheap and easy to maintain their set-up. The first thing you will need is a suitable sized vivarium. The set up should ideally be 50% substrate and 50% water, with the water just deep enough to reach under the toads eyes. You may also need a heat mat depending on the temperature of your environment. After the initial costs, the only thing you need to continue buying will be live food and vitamin powders.
You should spot clean your vivarium daily, removing any faecal matter, dead insects or other debris. You will need to do a full clean up at least once a month.
Fire-Bellied toads are a really interesting species and perfect for a beginner due to their easy maintenance. I will always have a soft spot for this breed of toad and I would definitely consider owning this breed again.