Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad

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Other common names: Chinese Fire Belly Toad; Tuti Toad

Scientific name: Bombina orientalis

The Basics:
Although novice amphibian keepers would be hard-pressed to find a better pet choice, the Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad is interesting enough for advanced pros as well. Small, hardy, active by day, and easy to breed, this colorful little creature is hard to top!

The Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad occurs in northeastern China, southern Russia, Korea and southern Japan. It is most common near water bodies within coniferous and broad-leafed forests, but may also be found along lakes, swamps, streams, and temporary pools in open meadows, over-grown fields and agricultural land. It is semi-aquatic, but sometimes ranges quite far from water when foraging.

Appearance / Health:
The Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad is stout in build, and averages 2 inches in snout-vent length. The raised, “bumpy” skin of the back is bright green, smoky gray, or brownish-green in color, and marked with numerous round dark spots. The ventral surface is brilliantly colored in red, yellow or red-orange, and bears irregular black blotches.

With proper care, this hardy creature may approach 20 years of age. Metabolic bone disease is seen in individuals that are fed a calcium-poor diet. “Red leg” and other bacterial and fungal infections resulting from poor water quality and high ammonia levels are perhaps the most common cause of death in captive animals.

Behavior / Temperament:
Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads are quite bold, and active both day and night. They adjust well to human presence, and soon come to associate people with food.

As is true for all amphibians, Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads should be handled only when necessary, and then with wet hands so that the skin’s protective mucus is not removed. Amphibian skin secretions may cause irritations when transferred to their owner’s wounds, eyes, or the mouth.

Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads do very well in groups; a 10 gallon aquarium will support 3-5 individuals. They spend most of their time in the water, which should be of a depth that allows the frog to submerge completely and to float on the surface with the legs extended below. Floating live or plastic plants may be used to provide security and resting sites. A land area of Mopani wood or cork bark should also be available. Substrate is not necessary on the land area, but carpet moss may be used if desired.

Porous skins allow frogs and toads to absorb harmful chemicals from the water. A canister or submersible filter and weekly partial water changes are essential in maintaining long-term health. Ammonia from waste products, uneaten food, and decaying plants is extremely lethal; an aquarium test kit should be used to monitor its levels. Chlorine and chloramine must be removed from water used in aquariums. Liquid preparations that work instantly are available at pet stores.

Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads tolerate a wide range of temperatures, remaining active from 50-90+ F, but sustained temperatures above 80 F may increase the likelihood of bacterial/fungal attack.

They do not require Ultra-Violet B light, but anecdotal evidence indicates that low levels of UVB, along with UVA, may be of some benefit.

Wild Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads take a wide range of prey, including aquatic and terrestrial insects, spiders, salamander larvae and tadpoles. A highly-varied diet is essential. Crickets alone, even if powdered with supplements, are not adequate.

Provide your pet with earthworms, small roaches, sow bugs, crickets, butterworms, calciworms, cultured houseflies, silkworms, and other commercially available invertebrates. Food items should be offered a healthful diet for several days before use. These ever-hungry beasts do best when fed small insects, the size of a ½ inch cricket or so, despite their willingness to tackle larger prey. Mealworms have been implicated in digestive system disorders, and should be avoided.

Most meals should be coated with a powdered Calcium/Vitamin D3 supplement. A vitamin mineral supplement should be used 2-3x weekly.

Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads are a pleasure to breed, and are usually stimulated to reproduce by normal fluctuations in room temperatures. In order to assure success, you can lower the depth of the water in their aquarium for a few days during the springtime, and then re-fill it with water that is 5-10 degrees warmer than usual.

Males in breeding condition sport dark, roughened patches, known as “nuptial pads” on their inner arms. In contrast to most frogs, male Fire-Bellied Toads grasp females just above the rear legs, rather than under the front legs, in a mating embrace known as “inguinal amplexus”.

Females produce 50-200 eggs, which adhere to plants, sticks, and airline tubing. At 72 F, the tiny (7 mm, 0.28 inch) tadpoles hatch in 3-4 days. They remain motionless and attached to plants for 2 days, during which time they absorb the yolk sacs. Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad tadpoles may be reared on a diet of fish food flakes, commercial tadpole pellets, algae tablets, and par-boiled dandelion. Metamorphosis occurs within 30-45 days. Froglets will accept pinhead crickets, springtails and flightless fruit flies.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


fabulous little toad, activity level, beautiful creatures, new pet owner, easy pets


mild toxins, half water habitat, young children


primarily waxworms, water filter, necessary slime coating, bright green toad, striking reddish orange

Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad Health Tip

Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad

From SJSilver Jun 12 2014 1:49PM


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