Oriental Fire Bellied Toad

By Snaketracks / August 10, 2020

Oriental Fire Bellied Toad (Bombina Orientalis) Care Sheet

The Oriental Fire Bellied Toad thrives in northeastern China, Korea, southern Japan, and southern parts of Russia.

They are highly aquatic and usually found in slow-moving streams and ponds. When out of the water, they stick to the region’s coniferous and broadleaved forests.

They hibernate from late September to May, sheltering in rotting logs, leaf piles, and occasionally at the bottom of streams.

Quick Reference Section

  • Experience level:  Beginner
  • Family: Bombinatoridae
  • Scientific Name: Bombina orientalis
  • Habits: Both nocturnal and diurnal
  • Remarks: Semiaquatic
  • Size: 1.5 to 2 inches
  • Weight: 1 to 2 ounces
  • Lifespan: In the wild, they live 12 to 15 years. In captivity, they can reach 20 years of age
  • Predators:  Oriental Fire-bellied toads prey upon terrestrial invertebrates and are also preyed on by bird species and larger aquatic animals
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern on IUCN Red List

Why Should You Choose A Oriental Fire Bellied Toad As A Pet?

Oriental Fire-bellied toads are hardy and colorful pets and, even if not much handleable, they are interesting to observe.

What Does An Oriental Fire Bellied Toad Look Like?

Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina Orientalis)
Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina Orientalis)

Oriental Fire Bellied Toads are bright green creatures with black coloration on their warty backs and brilliant orange and black on their undersides.

But it’s not until they perceive a threat that they reveal their true colors.

Despite their name, they are technically frogs, not a toad. One characteristic differentiating frogs from toads is toads have rough, textured skin.

And, while this frog has bumpy skin, it is one of the exceptions.

Oriental Fire Bellied Toad Reproduction

Close up of Green fire bellied toads eyes
Close up of Green fire bellied toads eyes

Breeding takes place in the spring with the warming of the weather and an increase in rain. Males call to the females with a light barking croak.

They jump onto the back of any other fire-bellied toad that happens to pass by, often leading to male-male confusion, but rarely any sort of fighting.

Video on Oriental Fire Bellied Toad Mating Attempts

Eggs Laying

Females lay 40 to 100  eggs in a large cluster, usually around submerged plants, near the water’s edge.

Eggs Hatching

Tadpoles hatch from the eggs in three to 10 days depending on the temperature of the water.

Tadpoles Development

The tadpoles begin to develop legs in 6–8 weeks and are fully metamorphosed. They begin venturing on land in 12–14 weeks.

Tadpoles survive on algae, fungi, and plants, while the adults eat a variety of invertebrates, including worms, insects, and mollusks.

Oriental Fire Bellied Toad Habitat

brown-fire-bellied-toad on white background
Brown Fire-bellied toad on white background

Enclosure Requirements

A semiaquatic tank is an ideal set up,  with a third to half of the tank as land area, and the remainder should be about two to four inches of water.

You can decorate the land area with smooth rocks.

These frogs are not strong swimmers and may (but rarely) drown in water that is too deep.

Cleaning

The water should have a filter, and frequent water changes are necessary.

These frogs produce a lot of waste, so you will need to do frequent partial water changes.

Fire-bellied toads have a sensitivity to chlorine and chloramine, so this must be taken into account when cleaning their enclosures.

To clean the enclosure you can use TetraFauna AquaSafe Reptile & Amphibian Water Conditioner.

Temperature

Oriental Fire Bellied Toads are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, which is one of the reasons they make good captives.

Daytime temperatures should range from 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C) and can drop at night.

A heater is not usually necessary.

Lighting

Oriental Fire Bellied Toads have no specific lighting requirements other than a day and night cycle.

Many experts agree that this species does not need UVB lighting. However, some experts state that a low dose of daily UVB can’t hurt and might help with calcium absorption.

Humidity

Most importantly, this species requires humidity.

Sometimes too much light can dry out the enclosure, which can damage the animal’s sensitive skin.

Extended light periods may also stress out your frog.

Feeding

Bombina Orientalis(Green Oriental Fire- bellied toad) on a white background
Bombina Orientalis (Green Oriental Fire- bellied toad) on a white background

Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads have insatiable appetites. The best way to feed them is with small crickets dusted with calcium powder.

They can also be fed with other small invertebrates such as earthworms.

To gut load crickets you can use Fluker’s Hi Calcium Cricket Feed.

Temperament & Handling

While not the most toxic of amphibians, regular handling is not recommended.

Although harmless to the skin, if ingested, the mucus they drop can cause discomfort.

Health Concerns

Green Fire Bellied Toad laying flat on white background
Green Fire Bellied Toad laying flat on white background

In general,the majority of diseases of amphibians maintained in captivity will relate directly or indirectly to husbandry and management.

This is partly due to the high permeability of their skin; they are very susceptible to toxic insult, and a variety of chemicals may be problematic in wild or captive animals.

Some of the more common amphibian diseases with bacterial etiologies include bacterial dermato septicemia or “red leg syndrome,” flavobacteriosis, mycobacteriosis, and chlamydiosis.

The most common viral diseases of amphibians are caused by ranaviruses. Mycotic and mycotic-like organisms cause several diseases among amphibians, including chytridiomycosis, zygomycosis, chromomycosis, saprolegniasis, and ichthyophoniasis.

Protozoan parasites of amphibians include a variety of amoeba, ciliates, flagellates, and sporozoans.

Common metazoan parasites include various myxozoans, helminths (particularly trematodes and nematodes), and arthropods.

Commonly encountered non-infectious disease etiologies for neoplasia, absolute or specific nutritional deficiencies or overloads, chemical toxicities, and inadequate husbandry or environmental management.

Of the specific dietary problems that affect amphibians, some of the more commonly encountered challenges are the vitamin and mineral imbalances related to metabolic bone disease.

Specifically, these imbalances include the failure to ingest or adequately process vitamin D3, calcium, or phosphorus to maintain them in the proper ratios.

Elevated levels of vitamin A may also interfere with the normal metabolism of vitamin D and contribute to metabolic bone disease. Most often, however, metabolic bone disease is caused by low levels of calcium or improper calcium: phosphorus ratios in the insect prey (Wright and Whitaker 2001).

Many insects used as food or prey, including mealworms, waxworms, earthworms, and fruit flies, have low levels of calcium or imbalanced calcium: phosphorus ratios (Barker et al. 1998).

It is possible to correct this calcium deficiency by feeding the insects calcium-rich food or by dusting the insects with a calcium-rich powder.

Source: Diseases of Amphibians Christine L. Densmore, David Earl Green ILAR Journal, Volume 48, Issue 3, 2007, Pages 235–254, https://doi.org/10.1093/ilar.48.3.235

Signs Of A Healthy Oriental Fire Bellied frog

  • Hides often
  • Eats vigorously
  • Clear eyes and smooth skin

Red Flags

  • Loss of appetite
  • Hazy or cloudy eyes
  • Does not swim away from capture
  • Weight loss

Interesting Facts

This family of toads cannot extend their tongues like other toads or frogs. To feed, they must leap forward and catch their prey with their mouths.

When threatened by predators, they will exhibit the “unken reflex” by arching their backs and limbs to expose their bright belly and may even turn over on their backs.

Price and Availability

Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads are available for $5 to $10 from Backwater Reptiles.

Most Oriental Fire Bellied frogs in the pet trade are wild-caught import babies, as captive-bred specimens don’t demand high enough prices for breeders to focus on them.

Oriental Fire Bellied Toad Care Video

Conclusion

The Fire Belly Toad is one of our top frogs when it comes to choosing one as a pet. They are easy to care for, not picky eaters, and just look cool.

Other cool frogs which also make great pets include the Red-eyed Tree Frog, Gray Tree Frog, and of course the African Dwarf Frog. Be sure to check out our best pet frogs article to see all of our favorites!

What frog do you own or plan on getting? What made you choose that or them? We love hearing from you so let us know in the comments below!

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