Fire-bellied Toad

Oriental Fire-bellied Toad, Bombina orientalis

fire_bellied_toadDescription: This small toad species reaches an adult size of 50mm. The dorsal surface of the skin is bright green and black with raised tubercles. These tubercles are poison glands contained underneath the skin and if disturbed the toads can exude a mildly toxic secretion. Their primary way of defending themselves is to show their bright orange feet and belly, from which they get their common name. If approached by a predator the toads lift up the head and raise up the underside of the hands and feet, displaying their bright colour as a warning. In the wild they are semi-aquatic and spend much of their time floating on the surface of ponds. They also hibernate from September to April when the weather is much too cold to sustain their activity.

Reproduction: After emerging from hibernation in late April, these toads soon start appearing at the breeding sites that are deemed suitable. They are opportunistic toads, and other than ponds they may also be found breeding in rice paddies, swamps, streams, the edges of lakes and even roadside ditches. They are capable of laying many as 250 eggs in a single spawning. These can take up to 2 months to develop into tadpoles. The tadpoles diet consists of a wide variety of food, and they usually metamorphose into frogs within 1 – 2 months.

Diet: Small invertebrates, worms.

Distribution: China, Korea, Eastern Russia.

Conservation status: Least Concern.

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