Caring for a Fire-Bellied Toad

Fire-Bellied ToadFire-Bellied Toad

The following information is general care information for a fire-bellied toad and is provided by Heath Scientific. Heath Scientific has a full supply of live critters for educational institutions and home school environments. See the Live Critter section of our website.

Temperature – 72-88F

Light Requirements – Indirect sunlight (Classroom lighting)

Feeding – 2-3 crickets, twice a week. For easier care, a larger number of crickets can be added (1 dozen) with a small piece of potato for nutrition.

Habitat – Semi-aquatic. Use spring or tap water treated with chlorine remover. Add water to a level equal with the top of the gravel. The Toads will often hide under a damp piece of moss.

Handling – Do not handle with dry hands as this may damage their skin.
Do not handle frequently. Wash hands before and after handling.

Care – Change water 1 time per week. Dirty water can allow contaminates

General Information:

Fire bellied toads are members of the genus Bombina. this genus has 4-5 different species. The most common species in the pet industry is Bombina orientalis and is found in NE China and Korea. The dorsal side is light brown to bright emerald green with shiny black spots. The ventral side is marbled red and black. The Bombina species is both diurnal and nocturnal, live in groups and are largely aquatic.They will float on the water with their legs out, soaking up the sun.

In The Wild

Bombina spawns throughout the summer and “rest” from the end of October to March. During this time they will hide under damp leaves for moisture and protection. When frightened, the toad will lay on it’s back, displaying the red belly. These bright colors can frighten away predators. The main predators consist of large aquatic frogs and snakes. When food supply is short or the concentration of animals is too high, cannibalism is a common occurrence. When laying eggs, they will attach them to floating plants or inside hollow spots in rocks.

In Captivity

The fire bellied toad needs a habitat that is well ventilated to prevent fungal infections. Indirect sunlight will assist in hindering fungal growth and provide certain vitamins. Breeding in captivity is more common in orientalis than other species. Many hiding places, clean water source and proper over-wintering are necessary for breeding success. One interesting fact is that captive bred toads develop a yellow belly instead of the normal red. Experts say that supplemental canthaxanthin can reverse this phenomenon.

Where you can get Supplies

Here are links to the different types of supplies you might need to care for your firebelly toad:

  • Live Crickets – You are able to use crickets you catch in the wild.
  • Chlorine Remover – If you use city or any water supply that has been treated with chlorine, you will need to treat it with this.
  • Plastic Cage – Just add some rocks, moss, and water- your firebelly toad will be safe and comfy.
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