Bombina orientalis

Bombina orientalis

Bombina orientalis

Bombina orientalis

Bombinatoridae

1,2-2" or 4-5 cm

15 to 20 years

Northeastern China, Korea, and the Khabarovsk and Primorye regions in Russia

Rice fields, swampy bushlands, puddles and other kinds of stagnant water bodies

75-80° F or 24-27°C

50-60%

One Star

Beginner

Bombina orientalis

Fire-Bellied Toad

Fire-Bellied Toads are endemic to Northeastern China, Korea, and the Khabarovsk and Primorye regions in Russia. Despite their common name Fire-Bellied “Toad”, these cute amphibians are actually frogs. As the name already indicates, their bellies are brightly colored in orange, yellow or red. These strikingly colored bellies are actually a warning sign (called aposematic coloration) to inform predators that they are distasteful and should not be eaten.

Fire-Bellied Toads are hardy, long-lived and “easy-to-care-for”. Their semi-aquatic lifestyle, their exposure of belly colors as they float at the water surface, and their somewhat clumsy “amusing” motions make them appealing display animals for both the beginning reptile enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist.

Fire-Bellied Toads are a fairly social species and are best enjoyed when kept in small groups of 4 to 8 animals. The interaction between the animals in these small groups increases the viewing pleasure but also stimulates their natural- and mating behavior.

Dendrobates auratus on a tree trunk - by E. Van Heygen.

History

Bombina orientalis

Fire-Bellied Toads where first described in 1890 by the Belgian-British Zoologist George Albert Boulenger as Bombinator orientalis. In 1907, the Norwegian-American Herpetologist Leonhard Hess Stejneger placed the Fire-Bellied Toad under the Genus Bombina.

Fire-Bellied Toads are amphibians, a word that derives from the Ancient Greek word amphibios, meaning "to live a double life”, one as a tadpole in water, one as a frog on land.

Fire-Bellied Toads have been captive bred in the USA and Europe for more than 30 years and are well established in the hobby.

Characteristics

Fire-Bellied Toads belong to the family Bombinatoridae which consists of 8 species in the genus Bombina.

The Oriental Fire-Belly Toad is the most colourful of all Bombina species. With its grass-green back with black dots and stripes and its vibrant orange belly, these small semi-aquatic frogs are stunning.

To “scare off” potential predators, they will flip on their back in a defensive pose and show off their strikingly colored belly. The bright color of the belly warns the agitator of the existence of toxic chemicals in the skin of this cute frog.

Adult Fire-Bellied Toads range from 1,2 to 2" or 4 to 5 cm in total length, of which the females tend to be slightly larger and plumper built than males.

The average size of the hatchlings is about ½" or 1,5 cm. If well fed & maintained, they can reach adult size and sexual maturity in 12-16 months. Fire-Bellied Toads are very long-lived and can easily live up to 20+ years.

Distribution

Fire-Bellied Toads are endemic to Northeastern China, Korea, Southern Japan (including Tsushima & Kiushiu Islands) and the Khabarovsk and Primorye regions in Russia. They inhabit streams, rice fields, swampy wetlands, puddles and various other types of stagnant water bodies.

In the Wild

In the wild, Fire-Bellied Toads mostly inhabit the riparian zone, living a semi-aquatic life. They're both diurnal as well as crepuscular; they hunt and eat during the day, while twilight time is the moment for interaction with their fellow congeners.

When a Fire-Bellied Toad is approached by a predator, they show a unique defence mechanism, they flip on their back and show off their strikingly coloured belly. The bright color of the belly warns the agitator of the existence of toxic chemicals in the skin of this cute frog.

Fire-Bellied Toads prey upon terrestrial as well as aquatic invertebrates, such as worms, molluscs, insects, Gastropoda and aquatic arthropods. It is due to the beta-carotene in these arthropods that the belly of the Fire-Bellied Toads is brightly colored.

Fire-Bellied Toads inhabit streams, rice fields, swampy wetlands, puddles but also forests and open meadows. After hibernation, Fire-Bellied Toads migrate towards the breeding locations where they spend most of their time floating in the shallow water. Males usually migrate first, and as soon as the females arrive, they start continuously performing their mating call (oop-oop-oop) to attract the females. Since there's an abundance of males, they have to compete to get hold of a female. While mating, Fire-Bellied Toads perform an intimate embrace, called the amplexus. During the breeding season, males develop black nuptial (mating) pads on their fingers and on the inner surface of their forearms, which help them cling to the females.

Fire-Bellied Toad females generally deposit clusters of up to 45 eggs. Females produce 3 - 5 of these egg clusters which can lead to a total clutch size between 100-250 eggs.

The temperatures in the habitat of Bombina orientalis varies between the regions but also depending on the season. Average temperatures in spring are about 60-68°F or 15-20°C, while the summer months reach temperatures of 60°F or 25°C up to 86°F or 30°C. During autumn and winter, temperatures often go below 50°F or 10°C.

Bombina orientalis

In the Terrarium

Because Fire-Bellied Toads mostly inhabit the riparian zone, it is best to offer them an aqua-terrarium or paludarium, this suits their semi-aquatic lifestyle best.

A paludarium is a semi-aquatic terrarium habitat that replicates a rainforest, swamp or stream and can harbour aquatic as well as terrestrial animal and plant species. The bottom part has an extra high front bottom glass, providing a higher water level and an increased water volume compared to common terrariums. This enables you to incorporate a substantial water part or aquarium section which allows you to keep aquatic animals and plants adjacent to the land or terrarium section. A part of the aquatic section can consist of a false bottom to support the land section, accommodate and hide the aquatic appliances like filters, pumps and water heaters and can double as a biological filtration media.

Fire-Bellied Toads have a docile nature and can best be housed in small groups of 4-8 animals. The interaction between the animals in these small groups increases the viewing pleasure but also stimulates their mating behavior.

Dendrobates auratus

Terrarium

Exo Terra® Natural Terrariums are designed by European herpetologists and offer several housing options for Fire-Bellied Toads. These glass terrariums feature front opening doors, allowing easy access for maintenance and feeding and a unique double ventilation system with full screen stainless steel top.

The Exo Terra® Frog Terrariums even come with a built-in drain and tap valve which allow you to easily drain out excess spray water. The single front opening door allows maximum viewing pleasure and provides easy access for maintenance and feeding. A push-button lock keeps the terrarium secure and can even be outfitted with an optional lock to prevent unwanted opening. The hinged cover can be locked and unlocked with a single button and can be fully opened. A clear glass panel in the front ensures maximum visible light penetration and a stainless-steel ventilation strip in the back guarantees optimal ventilation. The patented dual ventilation system keeps the single front glass door free of condensation, even in humid conditions. It creates a natural upward flow of air to ensure optimal and healthy conditions. Excess heat is dissipated through the top mesh and prevents heat from accumulating, creating temperature gradients in the terrarium. The screen mesh allows UV and infrared penetration when these bulbs are required. Four self-closing inlets for wire/tubing in the back facilitate the installation of powered accessories like waterfall pumps, filters, the Exo Terra®'s Monsoon, etc. The inside front of the lid has a Monsoon Nozzle mounting point on each side of the terrarium. The bottom part of the terrarium is waterproof once the tubing, elbow-connector and tap valve are connected to the drain. The drain allows hassle free water changes and excess water removal.

The Exo Terra® Frog Terrariums can be set up as a bioactive habitat for dart frogs, smaller tree & reed frogs, newts and salamanders, small geckoes & lizards, garter & grass snakes, etc.

Exo Terra®’s Terrariums are ideal for small groups of Fire-Bellied Toads:

RECOMMENDED TERRARIUMS
Animals
(WxDxH)
(WxDxH)
up to 4 Frogs
45 x 45 x 45 cm
18” x 18” x 18”
up to 4 Frogs
45 x 45 x 45 cm
18” x 18” x 18”
up to 4 Frogs
45 x 45 x 60 cm
18” x 18” x 24”
up to 4-6 Frogs
60 x 45 x 45 cm
24” x 18” x 18”
up to 8-10 Frogs
90 x 45 x 45 cm
36” x 18” x 18"

The set-up can be a simple “sterile-type” set-up with 2-8 inches (5-20 cm) of water and a Turtle Bank, Turtle Island and/or Turtle Cliff (aqua-terrarium filter) and some aquatic plants mimicking a rice field, or you can provide a more natural, bio-active type set-up with a separate land and water part by using the Bio Drain system mimicking a lakeshore or riverbank.

DISCLAIMER In regards to the pet species and number of specimens to be kept in a terrarium, always comply with the species specific Rules and Regulations in your Country of residence.

DISCLAIMER The terrarium should be placed in a room receiving only indirect light from windows. Do not place the Terrarium near a window where it can receive direct sunlight, as this could cause the terrarium to overheat and stress or kill your Frogs.

Lighting

Fire-Bellied Toads are mainly diurnal and a 12-hour day/night cycle will benefit your frogs and stimulate live plant growth. The Exo Terra® TerraSky Planted Terrarium Light is ideal for planted setups, paludariums and bioactive terrariums. The high intensity and enhanced penetration ensure that the light reaches all layers of the terrarium, resulting in sustained lush plant growth. Orchids, Bromeliads, Tillandsias (air plants), carnivorous plants, mosses and lichen all thrive under the TerraSky Planted Terrarium Light’s strong Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR). The 120-degree light dispersion provides a nice even illumination and covers the complete area to avoid dark spots.

Providing UV-lighting is not absolutely necessary, but we do recommend the use of our Reptile UVB100. The low levels of UVB-rays produced by these bulbs are beneficial for the animal's overall health while the UVA rays stimulate appetite, activity and reproductive behavior.

Heating

Fire-Bellied Toads thrive at above average room temperatures of (75-80°F / 24-27°C) during the day, with a drop of 10°F or 5°C at night. If the temperature in your room is at the lower end of the temperature optimum, a Turtle Heater is ideal to increase the water temperature. An additional basking area isn’t a must, but if provided, your Fire-Bellied Toads will enjoy the warm spot to thermoregulate their body temperature. An Exo Terra® Light Dome or Reptile Dome with Light Bracket and a Daylight Basking Spot, Halogen Basking Spot or Swamp Basking Spot will provide them with a perfect temperature gradient during daytime. The Night Heat Lamp can be used for 24-hour heating if it's used in combination with a light emitting bulb during the day. Refer to the charts in the Lighting section to select the right bulb wattage. An Exo Terra® Heat Mat can also be used if applied to one side of the terrarium, creating a temperature gradient. Do not apply the Heat Mat under the terrarium, as this will dry out the substrate rather quickly. Use 2 Digital or Analog Exo Terra® Terrarium Thermometers, place one in the warm and one in the cooler side of the Terrarium, this allows you to keep a keen eye on matching the preferred temperature gradients. The Heat Lamp or Heat Mat wattage may need to be adjusted depending on the ambient room temperature and the terrarium type used. To ensure the perfect ambient temperature for your Frogs, an Exo Terra® Thermostat can be used (see Monitoring section).

Monitoring

During the day, an average relative humidity of 55-65% and terrarium temperature of 75-80°F or 24-27°C should be maintained. At night, humidity should rise up to about 75-85% while the terrarium temperature can drop down 10°F or 5°C. Use the Exo Terra® Digital or Analog Thermometers and Hygrometers to help you monitor the terrarium conditions and adjust the temperature and relative humidity to meet the needs of the animals.

For more security and peace of mind, the Exo Terra® Thermostats or Thermostat & Hygrostat will help to prevent overheating and undercooling during hot summer days or cold winter nights. Apart from the temperature, the Exo Terra® Thermostat & Hygrostat will also keep the humidity at the desired level, if used in combination with an Exo Terra® Humidifier or Fogger. With the Exo Terra® Thermostats or Thermostat & Hygrostat, you can create a well-controlled heating/humidifying system that allows you to maintain the required temperature and/or humidity conditions similar to those found in your animal's environment.

Substrates

Fire-Bellied Toads thrive well in a paludarium setup. The Paludarium’s living space consists of 3 distinct zones:
Terrestrial Zone The terrestrial zone is a land area with plants, trees, bushes and rocks that never submerge. In tropical climates, a variety of invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians occur here.
Riparian Zone The riparian zone or riverbank is the interface between land and water. It is inhabited by semi-aquatic reptiles and amphibians.
Aquatic Zone The aquatic zone can be a stream, pond or even lake – home to turtles, aquatic amphibians, fishes and freshwater shrimps.

To create the Terrestrial and Riparian Zone, you can use Bio Drain Substrate with a Bio Drain Mesh, topped with Exo Terra® Sub Stratum or Plantation Soil covered with leaf litter and/or sphagnum moss. The non-toxic Bio Drain mesh will keep the underlying Bio Drain Draining Substrate separated from the decorative top-layer substrate. It will prevent substrate particles from contaminating the water while still allowing proper water drainage. In combination with the Bio Drain Substrate, you can create water parts and a biological filtration system in the terrarium. The clean terrarium water can then be circulated in Waterfalls, Cascades or Dripping Plants. In the Terrestrial Zone, you can build your decorative layer with plants, branches, lianas, rocks, hides, etc. The actual substrate layer that will be used for planting can consist of a mixture of Exo Terra® Sub Stratum with Exo Terra® Plantation Soil. The Riparian Zone remains somewhat open, with some smaller pebbles, or flat wood or stone pieces that allow easy access to the Aquatic Zone. For the Aquatic Zone, Turtle Pebbles are a great choice as their dimensions are big enough to avoid being swallowed by the frogs, but offer a stable substrate and are easy to clean.

The Exo Terra® Sub Stratum is a natural volcanic soil with live beneficial bacteria. The porous surface and low-density structure allow for excellent drainage and aeration, but it also promotes a flourishing population of beneficial, nitrifying bacteria, creating a self-sustaining, living terrarium ecosystem. The active beneficial bacteria of the soil will decompose biological waste, keeping the terrarium clean and healthy.

The Exo Terra® Plantation Soil is a 100% natural, biodegradable terrarium substrate made from sustainable, ground coconut husk fiber grown on plantations in tropical Asia. The unique hygroscopic properties of this ecological substrate regulate the terrarium’s humidity in a natural way and is totally safe for frogs, salamanders and other burrowing or digging animals. The unique coir pith used for the Exo Terra® Plantation Soil consists of a mixture of short fibers and coco-peat grain sizes ranging from coarse granules to fine clumps resulting in improved soil drainage and aeration. The improved aeration of the substrate promotes the cultivation of healthy waste-reducing organisms keeping your terrarium fresh and clean.

The substrate should be kept moist, but not soaking wet, at all times. Make sure to offer different gradients of moisture inside the terrarium. Some parts can be kept rather moist while other parts should be kept somewhat drier.

The Exo Terra® substrates will help maintain the substrate moisture at an optimal level. Providing a top layer of Exo Terra® Leaf Litter or Forest Moss will also facilitate the substrate's moisture retention and prevent it from drying out. The Leaf Litter or Forest Moss also provides hiding spots for the reptiles and amphibians foraging the forest floor and at the same time, facilitate the natural ecosystem where beneficial organisms will break down waste products and thus reduce odors.

The secret to growing healthy plants begins with the soil. Naturally, healthy soil contains living microorganisms — from bacteria to fungi, protozoa and arthropods. Together, they form a choreographed exchange from the recycling of nutrients to the decomposition of organic materials.

Plants

The land part of the terrarium can partially be decorated with live and/or Exo Terra® artificial or smart plants. Live plants and moss will contribute to the filtration capacities of your terrarium. This type of setup allows you to create an effective filtration system, mirroring the process of natural biological filtration. A fully functioning aqua-terrarium or paludarium will provide a constant source of clean water, which is imperative to keep semi-aquatic species. It is basically a small, closed ecosystem.

DISCLAIMER Make sure the plants have no pests before introduction and rinse leaves thoroughly to remove any pesticide residues.

Exo Terra® offers a wide range of artificial plant with the same advantages as live plants; they're decorative, they provide shade, and they create hiding spots and visual barriers to let your reptiles and amphibians experience an increased feeling of safety and reduced stress. Exo Terra®'s artificial plants are exact copies of their natural counterparts to blend in well with live plants but are much easier to maintain. A combination of live plants and Exo Terra's artificial plants allows you to fully plant a terrarium, even in the hottest or driest parts.

Exo Terra®'s Bromeliad's and Ground Cover Plants are easy to clean & maintain, while the weighted base allows you to easily position the plant after maintenance.

Hide Outs

Apart from supplying a thick top layer of Exo Terra® Leaf Litter or Forest Moss, adding some Exo Terra® Ground Cover Plants in the terrarium will also help to provide visual barriers. An additional decorative hide like the Exo Terra® Reptile Cave or an Exo Terra® Skull type hide will add even more privacy to your frog's habitat.

The Exo Terra® Coconut Cave is the perfect hiding place for your Fire-Bellied toads. In a constantly moist environment, its irregular surface will slowly start to overgrow with moss, adding to the natural look of the cave.

Decor

Landscaping a terrarium will not only encourage the frog's activity and exploratory behavior, but also provide extra cover which increases the frog's sense of security and reduces its stress levels.

Next to the necessary items like leaf litter, plants and hide-outs, the terrarium can be “beautified” with some additional decor items. However, care needs to be given to not over clutter the open space in the terrarium.

Exo Terra® offers a wide variety of innovative decor items like Skulls, Waterfalls, Ground Cover Plants, etc. - all of which add personalizing accents, environment enrichment and features.

Waterfalls and Cascades add aesthetic appeal and will help oxygenate and biologically filter the water. Exo Terra® offers a variety of decor items for both the land as the water part of your Fire-Bellied Toad’s Terrarium including Turtle Bank, Turtle Cliff, Turtle Grass, Hides & Caves in various forms, etc.

Nutrition

Fire-Bellied toads are insectivorous and only recognise live prey – meaning they will only feed on live insects such as crickets, mealworms, wax worms, earthworms, or similar food items. You can also feed them canned or vacuum-packed insects if you use tweezers to make these insects appear to be alive. Just hold the insect in front of the frog and wiggle it so it appears to be moving. Loosen the tweezers as soon as the frog grabs the insect. Exo Terra® Canned or Vacuum-Packed insects can be fed right out of the can/pouch as these insects are well fed and vitamin-calcium coated. The retorting process of the canned/vacuum packed insects also softens the exoskeleton of the insects for easier digestion and breaks the bonds between the collagen protein to make it absorbable by reptiles. Collagen is an important fiber that aids in building bone, cartilage, skin and claw structures. The Canned or Vacuum-Packed insects have the same nutritional value as live insects but are easier to digest. Exo Terra® offers a wide range of canned and vacuum-packed insects. Visit our canned and vacuum-packed insects webpage for more information.

If available, they will also eat the occasional small guppy or other fish that reside in the water part.

If you feed live insects, do not forget to gut-load them prior to feeding them to your Fire-Bellied Toads. Always lightly dust live feeder insects with a 1:1 vitamin-mineral supplement blend like Exo Terra® Multi Vitamin and Calcium + D3 to keep your Fire-Bellied Toads healthy and happy.

Feed juveniles daily, and adults every second or third day.

Water

Because of their semi-aquatic lifestyle, extra attention must be paid to the water quality. Always treat tap water with Aquatize to remove harmful heavy metals, chlorine and chloramines, necessary to provide safe healthy water for your captive reptiles and amphibians. In a bio-active set-up, you can use Turtle Clean (PT1998) to add beneficial organisms to the terrarium water and speed up the biological filtration capabilities. Liquid Electrolyte and Calcium can be added to the water to support healthy bone and muscle growth in your frogs and especially tadpoles.

The average humidity should be kept between 55-65% with peaks of 75-85% in the morning and evening (when the terrarium is sprayed/misted), similar to what these frogs experience in nature. The Exo Terra® Monsoon is a handy device to guarantee that your frog terrarium is sprayed at a set time every day. The Exo Terra® Humidifier can help maintain the correct relative humidity in the terrarium, especially if used in combination with the Exo Terra® Thermostat & Hygrostat. Although a somewhat higher humidity is mandatory, ventilation is required to avoid the growth of fungus and rotting of plants. The patented dual ventilation system of the Exo Terra® Dart Frog Terrarium provides the ideal amount of ventilation, without compromising the required relative humidity.

Maintenance

Land area;
Spot-clean your Fire-Bellied Toad’s enclosure once a week or more if necessary; remove fresh or dried faeces, dead insects, etc. For a more thorough cleaning, remove all the decor pieces and clean these with warm water. Always keep a keen eye on the substrate; as long as the substrate is not degrading or does not have a foul odor, the spot cleaning process is sufficient. Once the substrate starts to degrade or spreads a foul odor, it needs to be replaced completely.

Water part;
When using a water circulation pump or filter, it is best to clean the water inlet and filter media every 2-3 weeks to ensure optimal performance. Water changes should be performed on a bi-weekly basis; remove about ¼ to ⅓ of the water and replace it with fresh water of the appropriate temperature. Partial water changes can help to remove toxic substances or improve the overall water quality. Unless really necessary, make sure to never perform entire water changes, as this will also remove beneficial bacteria and organisms. Always treat tap water with Aquatize to remove harmful heavy metals, chlorine and chloramines when performing water changes. Use Turtle Clean (PT 1998) to assure that the beneficial organisms in the terrarium water remain at an ideal level to keep the biological filtration system performing well.

Breeding

Fire-Bellied Toads are rather easy to breed. Often, the seasonal temperature fluctuations and the increasing light cycle in the room during spring will be sufficient to start the frog’s breeding behaviour. But if you would like to increase your breeding success, lower the temperatures to 65°F (18°C) for about 1-2 months during winter while at the same time reducing the light cycle to 8-10 hours a day. When increasing the temperatures after a 1-2 month cooler period, and simultaneously increasing the light cycle to 12 hours daily, the males will start their mating call (a vocal repertoire that resembles a young dog barking) to attract the Bombina females. The mating call and amplexus mostly occur during the evening hours.

The female frogs will deposit roughly 70-200 eggs that adhere to all kinds of surfaces, plants, rocks, branches and driftwood, etc. The tadpoles will hatch after 3-4 days but will still remain motionless and not feeding for another 2-3 days. Once the tadpoles start swimming, they will also start feeding on frog & tadpole food, dead insects, chopped earthworms, fish food flakes, algae, plants, etc. It takes the tadpoles approximately 1-2 months to fully metamorphose into air-breathing amphibians. In this stage, it is critical to provide the metamorphosing tadpoles with sufficient plants, branches or a smooth levelled riverbank so they have easy access to the land area.

The newly-emerged frogs will absorb the remnants of their tail for the next few days and will start feeding on food items of appropriate size like fruit flies, freshly hatched crickets, bloodworm, hatchling waxworms, flour moth larvae, etc., once the tail is completely assimilated. As with adults, always dust your feeder insects with a 1:1 mix of Exo Terra® Multivitamin and Calcium +D3 powder supplement. The freshly metamorphosed frogs can be raised under similar conditions as used for the adult frogs, just make sure the water isn’t too deep, and there are slopes available so the frogs can easily climb onto land areas.

Handling

Although Fire-Bellied Toads tolerate moderate handling very well; for the well-being of the frogs however, we do not recommend excessive handling. Like most amphibians, Fire-bellied toads have a very sensitive skin, and are especially sensitive to chemicals like soap, lotion, etc. so make sure to always thoroughly wash and rinse your hands with warm water before and after handling any amphibian.

Every amphibian’s skin contains very mildly toxic substances that can irritate eyes or open wounds so always thoroughly wash and rinse your hands with warm water before and after handling any amphibian. If you accidentally touch your eyes while handling an amphibian, you might experience a somewhat burning sensation. Should this happen, make sure to rinse your eyes immediately and thoroughly with water, that should relieve the burning sensation immediately.

DISCLAIMER Always make sure to thoroughly wash and rinse your hands with warm water before and after handling any reptile, amphibian or invertebrate.

Bombina orientalis

Conclusion

Fire-Bellied Toads are hardy, long-lived and “easy-to-care-for”, making them an ideal beginner’s animal. In a well-decorated planted terrarium, Fire-Bellied Toads make great display animals. Their semi-aquatic lifestyle, their exposure of belly colors as they float at the water surface, and their somewhat clumsy “amusing” motions make them appealing display animals for both the beginning reptile enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist.

Bombina orientalis

Did You Know?

Fire-Bellied Toads are very common in their native countries, that is why they have the IUCN predicate conservation status: LC “Least Concern”. Fire-Bellied Toads are also abundantly available as captive bred specimen.

When a Fire-Bellied Toad senses danger, they flip on their back and show off their strikingly coloured belly as a warning to the agitator. This tactic is called the "unkenreflex", named after the German word for Fire-Bellied Toads.

Fire-Bellied Toad’s mild toxicity works as a defense mechanism against predators, but also prevents bacterial and fungal infection.

Since Fire-Bellied Toads cannot extend their tongue like most frogs and toads can, they have to leap forward to grab the prey with their mouth.

Fire-Bellied Toads will use their front legs to stuff food into their mouth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Fire-Bellied Toads the right choice for me?

Fire-Bellied Toads are great animals; they are beautiful, hardy, long-lived and “easy-to-care-for”. Fire-Bellied Toads make great display animals, especially if housed in a well decorated, planted terrarium. Their semi-aquatic lifestyle, their exposure of belly colors as they float at the water surface, and their somewhat clumsy “amusing” motions make them appealing animals for both the beginning reptile enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist.

Can I feed my Fire-Bellied Toads wild caught insects?

We do not recommend feeding wild caught insects as these can harbor harmful bacteria. They may also have come in contact with gardening chemicals, making them poisonous for your Frogs.

Should I feed a variety of food items to my Fire-Bellied Toads or can I stick to just 1 type feeder insect?

Bring as much as possible variation in your Fire-Bellied Toad's diet to make sure that your frog receives all possible essential nutrients. With Exo Terra's Canned or Vacuum-Packed insects it's easy to offer a wide variety to make sure that your frogs receive all the nutrients they need. The Canned and Vacuum-Packed insects have the same nutritional value as live insects but are easier to digest.

Can I keep other amphibians and reptiles together with my Fire-Bellied Toads?

We generally don’t recommend housing different species together. But if you choose to do so, Fire-Bellied Toads have been housed together successfully with certain species, like green or brown anoles, small day geckos and long-tailed lizards, because these reptiles occupy a different ecological niche in the terrarium.

Are Fire-Bellied Toads poisonous?

Fire-Bellied Toad’s mild toxicity works as a defense mechanism against predators, but also prevents bacterial and fungal infection. Every amphibian’s skin contains very mildly toxic substances that can irritate eyes or open wounds so always thoroughly wash and rinse your hands with warm water before and after handling any amphibian. If you accidentally touch your eyes while handling an amphibian, you might experience a somewhat burning sensation. Should this happen, make sure to rinse your eyes immediately and thoroughly with water, that should relief the burning sensation immediately.

Bombina orientalis

Other species

Phyllomedusa sauvagii

Phyllomedusa sauvagii

Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs are native to the South American rainforests, humid montane forests, and dry forests in the Chacoan region of eastern Bolivia, northern Paraguay, Mato Grosso do Sul of central Brazil, and Northern Argentina. They primarily prefer moist and semi-moist forest habitats but can also cope with drier environments.

They are sometimes referred to as Chacoan Monkey Leaf Frogs as well, because of the Chaco Region they originate from, and because the females lay their eggs on leaves suspended over water, which they then fold to hide the eggs and protect them from drying out.

Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs are hardy, long-lived, docile and “easy-to-care-for” amphibians. Their engaging personalities, their waxy green skin, their adorable smile and big golden eyes make them appealing display animals for both the beginning reptile enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist.

Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs are very tranquil and get accustomed to handling by their caretaker fairly easily. For the well-being of the frogs, however, we do not recommend excessive handling. Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs can be kept individually or in small groups of 2 - 8 animals. The interaction between the animals in these small groups increases the viewing pleasure but also stimulates their mating behavior.

Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs have been captive bred in the USA and Europe for more than 25 years.

Hyla cinerea (Dryophytes cinereus)

Hyla cinerea (Dryophytes cinereus)

American Green Tree Frogs are native to the Southeastern United States roughly from Eastern Virginia to Florida in the East and from Central Texas all the way to the West. There's also records of introduced populations in Puerto Rico and even some invasive American Green Tree Frogs have been noticed in Hawaii.

They can be primarily found around lakes, ponds, swamps, streams and in wetlands. They prefer habitats with floating vegetation, reeds & grasses, and shrubs with branches overgrowing the riparian zone. American Green Tree Frogs easily adapt to various habitats and can be found in urban environments, like garden ponds in private gardens, hotel gardens and industrial complexes.

American Green Tree Frogs are hardy, long-lived and “easy-to-care-for” amphibians. Their engaging personalities, their bright yellow-green back and cream-white lateral stripe running from just under their big golden eyes all the way to their groin, make them appealing display animals for both the beginning reptile enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist.

American Green Tree Frogs are a fairly social species and are best enjoyed when kept in small groups of 4 to 8 animals. The interaction between the animals in these small groups increases the viewing pleasure but also stimulates their mating behavior.

The American Green Tree Frog has been successfully bred in Europe and the USA for decades. American Green Tree Frogs are available as wild-caught specimen as well as captive-bred. We do recommend starting with captive-bred specimen, so you know their age and can rest assured that the youngsters are healthy.

Dendrobates auratus from Taboga Island, Panama - by J.A. Hernandez

Dendrobates auratus

The green-and-black poison dart frog, or Dendrobates auratus, is a captivating amphibian native to southeastern Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and northwestern Colombia. Recognizable for its long lifespan, the species is also notable for being relatively easy to care for, making it an appealing choice for hobbyists and researchers alike.

Its vivid mint-green base coloration punctuated with black splotches sets it apart visually. However, this species displays a fascinating trait known as color polymorphism. Individuals can exhibit varying shades, with base colors ranging from green to blue, yellow, and even white. The darker splotches, a characteristic signature of the species, vary from bronze to black.

Just like other poison dart frogs, their bright colors serve a crucial evolutionary purpose. They exhibit aposematic coloration, wherein the vibrant hues deter potential predators by signaling the frog's toxic nature, discouraging them from considering the frog as prey.

Primarily terrestrial, green-and-black poison dart frogs are bottom dwellers, spending most of their time navigating through the leaf litter blanketing the forest floor. However, they frequently venture upwards, climbing vines and trees in their tropical habitats.

These frogs are attractive display animals for beginner and advanced amphibian enthusiasts. Their stunning coloration, coupled with their relative ease of care, make them popular choices for terrarium inhabitants. They are best kept as pairs or in groups with most males, as females may exhibit aggressive behavior towards each other when vying for a specific male's attention.

Initially, these creatures may exhibit shy behavior. However, when housed in a well-planted terrarium offering plenty of hiding spots, they quickly become more active, adding a dynamic element to their display. With their intriguing behaviors, rich color variation, and their adaptability, Dendrobates auratus offer a unique glimpse into the vibrant world of amphibians.

Chamaeleo calyptratus

Chamaeleo calyptratus

Veiled Chameleons or Yemen Chameleons are native to Yemen and Saudi Arabia. There are also introduced populations in Hawaii (thought to be eradicated but still persisting), California and SE and SW Florida, USA. They primarily prefer montane subtropical to tropical vegetation in the deep valleys (called wadis), in the Hijaz Mountains in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Since Yemen is suffering for over a decade of war and is not an easy country to travel to, or to export animals from, it is amazing how this species was established so well in the hobby. One of the first to study this species in nature, as well as establish the captive husbandry guidelines, was the world-renowned herpetologist Petr Necas. He bred tens of thousands of Veiled Chameleons and introduced these to the hobbyists in Europe and the USA. In the meantime, this species has become not only the most readily available chameleon, but also one of the more popular reptile species in general. Due to selective breeding, there are "bloodline" variations of the Veiled Chameleon available that show more yellow/orange or bluer and there's even a partially leucistic color morph available (called translucent in the USA).

Correlophus ciliatus

Correlophus ciliatus

Crested Geckos (Correlophus ciliatus) are native to the islands of New Caledonia in the southern Pacific Ocean. These Crested Geckos, or Eyelash geckos, get their common names from the distinctive rows of spikes that run over their eyes and down the sides of their heads.

Thought to be extinct for many years, they were rediscovered in 1994, and several animals were brought to Europe and the United States. Soon thereafter, they proved to be very prolific in terrarium. Due to their beauty, easy manageable size, calm temperament, and ease of care in terrarium, these geckos have become one of the most popular reptiles kept as pets.

“One of the great accomplishments of herpetoculturists,” says Philippe de Vosjoli, “was to establish the New Caledonian Crested Gecko in captivity. Twenty years ago, this species was known by hobbyists only in the form of photographs of preserved museum specimens.”

Furcifer pardalis

Furcifer pardalis

Panther Chameleons are native to Madagascar, but have also been introduced to Réunion Island somewhere between 1750 and 1836. They were first brought to Réunion by sailors who left them at the landing port of the island during that era, which was in the vicinity of Saint Paul. The Panther Chameleons thrived and over time, they spread to various parts of the Island. There have also been sightings of Furcifer pardalis on Mauritius Island, but these populations are expected to have been introduced quite recently.

They primarily prefer warm and humid lowland coastal forests, rainforest canopies, secondary forests, plantations and hotel or home gardens and planted fences.

Ever since the Panther Chameleon was imported in Europe and the USA, starting around 1980, herpetologists and reptile breeders have worked on enhancing the captive husbandry guidelines continuously. For instance, the use of UVB lighting was a game changer and after a decade or two, the Panther Chameleon became well-established in the hobby.

Due to the hardiness, the gentle character and the striking colors, the Panther Chameleon, rapidly became a popular terrarium animal. The Panther Chameleon is currently available, as captive bred animals, in many geographic color morphs.

There's currently a wide array of captive bred, geographic color forms of the Panther Chameleon available from breeders as well as in stores and on reptile shows. There are also color morphs available that have been selectively bred to increase a certain color or color combination by mixing various natural, geographic color forms. Panther Chameleons have now been captive bred in Europe and the USA for more than 30 years.

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