Oriental Fire-bellied Toad
The Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina orientalis), is a small semi-aquatic frog species found in Korea, northeastern China and adjacent parts of Russia. An introduced population exists near Beijing. Like other Bombina species, B. orientalis is mostly aquatic, inhabiting warm, humid forested regions. They spend most of their time soaking in shallow pools, among dense vegetation. They are commonly kept as pets.
Oriental Fire-bellied Toads are the most easily recognizable species of Bombina. They are typically a bright colored green with black mottling, but their coat can may also darken to brown and even black depending on the scenery presented. Like other forms of Bombina, the Oriental Fire-bellied Toad has a bright yellow to red ventral region. The skin on their dorsal side is covered in small tubercles. Although it is typically referred to as a toad, the Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad is not a member of the toad family. As such, it may properly be referred to as a frog.
In the wild, this species eats various types of small aquatic arthropods (among other things) from which they obtain Carotene, which helps to color their bellies. In captivity, providing a source of Beta-Carotene (such as carrots) to the prey insects (crickets) early in a frog’s adult stage allows it to develop brighter coloration. Its fecal matter is also a very bright blue color.
Noted for their bright green and black coloration on their backs, and brilliant orange and black on their underside, these bright colors serve as a warning to predators that they are toxic. While not the most toxic of amphibians, regular handling is not recommended (avoid if there are cuts on your hands) and your hands should always be washed thoroughly immediately after touching the frog.
Breeding takes place in the spring with the warming of the weather and 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. Females lay anywhere from 40 to 100 eggs in a large cluster, usually around submerged plants, near the water’s edge. Tadpoles hatch from the eggs in 3-10 days depending on the temperature of the water. The larvae begin to develop legs in 6-8 weeks, and are fully metamorphosed and begin venturing on land in 12-14 weeks.