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Natural History

Fire-bellied toads are small, aquatic frogs with warty skin and bright-colored bellies. Their natural habitat stretches from the Balkan Mountains in Europe to China, Korea, and Thailand. There are currently six fire-bellied toad species in the world. The species of fire-bellied toad most frequently found in the pet trade is the Oriental fire-bellied toad, Bombina orientalis. They generally have green or brown backs with some black markings, and red or orange bellies with black splotches.

In the wild, fire-bellied toads live in mountainous areas, always in or near shallow bodies of cool water. They are active during daylight hours and spend time basking in sunlight both on land and when floating on the surface of the water. Captive fire-bellied toads can live for over 10 years, but their wild counterparts generally die younger, due mainly to predators and disease.

Fire-bellied toads are predators, eating just about anything that moves and is small enough for them to consume, such as insects, spiders, worms, shrimp, smaller frogs and tadpoles, and tiny fish. These toads don’t technically hibernate, but they do become inactive during cold winter months. In the spring, they mate and lay eggs.

For more information, read Quick & Easy Fire-Bellied Toad Care (T.F.H. Publications, Inc.).

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