Animals

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Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad
Bombina orientalis

 

 

Fascinating Facts

  • Although it is typically referred to as a toad, the Fire-Bellied Toad is not a member of the toad family (Bufonidae.) As such, it may properly be referred to as a frog.

Physical Characteristics

The Oriental fire-bellied toad has a dull brown to bright green back, which is usually dotted with black spots. Its belly is red or orange-red. It has a small round head and large eyes with heart-shaped pupils. The skin on their dorsal side is covered in small tubercles. The pupils of the oriental firebellied toad are triangular or heart-shaped.

When a fire-bellied toad senses danger it arches its body, flashing the brilliant warning spots on its belly. It may even flip itself over to completely reveal its colors. It will hold this pose until the offending animal gets the message and moves on. These bright colors serve as a warning to predators of toxicity. The toxin is secreted through the skin mostly on the hind legs and sometimes the belly in a milky-like substance when this species is disturbed or frightened. This type of warning coloration is known as “aposematic”.

Habitat/Diet

The toad lives in South-eastern Siberia, North-eastern China, and Korea. Their habitats are mountain lakes and ponds from 5,300-10,000 ft above sea level, slow-moving streams and ponds. They eatTadpoles - algae, fungi, and plants, adults - small insects, worms and mollusks.

Social Behavior

Oriental fire-bellied toads have a plaintive, melodious croak that sounds like a clinking bell, “unk-unk”. The toad is aquatic throughout the spring and summer, and then buries itself in soft ground for winter, emerging at the first signs of warm weather in the spring. They are frequently seen living together in social groups. Life span in the wild is between 15-20 years.

Status In The Wild

Listed as least concern. Oriental Fire-bellied toads are one of the most common amphibians in the central part of the range. At the northern margin of its range, the toad is a rare species.

Other

The Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad is currently off exhibit.