April 22, 2005
Oriental Fire-bellied Toad. Bombina orientalis
Scientific Name: Bombina orientalis
Total Length: 1.25-2.75 inches
Range: Eastern Siberia to northeastern China and Korea. Southeastern Russia.
Habitat: They may be found along small mountain streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and marshes.
Sex Determination: During the mating season, males develop nuptial pads on their inner forearms and first two fingers. Also the males’ forearms are slightly larger and their backs are rougher than the females.
Reproduction: Males have been observed trying to mate with females throughout the year. This activity increases in April and lasts until July.
Care In Captivity:
- Tank Size: A maximum of four toads in a 10 gallon tank would be alright.
- Substrate: We suggest that you use a half land and half water set up (an aqua-terrarium). We did this by separating the land from the water with a piece of plexi-glass. We also used a commercial aqua-terrarium set up called the Viquarium. We set it up on April 3, 1997 and so far it is working great. The substrate that you can have on the land side is gravel or soil. On the water side you can have gravel or no substrate like us. Having no substrate makes the water side much easier to clean.
- Decorations: You can have a log, bark, sticks, rocks, sphagnum moss, and fake plants in the tank. You can use live plants if you like, but you will have to replace them when they die. The water should include something for them to climb out like cork bark or a big fake plant.
- Water: The water should definately have a filter. Depending on the size of the tank will decide on which filter you should use. A bottom filter would probably be best to use but if you have yours in a large tank, a power filter may be better. You should also have a water thermometer.
- Tank Lid: You can have a flip top lid, a screen, or any other type of lid on the tank. There should be good ventilation.
- Heating: You can use a heat rock, a heating pad, or an electric blanket to heat the tank.
- Lighting: No additional lighting is needed but you may use a bulb with ultraviolet radiation if you want.
- Temperature/Humidity: The air temperature should be 68-78 degrees F in the day and reduced slightly at night. In the winter, two months at 37-39 degrees F will stimulate hibernation. Doing this makes them healthier and encourages them to breed. You should have an air thermometer in the tank. The humidity should be high. You can create more humidity by spraying the tank with warm water everyday with a spray bottle. You may use a humidity gauge which will show you how much humidity is in the tank.
- Feeding: The diet should have variety. Feed them crickets, earthworms, flies, moths, spiders, and other small invertebrates. They should all be sprinkled with vitamin and calcium supplements.
- Maintenance: Keep the tank clean and change the filter fiber and ammo-carb in the filter when needed (about every 1.5 months).
Other Information: They are diurnal and nocturnal and they live in groups.
They are very calm for a small frog and are very hardy when their set up is maintained properly.
They like to drift in warm surface water with their legs spread out and body flattened.
When disturbed they jump into the water and dive to the bottom. When threatened on land the adults begin a defensive display called the “unken reflex”. During this display, they stop moving, throw their heads back, and arc their bodies to show the bright color on their stomachs and the bottom of their legs. The toads then give off a relatively poisonous secretion from their skin.
After holding these toads, wash your hands thoroughly to remove toxins that can irritate your eyes.