Fire Belly Toad Care Sheet
Fire Belly Toads (aka Fire-bellied Toads) are the second most popular pet amphibian after the African Dwarf Frog, and one of the most common exotic pets available on the market. They’re great for beginners, being much more hardy than most pet amphibians and far more forgiving of mistakes.
Originating from Europe and temperate parts of Asia, Fire Belly Toads prefer a moderate climate, so heat mats and dedicated basking areas are not necessary. Fire Bellies are also great in groups of two or more to make things more interesting. They’re so easy to raise in large numbers that they’ve proven popular for scientific research as well as in the pet trade – Fire Bellies really do make a perfect choice for your first exotic pet.
Part of the appeal of Fire Belly Toads is undoubtedly their bright colors and active natures. Unlike most toads, Fire Bellies are active during the day, and they will often grab onto anything that moves near them – including hilarious incidents involving other toads kept in the same tank!
The only reason that Fire Belly Toads can afford to be active during the day is because of their amazing coloration. These beautiful creatures have evolved this way to warn predators that they are toxic and not to be eaten, and so they can wander around under the sun without worrying much about anything. When threatened, Fire Bellies will even engage in a fascinating behavior known as Unkenreflex. This involves the toad arching its back and raising its legs, displaying its impressive colors and ensuring it doesn’t become a predator’s dinner.
It should be noted that despite their name and the fact that I keep referring to them as ‘toads’, the Fire Belly Toad is actually a frog. In fact, the name is rightly used for a group of frogs of which there are eight known species. Fire Bellies were only ever known as toads because of their bumpy skin, but now we know the truth.
Only three species of Fire Belly Toad are regularly found in the pet trade, although others do turn up occasionally. The most common is the Oriental Fire Belly Toad (Bombina orientalis), followed by the European Fire Belly Toad (Bombina bombina) and the Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina variegata). They all have similar requirements, but the Oriental Fire Belly Toad is the cheapest and most readily available – ideal for a first-time amphibian owner!
Want all the information you’ll ever need to look after your Fire Belly Toad? Then take a look at our Fire Belly Toad care sheet!