Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina orientalis)

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Oriental Fire-bellied Toad
Bombina orientalis
Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina orientalis)
Name Oriental Fire-bellied Toad
Name Lat. Bombina orientalis
Family Fire-bellied Toads
Family lat. Bombinatoridae
Order Frogs & Toads
Order lat. Anura
Origin East Asia
Habitat Wetlands
Diet Small live insects
Humidity 70-80 %
Behavior Predatory
Keeping Pair, group
Care Level Easy
Breeding Simple
Housing Aquaterrarium
Life Span 8-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 6 cm
Temperature 20-28 °C
Housing Size 50 x 30 x 50 cm
US Units
Size 2.4"
Temperature 68-82 °F
Housing Size 20" x 10" x 20"

Distribution and habitat

The mostly diurnal to crepuscular fire-bellied toads live in northeastern China and Korea, where they inhabit lowlands up to a maximum elevation of 500 meters. They prefer the vicinity of standing or flowing waters, such as streams, shallow pools and ditches.


For 1-3 animals, the minimum area of the terrarium is 1,500 cm², 2/3 of which is the water part, with a minimum effective height (measured without substrate) of 40 cm. This corresponds to a terrarium with a base area of e.g. 50 x 30 cm. For each additional animal, an additional 300 cm² of space should be provided. The terrarium should be placed in a quiet place without sunlight. The semi-aquatic animals need a terrarium with climbing branches, rock crevices, structured back and side walls (hiding places) as well as shade giving plants (Tradescantia, Ficus, Bromeliads). Potted plants that can be easily removed for cleaning are advantageous. The substrate must be loose, absorbent, non-rotting substrate such as a sand-peat-clean soil mixture or coconut fiber, and drainage to prevent siltation. They also need a planted water basin at least 10 cm deep with an air vent. The water quality must be that required for the average keeping of freshwater fish. At least twice a day, the inside of the terrarium must be finely sprayed with water (humidity), but a rain or mist system is better.

Temp. day: 20-28 °C Temp. night: 18-20 °C Humidity: approx. 80

The lighting duration must be 10-14 hours depending on the season. Daylight fluorescent tubes with low UV content are ideal. A winter hibernation is recommended, during which the temperature is lowered to 5-8 °C, depending on the origin of the animals.


According to their size, the food supply consists of live springtails, enchytraea, drosophila, ants, spiders, micro crickets, small grasshoppers and crickets. Food should be offered to adult animals 2-3 times per week, young animals must be fed daily. It is important to add minerals and vitamins (carotene!) regularly, e.g. by dusting the feed animals. The quality of the feed animals can be enhanced by feeding overripe fruit and honey water. A varied diet prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

Males are much smaller than females and have dark rutting calluses on the inside of the forearms and first two fingers during the mating season, which females and juveniles lack

Successful breeding requires hibernation as a reproductive trigger. After hibernation, the female ready to spawn is taken in the mating grip (amplexus) by the male and it lays up to 200 eggs singly or as clumps mostly on plants. At 18-21 °C the larvae (tadpoles) hatch after a few days. After about 6-8 weeks the transformation (metamorphosis) is completed and the toad leaves the water

Life expectancy can be 8-10 years.

Species protection

They are specially protected according to the Federal Species Protection Ordinance (BArtSchV). The proof of purchase is the required proof of origin for the animal. Please keep it well!

Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information.


In case of danger, toads turn onto their backs and show their red bellies to predators as a deterrent; in doing so, they can secrete a poisonous skin secretion. After touching a fire bellied toad, hands should be thoroughly cleaned

Prior to purchase, a terrarium should be prepared that meets the species specific needs. Good ventilation without drafts and equipment for measuring temperature and humidity are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and should be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Special attention must be paid to thorough hygiene and impurities must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store


Text: Serena Werle; Image: petdata

Source: ENGELMANN (2006): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Reptilien und Amphibien, Harri Deutsch Verlag; VDA & DGHT (2006): Haltungsrichtlinien für die Haltung von Anuren

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF