(Scientific Name): Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina orientalis)
Range and Habitat: As you would probably expect, Oriental Fire-bellied
toads live in and around ponds and other moist, inland areas.
As their name suggests, they live in East Asia, especially China
Description: Fire-bellied Toads are easy to recognize. They
can be distinguished by their green or brown dorsal side and
their orange or red ventral side (hence the name, "fire-bellied").
Both sides of their bodies are covered with black spots. These
toads can grow to be as long as 2 3/8 in. (6 cm).
It's almost impossible to tell the difference between males
and females. Sometimes it's even hard for the toads to tell
the difference. But, there are ways to tell the difference.
First of all, males tend to have rougher skin on their backs.
Second, the forearms of the male are thicker than those of the
female. Third, only the males croak. Croaking is mostly used
during mating season.
Diet: I can sum this up in one word: BUGS! The diet of a Fire-bellied
Toad consists mostly of small insects.
Predators: While swimming lazily through the pond, Fire-bellied
toads have to watch out for birds and larger pond-dwellers.
Lifespan: Fire-bellied toads can live for up to 30 years.
Breeding and Reproduction: When the toads are ready to reproduce,
the males start croaking in order to attract a female. When
the male finds himself a female, he climbs on her back and
fertilizes her eggs. Sometimes the male will accidentally
hop onto another male, and will be "told" to get
off. Aren't you glad we don't make that mistake. After fertilization,
the female lays between 40 and 70 eggs at one time. The eggs
hatch after 8 days.
By the way: The toads mainly use their skin color for protection.
Their green side helps them to blend in with their surroundings.
If the toad is caught in the open, it flips onto its back
and shows its red belly to the predator, warning the predator
that it's poisonous. As you've probably guessed, the fire-bellied
toad spends most its time in the water. However, before winter,
it will usually burrow into the mud and hibernate for the