Wild 30 years
Captive 30 years
The oriental fire-bellied toad is a native of Asia and is named for the bright red skin found on its underside which serves to warn predators that they are harmful if consumed.
These amphibians are found near water and live in a range of habitats such as forest, meadows and more.
They are carnivores which will feed on insects.
Oriental fire-bellied toads are considered common but are threatened and declining due to habitat loss, collection for the pet trade and medical trade.
Read on to learn about these amazing amphibians.
The oriental fire-bellied toad is named for the bright red skin found on the underside. This is mottled with black spots. They use these colors to warn predators that they are dangerous to eat. Their red coloration is derived from the pigments that their prey consumes.
Across the back they are colored a bright green with patches of black across it. While on a contrasting background they appear bright these animals blend in well with their habitat. This allows them to stay safe against predators.
They have a triangular pupil in the center of the eye.
Males have a nuptial pad on the first and second finger to assist during mating.
An average oriental fire-bellied toad will measure 4-5cm (1.6-2in) long. Females tend to be larger than males.
The oriental fire-bellied toad is a carnivore which feeds almost entirely of invertebrates including insects, molluscs and worms.
Asia is the native home of the oriental fire-bellied toad. They are found in China; Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Republic of Korea and Russia.
An invasive population of the species has established in Florida in the United States.
They have been introduced to regions in China where they did not previously occur.
Oriental fire-bellied toads are found in forests, open meadows, river valleys and swampy bush land. They have shown an ability to live in modified habitats.
They are found near bodies of water including but not limited to streams, springs, swamps, pools, ditches and paddy fields. The water they live in may be both stagnant or running water.
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Breeding occurs during summer (May to mid-August) when the males will call to attract a mate. They sit in shallow water and will call with a bark like sound to attract a mate. At breeding sites there are often more males than females.
Females will deposit their eggs after mating. Each female produces a total of 40-250 eggs across each breeding season in smaller groups of 3 to 50 eggs. These are deposited under a rock.
The eggs will hatch within 3 to 10 days of hatching.
These spend 2 months developing as a larvae and complete their metamorphosis from August to September. As a larvae they will feed on algae, fungi, plants and tiny invertebrates.
Sexual maturity is reached at two years old.
During cold periods from September to late April they will undertake a period of hibernation. This occurs on land within a rotting tree and under heaps of leaves and stones. They may gather in groups of 1-6 individuals to conduct this.
These animals are highly aquatic spending much of their time in the water.
Predators and Threats
Despite many methods of defense against predation the oriental fire-bellied toad is still taken by birds and snakes which appear to be able to eat them without ill effect.
From their skin the oriental fire-bellied toad will secrete a milky liquid which irritates the mouth and eyes of predators to prevent them being eaten.
If threatened they will flip their body over and lie on their back exposing the underside to show off those bright warning colors that warn of this chemical weapon.
Humans are affecting the population of the oriental fire-bellied toad from habitat loss and degradation such as logging. Development within their habitat has increased the threat of pollution. In some areas pollution has led to them growing additional limbs.
Some collection of the species will occur to supply the traditional medicine trade and the pet trade internationally.
While currently considered common across its range the oriental fire-bellied toad is decreasing in number.
The oriental fire-bellied toad has become popular within the pet trade.
Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Jarek Tuszyński / CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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