for Your New Fire-Bellied Toad
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You keep most toads over dry land. Fire-belly toads live life on the edge -- of the water.
Origins: Fire-bellied TOADs (which should be treated like frogs) originally came from China. They now come from commercial farms in Singapore.
Appeal: Their bright green backs and brighter than fire red belly make these a very good looking toad. Most toads border on drab at best (if not downright ugly). Red in nature usually means Danger -- Do Not Eat.
Size: Adult fire-belly toads max out at two inches. This makes them ideal for the small amphibian terrarium. Do not mix them with larger frogs. They taste nasty, but larger frogs will eat them anyway.
Landing Ramps: Provide sloping rocks or wood to give your fire-belly toads easy access to and egress from the water. Light colored rocks cause their green color to brighten. They darken up when resting on brown wood.
Loafing Areas: A mass of floating plants provides good places for these friendly little toads to hang. Fire-belly toads also climb up on those artificial lily pads.
Hiding Places: Fire-belly toads want to hide once in a while. Give them more than one place to hide, or they all pile up together.
Submerged Caves: Provide hollows under water for breeding toads to use as egg-laying sites. They like to spend most of their time basking at the surface in the open. Fire-belly toads are not hiders.
Foods: Provide live insects and worms. Like many toads, Bombinas quickly learn to eat bits of food wiggled on the end of a broom straw. They will come to the front at feeding time.
Supplements: Since food crickets often get wet and rinse themselves free of calcium dust, you’ll get better results by feeding their crickets a nutritious diet.
Sort of Climbers: Even when you lower the water level, you still need to cover fire-belly toads. They will clamber up the glass (especially in the corners) and bail. Unlike most toads, they dry out quite rapidly. Think of them as frogs. Keep them moist at all times.
Mixers: Fire-belly toads love to congregate with their own kind. Beware of overcrowding. They also mix well with other similar-sized species with the same basic requirements. Good cage mates include the smaller newts, tadpoles, anoles, tree frogs, and snails.
Info from S. Rogge
Sexing: Male fire-belly toads develop breeding pads on their “fingers” for grasping those pesky slippery females.
Taylor Jurrell, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, November 20, 2006
A: Thanks. I'll add it to my fire belly page. LA
Spawning: If you’ve kept your fire-belly toads until summer, you’re ready to spawn them. Keep them in their own tank with four to six inches of water. Feed them a variety of foods. Plankton should make a great conditioning food. Once they spawn, remove the parents to protect the offspring.
Tadpoles: Baby fire-belly toads eat infusoria or powder-fine fish food. They start turning into frogs in four weeks. The parents will eat the smaller toadlets. The toadlets will develop yellow bellies unless fed foods containing Canthaxanthin. Get this color food into their system by feeding it to their crickets.
Recommended First Food: Baby fire-bellies need gnat-size foods -- such as fruit flies. Have your culture ready or learn how to attract wild ones -- no prob in warm weather. Put your babies outside (in the shade). Kritter Keepers work great. Have a shallow layer of water on the bottom. On a rock or some object jutting out of the water, put a piece of mashed banana on it. Fruit flies will magically find your banana and the little toadlets will find the fruit flies.
Pretty. Fun. Easy to care for. Inexpensive.
Interesting. Intriguing life cycle. What’s not to
like? Even non-frog lovers like fire belly toads. LA
Sarah Kafel, January 5, 2011
I was reading your article on breeding fire belly toads. It is by far the best I have seen. However I am having one problem I can't find the answer to anywhere.
See, my fire belly toads have been breeding. Like crazy. But I never saw any eggs. Not until today, when I noticed one of my toads struggling with something on it's face. When I pulled it out to help it, I found it was eating a long string of eggs! I never would had noticed those eggs as it was. a clear gel, and the tiny tiny black dots...
I don't know why he/she was eating the eggs?
But, my question is this. Once a male mates with a female, how long after that does she lay the eggs? I was hoping maybe if I knew how long it takes after they mate, that I could be watching for her to lay them, and remove them before they get eaten.
Any help with this is most appreciated.
A: He or she was hungry. Here's some help for the next time. Amphibians are primed by going thru a winter -- a couple of months at about 60 F in low water with short rations. When you kick them up to 75F, raise their water level, and increase their rations, the male will start singing his love call to coax the female into some serious beach blanket bingo. He grabs her (amplexus) and she usually pops out the eggs as he fertilizes them. Either move the eggs or the parent and give them some dessert. If you want to raise the little toadlets, some wingless fruit flies or pinhead crickets will help. You need to add a red colorant to their diet as they grow, or they won't grow red bellies. Check into the red powders fed to canaries to turn them red. Lotsa work. Good luck. LA
Tiffany Brandt, Wheeling, IL, May 11, 2012
Hello! I have been referring to your website on care information about fire-belly toad tadpoles. I have one in my freshwater tank, and I took a picture of it, if you'd like to use it on your website; I only kindly ask if you'd credit me :)
The little toady is one week old.
Thanks! Keep up the great work on your website.
A: I tried several ways to copy your picture. I couldn't do it. Can you send me another photo? LA
Tiffany Brandt, Wheeling, IL, May 11, 2012
Hmm. I attached a smaller version, and also copied one into the email. Hopefully one of the two will work!
A: Got it this time. Good pic. I thought the tadpole would be darker. I'll add it to my page. Thanks. LA
A: Thanks for the pic. I'm adding it to my Fire-belly page. LA
David Lindquist, Kansas, October 1,2013
Hi i noticed in your green snake care sheet that you stated that green snakes are great mixers and while this may be the case you state they can be kept with red belly toads (fire belly if I'm correct)
and this is not the case because not only is the care so much different fire bellies are toxic and when i kept them after handling and touching my eyes they would burn like hell. But i am one of those "Don't mix your critters!" kind of people it's still true that it is much better to care for your snake's than to justify lighting costs. Thanks for reading and hope i don't sound rude.
A: Good point. I've never rubbed my eyes after
handling a firebelly toad (or a carp or a nightcrawler). And I don't
plan to any time soon. Still your point is well taken and I'll add it
to my green snake page. Thanks for the correction. LA
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