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Oriental Fire-bellied Toad

Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House

Did You Know?

  • Oriental fire-bellied toads cannot extend their tongue. They catch prey by pouncing and catching it in their mouth.
  • When threatened, these poisonous toads bend their back downward and hold their limbs up in a rigid posture called an unken reflex, which displays parts of their flame-colored stomach. They may also flip onto their back and arch their spine to show off those dangerous colors, which can scare away predators. If all else fails, they will cover themselves with a milky toxin they secrete from their pores that irritates the eyes and mouth of predators.
  • Male toads lack the vocal sac resonator that most frogs and toads have, so they make calls by inhaling rather than exhaling. They do have many vocalizations, from a croaky mating bark to a cooing sound.

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Scientific Name: Bombina orientalis

Class: Amphibians

Diet: Terrestrial invertebrates like worms, mollusks, and insects

Range: Eastern Asia

Endangered Status: Least Concern

More Information

Oriental fire-bellied toads are named for their bright red and orange undersides. These aquatic toads only grow to 2 inches long and have brown-gray or greenish backs covered in warts (tubercules). These toads also have triangular pupils and no eardrums.

The toads are social, and they also hibernate from fall to late spring in small groups. In mid-May, they begin to breed. Females deposit up to 100 eggs close to the surface of the water, which allows the sun to aid embryo development. Incubation is short, lasting 3–10 days. Once hatched, tadpoles develop hind legs at six to eight weeks. At eight to 14 weeks, they begin to make the change to air-breathing amphibians. By August, they are in their adult forms.

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