Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads as Pets: A Care Guide

Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina orientalis)

Oriental fire-bellied toads exhibit beautiful orange and black coloring on their undersides and warty green and black colors on their warty backs. They are native to rice fields and the mountains of southern and southeastern Asia. Although it has a toad-like name, this creature is actually a frog. Toads have textured, rough skin, which is one way they may be distinguished from frogs. And although though this particular frog has rough skin, it is an anomaly.

Oriental fire-bellied toads make sturdy, vibrant companions that are good for beginners. You won't be able to hold it for very long, but they are fascinating to watch. They require some labor to maintain, but they are not very challenging to take care of.

Species Overview

Common Name: Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad

Scientific Name: Bombina orientalis

Adult Size: 2 inches long

Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad Behavior and Temperament

These frogs' vivid colors serve as a deterrent to predators, including people. A poison is excreted via its skin. This cunning frog uses its bright, fiery-colored belly to warn potential predators of its toxicity. The majority of predators are aware that eating this specific frog may make them unwell because of its brilliant colors.

Regular handling of the warty, semi-aquatic Oriental fire-bellied toad is not advised since it secretes poison from its skin and is moderately harmful to people. Although this toxin is not potent enough to kill or seriously injure a person, it might cause skin irritation. Avoid touching this critter if you have any injuries on your hands because if the poison is on your hand and you poke your finger into your eye, it might hurt. All frogs have delicate skin that might react to oils or soaps on your skin, so always wash your hands well before and after handling them or cleaning their tanks.

Due to their potential toxicity, do not house these toads with other animals. Regular cleaning and water changes will help keep toxins from building up in the tank.

Since fire-bellied toads lack extensible tongues, they must eat by grabbing food with their mouths and forelegs. It won't often bite you; if it does, it probably thought your finger was food.

Housing the Oriental Fire-bellied Toad

Get a 10-gallon tank at the very least for this animal's habitat. In a tank this size, you can keep two or three frogs. Plan on needing roughly 4 gallons of tank space per frog if you buy more. For their size, horizontal or long tanks offer greater floor area. A tight lid is essential. If given the chance, these curious tiny frogs will attempt to flee. The top need to have enough ventilation.

A semiaquatic tank is an ideal set up with a third to half of the tank as land area, and the remainder should be about two to four inches of water. You can decorate the land area with smooth rocks.

A filter should be used on the water, and water changes should be made often. Only use bottled spring water or dechlorinated old water in the tank. Since these frogs create a lot of waste, regular partial water changes are required.

Expect to perform a thorough cage cleaning once each week. Put the frog in a safe second tank while cleaning. Clean the tank and the furniture. Use hot water to rinse completely without using any chemicals or detergents. Purchase detachable tubs or basins for each side to make cleaning simpler. On the water's edge, you may also utilize smooth gravel and real or artificial plants.


These frogs can tolerate regular human room temperature, thus a heater is typically not required. However, slightly higher temps are preferable, around 75 to 78 F. To measure the temperature precisely, use a thermometer. Create a basking area with a 12-hour-per-day low-wattage bulb set up to parallel the day/night cycle. If you maintain the substrate moist, the two combined will assist boost tank humidity. You may heat the tank by placing an under-tank heat mat under the terrestrial area of the enclosure.


Other than a cycle of day and night, these frogs don't have any particular illumination needs. Many scientists concur that UVB illumination is not necessary for this species. A small amount of UVB exposure each day, according to some experts, won't harm you and may even improve calcium absorption. The most crucial need for this species is dampness. Sometimes an enclosure's drying out from too much sunshine might harm the animal's delicate skin. Your frog could become anxious if there are long periods of light.


For this species, humidity is crucial, therefore choose a substrate that will let you to sustain high humidity, and keep it moist by misting it with water every day. Always aim for a humidity level between 65 and 80 percent. Use a hygrometer or humidity gauge to monitor the moisture content. Invest in a humidifier or mister for your cage if you find it difficult to manage the moisture on your own. You may automate it by setting it to sound at predetermined intervals or whenever there is a low humidity level. If everything else fails, the water area of your frog's enclosure can help provide enough moisture and humidity.


The bedding or liner for the bottom of your pet's cage is called a substrate. For the terrestrial side of your frog's cage, sphagnum moss, coconut husk, and organic, fertilizer-free potting soil are ideal substrates. Given that fire-bellied toads frequently burrow, provide a depth of between 2 and 4 inches. In the tank's terrain region, add some wet moss, more plants, and hiding spots.

Food and Water

In addition to and other insects like waxworms and earthworms, Oriental fire-bellied toads often consume tiny feeder fish like guppies. Mealworms should not be fed since their exoskeleton might be difficult to digest. Never feed wild insects since they frequently contain insecticides, herbicides, and parasites.

Before giving prey items to your pet, fill its stomach with healthy food or feed it. Apply a multivitamin powder to the prey items. Frogs typically have a robust appetite, so they shouldn't have any issues eating while in captivity. Give baby frogs food once a day. Usually, adults only require food two to three times a week. Feed these amphibians as much as they can consume in 15 minutes. Observe how your frog's body is shaped. Keep in mind that underfeeding is probably less of an issue than overfeeding. Frogs are flexible eaters. Check to see whether your pet is not becoming overly chubby, and if so, reduce the frequency of feedings.

No chlorine or chloramine, which may be present in municipal tap water, may be present in the water utilized in the tank. Use a pet supply item designed to remove chlorine and chloramine, which can hurt or kill your pet frog, to be safe.

Common Health Problems

Infected by a parasite, red leg disease affects many captive-bred frogs, including Oriental fire-bellied frogs. Leg reddening appears as an early sign of this illness in frogs or toads. Unresponsiveness or sluggishness are other symptoms.

Most frogs are susceptible to fungal infections. Look for inflammation on its face or an oozing a cottony-like substance on its skin.

If detected early, fungal infections and red leg disease can be treated. A trip to an with knowledge of amphibians is necessary for treatment.

Choosing Your Oriental Fire-bellied Toad

This little, carefree pet is a great choice for a first-time frog owner. The best place to get one is from a respected amphibian breeder who can provide you with information on the animal's past and any potential medical issues. They may cost between $15 and $25.

A frog with clean eyes is healthy. Although the skin of most healthy frogs is smooth, the skin of your Oriental fire-bellied toad will likely be lumpy and rough. It's best if you can observe it consume food before making a choice because most frogs won't turn down food unless they're feeling poorly. Lethargy, breathing difficulties, and an apparent enlarged belly are warning signs of frog sickness or perhaps bad husbandry.

Different Species of Frogs

If you're interested in this animal as a pet, you may want to consider other frogs similar to the Oriental fire-bellied toad:

Otherwise, check out all of our other profiles.