Oriental fire-bellied toad

Latin Name
Bombina orientalis




As their name implies, Oriental fire-bellied toads have flame-colored tummies that juxtapose their brownish/green legs and backs. Their skin is covered in bumps. Females are larger than males, though during breeding season males develop pads on their fingers and grow larger forearms.



Oriental fire-bellied toads are primarily found in northeast China, though they occupy Korea, Thailand and parts of Japan and Russia.


Oriental fire-bellied toads are not a threatened species.


They prefer high elevations in a wide range of habitats, from forests to river valleys, swamps to open meadows. They can occupy stagnant or running water. In late summer they are capable of living short distances from water.


Like most frogs and toads, these animals detect prey through movement, lying in wait until worms or insects scamper or slither up to them. Birds and larger aquatic animals prey on these toads, though they are poisonous. When threatened, fire-bellied toads flip onto their backs and arch their spines, displaying their colorful tummies to warn predators that they'd make a nasty meal.

Life History

Clutches of up to 45 eggs are laid for as many as 10 consecutive days on submerged plants near the water's edge. Within a week and a half, eggs hatch. After about 12 weeks, tadpoles begin to metamorphose, losing their tales and developing limbs. The process takes about five months. Once mature, males court females by calling to them with a bark. When a pair connects, males cling to females and fertilize the eggs as she lays them. There is no parental care other than selecting a proper place to lay eggs. During colder months, adult fire-bellied toads hibernate in groups of as many as six individuals, often inside rotten trees, stone piles or leave litter. These toads can live about 20 years.

Special Adaptations

Oriental fire-bellied toad vocalizations vary, from the croaky mating bark to a softer, cooing sound.

Lincoln Park Zoo Exhibit