A fire-bellied toad

Fire bellied toads are probably the most beautiful toad available in the pet trade. Their "warts" are seen as black splotches over a green back. Their underbelly is a paint splatter of black and orange spirals. They are also very easy to keep and are the perfect pets for begginers. Because of their bright colors, in-expensive cost and beginner level, they are possibly the best pet amphibian for all ranges of experience.



Fire bellied toads require a semi aquatic terrarium, like many frogs and toads. Aquariums should be used, but Zoo Med has a line of terrariums with water-proof bottoms that can also be used. if so, aquire a square model. A minimum of 10 gallons is needed for a fire bellied toad, but this gallonage can house up to 3 toads at once. There are 2 major ways to set-up a fire-belly's habitat. The first method is to convert the aquarium into a "half and half" enclosure by gluing a glass or acrylic divider in the middle with "aquarium" silicone. Now there are 2 halfs of an aquarium fill one half with substrate and the other with water. In these set-ups, use a strong filter and dechlorinated water. The other method is to fill the aquarium with substrate and placing a large bowl of water in to the substrate. In these set-ups, replace the water every week and use dechlorinated water. Use a substrate of either moss, wood chips or leaves. The water depth should be 6" at the least, as fire-bellys are strong swimmers. Be sure to include branches or sloping rocks in the water to allow access to the land. The water temperature can range from 74-77 F. This can be done using an aquarium heater. Halogen lights provide brightness, and fire-bellys don't require special basking lights. Hides are not required but will reduce stress. Driftwood, rocks and plants can be used as decor.


Fire bellied toads are voracious eaters and eat mainly crickets. Feed them 2-3 times a week, adding vitamin supplements regularly. Natural coloration of fire bellys will usually fade in captivity, but this can be prevented by feeding the food crickets fish flakes.


Fire belly toads are safe to handle but it is not recommended or neccesary. They produce toxins that can be harmful to cuts on hands. They are often friendly and rarely produce toxins in captivity, but washing hands after contact is highly recommended. If transporting, use a small container and limit the amount of handling done.


Males have a noisy croaking call that is often heard in the spring. This attracts a female mate rather quickly. 8-24 hours after mating, spawning will occur. Females can lay up to 200 eggs which should quickly be moved to a rearing container with similarly aged and warm water. The eggs hatch a few days later. After the larvea absorb their egg sacs, they should be fedtiny chopped fish foods. The toads should be ready to leave the water in 3 weeks after hatching.