Bombina orientalis

Type: Amphibious, day activity

Size: 4,5-6,5 cm

Sexual dimorphism: Females have more massive bodies, but they are shorter and have less massive legs and hands.

Preferred temperature: 10-28 C normally, around 5 C at winter.

Preferred humidity: 65% during winter, 60-90% rest of the year (it is important to give them differences, as their natural habitat has very hard climate).

Night/day cycle: 10-14 hours depending on part of the year

Diet: Small and medium sized insects

Description: Bombina orientalis is very good frog for beginners, as it is quite durable and easy in keeping. These frogs are native to North Korea and China, which puts their populations in constant risk. These frogs are also called fire-bellied toads, which is not very adequate name, as toads are related closer to frogs than to fire-bellies. They are relatively cheap and available in most of petshops, which is also nice for beginners and people with lower amount of money. They can reach up to 30 years, but usual lifespan is between 10 and 20 years.

Care: As these amphibians are amphibious (yes it sounds ridiculous, I know), it is important to provide them paludarium-like tank, with shallow water (they do not dive very deep if not stressed). Water needs to be changed regularly, as these animals are toxic and can hurt not only plants in tank but also themselves. They don’t need a big tank, but they do need some space to move and swim, so minimal size of their home should be more than 50x30x30 tank for group of 2-5 frogs. Sometimes males can be agressive and of course, all frogs can mistake their offspring with food – let me be honest, they are not very clever. B. orientalis is very sociable frog and in case of animal welfare, they shouldn’t be alone.

Breeding: Firebellies are very moody when it comes to breeding. They need to be bred in big groups usually. To stimulate them, you can just put them into outside tank if you live in relatively unpolluted place with right climate (they probably won’t breed if there is less than 20 C during the day). Males can call very long. Amplexus itself takes few hours and after it, female can lay up to 100 (usually it is 30-70 however) eggs split on the bottom of tank, that you should remove from adult frogs home.

After 3-10 days herbivore tadpoles hatch. They eat algae (Chlorella spirulina for example), prefer rather cold water (16-20 C is best) and it takes them up to 3 months before metamorphosis into small froglets. During tadpole stage, they need a lots of water changes as tadpoles produce substances that can stop growth of their offspring.

Additional information: Male calls can be bit annoying, as they call all the time during season.

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