Fire Belly Toad: By Marc Vogt and Joshua Sherman
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Scientific Name: Bombina orientalis
Common Name: Fire Belly Toad
Description: Warty, aquatic toads with flattened bodies that may have a brightly colored belly. The skin can secrete poison which helps them fight off predators. Can have a life span of up to 15 Years.Can be found in Siberia, Thailand, China, and Korea.
Habitat: Ponds, marshes, stony mountain streams, shallow pools, and rock crevices.
Size: Two to two and a half inches long.
Diet: Crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Some large Fire Belly Toads have been observed eating pinkie mice.
Mating: The male to female ratio can be as bad as 10:1. If a female is present and she is ready to breed, she will swim around with a male on her back and the eggs will be attached singularly or in small groups to plants, rocks, roots or whatever can be found in the water. A female may produce more than two hundred eggs on underwater vegetation or on the bottom of a pond. Their breeding season is from late spring through midsummer. Most breeding happens at night.
Number of genera and species: Two genera and ten species
Behavior: Active during the day. If being attacked by a predator, the Fire Belly Toad will quickly flash its brightly colored belly to the predator, scaring the predator. They are highly secretive and spend most of their time hiding under rocks and streams. They float for hours on the leaves at the surface of a pond and are very alert. In winter they leave the water entirely.
Significance to scientists: They are common laboratory amphibians and are used for embryology and physiology.
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