Fire-bellied Toads (Bombina orientalis)
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The Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina orientalis) is a small (4 cm, 2") semi-aquatic frog species found in Korea, north-eastern China and adjacent parts of Russia. An introduced population also exists near Beijing. They are commonly kept as pets in land and or water vivariums (paludariums). The orientalis is also known as the Tuti Toad.
Oriental fire-bellied toads are the most easily recognizable species of Bombina. They are typically a bright green with black mottling dorsally, but their coat may also darken to brown and even black depending on the scenery presented. Like other Bombina species, Bombina orientalis have a bright yellow to red (generally bright reddish-orange) ventral region mottled with dark brown to black. The skin on their dorsal side is covered in small tubercles. Although it is typically referred to as a toad, the Fire-Bellied Toad is not a member of the toad family (Bufonidae). As such, it may properly be referred to as a frog.
They are noted for their bright green and black coloration on their backs, and brilliant orange and black on their underside. In the wild, B. orientalis eat various types of small aquatic arthropods (among other things) from which they obtain Carotene, which helps to color their bellies. These bright colors serve as a warning to predators of toxicity. The toxin is secreted through the skin mostly on the hind legs and sometimes the belly in a milky-like substance when the frog is disturbed or frightened. Not only will they emit this toxin, they will also lay on their back to show the colour of the belly, indicating its toxicity to any predators.
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