A very colorful amphibian
The fire-bellied toad is a common amphibian (it lives both on land and in water) that is often mistaken for a frog because it has a longer body than other toads. The outstanding characteristic of this species is its abdomen with orange and red tones that are clearly differentiated from the dark black background.
Its size reaches about 5.5 centimeters. The upper part of its body is covered in spiky warts and is green to grayish-brown in color. In contrast, her radiant belly is very soft and smooth to the touch.
Currently 8 species of fire-bellied toads are known, distributed throughout the European continent, north and central Asia. As it is very abundant, it is not a protected species.
- It is mostly aquatic and lives in lagoons or streams that have little current. When out of water, finds forests with broad-leaved and coniferous plants.
- It uses the colorful pattern on its belly to frighten attackers and alert them to its toxicity and unpleasant taste.
- Feeling attacked, it raises its front legs and arches its body to show the colorful glow of its belly.
- Secretes a milky substance as a defensive response. If they touch it, the eyes and mouth become irritated.
- These toads eat small invertebrates, such as flies, crickets, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, etc.
- The size and color are variable according to the species, but in general they are very similar physically and genetically. So two different species can mate and produce fertile offspring.
- They live between 12 to 15 years, but in the care of man they live longer, up to 20 years.