Frog of the Week

European Fire Bellied Toad (Bombina bombina)

Image by  Marek Szczepanek

Common Name: European Fire Bellied Toad
Scientific Name: Bombina bombina
Family: Bombinatoridae
Location:  Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, and Ukraine
Size: 2.3 inches or 60 mm

The European Fire Bellied Toad is a poisonous species of toad. It creates toxins that many animals do not want to eat. To show off that they are poisonous to predators, the toad performs the unkenreflex. The toad turns over and arches its stomach at the predator, showing its bright red stomach.

The eye of the toad has been described as triangular or heart shaped. Not many frogs or toads have this shaped eyes.

Breeding happens from April to the end of summer. Males will call from the surface of water bodies. The males will grab the female around the waist and hold on until she lays her eggs. Females lay between 80 to 300 eggs. The male will then fertilize them. Neither of the parents will perform any parental care. It will take between 2 to 2.5 months for the tadpoles to complete their metamorphism.

yellow bellied toad performing the unkenreflex by Woluhar

The European Fire Bellied Toad has a large range stretching from Germany to Russia and down to Turkey and Greece. In the western parts of the range, the toad is disappearing. The destruction of wetlands that they call home is the cause. Better protections for wetlands are needed to protect the species.

Leave a Reply