European Fire-bellied Toad

Bombina_bombinaThe Fire-bellied toad is from 3.5 to 6 cm length, the color is from dark brown with dirty-green spots on the top to orange or red with a bluish-black irregular spots and stains on the bottom.

This species is found in Central and Eastern Europe to the Urals. Distributed in the forest, steppe and forest-steppe zones. Inhabits shallow (depth less than 50-70 cm) standing ponds, lakes, wetlands with developed coastal vegetation, silt or mud bottom. Avoids waters with sandy beaches and areas with fast current.

The staple food is insects: flies, crickets, moths. Fire-bellied toads are not poisonous to humans, although their skin contains antibacterial peptides.

During summer spends almost all the time in the water. Active at temperatures from 10 to 30 C, typically at temperature 18-20 C. Spends the winter in natural shelters: rodent holes, pits, and so on. Hibernation lasts from October-November to March-April.

Sexual maturity occurs in 2-3-year life. It breeds from March-April to July-August. Fire-bellied toads lay their spawn on aquatic plants, where it develops about two to three weeks. Produces 900 eggs, often 80-300 eggs. Tadpoles are active on the third day of life, and before that they hang on the plants.

Vulnerable species. Elimination of their population can be caused by the destruction of water bodies, water contamination and drying of ponds, introduction of fish in ponds inhabited by fire-bellied toads.

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