Fire Bellied Toads (Bombina species.)
Fire-bellied Toads (including the European Yellow-Bellied and Fire-Bellied toads and the Oriental Fire-Bellied toad) are sold in pet shops and have been released at several sites in Britain. They’re small, usually less than 5cm (nose to tail), and have bright yellow and black or orange and black bellies. Oriental species have bold green and black markings on the back and can have orange or red and black bellies.
|Identification||Adults up to 5cm in length. Dark muted colouration on back with bright green patches (colour varies among species). Black with very bright yellow, orange or red patches on belly.|
|Distribution||Non-native species. Native to parts of Europe and Asia. Released from the pet trade and found in several sites across the UK.|
|Ecology||If threatened they play dead by rolling onto back, exposing the bright colouration on their belly.|
|Predators and other threats||In the UK, tadpoles are likely to be predated on by newts, dragonfly nymphs and driving beetles. Predators to the adult animals may include domestic pets such as cats.
Threats in the wild: In their native ranges, some Bombina species are categorised as being endangered, others have undergone slower rates of population reductions, such as the Bombina bombina, and are classed as being of Least Concern on the IUCN website although they are thought to be declining.
Loss of wetland habitats, urbanisation of habitat, road construction, collection for the pet trade and scientific research threaten the animals in their native areas. Some species may undergo hybridisation with other Bombina species.
N.B. The release of exotic species into the wild is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.