Feeding Fire Belly Toads

Fire belly toads or fire bellied toads as they are sometimes known are one of the easiest types of amphibians to keep in the home as they attain a very reasonable size, are easy to care for and are very hardy.

One sticking point for some exotic pet keepers though when they are first starting out is exactly how to feed fire belly toads but this needn’t be as difficult as you might first think.

Like other toads, fire belly toads are carnivores and so require meat as the main basis of their diet and there are two ways in which I provide this which keeps my toads in perfect health while making my life as easy as possible.

To start off with fire belly toads like to spend a lot of their lives in the water so an ideal terrarium for them consists of both a large area of water and a decent-sized land area where they can haul themselves out of the water.

Because of their stunning colors, but also the potential for these colors to become duller over time in captivity the first constituent of the fire belly toad diet I offer is fish food. Typically I offer a pinch of fish flakes and try to focus my efforts on those designed to “color up” fish like betta fish. This keeps my toads looking bright and colorful but I do not believe it makes a perfectly balanced (or natural) diet so I also supplement their diets with live insects.

The insects offered to fire belly toads can really be any kind of commercially-available livefood so long as it is small enough to fit into my toads mouths which means I tend not to offer any insect much over a centimetre or so in length.

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I also tend to avoid offering insects that jump – like crickets or locusts – because they have a nasty habit of walking or jumping into the toads’ water where they will quickly drown and sour the water if one of your toads doesn’t eat them quickly.

To avoid this I tend to offer food such as waxworms and mealworms, placing them into a low-sided food bowl (in essence an upturned jamjar lid) to prevent them from escaping. The bowl is sunk slightly into the substrate so that from a distance my toads can easily see the insects moving about and it is this motion which will draw their attention and encourage them to feed.

Over time your toads will likely learn where the food bowl is and some of mine wait patiently by the bowl for me to add more food and some even get confident enough to take food straight from your fingers.

To finish off here’s a quick video of one of my fire belly toads grabbing a waxworm from the food bowl moments after they have been fed…

Richard Adams

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