Fire Bellied Toad
The Oriental fire bellied toad is a rather uncommon semi-aquatic frog species native to Korea, northeast China, and other adjacent regions of China. An introduced population still exists in the area near Beijing. They are typically kept as pets both in aquariums and private habitat. They tend to grow to an approximate size of three to four inches with a grayish green color.
Like most members of the Genus Chinensis, the Oriental fire-bellied Toad also has a red marking on its red tongue. This color usually covers the entire back of the tongue but in some species may only have a very small border or ring of red around it. A black marking on the dorsolateral band of the tail may also be present. These features of the fire-bellied terrapin help it to be confused with the common red-back terrapin.
The Oriental fire-bellied terrapin’s coloration and patterning are quite unlike that of the Chinese or Japanese fire-bellies. It has orange coloration rather than yellow. Its legs appear to be segmented like those of the common bull terrapin and the front limbs of the fire-bellied terrapin look like they have been cut off from the rest of its body. The fire-bellied terrapin has a short tail and a grayish-green stomach.
This species generally feeds on aquatic invertebrates and arthropods but has also been reported to feed on fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. They normally live in cool areas near the waterline. Their diet helps them survive especially during their migration periods when they need to survive long journeys carrying food back to their nests. They also eat berries, suet, and insects during their winter months.
The Oriental fire-bellied terrapin is easily sexed. However, it is still better to observe the male and female if you plan to breed them. You can examine both organs by placing them behind the genital area. It will help you determine which is the male and which is the female according to their size. If you are not sure of how to recognize the sex of the frog, then you can buy an easy-to-use sexing kit which contains a brightly colored ring. This will help you determine whether the specimen is the male or the female.
Breeding fire-bellied terrapins is quite easy. It requires only an adequate temperature, humidity, and a suitable location for the breeding. You need to select an area in your backyard where the soil is moderately moist and acidic and not too dry. You should also make sure that there is enough shelter for the terrapin. Once the couple has been produced, you can begin breeding by creating conditions for their development.
When it comes to selling the eggs, it is best to preserve them until their destination. Sometimes, you can find them in pet shops but usually the females will not survive from these pets. This is because most people prefer to keep the Asian terrapin as a pet and not breeding them. In case you have chosen to breed the female, you need to remove the clutch of eggs.
Normally, you can keep the female at a safe place like a fenced area in your backyard. Once the female has laid eggs, you need to incubate them for around four to five weeks. After incubation, you can introduce the male into the cage of the female. Once they have come out of the eggs, you can remove them from the fenced area. Oriental fire-bellied terrapins are usually great pets because you do not need a lot of maintenance and they are very cute.
The male is not brightly colored like the female. However, you can easily spot them because of their distinctive looking color. They have grayish-white chests and throats and they also have gray colored throats and bellies. You can readily notice their blackish gray undercoats.
A male fire-bellied terrapin usually weighs about twenty to twenty-five percent of the female. Their size varies from one to two feet. However, it is always better to get a bigger one since they can grow to large adults. They normally grow up to three feet in length. These animals usually breed once a year during the spring and late summer months.
Oriental terrapins have a long history with the Japanese government. In the past, these birds were used for controlling the wild stocks of rice in Japan. These are not your common house pets though. These terrapins are usually valuable collector’s items because of their rarity, beauty and life span.