Spending most of its time in the water, its back feet are webbed for swimming. Its fore arms are short and used mainly to shove food into its mouth and, for males, to grasp the female when mating.
Their eyes are a golden color and they have a very unusually shaped pupil. It is horizontal with a dip in the center, as if spilling.
They are very difficult to sex and you will find many different answers if you try to find out how to sex them. Most tend to say that females are larger and brighter and that only males produce a croak. I am not certain whether or not this is true.
Unlike most toads the fire bellied toad does not have a long tongue. It grabs its food directly with its mouth just as a green anole would do.
Because the fire bellied toad is readily available in most pet stores, you'll hear a lot of stupid information regarding them from pet store clerks and others.
First of all, they are not poisonous to humans (not unless you ate them!)! They can be handled, though they don't usually enjoy being held.
Secondly, they can only be housed with other fire bellied toads and fire bellied newts. If you house anything else with them, it will die! I once read a story about a person who naively put a pacman from with a fire bellied toad. I would have thought that the pacman would have ate the fire belly and than died, but when the owner returned to the tank the pacman was dead and the fire belly was fine.
Thirdly, the fire belly toad does not need any special lighting and should never be given a heat rock!
Food: Crickets, mealworms (sparingly), waxworms, and earthworms. You may also feed them bloodworms which is said to enhance their color. Crickets, with proper calcium supplemant, should be the staple of their diet. They may also eat small fish.
Tank Setup: They originally come from Northeastern Asia but most seen in Pet Stores are bred in America. They live in ponds and other small bodies of water.
I have tried many different set ups in my time keeping fire bellies and have finally found the simplest and easiest to maintain (but still attractive) set up.
I use a ten gallon aquarium to house two toads (I could put more). The bottom is covered with natural colored aquarium pebbles and stones. In one corner I have the Exo-Terra Waterfall. This and my floating lily pads are the only places to get out of the water. The entire tank is filled with about 3 inches of water. In the right corner I run a small filter. Real pathos vines live well in the enclosure and add some color.
I recommend this set up because it is attractive and easily cleaned. There is no real point in having a half land half water setup as the land really goes unused. Wasted space! Frogland provides instructions on how to make a special half and half tank. This might be good for another critter, but take my advice, if you're setting up a fire bellied toad tank, don't waste your time with that. The set up I have finally stuck with makes a lot more sense.
And there are all sorts of waterfall and fancy set ups you can find instructions to do online. I've done many of these. They can look really nice, but again, you end up with a lot of wasted space and it takes a lot more time to clean.