Homepage       RAUK e-Forum       On-line record submission form

Species native to the United Kingdom
Introduced or alien species
Alien species that present a threat to wildlife

Fire-bellied Toads - Bombina species - Alien

Identification (European Fire-bellied Toads)

Tailless Amphibian - warty skin

A small squat looking toad.

Dorsal colours vary from grey-brown to olive-green. Often with black tips to the dense warts.

Ventral surface is bright yellow, orange or red, blotched with dark brown or grey, making these species easy to distinguish.

Very aquatic species, that maybe seen floating on the water surface.

Adults up to 5 cm

UK Distribution

Commonly kept as pets, some have escaped or been deliberately released into some areas.


Exotic - The Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina variegata) has survived and bred in the wild, though populations are of a transient nature, due to very specialised habitat requirements. Breeding has occured in both Devon and South London. The closely related Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina bombina) is even less able to establish breeding colonies in the UK.

The oriental fire-bellied toad Bombina orientalis is also sometimes encounted, very similiar to the European species but with brown or green base colour and black markings above.
Yellow-bellied Toad - adult showing belly colour
© Paolo Mazzei

Adult Yellow-bellied Toad Bombina variegata showing distinct colouration of ventral surface, characteristic of all Fire bellied toads..

Oriental Fire-bellied Toad - brown phase
© 2003 Gemma Jane Fairchild

Adult Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad Bombina orientalis an example with brown upper colouration but may also be vivid green.

Release of exotic species into the wild is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

This includes introduction of exotic or alien species that may already have become established.

The interpretation of "wild" in the act includes private gardens from which escape is possible.

© all images on this site are copyright. Please obtain the original copyright holders permission before reproducing images
no part of this work may be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission of the author