Oftentimes, customers come into the store, first-time reptile amphibian buyers and say, "I'd love to get a tree frog or something for my son." I look down and see a five year old child and I say, "Well, maybe we shouldn't deal with that because tree frogs are quick. They jump and they'd probably escape from the terrarium before he reached six." So, we talk to them about other types of amphibians. And amphibians are a variety of different animals: frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders.
And two of the most popular we have, and I'm holding them upside down for a reason, are the Fire-Bellies. This is a Fire-Bellied newt. This is an animal that lives in a semi-aquatic environment. They start off their life wanting to be totally in the water, but then they do emerge and like it a little bit halfway. They go on land sometimes, back in the water. Five-gallon tank is sufficient.
They eat a pre-packaged, pelleted food. Very simple to keep. Fire-Bellied newts will get about 5 or 6 inches. And you can see from the top part of them, there's not too much to look at. That's nature's way of letting them cryptically hide in the mud they live in, but underneath they have this wonderful pattern on them. Fire-Bellied is definitely a good term for them.
Their counterparts in the pet world and in nature are Fire-Bellied toads. Toads differ from frogs in many ways, but primarily toads are really more a terrestrial animal, meaning they want to stay on land. They love to get wet and dip in the water, that's for sure. So, you can keep them in a semi-dry land area with a shallow pool. It could be as simple as a bowl or it could be a tank set up with a little pond area, which looks really nice. Regular plants planted at the bottom are easy, and these guys are cricket eaters. They love to chomp on the crickets, as do the Fire-Bellied newts. So, to co-habitate these two sometimes is possible.
They're inexpensive starter animals, I would say. I always hate to use the word disposable, but sometimes, because of the first-time nature of the owners, they become that way. But if you can check them out from the underbelly, they are beautiful creatures, definitely photographic, as you can see. And one of our most popular ones to use for beginners.
And also for accents in other terrariums, which have other more exotic animals up in the top, like tree frogs. Fire-Bellied toads will live underneath the canopy and be quite happy there, sharing their space with all types of tree frogs and tree lizards. So, the Fire-Bellied toads and the Fire-Bellied newts are a good choice if you're looking for a beginner pet.