Malayan Black-spined Toad
Black Spotted Toad
Common Indian, Asian, Sunda or Malayan Toad
Duttaphrynus melanostictus formerly Bufo melanostictus
Asian toads are medium to large sized, tan, rust or brown toads with black spotting and black lines reaching from the snout all the way around the eyes. They have black spines on their dorsum. They are highly adaptable and they are one of the few toads whose tadpoles can survive in brackish water. They are communal, can grow to 4 inches (10 centimeters) long and live more than 10 years.
These are likely the commonest (hence the name) toad throughout much of Southeast Asia. They are native to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Nepal, Malaysia, and Singapore. They have been introduced to Indonesia and New Guinea and possibly Bhutan and the Philippines. As suggested by one of its common names, the Asian toad is often found around and in human habitations. Asian toads can be found in or around rice fields or other types of cultivation, drainage ditches and canals and parks and gardens. They are nocturnal and during the day are found resting in the hollows of trees, in leaf litter at the base of trees, or under stones, rocks, logs or other wood debris. At night they can also be found congregating around street lights feeding on the insects that fall from the lights. They are communal and in desirable (from the toadís perspective) locations, many toads may be found together.
Due to this toads highly adaptable nature, it can be housed in a plethora of fashions, from the most Spartan to the most elaborately decorated of enclosures. A good enclosure would incorporate 1-2 inches (2.5-5 centimeters) of standard frog/toad substrate (sterile potting soil, bark, coconut bedding, mulch, sphagnum moss, leaf litter, etc.) coupled with multiple hiding spots (hollowed logs, cork bark, flat wood and rocks, etc.). Substrate should be kept mildly moist to the touch and should not be allowed to dry out. Plants are not necessary, but if used should be heavy stemmed or thick bodied to withstand the toads. A large, shallow water dish should be provided (plant drainage pans of the clay or plastic variety work well) and cleaned regularly. Ambient household temperatures are fineóremember this toad thrives in urban environments! Because they are strictly nocturnal UV lighting is not necessary.
Asian toads are another easy to please species, eating virtually any insect that is readily available from termites to cockroaches. They will feed on most any small vertebrate or invertebrate, but do not appear to be cannibalistic. As always, prey items should be gut-loaded prior to feeding and should be dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement once or twice a week.
Due to their commonality and abundance, all Asian toads in the pet trade are wild caught. Although they are extremely hardy, periodically they arrive with some ailments, including but not limited to internal parasites. Most imported animals (and most captive raised animals for that matter) harbor some parasites that remain in a type of homeostasis, but the added stress of traveling can through this out of balance. The most important factor (even before any sort of treatment) in combating this problem is to remove the source(s) of the stress. Generally this is done by providing optimal environmental conditions (in this case, not handling) and allowing the animal to acclimate to its new surroundings. After, and only after, this has been attempted should any sort of treatment ensue if necessary. Consult a qualified reptile veterinarian for treatment suggestions.