The Bone Headed toad has several common names including Helmeted toad and Mountain toad. Its easy to see why there is a reference to bony heads, especially with the females – where it is very noticeable. They occur (at least) through Cambodia, Southern China, Vietnam and Laos, at 100-1300m, so the Mountain toad name isn’t as obvious as the reference to bony heads. They are referenced to live close to water, and it would appear they breed in variety of streams and pools. They have been bred in captivity, some years ago, even though they are seldom offered for sale.

To keep this species is relatively standard toad husbandry. They don’t want to be kept too wet, toads from this genera prefer to have access to water, but be kept relatively dry. However, I would still suggest a glass or plastic constructed vivarium. There are many substrates that are suitable, pre-mixes substrates such as ProRep BioLife Forest would provide and easy option. I would recommend keeping the substrate relatively dry, with local areas of dampness. I have had good success with planting plants (that will tolerate the burrowing activities of the toads) and by watering the plants this has created damp areas within the terrarium. The toads then have a choice of various “dampness” in the substrate. Provide plenty of hides in the damp and the drier areas so the toads are not forced to stay in the safety of a hide that is too damp or too dry. This can vary as they shed their skin for example. A shallow water bowl will be required for bathing.

This species of toad does not like high temperatures. Anything above 25C it will struggle, long term health issues will become a concern. Ideally around 18-22C is perfect, which incidentally many centrally heated homes are not too far off those temperatures. If your home is below those temperatures some form of vivarium heating will be required. Lighting can be provided, some keepers prefer not to use lighting, and do not report health issues. If you prefer the idea of lighting we would suggest a UVB T5 tube designed for shade loving species – Arcadia’s ShadeDweller is the obvious choice.

Like most toads they are generally greedy feeders on any insect they can cram in their mouths. Virtually all commercially available insects of suitable size are avidly eaten – earthworms, crickets, locusts and waxworms are some of their favourites. Ensure a variety of insects are offered so that a balanced diet is achieved. To help with this I would recommend using a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, and always gutload the insects by feeding them a good quality diet such as ProRep BugGrub.

A very unusual toad species not offered for sale regularly, we have a small amount available at the moment.

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