Malaysian Giant River Toad: The Ultimate Guide

Malaysian Giant River Toad

The Malaysian giant river toad is an animal native to Malaysia but it can also be found in some areas of Brunei, Borneo and Indonesia. This species is otherwise known as Phrynoidis juxtasper. The Malaysian giant river toad is a member of the family Bufonidae, which consists of over 700 species of true toads and their family can be found in almost every part of the world. 


In the wild, they dwell forests with tropical climates. Their habitat has a large diversity of plants and animals including this species.


Despite their being interesting animals, they require precaution in handling since they can secrete high amounts of toxic substances or white milky substances from their skin when they are threatened or disturbed.


Due to the abundance of these animals in the wild, they are categorized by the IUCN as least concerned species. This means that the species is not currently threatened with extinction. However, threats or diminishing population is imminent because of the continued destruction of their habitat.




The Malaysian giant river toad is a large member of its family, with males reaching the size of 4.4 inches in length while females reaching the maximum size of 8.5 inches.


This species has relatively long limbs and a large head covered with warts. The skin is also covered with small warts and has a granular texture. The back is dark brown or black, while the sides are light brown or tan. There are two rows of dark spots along the back. The underbelly, on the other hand, is white or creamy in color. Males amplify their voices by means of the vocal sac.


The natural habitat of Malaysian giant river toads is in lowland rainforests. These toads can be found near rivers, streams, and ponds. They are also sometimes found in agricultural areas and rocky areas of creeks. These animals are also amphibians and the aforementioned habitats provide them with a high level of humidity which is necessary for them to thrive. 


The Malaysian giant river toad is a nocturnal creature and therefore is most active at night. These toads typically spend their days hiding in burrows or under rocks. When night falls, they go out of their dwelling to hunt for food. 

What they eat

In the wild, Malaysian giant river toads primarily eat insects. This includes crickets, beetles, moths, and other small insects. They will also occasionally eat small vertebrates such as lizards. It is best to replicate their diet in captivity as closely as possible. Hence, you must feed them a diet of live insects. Crickets and mealworms are good options and can be easily found at your local pet store. 


It is also important to note that Malaysian giant river toads are opportunistic feeders. This means that they will eat whatever is available. In captivity, this situation can lead them to become overweight if they are not given enough exercise and a well-balanced diet.


For the frequency of their diet, you should feed your toad every other day. However, this may need to be adjusted depending on a number of factors, such as age, size, and activity level. 

How Long they Live

The average lifespan of a Malaysian giant river toad is 10 years. However, when they are provided with proper care, they can last for a longer period. Their lifespan in the wild may be shortened due to predation and disease. 


To make them stay longer, it is important to provide plenty of space, hiding places, a well-conditioned environment, an appropriate diet and clean water should always be provided. This will help keep your Malaysian Giant River Toad healthy and happy!


Type of Enclosure

Given their size, they need a spacious enclosure that is at least 36 x 15 x 15. This size is enough for a single adult but a bigger enclosure is always better! A larger enclosure will allow your toad plenty of space to move around and explore, which will help keep them healthy and happy. 


For the substrates, we recommend using something that is good at retaining moisture but drains well like coconut husk fiber or sphagnum moss. It must also be noted that Malaysian giant river toads are semi-aquatic animals, so their enclosure should contain both land and water areas. The water area should be deep enough for your toad to completely submerge themselves if they choose to do so.


The Malaysian giant river toad is native to tropical climates and prefers warm temperatures. In captivity, the ideal temperature range for this species is 72-75 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the humidity level must be within 70-90%. If the humidity drops below 80%, the toad may start to experience health problems such as dehydration and respiratory infections. It is important to monitor the temperature and humidity of your toad’s enclosure to keep them healthy and happy.


A basking spot should be provided with a temperature between 82-86 degrees Fahrenheit. A high-quality UVB light should be used to facilitate the toad’s production of vitamin D3 and calcium absorption. The light should be on for 12 hours per day.



The most reliable method for determining the sex of this animal is by its size. Generally, males tend to be bigger compared to their male counterparts. When your Malaysian giant river toads reach sexual maturity, they are ready for breeding.


This animal appears to breed a whole year around. During mating, the males will start calling out for mates. Once a female has been attracted, the two will mate and the female will lay her eggs in a body of water. 


The female can lay hundreds of eggs at a time. After being laid, the eggs take anywhere from two days to two weeks to hatch. 


Once the tadpoles hatch, they will need to be fed. You can do this by giving them small pieces of fish or worms. You can also purchase commercial tadpole food from your local pet store. Be sure to change the water in the aquarium from time to time in order to remove any uneaten food so that it does not spoil and pollute the water. 


The tadpoles will go through their metamorphosis and emerge from the water as fully-grown Malaysian giant river toads. 


Final Thoughts

Malaysian giant river toads are good pets not only because of their interesting and intriguing appearances. They are also relatively low-maintenance pets. Unlike many other pets, Malaysian giant river toads do not require a lot of care. They can be kept in a simple terrarium with some basic items, and they only need to be fed once or twice a week. 


Take note however that they have toxic skin secretions. Their skin secretes toxins from their to deter predators. While this toxin is not lethal to humans, it can cause irritation if it comes into contact with your skin or eyes. As such, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling your toad. 


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