Cane Toad (Bufo marinus)

 

Family: Bufonidae

Status: No special status

Size: 5 to 8 inches (12.7 to 20.3 cm); weight 2 to 4 lbs (0.9 to 1.8 kg)

Diet: Omnivore

Characteristics: Nocturnal, social

Area: Mexico, Florida, Central America, South America, Australia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, New Guinea

Offspring: 20,000 to 30,000 eggs

 

Trivia:

       Female cane toads have smoother skin and are larger than male cane toads.

       Cane toads are also known as Giant toads and Marine toads.

       The high-pitched call of the male cane toad resembles a telephone dial tone.

 

Lifestyle

During the day, the cane toad sleeps in a burrow or under a stone or log. They come out at night to feed on frogs, insects, mice, smaller toads, and lizards. When confronted by danger, the toad spurts a white-coloured venom from glands on its side. The venom can paralyse or kill another animal the size of a dog or cat within fifteen minutes, and can cause vomiting and temporary blindness in humans. During cold weather the cane toad remains inactive underneath the ground. They prefer warm weather and tend to live in areas with water nearby.

 

Territory

Cane toads originated in Central and South America, but has been introduced to many areas as well, including the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Philippines, Florida and Australia. In Australia it was introduced to control two insects that were destroying the sugar cane crops. It is now considered a pest itself, because of its rapid breeding rate and lack of predators. In 1935 the cane toad was released in sugar cane fields to control the rodent population and in Hawaii, to control the sugar cane beetle.

 

Reproduction

Cane toads are able to breed year round, and can lay up to 30,000 eggs per month. The eggs look like black beads, and are laid in two long tube-like gelatinous strings. It takes two to seven days for the eggs to hatch into tiny black tadpoles. By two months, the tadpoles have developed into miniature toads, resembling their parents. Cane toads have a lifespan of 5 to 25 years in the wild, and up to 40 years in captivity.