Cane Toads

Cane Toads are the world’s most invasive and largest toads in size and weight with the World Record at 53.9 cm (1 ft 91/4 in) and 2.65 kg (5 lb 13 oz). Cane Toads can be found in South America, Australia, and Southern parts of the USA.

Common NameCane Toad
Other NamesMarine Toad
Scientific NameRhinella Marina
LocationsSouth AmericaNorth America (South)Australia
CharacteristicsWorld’s largest toad in size and weight.Bony ridge from behind eyes to nose tip.Large poison glands behind eyes.
ColorBrown, Dijon, Olive, Russet
OriginSouth America
Conservation StatusLeast Concern, Invasive
FamilyBufonidae
GeniusRhinella
SpeciesR. marina
PoisonousYes
Max Legnth53.9 cm (1 ft 91/4 in)
Max Weight2.65 kg (5 lb 13 oz)
Lifespan10 – 15 Years

Cane Toads are an invasive species where they were introduced as natural predators to feed on beetles that were killing off sugarcane in Florida and Australia in the 1930s. The plan backfired since Cane Toads did not focus on the bugs and mostly feed on native species, reproduce quickly, and invaded more territory than planned.

Interesting Cane Toad Facts

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Cane Toads are native to South America including Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Columbia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, but can also be found in Florida, Cuba, The Dominican Republic, the Philippians, and Australia where they were introduced during the 1930s. 

Cane Toads like to live in open, wooded, and grassy areas, and thrive in suburban backyards, gardens, and golf courses. They may hide under leaves, structures, and man-made materials such as tarps which retain moisture.

  • Cane Toads are native to South America.
  • Cane Toads are invasive in many parts of the world.
  • Cane Toads venom can be fatal to pets and small children.
  • Cane Toads eat about anything they can fit in their mouths, including garbage.
  • Cane Toads are the largest toad species weighing on average 450 g (1 lb).
  • Cane Toads become adults faster than other Anura in warm climates (~1 year).
  • Cane Toads are not native and are invasive in Australia, Cuba, or Florida.
  • The largest Cane Toad was recorded by Guinness World Records at 2.65 kg.

What Does a Baby Cane Toad Look Like?

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Baby cane toads may look like tiny dinosaurs with little brown bodies, horizontal pupils, and ridged, defined pointed snouts. Cane Toadlets are not as poisonous to their predators as adults, but can still make them sick.

More About Cane Toads

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Questions Related to Cane Toads

How Can You Get Rid of Cane Toads? In order to get rid of cane toads eliminate anything that can attract them including pet food and water, tall grass, bright lights, and areas for them to hide or burrow. Also, put up a tight, smooth fence that is at least 50 cm (20 inches) tall and deep.

Are Cane Toads in Canada? There are no Cane Toads in Ontario or in Canada at the moment since they were not introduced to Canada and have not migrated North from South America or Florida where they were introduced in the 1930s.

How Often do Cane Toads Reproduce? Cane Toads reproduce twice a year preferably during wet seasons and can lay up to 30,000 which is 15x more eggs than most native frog species. These factors are helping Cane Toads proliferate at incredibly fast rates.

What do Cane Toads Sound Like? Cane Toads emit long, low-pitched, deep, rolling calls that sound somewhat like a woodpecker hammering a tree. Their calls last about 15 seconds with 20 to 30-second pauses between calls.

How High Can Cane Toads Jump? Cane Toads generally do not jump high or climb since their bodies are best for crawling and burrowing with short hind legs. However, if you are putting up a fence to keep Cane Toads out, it should be very smooth and at least 50 cm (20 in) tall and deep since they are good diggers.

What do Cane Toads Eat? Cane Toads eat just about anything they can fit in their mouths including smaller frogs, snakes, birds, rats, mice, moths, bugs, cockroaches, and even dog food and garbage. 

What are Cane Toad’s Predators? Cane Toad predators include lizards, crocodiles, birds, and small mammals. However, adult Cane Toads are poisonous to native wildlife carrying enough poison to kill a small child. 

How Big Are Cane Toads? As a general rule, Cane Toads are 6 to 9 inches making them the largest toad species on Earth. The world’s largest Cane Toad in size and weight was recorded by Gunness World Records at 53.9 cm (1 ft 91/4 in) and 2.65 kg (5 lb 13 oz).

Are Cane Toads Endangered? Cane Toads are not endangered and are a “Least Concern” species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Cane Toads are actually an invasive species in most places where they were introduced including Florida and Australia.

Are Cane Toads Poisonous? Cane toads are poisonous and secrete a poisonous venom from the glands on their backs behind their eyes that, if ingested, can kill pets, a small child, or predators like adult crocodiles.

What Happens if You Touch a Cane Toad? You will certainly be fine if you touch a Cane Toad with no open wounds and thoroughly wash up afterward. However, if a toad’s poison enters your bloodstream, you could experience vomiting, convulsions, in extreme cases death. Avoid touching Cane Toads or use gloves.

Why is the Cane Toad Considered an Invasive Species? Cane Toads are considered an invasive species because they have few predators, reproduce quickly, feed on native wildlife, and migrate. Cane Toads can reproduce twice a year with up to 15x more eggs than native frogs.

Sources

Australian Government, Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment, The cane toad (Bufo marinus) – Fact Sheet

The Cane Toad Coalition

Science Daily: Biological Weapons To Control Cane Toad Invasion In Australia

WWF 10 Facts About Cane Toads

MYFWC: Keeping Your Pets Safe Around Cane Toads.

Guinness World Records: Largest Toad.