Which Frogs Are Poisonous in Florida

Florida is home to plenty of different frog species because the climate is so wonderful for these amphibians. However, it is important to note that some frogs are poisonous in Florida. Poisonous frogs and toads can generally be dangerous to pets and young children. So which poisonous frogs should you avoid in Florida?

As a general rule, only 3 frog and toad species found in Florida are considered poisonous to humans including Cane Toads, Cuban Tree Frogs, and Cope’s Gray Tree Frogs. Aside from those three species, all of the other frogs in Florida are not poisonous to humans, yet may be to pets.

Crocodiles are not the only animals you should look out for in the perfect retirement State. It’s important to keep pets away from amphibians, and to teach children how to properly interact with them to avoid illness. Let’s have a look at which frog species are poisonous in Florida, what they look like, and where they are located.

1. Cane Toads Are Poisonous in Florida

Cane Toads are the most invasive toad species in the world as well as in Florida. They were introduced to Florida from South America in the 1930s to kill off beetles that were feeding on sugarcane. However, they cannot reach these bugs that perch high in canes, and feed on native species instead.

Because Cane Toads are so poisonous, they have very few natural predators. They can also lay up to 30,000 eggs twice per year. This makes it easier for Cane Toads to increase their numbers and invade more territories.

Cane Toads are common throughout the entire state of Florida and can also be found in other southern territories all over the US including Texas.There are many toad and frog species in Florida, but Cane Toads are the most toxic to humans.

Cane-Toad

Cane Toads possess poison glands located at on their back, behind their eyes and on their warty skin. When threatened, the Cane Toad secretes a toxin called bufotoxin, which is deadly to animals and even to humans. Dogs and other household pets can fall victim to the Cane Toad’s poison just by licking them (CTNF).

Ingesting Cane Toad poison can lead to excessive drooling, breathing problems, vomiting, seizures, paralysis, and loss of coordination depending on the amount of poison ingested. One Cane Toad has enough poison to kill a small child or even an adult crocodile. If you, your children, or pet ingests the toxins of a Cane Toad, it is best to seek medical attention immediately due to how potentially serious the effects of this toxin can be.

Learn more about Cane Toads on our blog:

2. Cuban Tree Frogs Are Poisonous in Florida

Cuban Tree Frogs are a non-native, poisonous, and invasive species in Florida. Cuban Tree Frogs are native to Cuba and were accidentally introduced to Florida during the 1920s possibly on cargo ships. Cuban Tree Frogs can be found all over Florida, but are more common in the Southern part of the State.

Cuban Tree Frogs are capable of secreting toxic mucus through their skin. This toxic mucus is not necessarily lethal or dangerous as Cane Toads, but can cause irritation and trigger allergic reactions. As such, Cuban Tree Frogs are capable of keeping their numbers high while limiting their natural predators.

Cuban Tree Frogs are known to have caused blackouts by accidentally interfering with live power lines in Florida. They are known to climb utility poles to spend the day and may cause shortages by coming into contact with the dangerous equipment.

The thing to look out for with Cuban Tree Frogs is their poison entering the sinuses. If the secretions of a Cuban Tree Frog enter the mouth, eyes, or nose, it can cause a burning sensation or trigger an allergic reaction.

It’s best to avoid touching frogs without gloves for your and their sake, but if you come into contact with a Cuban Tree Frog, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Learn More About Cuban Tree Frogs on our blog:

3. Cope’s Gray Tree Frogs Are Poisonous in Florida

Cope’s Gray Tree Frogs are different from Cane Toads and Cuban Tree Frogs in Florida because they are not an invasive species, however their toxins can cause a reaction or discomfort if it enters the sinuses.

Instead, the Cope’s Gray Treefrog has a more limited range in terms of its habitat because of how it prefers to stay in southern areas. While it can be found throughout the State, it is actually more common in Virginia and the Carolinas.

The Cope’s Gray Tree Frogs are characterized by its pale gray color and the white spot that can be seen under each eye making them easy to spot among other native Florida frog species.

Unlike the other poisonous frog species that can be found in Florida, the Cope’s Gray Treefrog does not possess a toxin that is quite as dangerous. Instead, its toxin is more irritating than anything (CTNF).

In most cases, the toxin that the Cope’s Gray Tree Frog secretes from its skin causes discomfort to the eyes, lips, and nose if it enters the sinuses. And while it is not completely dangerous, it still is best to avoid touching this frog.

More About Frogs in Florida

I love to go out looking for frogs and if you are in Florida, by all means, make frog searching a part of your trip! Florida is a great place to capture photos of a diverse variety of frogs. Just be sure to avoid touching them, for your and their safety.