Frog of the Week

Cane Toad (Rhinella marina)

Cane Toad – photo by Bill Waller

Common Name: Cane Toad, Marine Toad, or Giant Toad
Scientific Name: Rhinella marina
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad family
Native Locations: Anguilla, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, and Venezuela.
Introduced Locations: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Haiti, Jamaica, Japan, Martinique, Mauritius, Montserrat, Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Virgin Islands, and United States
US States Locations: Texas (native), Florida (invasive), Hawaii (invasive)
Size: 3.3 inches to 5.9 inches (83.82 – 149.86) is the average range but females have been reported at over 9 inches (228.6 mm) long

The Cane Toad is the most hated amphibian in the world. The Cane Toad was introduced in a variety of countries to help control pests on sugar cane. With the Cane Toad’s size and appetite, they started to take over these countries and eat anything in their way. To make matters worse, the Cane Toad is highly toxic, causing harm to anything that tries to eat it that has not evolved to withstand the toxins. Countries have tried to remove them but have generally failed, but they haven’t seriously put effort into it. In their native environment, they are perfectly fine and should be left to be.

Breeding season varies depending on location. In Australia, they breed during the summer from September–March, with peaks during January. In Florida and in their native habitat, they can breed all year long. Cane Toads can breed in a variety of habitats, both temporary or permanent bodies of water,  brackish or fresh water, and slow moving or static waterways. The breeding itself is pretty normal for toads and frogs. Males will call from the shallows of the waters to attract females. The males will grab the females in the amplexus position and the female will then lay her eggs. Females can lay over 36, 000 eggs.

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