Poisonous toads got their bad reputation for being a pest in places they were artificially introduced to. Native to American continents, it is now present in dozens of countries where eradicates local animals which are not adapted to their toxins.
In Australia it spreads consistently across the continent, from the northeastern to the central part. To date, no remedy has been proposed for the cane toads infestation problem.
1.Its Latin name is Rhinella marina, and it belongs to the family Bufonidae.
It has many common names like "marine toad," "giant toad."
2.They are native to the Americas, from Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas through Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Amazonia up to southern parts of Peru.
They are also present on some islands near Venezuela like Margarita or Trinidad and Tobago.
3.They were carelessly introduced into Queensland, Australia, in 1935.
It was hoped that they would eliminate the population of the destructive grey-backed cane beetle. They failed to defeat the insect but reproduced effortlessly in large numbers. Lack of natural predators contributes to the spread of the cane toad throughout the Australian continent.
4.They are very large amphibians.
Adult toads are 10-15 cm (4-6 in) long. Females are considerably larger than males. They weigh about 1,4 kg (3 lb).
5.The largest specimen of the cane toad was 39 cm (15,4 in) long.
Its enormous size was accompanied by a huge weight of 2,65 kg (5,84 lb).
6.The skin of the cane toad skin is dry and covered with warts, with distinct ridges running above the eyes and extending across the snout.
Cane toads may be colored grey, yellowish, reddish-brown, or olive-brown, with diverse blots and patterns. The underside is cream-colored and may have spots in shades of black or brown.
7.Juvenile cane toads have dark, smooth skin.
They lack the large parotoid glands of adults, so they are usually less venomous.
8.Their primary sense is vision.
When hunting, they rely on motion detection but support themselves with their sense of smell.
9.Cane toads are omnivorous.
They prefer meat to plants but tend to eat some greens from time to time. Toads feed mainly on invertebrates, little rodents, other amphibians and reptiles. Sometimes they are lucky to catch a bird and even bat. In urban areas, they may eat household waste or pet food, which is often left in bowls outside.
10.Their poisonous skin protects an animal from predators.
When threatened, the cane toad produces a milky-white toxic liquid called bufotoxin.