The cane toad (Rhinella marina) is a large toad with the length reaching about nine inches for adults. They are mainly recognized by their U-shaped furrow between the eyes. Cane toad may grow to the size of a soccer ball. It is also known as ‘marine toad’ and the toad mainly occurs in the Central and South America including Mexico.
Cane Toad Facts
- Adult cane toads grow to a length of about 9 inches (230 mm) and weighs up to 3.3 lb (1.5 kg). Some of the large species such as Bufo paracnemis are nearly the size of a dinner plate.
- Female toads are larger than males with the weight averaging 10–15 cm (3.9–5.9 in).
- The heaviest specimen ever recorded at 2.65 kg (5.84) with the length reaching about 38 cm (15 in).
- They have got ridges around the eyes and the toad’s skin is reasonably dry.
- Cane toad shows an array of different colors including reddish brown, olive-brown, and yellowish grey.
Distribution & Habitat
- Marine toads are thought to occur in the South America, Central America, south of Texas, southeastern Peru, and Mexico.
- Unlike most other frogs, cane toads are found in the northern South America on both sides of the Andes.
- They are likely to make homes in habitats such as open areas, secondary forests, foothill, and lowland areas.
- Marine toads also occupy the wide tropical land of the northern Australia.
- Cane toads breed in large numbers in rain. The breeding lasts about many months.
- They live near edges of lakes as well as permanent ponds.
- They are highly terrestrial animals and may only go into the freshwater for breeding.
- The skin of the marine toad is extremely toxic. When the toad is threatened it secretes a milky-white fluid called ‘bufotoxin’ that can even cause human death.
- The cane toad’s toxic skin is able to kill even the potential predators including skinks, goannas, snakes, and quolls. Since the introduction of cane toads in Australia, about 30% of the Australian terrestrial snakes are vulnerable.
- Studies show that the decline of Spotted-tailed Quoll’s population is primarily due to the arrival of the Marine toad. While adults pose threats to the land predators tadpoles are equally toxic to the aquatic predators.
- Cane toads are increasing in large numbers and the rate of increase is about 25 kilometers per year.
Feeding Ecology & Diet
- In the wild, cane toads are thought to rely on large roaches, arthropods, and ants. They mainly feed in areas that are around human populations.
- Cane toad’s diet also consists of rodents, birds, bats, amphibians, invertebrates, small reptiles, and plants.
- In urban areas, they will congregate in larger numbers especially under street lamps to eat insects.
- They may also consume foods of domestic cats and dogs.
- During breeding season, cane toads produce extremely low-pitched trill that lasts about 10 – 20 seconds.
- A female toad is able to lay as many as 25,000 black eggs in one spawning. It lays eggs in the form of a string the length of which goes around 20 m (66 ft). Their eggs are found near ponds or swimming pools.
- Each of the eggs measure 1.7–2.0 mm (0.067–0.079 in) in diameter.
- Cane toad’s eggs hatch in about 2 days.
- In the wild, cane toads have a lifespan of 10 – 15 years while the captive animals survive up to 35 years.
- Baby toads are called tadpoles or toadlets and they average 10 to 25 mm (0.39 to 0.98 in) in length.
- Cane toads have got many natural predators in the wild such as water monitor, banded cat-eyed snake, killifish, rock flagtail, whistling kite, the black rat, Papuan frogmouth, meat ants, catfish, ibis, Australian crows, and bullet ants.
I’ve never heard of this type of toads. Useful info, especially liked a part about breeding behaviour.