Bufo marinus or Rhinella marinus
- giant burrowing frog and Asian spined toad
- Grows up to 20cm in length.
- Adults are large and heavily built.
- Definite visor or awning extends over each eye and a high angular bony ridge extends from the eyes to the nose.
- Colouring on the upper surface may be brown, olive-brown or reddish-brown while underneath the toad varies from white to yellow and is usually mottled.
- Brown warts are present on all cane toads; however, males possess more than females.
- Habitat generalist, but commonly found in tropical and subtropical lowlands close to freshwater breeding habitat.
- Other habitats include urban and peri urban areas, tropical savannah, grasslands, disturbed forest / forest edges, forests with limited understorey and agricultural areas.
- Present in Queensland, the Northern Territory and New South Wales.
- Native to southern North America, Central and northern South America.
- Established in Queensland and also present in Northern Territory, New South Wales and north-east Western Australia.
- At least five years in wild, up to 15 years in captivity.
- Mating occurs at any time of year and is only dependent on available food and permanent water.
- Eggs are laid in long, gelatinous 'strings' with the developing tadpoles appearing as a row of small black dots.
- Single clutch can contain up to 35,000 eggs.
- Under ideal conditions, toadlets may reach adult size within a year.
- Voracious feeder, consuming a wide variety of insects, frogs, small reptiles, mammals and even birds.
- Produces highly toxic venom from glands in its skin. Native predators that die after eating, or attempting to eat, cane toads include goannas, freshwater crocodiles, tiger snakes, red-bellied black snakes, death adders and quolls. Seventy-five species of Australian lizards, crocodiles and freshwater turtles are threatened by cane toads. Sixteen of these are ´threatened species´ at either federal or state levels.
- Research on rainbow bee-eater birds southeast Queensland found that Cane toad predation caused 33% of nests to fail.
- The tadpoles of native frogs can die if they consume the eggs of Cane toad. Cane toad tadpoles have also been recorded to reduce the growth rates of native frog tadpoles under certain conditions.
- When an area is first invaded by cane toads the naturally high abundance of invertebrates appears to support very large numbers of cane toads. As food items are exhausted, abundance appears to decline, The initial decline in invertebrate prey items that follows the toad´s invasion front probably has significant flow-on effects to other insectivorous predators and may interrupt ecological processes, at least temporarily
- Can cause death if ingested by domestic or native animals.
- Known to transmit diseases such as salmonella.
- Wolf spiders, freshwater crayfish, estuarine crocodiles, crows, white-faced herons, kites, bush stone-curlews, tawny frogmouths, water rats, giant white-tailed rats and keelback snakes.
- Removing eggs from frog ponds
- Individual toads may be killed using a commercial spray available from hardware stores or may be stunned and decapitated (only by experienced operators)
- Fence, at least 50cm high, will protect native fish and frog ponds.
- Research indicates that spread can be delayed in semi-arid areas by blocking access to water holes
- Researchers have successfully mitigated impacts in recently colonised areas by "training" predators however, large scale application of this technique is difficult.
See the cane toad fact sheet (PDF, 196KB) for more information.