Cane Toad

Rhinella marina
cane toad - Rhinella marina

Description: Growing to lengths of more than 9 inches and possibly weighing more than 2 pounds, the Cane Toad, or Giant Marine Toad as it is sometimes referred to, is the world’s largest toad. Their skin is rough and warty with colors ranging from dark tan on top to light and milky on the bottom. They are short, stocky, and have 2 poison glands just behind their head which contains some of the strongest and most toxic of all amphibian poisons. Ingesting this toad could prove potentially deadly for many wild animals and humans.

Range: Southern Mexico through Central America and into the Amazon River Basin. They were introduced to southern Florida in the 1960’s in an effort to control beetle populations that were feasting upon sugarcane. They are now very common throughout Florida and are considered an invasive species.

Habitat: These toads are very adaptable. They like ponds, but also have been found in areas of development and urbanization. Canals, backyard gardens, and buildings seem to be a favorite for this species.

Diet: Insects, small birds, rodents and other small mammals, fish, reptiles, frogs and other toads, and some vegetation. They have even been reported eating dog and cat food.

Reproduction: Females are capable of laying 20,000 eggs at a time which are laid in strings that wrap around water plants. Tadpoles will undergo metamorphosis into adults after only 2 months.

Fun Fact: The presence of invasive Cane Toads in Australia has caused such a problem that the Australian military has been commissioned into hunting them.