Bufo marinus (Linnaeus, 1758) - Cane Toad

 

Information Last Reviewed Spring 2007

 

Native to South America, Central American, and extreme southern United States (Texas), cane toads are perhaps the most often intentionally introduced species in the world, primarily as a biocontrol agent for crop pests. In the United States, cane toads have become established in Florida, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Native predators appear to keep populations in check, but some groups (mainly mammals) are susceptible to toxins produced by the toads. Significant adverse impacts have not been documented on native wildlife populations in the United States, but have in other countries (e.g., Australia). Control of target pest species (e.g. sugar cane beetles) by cane toads has not been achieved. Other common names for the species include giant toad, marine toad, and giant marine toad.

 

Taxonomy

General Biology

Identification

Life Cycle

Habitat Characteristics

Distribution

Diet

Impacts

Management

Literature

Web Sites

 

 

 

 

Taxonomy:

 

Phylum Chordata

Class Amphibia

Order Anura

Family Bufonidae

 

image\bufo_marinus_02_wikimedia.jpg

 

 

 

General Biology:

 

Morphology

 

Behavior

 

 

 

Identification:

 

Cane toads exhibit typical true toad (Bufonidae) appearance, with dry, warty skin and relatively short legs; unlike frogs, which generally leap, toads typically hop. Adult cane toads are brown or grayish-brown dorsally with occasional whitish spots. Ventral coloration is yellowish, usually flecked with black. The back and legs are covered with spiny warts. Tadpoles are black dorsally and silvery-white with black spots ventrally.

 

image\bufo_marinus_bill_waller.jpg

 

Distinguishing Characteristics

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Cycle:

 

Cane toad life cycles include an aquatic larval stage and a terrestrial adult stage.

 

Larvae

 

Adults

 

Reproduction

 

 

 

Habitat Characteristics:

 

Preferred Environment

 

 

image\bufo_marinus_01_wikimedia.jpg

 

Temperature

 

 

 

Distribution:

 

Native Range

 

North American Distribution

 

Probable Means of Introduction

 

 

 

Diet:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impacts:

 

Introduced cane toads are principally problematic in that they secrete toxic substances as a defense mechanism against predation.

 

Negative

 

Positive

 

 

 

Management:

 

Control Measures

 

Prevention Techniques

 

 

 

Literature:

 

Alexander, T. R. 1964. Observations on the feeding behavior of Bufo marinus (Linne). Herpetologica 20(4):255-259.

 

Conant, R., and J. T. Collins. 1991. Reptiles and Amphibians. Eastern/Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston. 450 pp.

 

King, W., and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences 29(2):144-154.

 

Krakauer, T. 1968. The ecology of the neotropical toad, Bufo marinus in south Florida. Herpetologica 24(3):214-221.

 

Krakauer, T. 1970. The invasion of the toads. The Florida Naturalist 12-14.

 

Riemer, W. J. 1959. Giant toads of Florida. Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences 21(3):207-211.

 

Smith, H., and A. J. Kohler. 1987. A survey of herpetological introductions in the United States and Canada. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Sciences 80:1-24.

 

Wilson, L. D., and L. Porras. 1983. The Ecological Impact of Man on the South Florida Herpetofauna. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Special Publication No. 9. Lawrence. 89 pp.

 

 

 

Web Sites:

 

http://www.invasivespecies.gov/profiles/canetoad.shtml

 

http://www.gsmfc.org/nis/nis/Bufo_marinus.html

 

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/narcam/idguide/marinus.htm