Cane Toad (Bufo marinus)


Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family:    Bufonidae
Size:    Length: 5 to 9 inches (13 to 23 cm)
Weight: 2 to 4 pounds (0.9 to 1.8 kg)
Diet: Frogs, insects, mice, smaller toads and lizards
Distribution: Mexico, Florida, Central America, South America, Australia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and New Guinea
Young:  20,000 to 30,000 eggs, at least twice a year
Animal Predators:  Dogs, snakes, birds, frogs and toads 
IUCN Status: No special status
Terms: No special terms
Lifespan: 5 to 25 years in the wild and up to 40 years in captivity



·       Cane toads are also known as “giant toads” and “marine toads.”

·       The high-pitched call of the male cane toad resembles a telephone dial tone.

·       They are the largest of the Florida frogs and toads.



Cane toads have greenish-brown skin covered in warts. Their undersides are lighter in colour and are covered with dark speckles. Female cane toads have smoother skin and are larger than male cane toads. They have a heavy build, short legs and no webbing between their toes. 



Cane toads originated in Central and South America, but have been introduced to many areas as well, including the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Philippines, Florida and Australia. They were released in Hawaii to control the sugar cane beetle and then, when that proved successful, they were introduced to Australia in 1935 to control two insects that were destroying the sugar cane crops. Cane toads prefer to live in forested areas or open fields, near water.  


Feeding Habits

Cane toads emerge at night to feed on frogs, insects, mice, smaller toads and lizards. 



Cane toads are able to breed year round and can lay up to 30,000 eggs per month. The eggs look like black beads, and are laid in two long, tube-like gelatinous strings. It takes two to seven days for the eggs to hatch into tiny, black tadpoles. By two months, the tadpoles have developed into miniature toads, resembling their parents.



During the day, cane toads sleep in a burrow or under a stone or log. When confronted by danger, they spurt white-coloured venom from glands on their sides. The venom can paralyse or kill another animal the size of a dog or cat within 15 minutes, and can cause vomiting and temporary blindness in humans. During cold weather, cane toads remain inactive underneath the ground. They prefer warm weather.



Cane toads are not of conservation concern. 



Cane Toad Wildlife Fact File, IM Pub, US