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Cane Toad
Similar Animals:
 Colorado River Toad
 American Toad

Cane Toad

Cane Toad Range Map (Australia and Central & South America)
Cane Toad Range Map
(Australia and C & S America)
Blue = Native Distribution, Red = Introduced to

Cane Toad

Latin Name Bufo marinus
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location Australia and Central & South America
Colour Brown
Length 5 - 23 cms (2 - 9 inches)

Mostly Terrestrial

Breeding Season

After Rain

Main Characteristics

Cane Toads are the largest toads in the world. They can grow between 5 and 23 cms (2 - 9 inches) in length and they can weigh over 2 Kgs (4.4 lbs). They have a life expectancy of 10 - 15 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.

They are heavily built with tough, warty skin. They are coloured various shades of brown and dark yellow, depending on their habitat. Females are larger than males and have smoother skin. They have a large head with prominent bony ridges above the eyes. Their eyes have horizontal pupils and a golden coloured iris. They have short limbs with their toes being partly webbed at the base and their fingers having no webbing.

Behind each eye adult Cane Toads have prominent parotoid glands that secrete a milky poison, known as bufotoxin, when they are in danger. They have smaller glands over their body that also produce this venom which is made up of a complex cocktail of 14 chemicals that can kill an animal in 15 minutes if they swallow it.

Cane Toads are mainly active at night and they can range far from a water source.


Cane Toads are found in Central and South America, which is their natural distribution, but they have also been introduced into Australia and some South Pacific islands.

They prefer flattened areas of land as it is easier for them to move around. During the day they will huddle together in groups but when they become active at night they are mainly solitary.


The diet of a Cane Toad consists of insects, small snakes, frogs, lizards, and mice. They will eat virtually anything they can fit into their mouths and have been known to eat dog food from bowls and bees straight from their hive. They can also survive for long periods without water.


Cane Toads are prolific breeders and they breed throughout the year after rain. Males gather in large groups close to still water and they call out to attract females. A female, laden with eggs, will choose a male and they will stay in amplexus until the female is ready to release her eggs. They will swim in the water and drop long strings of poisonous eggs onto vegetation. They can lay between 20,000 and 30,000 eggs in one go.

The eggs can hatch within 36 hours, but that depends on the temperature of the water. The tadpoles are small, toxic and black and they can reach up to 27 mm (1.1 inches) in length. They are bottom dwellers and gather in groups among vegetation.

The tadpoles can become tiny toadlets within 12 days and it is at this stage when they are most vulnerable as they have lost their larval toxicity and not yet developed their parotoid glands. Cane Toads become sexually mature within 1 year.

Interesting Facts

Cane Toads are also known as:
Marine Toad
Giant Neotropical Toad
Giant American Toad

Cane Toads are the largest toads in the world.

Cane toads are the most widespread Latin-American amphibian.

In June 1935 Cane Toads were introduced into Australia to control beetle populations.


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