Cane Toad

DECLARED PEST

Cane-ToadScientific Name: Rhinella marina
Other Names: Giant Toad, Marine Toad
Conservation Status: Least concern
Body Length: 10–15 cm (average)

Distribution: Mostly Queensland and the Northern Territory but also NSW and northern WA
Habitat: Prefer forested areas with semi-permanent water

Description: Cane Toads are very warty, stout amphibians with dry, rough skin that ranges from olive or reddish brown to a grey or even yellowish colour. They have a bony head with ridges above their eyes as well as glands on their upper neck that release a toxin.

Unfortunately, native species such as the Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii) are sometimes mistaken for the Cane Toad because they have a similar shape and build.

Diet: Cane Toads are carnivorous. They eat mainly insects, however, they are opportunistic feeders and also eat small mammals, snakes, lizards, frogs and even dog food.

In the wild: Originally introduced into Queensland in 1935 as a control species for cane beetles that were destroying sugar cane plantations, Cane Toads have become a dangerous pest species for native fauna.

Cane Toads have specialised glands (known as parotoid glands) that release a potentially fatal toxin. They are poisonous at every life stage and females can lay up to 35,000 eggs per spawn, with multiple spawns in a year.

Threats: As a declared pest, Cane Toads pose a dangerous threat to Australian native species. With no natural predators and an abundance of food sources, they have spread quickly since their release.

While there are no wide scale methods of control, it is possible to humanely manage Cane Toad populations over small areas. If you see what you think is a Cane Toad, please call the Government of Western Australia Cane Toad Hotline on 1800 084 881.

At Perth Zoo: Our Cane Toad exhibit is located in the Nocturnal House.

Did you know? A hardy survivor, Cane Toads are able to survive the loss of up to 50% of their body water and can exist in temperatures spanning 5–40°C.

Download the Cane Toad Fact Sheet (pdf).

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