Today is the thirteenth day of the April A to Z Challenge. I will be writing about different frog species based on their latin species names! Today’s post will not be similar to my typical posts and instead today’s post highlights an invasive species.
Rhinela marina – Cane or Marine Toad
The Cane toad has been listed as one of the top 100 World’s Worst Invader by the Invasive Species Specialist Group.
The R. marina can reach weights of 4lbs, with their size ranging from 4-9″.
This toad was originally introduced into sugar cane fields to reduce beetles, rats, and grubs. R. marina will feed on almost any animal and compete with native amphibians for food and breeding sites. Their secretions are very toxic and are known to cause illness and death in many domestic animals that come into contact with them, including cats and dogs and wildlife such as snakes and lizards. Human fatalities have been recorded following the ingestion of the eggs or adults.
The Bufotenine toxin produced by the cane toad has been used in many different ways. In Japan they use it as an aphrodisiac and hair restorer. In mainland China, they use it to lower the heart rate of patients undergoing cardiac surgery. South American Indians use the toxin on arrows for hunting. Some people use the toxin as a narcotic.
It is estimated that the cane toad has been increasing its range in Australia by 24-40 miles per year and slowly it is taking over the country while destroying native animals in its path.
This has prompted many areas to offer humane live toad disposal areas.
For anyone looking for a some more information on the destruction that the cane toad has caused, please watch Cane Toads: The Conquest (2010) by Mark Lewis. Steve and I watched it on netflix and it is a little graphic at times, but very enlightening.
Check out my previous A to Z posts:
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