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Cane toads and native frogs


 

Is it a cane toad or native frog?

 
Cane toads are an introduced pest, and native frogs are protected. It is common for native Australian frogs to be misidentified as cane toads. Here is some information and photographs of cane toads, and some native frogs species found in areas where cane toads might occur. If you have found an animals and are unsure of which species it is, please contact your local authorities for assistance with identification.

 

Cane toad (Introduced pest) 

Scientific name - Rhinella marina (formerly Bufo marinus)

 
 
If you think you have found a cane toad, make sure you contain the animal (if it is safe to do so) and submit a clear picture with your report using the ToadScan MapWe will help to confirm the species for you where we can, and provide advice on who to contact next. 
 

Large amphibian

Adult toads are usually between 10-15cm long. The largest female was recorded at 24cm in length and 1.3kg in Queensland.  

Poison glands

Adults have large poison glands behind each ear.
 
  

Colouration (from above)

Colouration's range from grey, yellow to olive or reddish brown. 

Colouration (from beneath)

Underneath cane toads are usually cream and sometimes have a marbled pattern. 

Bony ridges

Cane toads have bony ridges above their eyes and along the nose that join at the front of the head.
 

Unwebbed feet

Front feet are unwebbed and hind feet have leathery webbing between the toes. Unlike native frogs, they do not have wide pads on the ends of their toes.  

Adult Male 

Tend to have rougher skin than females, are smaller in size and generally yellowish in colour.

Adult female

Have smoother skin than males and are much larger in size. 

Movement 

Cane toads sit upright and move in short rapid hops.

Behaviour  

Mainly nocturnal foraging cane toads may be found sheltering under rocks and logs, in depressions and under vegetation during cold or hot weather. 

Breeding

Cane toad breeding is from September-March or when waters temperature reached 25 degrees celsius.

 Breeding

Cane toads will congregate around water sources when breeding.

 

Cane toad Amplexus

 Breed may occur twice per year.

Spawning

The spawn is often angled over rocks or water plants. 

 


Cane toad eggs 

Quite distinctive from native frog eggs as they are laid in long chains with a bead like appearance.

Cane toad eggs 

Encased in a tube of jelly. 

   

Cane toad eggs 

Usually containing 8,000 to 35,000 eggs in one location. 

Cane toad eggs 

Eggs hatch in 24-72 hours.
 

 

Cane toad tadpoles

Difficult to identify from native frog tadpoles. Cane toad tadpoles are small and jet black. 

Cane toad tadpole swarming

Tend to school together in large groups, unlike most native tadpoles.
 
 
 

Cane toad tadpoles

Their body length can reach up to 11mm, with total length up to 30mm (head to tail).
 
 

Juvenile cane toad

Small in size and dark in colouration. 
   
 
 
 


Australian Native Frogs

(Protected species) 

 

Spotted Marsh Frog

(Limnodynastes tasmaniensis) 

 Eastern Banjo Frog 

(Limnodynastes dumerilii)

Peron's Tree Frog

(Litoria peronii)

 Tusked Frog

(Adelotus brevis)


Ornate Burrowing Frog

(Platyplectrum ornatum)

 
 

Striped Burrowing Frog

(Cyclorana alboguttata)

 
 
Find out more about Australian native frogs
 
 
 
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CONTROL ADVICE

  • Trapping cane toads can be done with Light Traps that attract bugs at night - Marion
  • Email your top control tips to toadscan@feralscan.org.au and we’ll display them on this website
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