vrijdag 30 januari 2009
Cane Toad in the garden
Last night we spotted a Cane Toad in the garden..the toad is a pest here
Ugly and leathery-brown, the cane toad is one of Queensland’s best-known pests.
Originally introduced to control a beetle which feeds on sugarcane crops, the cane toad has thrived in Queensland’s tropical and subtropical climate.
This pest’s impact has been far-reaching, with the invasion of cane toads into Queensland thought to be an important factor in the decline of many native animals.
What does it look like?
Compared with native frogs, the cane toad is heavily-built and large (up to 20cm).
Colours range from brown to mustard, with its underside varying from white to yellow mottled with brown or grey.
Its head and face, with a distinctive ridge over each eye, are unlike any Australian frog. But cane toad tadpoles are similar to some native frog tadpoles.
When threatened or handled, the toad releases a toxin from these glands that is highly poisonous to native animals and most domestic pets.
The cane toad can squirt the milky toxin from its glands up to one metre away. Animals often die if they swallow cane toad toxin.
Originally from South America, the cane toad has been introduced to many countries as a biological control agent for agricultural insect pests.
In 1935, cane toads from Hawaii were released into far north Queensland canefields to try to control greyback beetles which were devastating the sugarcane industry.
Only 10 years later, the toad was in Brisbane and has now spread south and west to areas where cane has never been grown.
Combined with this is a long life; a cane toad has lived 16 years in captivity.