The Cane Toad Takeover

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Learn HOW to IDENTIFY CANE TOADS & other native toads. ONLY humanly euthanize if you are 100% positive of its identity. Below is a quick guide to give you some pointers, but keep in mind it can be tricky to tell the difference when toads are small.

Now before you run outside and start killing every toad insight there are a few important things you need to know. PLEASE DO NOT kill any toads if you aren't 100% confident that is in fact a cane toad and not one of our native species. It would really be unfortunate if someone killed one of our native toads thinking it was a Cane Toad.  Here is a good link with pictures of native toads and frogs.

- they have a  “M”  bony ridge on their nose
-their eye socket is not round, but rather mango shaped and have a horizontal       pupils.
-they have dry warty skin and are brown NEVER green
-the feet of a cane toad are slightly webbed on the back toes
-they are slow and cant leap far. If the toad your chasing can jump a yard its         NOT a cane toad
 -when resting they sit relatively upright

    Cane toads come in a wide variety of colors and are spotted. They can be brown, tan, have shades of red, orange, olive, green and yellow. As you can see, the toad pictured on the left has a slight orange tinge, but they can be much more orange then that! Their colors vary to the surroundings they live in. If you catch and learn about enough cane toads you will be able to tell if you have a male or a female by considering their size and skin texture. Males are more rough and warty and smaller. Notice the large orange poison gland located right behind his ear.

Cane Toads are poisonous at all life stages. If your pet mouths their eggs, tadpoles, baby toads, old toads and young toads they will become VERY sick and probably die.  egg stands can easily be identified and pulled out of the water and left on the grass to die. It is a big win for the environment if you remove their egg strands considering how many eggs they lay in just one night. To do this, in the early morning check your ditches, and standing shallow water, canals or ponds for the long egg strands.

Cane Toad eggs, if eaten by your pet are toxic and can result in death. Stands of eggs can easily be identified and pulled out of the water and left on the grass to die. It is a big win for the environment if you remove their egg strands considering how many eggs they lay in just one night. Between 10,000 up to 32,000 eggs to be exact. When considering most of our native frogs and toads only lay a few hundreds this is a huge threat to our environment. In the early morning check your ditches, ponds, canals, and standing shallow water, for the long egg strands. They kind of look like a strand of clear spaghetti with dots. you can take a garden rake and gently pull them out. Just be aware of your surrounds and please check for alligators, water moccasins, rattle snakes, and spiders! They all enjoy the same kind of habitat!
   Cane toad tadpoles are deadly to fish, dogs, cats and all other animals. They are easy to identify if you have a well trained eye! They are usually much larger then most tadpoles, and also jet black. Their mouths are slightly pointed as well. Our native frog and toad tadpoles are smaller, lighter in color, and somewhat translucent in places.
  They mass together in large groups close to the waters edge in water that dose not flow quickly. Cane toad tadpoles prefer to stay in still, shallow water. They love ponds, and low spots that collect rain water. They also eat each other, and are easy to catch with my hand made tadpole traps, but only with my secret attractant that ONLY attracts cane toad tadpoles!!! Catching these tadpoles and killing them is one the key ways we will put a big dent in their dangerously growing population.
PLEASE make SURE you have caught a CANE toad, and not a native toad! Notice the "M" shaped ridge on his face over both nostrils in between his eyes? This is one of the easiest ways to properly identify a cane toad. Its sad to say, but about 95% of all the toads I catch are cane toads. About 80% are males. Females are the most desirable to catch for a few reasons. Since one female can lay about 30,000 eggs, it is obvious that taking as many females out of an area would be very beneficial. But catching Tadpoles is much more effective. Think about your dog or cat for a minute... we use Flea preventatives that helps kill fleas at all live stages. Tackling the huge problem of cane toad tadpoles starts helping reduce numbers of adults from the get go! That means less adult cane toads that are reproducing and need to be caught!!!! 
This is the Florida Southern toad. 
(Picture borrowed from University of Florida) Notice how the ridges on the toads nose are not shaped like a "M". They are easy to identify because their two ridges on their head end in knobs, almost like a giraffe.  Also look at their poison gland and see how much smaller it is. The Cane toad's poison glands are much larger. Southern Toads are not poisonous to dogs and other pets. They usually live in sandy and marshy lands and aren't found in urban areas as much as Cane Toads are. Southern Toads range in size from 1.5 to 4.5 inches.

Oak Toads are very tiny!

They are actually the smallest toad in the United States. They hardly ever grow to me longer then an inch and a half and they have a stripe down their back and four or six small spots on the sides of the stripe. They breed in the summer months and make a very cute "cheep..cheep...cheep" call. They are easily eaten by cane toads because of their small size. Can you imagine how many of these little guys could be eaten by just one cane toad? These toads are often found in sandy areas, hence the name "oak toad". And they also can be seen hoping around during the day.

Here we have a Fowler Toad
They are most easily identified by the whitish stripe down its back. It is blotchy and also dose not have an  "M" shaped ridge on its head. IT dose not get really big, they seldom grow larger then three inches long, but are larger then the tiny oak toads. On the fowler toad you won't find the sets of spots that you find on the little oak toads.

This is a Gopher Frog.

Sometimes they can be confused with Cane Toads but are VERY different. They are not fat and slow like Cane Toads, they can jump far! They also have no "M" shaped ridge on their face and notice how their eyes are round and have different pupils. They also do not have the large triangle shaped poison gland. They have a raised ridge down both sides of their body. They like dry scrub areas and pine forests when they are not breeding. They breed in temporary wetlands that are typically shallow and don't contain a lot of fish.