Cane toad

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Zen.’ (See more offerings here.) This is a cane toad and, despite the exceedingly grumpy look, it found a moment of zen in the sanctuary of this sprinkler.

Cane toads were introduced to Hawaii to control pests, such as the cane beetle, in sugar cane fields. As with many such introductions, the results were mixed. The toads do eat an assortment of undesirable insects, but also breed prolifically so that they can become pests themselves.

They are the world’s largest toad and have poison glands that can release a toxic substance onto their skin, so they should be handled with care or not at all.

22 thoughts on “Cane toad

  1. Forestwood

    I think most of the cane toads came from South America, but clearly some came from Hawaii too. These are the most grotesque creatures, and I love all animals, except for the cane toad. I hope it doesn’t become as much of a problem as it does here. The Government Scientists that signed off on this biological control disaster have a lot to answer for. And they didn’t even work against the Sugar cane beetle that they were introduced to combat.

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    1. Graham Post author

      I think Australia and Hawaii have something in common in terms of disastrous introductions of plants and wildlife. The biggest problem is that, once established, these things are incredibly hard to get rid of.

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      1. bushboy

        Our Landcare group has a Cane Toad eradication program in conjunction with other groups and Cane Toad hunting is a regular event. The teams go out on Friday nights and collect toads and euthanise them. Some nights the collect over 300 toads!!! Trying to stop their march south

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        1. Graham Post author

          I don’t think they’re as big a problem in Hawaii – yet. People here are more concerned about coqui frogs, which are extremely loud and have become established.

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          1. bushboy

            They will be as they don’t have predators. Any animals that try to eat them die. So many small frogs and lizards are disappearing from the landscape. One female can produce up to 100,00 young a year.
            I have not heard about coqui frogs.

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            1. Graham Post author

              Coqui frogs come from Puerto Rico, where they are quite beloved. They’re very small but the noise they make is mighty, which is why they’re not popular here, though they’re well established, particularly on the wet side of the island.

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    1. Graham Post author

      It was pretty happy there, probably because it’s a very dry area. But it moved on soon afterwards, possibly toward a nearby river that doesn’t always have water in it. Gotta love that expression though.

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        1. Graham Post author

          I haven’t seen that here, but every so often we have huge surges in the numbers of mice around and then the roads lose their uniform color and become spotted with squashed mice.

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