Meet the Cane Toad (Bufo marinus)

Cane Toad (Bufo marinus)

Cane Toad (Bufo marinus)
Location: Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii

I have posted a number of photos of various birds that frequent our garden during the day.  Now, meet the Cane Toad (Bufo marinus), one of the critters who work the night shift in our garden.  He won't win a beauty contest, although he does make an interesting photo subject nonetheless.

These amphibians come out after dark in search of food and water.  Normally they eat things like insects, snails and slugs -- but we have witnessed several Cane Toads gobbling cat food from a bowl that happened to be left out on the porch overnight.

Cane Toads seek out damp areas of the garden, and they seem to know when our garden gets watered.  We have seen them position themselves directly under the emitters of our irrigation system, waiting for a shower.   There is a large terra cotta saucer near our ground level bird feeder.  Placed there as a water source for birds, the water in it is refreshed automatically twice a day via our garden irrigation system.  Birds frequent it all day long to drink and bathe.  The Cane Toads use it in the evening.  We have seen up to five Cane Toads at once, lolling together in that ground level bird bath as if it were their personal spa.  So, they're not pretty -- but believe me, they are not as dumb as they look!


DeniseinVA said...

I think he is a very handsome toad as toads go. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think he is beautiful and I enjoyed learning a little bit about him. Thank you and a great photo!

Becky said...

He's a cute little bugger. This photo would make a wonderful framed picture!

2sweetnsaxy said...

I am not a frog person but it doesn't stop me from appreciating this shot. :-)

Celeste said...

I would have to disagree with you, I think he is a very handsome toad, although they are considered quite a pest in places were they have been introduced, which I think includes Hawaii.

BNS said...

@ Denise - Thank you, too.

@ Becky and Gary - I never thought of framing a picture of a toad!

@ 2Sweet - Thank you.

@ Celeste - Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Yes, Cane Toads are an introduced species here in Hawaii, but they are not so much a pest as they are in some other places. I have heard that they have become an outright plague in some parts of Australia.


Barbara Martin said...

Thanks for posting this photo and the information about this type of toad. Great photo, and your subject seems quite patient.

Jerry said...

I gotta agree with the "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" quotes. Just today I came across the huge and colorful caterpillar crawling across a manure pile. Its size, around 2.5" and its big red spike at one end made it look quite a daunting little critter. My dad exclaimed "kill it" when I showed it to him. I have to admit I felt similarly, and as I did not have internet access there in order to find out what sort of caterpillar it was, our chickens got a tasty treat to play with for awhile.

BNS said...

@ Barbara - You're welcome. Yes, this guy did not seem to mind being my photo model on this particular evening. I got a few more shots of him as well.

@ SoapBox - A yes, the food chain: eat or be eaten. Hope the colorful caterpillar didn't give your chickens a tummy ache. ;-}


Rambling Woods said...

Love the toads..have not gotten any photos of one near us yet..

UlloUllo said...

Cane toads are not cute creatures! I just got three out of our swimming pool. They are currently killing wildlife and pets in Australia where they were brought in to kill the cane beetle, a common pest in the cane fields. But now they are a far bigger pest and greater threat than the beetle. Cane toads can kill your dogs and cats. Their skin is extremely poisonous, so don't allow your pets and birds to drink out of a water bowl toads have been in.
The temperature of a Cane Toad drops naturally with that of the temperature around it, so it is humane to kill a toad by lowering its body temperature. Using gloves, place the Cane Toad in a sealed plastic bag and cool it in a refrigerator at 4°C for half an hour, then transfer the bag to a freezer.
Cane Toad spawn can be killed by lifting the strands from the water and laying them in the sun to dry out.

These are serious pests, not cute pets!

BNS said...

Thanks for that information UlloUllo, and for the warning.