Giant Toad - Bufo marinus (invasive)
woodpecker with bubble popping sound
Description & Identification:
Extremely large, reaching up to 6" (15cm). Dorsum usually brown or grayish with occasional cream spots scattered over the back, sides, and legs; back and legs covered with spiny warts; underside is creamy yellow, sometimes flecked with black; parotoid are large, extending over the shoulders.
Eggs are laid in two strings on the surface or are wrapped around objects in the water; laid from late spring into summer in temporay pools and roadside ditches; hatch in approximately 3 days. Tadpoles are jet black above and silvery white with black spots below. Metamorphose in 45-50 days.
Habitat & Behaviors:
This non-indigenous toad was initially introduced into sugar cane fields of south Florida in an effort to control insects but it is now well established and expanding into urban areas of central Florida. This toad may be found in temporary pools of water or roadside ditches and is commonly seen around suburban street lights. These toads will not only eat insects but may consume dog or cat food. Their parotoid glands contain a potent bufotoxin which if ingested will cause illness or death.
Southern toad has two ridges behind the eyes that end in bulbs in front of the parotoid glands. Oak toad is tiny, has an orange stripe down the center of the back, and small parotoid glands.
A deep, sluggish trill, somewhat resembling a bubbly woodpecker; generally call from urban areas; throughout the year, especially during warm, wet periods from early spring to autumn.