Marine Toad

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Range
The natural range of the Marine toad extends from south Texas and south Sonora (Mexico) through the Amazon basin in South America. However, populations now occur throughout the Caribbean and Florida becuase they were introduced in many areas to control agricultural pests in sugar cane. These toads now occur in urban areas of south and central Florida and are rapidly expanding northward.

Habitat
Marine toads are found mainly in disturbed areas, such as around buildings and in yards, near canals and ponds and in forested areas with semi-permanent water nearby.

Distinguishing Characteristics
The marine toad is a brown to grayish-brown toad with a creamy yellow belly and deeply-pitted parotid glands extending down the sides. Adults have a short, squat body with short legs.

Size: from 6-9 in (15-23cm) but may get larger.

Dietary Classification
Diet in the Zoo: crickets, cockroaches, worms and pinkie mice

Diet in the Wild: They are omnivorous, eating just about anything, including insects (beetles, ants, and earwigs), vegetation, small birds, other toads and frogs, lizards, small mammals, snakes, table scraps, and dog and cat food.

Life Span
Can live up to 10 years.

Behavior/Adaptations
Their glands contain a milky-white substance commonly called "bufotoxin," which the toad uses as a defense against predators. This toxin (poison) can cause irritation in humans and animals, particularly when the toxin comes in contact with the eyes or mucus membranes. For small pets and wild animals, this toxin can be lethal.

Status
Listed as a species of concern by the IUCN. It has been called one of the 100 worst invasive species worldwide by the Invasive Species Specialist Group.