Rhinella marina


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Rhinella marina
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Cane Toad, Marine Toad, Giant Marine Toad, Giant Toad, Agua Toad, Shoulder-knot Frog
French Crapaud
Spanish Sapo Común, Sapo Grande
Bombinator horridus (Daudin, 1802)
Bombinator maculatus Merrem, 1820
Bufo agua Latreille, 1801
Bufo albicans Spix, 1824
Bufo angustipes Taylor & Smith, 1945
Bufo brasiliensis Laurenti, 1768
Bufo horridus Daudin, 1802
Bufo humeralis Daudin, 1803
Bufo lazarus Spix, 1824
Bufo maculiventris Spix, 1824
Bufo marinus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Bufo marinus subspecies horribilis Lynch & Fugler, 1965
Bufo marinus subspecies horribilis Cei, Erspamer & Roseghini, 1968
Bufo marinus subspecies marinus Schmidt, 1932
Bufo pithecodactylus Werner, 1899
Bufo pythecodactylus Rivero, 1961
Bufo horribilis Wiegmann, 1833
Docidophryne agua (Latreille, 1801)
Docidophryne Lazarus (Spix, 1824)
Phrynoidis agua (Latreille, 1801)
Rana brasiliana (Laurenti, 1768)
Rana gigas Walbaum, 1784
Rana humeris-armata Lacépède, 1788
Rana marina Linnaeus, 1758
Rana maxima Merrem, 1820
Taxonomic Notes: Rhinella marina is generally considered to be a complex of several species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Frank Solís, Roberto Ibáñez, Geoffrey Hammerson, Blair Hedges, Arvin Diesmos, Masafumi Matsui, Jean-Marc Hero, Stephen Richards, Luis Coloma, Santiago Ron, Enrique La Marca, Jerry Hardy, Robert Powell, Federico Bolaños, Gerardo Chaves, Paulino Ponce
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S., Chanson, J., Cox, N. & Young, B. (Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species ranges from southern Texas, USA, through tropical Mexico and Central America to northern South America (central Brazil and Amazonian Peru and northern parts of Amazonian Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela [including Margarita Island] and the Guianas, throughout Trinidad and Tobago). It is introduced in southern Florida, Puerto Rico (introduced in the 1920s), St Croix, St Thomas, Hawaii (introduced from Puerto Rico in 1932, now common on all main islands), Jamaica (including Cabarita Island) (introduced from Barbados in 1844, common throughout island in lowlands), the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), St Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, the Grenadines, Martinique, St Lucia, St Vincent, Barbados, Aruba, Grenada, Guam (McCoid 1993), Saipan (Wiles and Guerrero 1996), and many other tropical and subtropical localities (Schwartz and Henderson 1988). It is also an invasive and introduced species in much of the lowlands of Papua New Guinea, the Admiralty and Bismarck Islands and the Solomon Islands. It was introduced to Australia in 1935, to north tropical Queensland to control sugar cane pests (which it failed to do). Now the southern limit of its distribution is near Coffs Harbour in northeastern New South Wales, and its range extends through most of Queensland and into the Northern Territory to Kakadu National Park (first recorded at Koolpin Gorge, 24 June 2002 and Twin Falls, 10 June 2002). It is also introduced and now widespread in the Philippines. It is found on most of the major islands. It was introduced into Japan first from Hawaii to Taiwan, Province of China, and then from Taiwan through Daito Islands (1930) to Ishigaki Island (1978). The population of Bonin Island was introduced from Guam, which in itself had the species introduced in 1937 (Christy et al. 2007). It is also found on Hatomajima. It occurs from sea level up to 3,000 m asl.
Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; United States (Florida - Introduced, Hawaiian Is. - Introduced, Texas); Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Australia; Barbados; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guam; Haiti; Jamaica; Japan; Martinique; Montserrat; Northern Mariana Islands; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Puerto Rico; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Solomon Islands; Taiwan, Province of China; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a very abundant species, and its range is increasing.
Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A nocturnal and terrestrial toad that inhabits humid areas with adequate cover, including cane fields, savannah, open forest, well watered yards and gardens. It also inhabits dry equatorial forests. It thrives in degraded habitats and man-made environments, and is occasionally found in pristine lowland and montane rainforests, but generally prefers open or disturbed habitat such as tracks, roads, low grassland and areas that are near human settlement, e.g. grazing land, suburban parks and gardens. It tends to avoid more densely vegetated areas (eg. wet sclerophyll and rainforest), which can then act as a barrier to their dispersal. It can be found by day beneath fallen trees, loose boards, matted coconut leaves, and similar cover (Lynn 1940). It feeds on arthropods (especially ants and termites) and small vertebrates. It is flexible regards breeding site (Evans et al. 1996); eggs and larvae develop in slow or still shallow waters of ponds, ditches, temporary pools, reservoirs, canals, and streams. Clutch size is between 8,000 and 17,000. Eggs and tadpoles are poisonous and displace native tadpoles. It may sometimes breed in slightly brackish water in Hawaii. Larvae are tolerant of high temperatures.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species has been put to various uses across its geographic range. It is used for educational purposes, skins are used for bags in Mexico and for drum skins in Papua New Guinea, while whole animals are stuffed and sold as souvenirs in Nicaragua. Some toads are taken for traditional medicinal uses and then released.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overall, there are no significant threats to this very adaptable, invasive species. Introduced animals are carrying salmonella in Puerto Rico, putting other native species at risk. In some parts of its introduced range it competes with native frogs and has a negative impact on native wildlife that attempt to consume it. Survival and development of tadpoles in Bermuda are being affected both by contaminants found in a number of its ponds and by transfer of accumulated contaminants (Bacon et al. 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures needed for this highly invasive species; rather, conservation measures for those species adversely affected by the expansion of the range of this species are what is required. Research on biology, impacts and methods to control their population growth in Australia are in place, but to date no effective controls have been implemented. In Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines and Japan, the impacts of this species on native frogs should be examined. An officially organized eradication programme has been initiated in the Grenadines (Daudin and Silva 2007).

Bibliography [top]

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Citation: Frank Solís, Roberto Ibáñez, Geoffrey Hammerson, Blair Hedges, Arvin Diesmos, Masafumi Matsui, Jean-Marc Hero, Stephen Richards, Luis Coloma, Santiago Ron, Enrique La Marca, Jerry Hardy, Robert Powell, Federico Bolaños, Gerardo Chaves, Paulino Ponce 2009. Rhinella marina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 30 March 2015.
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