cane toad

noun

Definition of cane toad 

: a large, brownish, poisonous toad (Rhinella marina synonym Bufo marinus) native to Central and South America, Mexico, and extreme southern Texas and introduced into other tropical and subtropical areas (such as Australia) where it has become an invasive species Cane toads are seen as a major threat to biodiversity, not only because they voraciously out-compete some native species for food and consume others, but also because their skin toxins are thought to kill carnivorous predators which mistake them for local amphibians.— Sheila Lunter

called also giant toad, marine toad

Examples of cane toad in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Today, the cane toad can be found all over northern Australia and south Florida. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "Overrun by Alien Species," 1 Nov. 2018 But things went downhill fast after cane toads were introduced in the 1930s. Matt Warren, Science | AAAS, "This endangered Australian marsupial was set to make a comeback—until it stopped fearing wild dogs," 5 June 2018 Today, the two hundred million cane toads in Australia constitute a pest far worse than the one they were meant to control. Steven Strogatz, The New Yorker, "When Twenty-Six Thousand Stinkbugs Invade Your Home," 8 Aug. 2011 One menace is cane toads, a North American poisonous amphibian introduced to Australia in the 1930s by farmers as pest control for sugar cane crops. Ben Panko, Smithsonian, "To Save Australia’s Ecosystem, Ecologists Say Eat Kangaroos," 12 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cane toad.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cane toad

1975, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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The first known use of cane toad was in 1975

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More Definitions for cane toad

cane toad

noun

Medical Definition of cane toad 

: a large, brownish toad (Rhinella marina synonym Bufo marinus) that secretes a toxin poisonous especially to small animals and that is native to Central and South America, Mexico, and southernmost Texas but has become an invasive species in other warm regions (as Florida and Australia) where it was formerly introduced for insect control

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