cane toad


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 The cane toad may be the poster animal for invasive species. John Timmer, Wired, 29 Aug. 2021 In the species' native South American habitat, cane toad tadpoles have previously been observed eating their peers. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Sep. 2021 The Australian cane toad's population density is about 10 times that of their native range. John Timmer, Wired, 29 Aug. 2021 Even cane toad tadpoles are toxic, Ken Gioeli, the University of Florida's natural resources extension agent for St. Lucie County, told TCPalm of the USA TODAY Network in 2018. Jay Cannon, USA TODAY, 12 June 2020 Poisonous cane toads, for example, were brought to Kayangel Atoll in Palau to reduce monitor lizards’ predation on livestock. Marion Renault, New York Times, 15 May 2020 Threats to the Puerto Rican crested toad’s survival include habitat competition from invasive cane toads, which also eat Puerto Rican crested toad tadpoles and toadlets. National Geographic, 26 Mar. 2020 From lionfish to pythons to cane toads, there are plenty of invasive species horror stories. Sara Kiley Watson, Popular Science, 25 Mar. 2020 In some cases, discerning between two types of similar-looking creatures is important, as in the case of Australia’s invasive cane toad. National Geographic, 23 Jan. 2020

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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The first known use of cane toad was in 1975

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Last Updated

25 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cane toad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for cane toad

cane toad


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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