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'Be Toadally Sure'

Your guide to identifying cane toads

"How do I tell cane toads apart from similar looking frogs?"

This is just about the most asked question I hear. Therefore, this campaign and webpage is dedicated to equipping you with the knowledge you need to 'be toadally sure' if you have a cane toad or a native frog.

Australia has only once species of toad, the introduced cane toad (Rhinella marina), however there are many frogs across Australia which may look like cane toads, to the untrained eye.

Click or tap on the circles below to learn about the features of a cane toad. If you find all of these features on the cane toad in question, it is likely to be a cane toad.

Be sure to check out this 'Be Toadally Sure' brochure on identifying Cane Toads, as well as using the interactive image below. Feel free to print and distribute.
Special acknowledgement must be given to the QLD Frog Society Inc for endorsing and funding this brochure, particularly to several Committee members and frog experts who contributed to several drafts of the brochure.

Large 'brow' over the eye
Belly - close-upBlack/grey and white mottling on the under belly
Large parotoid gland (the large glands on either side of the head)
Nose - close-upProminent 'M' shaped ridge on the front of face, between the eyes
Back - close-upWarty back and limbs with a dry, leathery appearance
No colour or flecking/patches in thighs or behind the legs
No finger disks or toe pads

Interactive image © stu nicholls - CSS play; Photo © Jono Hooper 2013

The decision of what to do once you are totally sure you have found a cane toad, is up to the individual. For those that do opt to kill and dispose of cane toads, there are several methods considered as humane and acceptable. A simply and humane method is to place the toad into a container and into the fridge for several hours, causing the toad to go to sleep. Then, place the container into the freezer for several days, painlessly killing the toad in the process.

It must be stressed, however, that cane toads pose a far less adverse threat to native frogs and other wildlife than commonly believed. Land clearing and habitat degradation are far more threatening processes.

Remember, it is cruel and inhumane to hit, kick, club, stab or spray Dettol onto toads, as this causes unnecessary stress and a slow, cruel and painful death.

Remember, 'be toadally sure'. If in doubt, leave it out!