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'Be Toadally Sure'

Your Guide to identifying Cane Toads

"How do I tell cane toads apart from similar looking frogs?" is up there with the most asked question on frogs. 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 also many frogs here which do look like toads to the untrained eye. Instead of creating an exhaustive list of such frogs here, you'll find these toad look-alikes marked with an asterisk (*) on the SEQ Species page.

Below, you can use your mouse to hover over the cane toad where the red points appear and read up on all the characteristic of the cane toad. The aim of this is so next time you encounter something that looks like a cane toad, you can look for particular features to be sure of what its identity is.

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 ackmowledgement must be given to the QLD Frog Society Inc for endorsing and funding this brochure, particualrly to several Committee members and frog experts who contributed to numerous 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 dispose of cane toads, there are several methods considered as humane and acceptable. However, the simplest 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.

It must be stressed however that cane toads pose a far less serious threat to native frogs and other wildlife than land clearing and development as an example. However even if they were a serious threat, it is cruel and inhumane to hit, kick, club, stab or spray Dettol onto toads as this causes unnecessary stress and a slow and painful death.

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