Marine toad (Bufo marinus)
Two males call the Zoo home. Both were born in 2006 and came to the Zoo in 2007. Adults have a short, squat body with short legs and are gray or olive brown to reddish brown, sometimes with darker spots, and have a creamy white or yellowish underside flecked with brown. The skin is dry and on the back and legs it is covered with warts.
Status in the wild
Marine toads are not considered at risk.
The natural range of the marine toad is southern Texas, Central America, the Amazon Basin and southern Peru. This species was introduced by man for pest control into Puerto Rico, Haiti, Hawaii, Florida and eastern Australia. The natural habitat of marine toads is tropical rainforest or tropical deciduous forest. They are, however, much more common in villages and cleared areas than in forests.
The main diet is insects and worms but marine toads are not fussy eaters. They have been known to eat small snakes, frogs, lizards and even mice. They will also eat bees straight out of the hive and dog food out of the bowl. They will eat their own young if necessary.
- The marine toad is one of the world's largest species of toad.
- Whereas most members of the Bufonidae family locate prey by movement, the marine toad can also locate food using its sense of smell allowing it to feed on plant matter and carrion as adults, as well as dog food and household refuse.
- Bufotenin, one of the chemicals excreted by the marine toad, is classified as a Class One drug under Australian drug laws.This is the same classification as heroin and cocaine.