A network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests.
PestNet is a network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests. It started in 1999. Anyone with an interest in plant protection is welcome to join. PestNet is free and is moderated, ensuring that messages are confined to plant protection.
July 2009. Samoa asked about the poison of the cane toad. A specimen has been captured recently (at Aleipata) and kept for study in the lab. How dangerous is it?
The following is excerpted from ???The Cane Toad??? by Christopher Lever (Westbury Publishing, 2001) p.30-31:
???. . . spray may carry a metre or several metres . . . cane toads however spray only in reaction to severe mental or physical stress . . . the greatest risk to man is being sprayed in the eyes . . . a further danger is the entry of venom into the blood stream through a break in the skin . . . a toad under threat will actually lunge at its attacker . . .???
As the toxin affects the heart, it would seem sensible to wear gloves and eye protection. There are reports of people dying from cane toad toxin, but usually after eating the toad or its eggs.
Another member wrote: They are most active at night and tend to move to bright lights as these attract the insects the toads eat. They are attracted to and will eat dried dog or cat food pellets. They are definitely attracted to movement and I suspect smell. As for the poison glands on the head behind the eyes, if provoked by prodding, poking or picking up, they will exude a white substance the consistency of Frangipanni sap from the glands. This just sits on the skin surface in the gland area. It does not squirt anywhere at all.
Toads hop, they do not lunge.
Note the appearance of the toad: Ridges over the eyes, goodly parotoid glands, granular belly. That said, having never seen any other species of the Bufo genus I wouldn’t class myself as an expert on them. Pretty safe bet though.
As the cane toad is a new pest for Samoa, it was suggested that the specimen was frozen not kept. There was a risk in keeping it that was not worth the taking.
DNA was requested so that the invasion pathway could be identified. A lab to contact for the analysis was given.