Cane Toad Myths

If you want to know how much of an impact Cane Toads are having in Australia, one interesting indicator is that within a century they have spawned, (no pun intended) a host of myths and legends.

Here are a couple of common ones:

Cane Toads "spit venom".

This is a fallacy. The glands on a Toads back have no connection to the toads mouth, although it's a good idea not to squeeze them.

Licking a Cane Toad can get you "high".

Licking a Cane toad will not get you "high". It may however, get you hospitalised.

Cane Toads Can't Swim.

This again is untrue, Cane Toads are excellent swimmers and have no problem crossing large body's of water or hanging out in your pool.

Cane toads will eat anything - including fecal matter.

There is a small grain of truth to this, however, the whole story is that while consuming insects that are feeding on such matter - the Toad will also ingest such excretions incidentally, rather than deliberately.

The cane toad naturally exists in South Texas, but attempts (both deliberate and accidental) have been made to introduce the species to other parts of the country. These include introductions to Florida and to the islands of Hawaii, as well as largely unsuccessful introductions to Louisiana ^.

Other than the use as a biological control for pests, the cane toad has been employed in a number of commercial and noncommercial applications. Traditionally, within the toad's natural range in South America, the Embera-Wounaan would "milk" the toads for their toxin, which was then employed as an arrow poison. The toxins may have been used as an entheogen by the Olmec people. The toad has been hunted as a food source in parts of Peru, and eaten after the careful removal of the skin and parotoid glands