Introduced Species

Click on each species to find out facts about each species, pictures for identification and listen to their calls.

Marine Toad (Rhinella marina)

  • Size: Up to 6”
  • Calls from April to October (sometimes into winter) in South Florida
  • Largest terrestrial amphibian in Florida
  • Call sounds like a low pitched, drawn out trill or some describe as a diesel engine idling

 Button for species call  

How can you tell a Marine Toad and Southern Toad apart?(hyperlink)

Cuban Tree Frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis)

  • Size: Up to 5 ½”
  • Calls from April to October in South Florida
  • Highly variable in color and pattern. 
  • Call sounds like a raspy snore.

 Button for species call  

How can you tell a Cuban Tree Frog from a Green Tree Frog or Squirrel Tree Frog?(hyperlink)

Greenhouse Frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris)

  • Size: Up to 1 Ό”
  • Calls from April to September in South Florida
  • Reproduction through direct development
  • Call sounds like a very quiet, high pitched chirping.

 Button for species call   

Amphibians Identity

Learn about how Marine Toads and Cuban Tree Frogs have negatively effected the South Florida environment.

Marine Toad vs. Southern Toad!

Marine Toad Southern Toad
Size 6” or less, any toad over 4” Up to 4” but commonly 3” or less
Parotid Gland  Large, oblong, points to shoulders  Bean shaped, parallel with spine
Head Ornamentation   None  “Horns”

 Listen to their calls at the same time to hear the difference.

Cuban Tree Frog vs. Green Tree Frog and Squirrel Tree Frog!

Cuban Tree Frog  Green Tree Frog  Squirrel Tree Frog
Size   6” or less, any tree frog over 2 ½”  Up to 2 Ό”  Up to 1 Ύ”
Skin on head  Firmly attached to skull   Movable   Movable 
Skin Pattern   Highly variable coloration from dark grey, yellow, brown or green.  Solid color to leopard pattern   Bright green to light brown, white stripe from mouth down side of body  Variable coloration from bright green to brown and sometimes blotchy patterns

 Listen to their calls at the same time to hear the difference.

Negative Effects of Introduced Amphibians

Marine Toads and Cuban Tree Frogs have become established through both intentional and accidental introductions.  They are now one of the most common frogs or toads that most South Floridians will encounter.  They prefer disturbed areas around development but have begun to invade our natural areas. Why are they a concern?  Both Marine Toads and Cuban Tree Frogs grow larger than our native species and compete for resources.  They have voracious, indiscriminant appetites and will consume insects, native frogs, toads, reptiles, birds and even small mammals!  They both have toxic and irritating skin secretions that make them less appealing to our native predators.  This leaves their populations largely unbalanced in our ecosystems but their full impact has yet to be evaluated.

Marine Toad

The Marine Toad is the same species as what Australians call the Cane Toad.  This toad has had raised great concerns for the native species of that continent as it continues to expand its range.  Millions of dollars have been spent to try and control its expansion.  The secretions of the parotid glands of the Marine Toad are highly toxic to any animal that attempts to consume it.  Hundreds of dogs get sick every year in Florida and some even die from grabbing them with their mouth or consuming them.  Unfortunately, there is no antidote for the toxin once it is absorbed but treatment by a veterinarian is usually successful.  Even the eggs and tadpoles of the Marine Toad are toxic.  Our native toads have parotid gland secretions, also.  But, these secretions serve mostly as a bad tasting deterrent and are not considered dangerous.  Learn more about Marine/Cane Toads from the Cane Toads in Oz website.

Cuban Tree Frog

The Cuban Tree Frog’s skin secretions are not as toxic but more of an irritant to the mucous membranes.  If you touch one of these frogs and then accidentally touch your eye, it has been described as agonizing as being pepper sprayed. Many biologists recommend euthanizing these invasive species if you are certain that they are not a native species.  Information for humane euthanasia can be found at the Florida Wildlife Extension website from the University of Florida.