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Water Monitors and Cane Toads

  1. #1
    Elite Member Rakoladycz's Avatar
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    Water Monitors and Cane Toads

    I was doing some reading on cane toads as I know when I was younger I had caught a few of these around my home, not knowing how toxic they were either.

    I expected it would have a handful of natural predators but was surprised to see there were quite a few listed outside its native range including the water monitor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Predators

    Many species prey on the cane toad in its native habitat. These include the Broad-snouted Caiman (Caiman latirostris), the Banded Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira annulata), the eel (family: Anguillidae), various species of killifish,[47] the Rock flagtail (Kuhlia rupestris), some species of catfish (order: Siluriformes) and some species of ibis (subfamily: Threskiornithinae).[47] Predators outside the cane toad's native range include the Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), the Rakali (Hydromys chrysogaster), the Black Rat (Rattus rattus) and the Water Monitor (Varanus salvator). There have been occasional reports of the Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) and the Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis)[48] feeding on cane toads. It is likely that an opossum of the Didelphis genus can eat cane toads with impunity.[49]
    Anyone happen to know any other accounts or evidence that would support this?
    Randy


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    1.1.0 Black Roughneck Monitor(Varanus Rudicollis) - Lestat & Levicy
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  2. #2
    Elite Member murrindindi's Avatar
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    Re: Water Monitors and Cane Toads

    Hi Randy, I think a number of Varanid species do take them on occasion, but the outcome is usually death to the predator (including Water monitors).

  3. #3
    Elite Member Infernalis's Avatar
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    Re: Water Monitors and Cane Toads

    The toads are wiping out Varanids in Australia like crazy... The monitors cannot process the toxins.

    It has gotten so bad that biologists call the boundaries between where they are and are not "The Toad Line"
    "and the wise men don't know how it feels to be.....Thick as a brick" Jethro Tull
    Wayne A. Harvey

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    Elite Member SSThorn's Avatar
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    Re: Water Monitors and Cane Toads

    Just searched this and did some reading on it, Pretty interesting. I never knew Cane Toads had a strong enough poison to kill the animals that consume them. Thats pretty intense. Now, I do have a question, if venom is injected, and poison is ingested, i believe the article i read used the words improperly, or i am quite confused. They mentioned "the venom they excrete", wouldnt this be a poison?

  5. #5
    Elite Member murrindindi's Avatar
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    Re: Water Monitors and Cane Toads

    Quote Originally Posted by SSThorn View Post
    Just searched this and did some reading on it, Pretty interesting. I never knew Cane Toads had a strong enough poison to kill the animals that consume them. Thats pretty intense. Now, I do have a question, if venom is injected, and poison is ingested, i believe the article i read used the words improperly, or i am quite confused. They mentioned "the venom they excrete", wouldnt this be a poison?
    It`a a toxic secretion.

  6. #6
    Elite Member murrindindi's Avatar
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    Re: Water Monitors and Cane Toads

    Here`s one short piece on the effects Cane toads are having;

    General Impact.
    Cane toads will eat “almost any terrestrial animal”, although they are more likely to consume those active at ground level during the night (Hinkley 1962). Covacevich and Archer, (1975) in their paper on the effects of the cane toad on indigenous verteberates in Australia, state that snakes, such as the carpet python, the black headed python, death adder and some other snakes have been found dead with the cane toad in their mouths or guts. Studies in Australia where the range of the cane toad is ever expanding have shown that the cane toad plays an important role in structuring native anuran communities (Crossland, 2000) via direct and indirect mechanisms and is thus a threat to the survival of native Australian fauna ( Catling,P.C et al.2003).
    Toads have been implicated in the decline of populations of monitor lizards in Guam (Jackson 1962, Dryden 1965). Pernetta and Watling (1978) consider that the toads do not interact with native frogs because they use different habitats; the frogs are either along stream banks or in the foliage of dense forest. Villadolid (1956) found rats and mice in stomachs of toads in the Philippine Islands. Hinkley concluded that this toad is “economically neutral” because it consumes both “harmful” and “beneficial” invertebrates.
    Secretions from the parotoid glands are produced when the toad is provoked or localised pressure is applied, such as a predator grasping the toad in its mouth (NRM, 2001). The toxic secretions are known to cause illness and death in both domestic and wild animals that come into contact with toads, such as dogs, cats, snakes and lizards. The toxin causes extreme pain if rubbed into the eyes (NRM, 2001). Human fatalities have been reported, but are probably confined to people who deliberately concentrate the toxin and then ingest it.
    Overall, the major impacts are on predatory species that attempt to eat toads and then die; in particular, species that normally specialise amphibians, such as Mertens water monitor in northern Australia.


    Gavutu Is. (Solomon Islands)
    Other: Indigenous predators (snakes and the water monitor) are poisoned when trying to eat Bufo marinus.
    Guadalcanal Is. (Solomon Islands)
    Other: Indigenous predators (snakes and the water monitor) are poisoned when trying to eat Bufo marinus.
    Malaita Is. (Solomon Islands)
    Other: Indigenous predators (snakes and the water monitor) are poisoned when trying to eat Bufo marinus.
    Banika Is. (Solomon Islands)
    Other: Indigenous predators (snakes and the water monitor) are poisoned when trying to eat Bufo marinus.
    Vanikoro Is. (Solomon Islands)
    Other: Indigenous predators (snakes and the water monitor) are poisoned when trying to eat Bufo marinus.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Rakoladycz's Avatar
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    Re: Water Monitors and Cane Toads

    Quote Originally Posted by murrindindi View Post
    Hi Randy, I think a number of Varanid species do take them on occasion, but the outcome is usually death to the predator (including Water monitors).
    This is what I would have expected but the way Wiki has it, makes it sound as if the water monitor consumes them without issue. I was looking for more information or an actual account to validate it. I know wiki can say anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Infernalis View Post
    The toads are wiping out Varanids in Australia like crazy... The monitors cannot process the toxins.

    It has gotten so bad that biologists call the boundaries between where they are and are not "The Toad Line"
    We have quite an issue with them here in Florida as well, which is why I was reading about them and natural predators. I expected all or most monitors would have ill effects. Was surprised to read that they could but it didn't seem that farfetched.

    I suppose it is safe to say they cannot but is this conclusive?
    Randy


    0.1.0 Ball Python(Python regius) - Kyree
    1.1.0 Black Roughneck Monitor(Varanus Rudicollis) - Lestat & Levicy
    0.0.1 Black Tip Thick Tailed Scorpion (Parabuthus Liosoma) -


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  8. #8
    Elite Member Infernalis's Avatar
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    Re: Water Monitors and Cane Toads

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakoladycz View Post
    This is what I would have expected but the way Wiki has it, makes it sound as if the water monitor consumes them without issue. I was looking for more information or an actual account to validate it. I know wiki can say anything.



    We have quite an issue with them here in Florida as well, which is why I was reading about them and natural predators. I expected all or most monitors would have ill effects. Was surprised to read that they could but it didn't seem that farfetched.

    I suppose it is safe to say they cannot but is this conclusive?
    Straight from an Aussie Biologist....

    PM crocdoc and ask him his take on the toads.
    "and the wise men don't know how it feels to be.....Thick as a brick" Jethro Tull
    Wayne A. Harvey

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  9. #9
    Elite Member Rakoladycz's Avatar
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    Re: Water Monitors and Cane Toads

    Not saying David wouldn't know... but the only water monitors native to Australia are Varanus Mitchelli and Varanus Mertensi. I suspected the quote being more specific to Salvator. I could be wrong.
    Randy


    0.1.0 Ball Python(Python regius) - Kyree
    1.1.0 Black Roughneck Monitor(Varanus Rudicollis) - Lestat & Levicy
    0.0.1 Black Tip Thick Tailed Scorpion (Parabuthus Liosoma) -


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  10. #10
    Elite Member murrindindi's Avatar
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    Re: Water Monitors and Cane Toads

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakoladycz View Post
    This is what I would have expected but the way Wiki has it, makes it sound as if the water monitor consumes them without issue. I was looking for more information or an actual account to validate it. I know wiki can say anything.



    I suppose it is safe to say they cannot but is this conclusive?
    Hi Randy, if you`re asking if a Varanid has ever consumed a Cane toad and survived I`m not too sure, but it`s very possible they could?
    It seems conclusive that large numbers of at least some species cannot cope with the secretions, due to the clear decline in their population in places.
    According to the article I put up, Water monitors (V. salvator) cannnot either (I took it Wikipedia meant V. salvator, too)?
    I think they (Wikipedia) can be quite inaccurate at times.

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