POISONOUS TOADS: types and characteristics - With pictures

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Current news about invasions of Poisonous toads in FloridaAs a result of abundant rains that have allowed these amphibians to expand their distribution area to urban ecosystems, they have unleashed concern as they are poisonous toads for dogs, other animals that live with people in these urban areas and also for people. This fact coincides with the reproduction period of these amphibians, and, as occurs in other parts of the world, as with the poisonous toads in Spain and the hallucinogenic effects of some poisonous toads in Mexico, the population's concern regarding the toxicity of some species, makes it necessary for us to be well informed.

In this Green Ecologist article we offer information related to the Poisonous toads, their types and characteristics, which is of great help to know different species (poisonous and harmless), as well as to investigate a little more beliefs and myths about the toxicity of toads. In addition, you will see various images of poisonous toads.

Types of poisonous toads with examples

The different species of poisonous toads that exist throughout the planet can be classified into different groups according to their diurnal or nocturnal habits, mainly terrestrial, aquatic or arboreal, as well as according to the danger of their poison. You've probably heard of the famous toads bufo or toad Bufo bufo poisonous and the kind of runner toad or toad Epidalea calamita poisonous, but what other species of poisonous toads stand out among the poisonous amphibians? In the following list you will find many of these kinds of poisonous toads, which are included within the taxonomic family Bufonidae:

  • Bufo or common toad (Bufo bufo)
  • Giant neotropical toad, cane toad or marine toad (Rhinella marina)
  • Runner toadEpidalea calamita)
  • American toad (Anaxyrus americanus)
  • Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus)
  • Green toad (Bufo viridis)
  • Ox or cururu toad (Bufo paracnemis or Rhinella schneideri)
  • Sonoran desert toad (Incilius alvarius)
  • Argentine toad (Bufo arenarum)
  • Water toad (Bufo stejnegeri)

If you want to learn more about amphibians, we advise you to read this other article about What animals are amphibians and where they are found. Also, here you can see pictures of poisonous toads in the same order as in this list presented above.

Are all toads poisonous?

It is important to clarify that, although all species of toads have toxins in their rough skin as a protective measure against predators, not all are considered poisonous toads for people and animals domestic and wild.

In this way, knowing that there are also many species of harmless toadsIt is essential not to confuse different species of toads and treat them all as lethal or dangerous. The curious and abundant midwife toadsAlytes obstetricans), for example, they are included within the toads whose toxins would not produce negative effects on people and pets that come in contact with them.

After knowing that there are poisonous toads and there are also those with toxins but not so dangerous as to be lethal or cause serious injury to the body, let's see in the next section more about which are poisonous toads, knowing their characteristics in order to know how to differentiate them. of those other species that are not.

Characteristics of poisonous toads

Unlike other poisonous animals, toads do not have a well-organized poisonous system, but rather have specific anatomical structures responsible for the secretion of various poisonous substances or zootoxins. But, specifically, Where do the toads get the poison? Let's discover this and others characteristics of poisonous toads in the following list:

  • They are mucous glands of different sizes, located mainly on the skin of the head and dorsolateral areas of the body of toads, responsible for secreting poisonous substances.
  • They are watery and whitish secretions that toads secrete in order to scare away their predators, since, to a greater or lesser extent, these substances are irritating.
  • The quantity and distribution of the glands varies from one toad species to another, highlighting the parotid gland as responsible for secreting zootoxins in the toads considered the most toxic.
  • Poisonous toads usually cause more cases of poisoning and even mortality in domestic animals and people during the summer and spring months (after the end of their hibernation season), being during the night when poisonings usually occur, since it is easier to enter contact with these species as they are not seen clearly.
  • The effects of poisoning by toxins from poisonous toads are mainly due to the contact of said toxins with the mucous membranes of the infected person and / or animal, which suffer skin irritations, vomiting, respiratory failure, muscle paralysis and cardiovascular failure in a few hours, resulting in medications to try to stop the poisoning are sometimes ineffective.

Learn more characteristics of toads with this other post by Green Ecologist about the Difference between toad and frog.

What is the most poisonous toad in the world

Commonly known as "the most poisonous toad in the world", the species Phyllobates terribilis is actually belonging to the taxonomic family Dendrobatidae colloquially known as poison dart frogs or arrowhead frogs.

These frogs stand out for their striking colors related to their aposematism strategy or warning sign of their toxicity, flooding the tropical forests of Central and South America in which they inhabit with intense yellow, green, blue and even pink colors.

Focusing on the toads, we can indicate that those in the list mentioned above are some of the most poisonous species in the world.

What if a toad spits at you

The strange and widespread popular belief of being poisoned if a toad spits on us result totally wrong, since, as we have seen throughout the article, the poison of toads is found in the secretion of toxic substances through glands located in the skin of these amphibians.

In this way, for people and animals to suffer poisoning or even death due to the poison of some species of toads, it would be necessary to come into direct contact with the skin of the toad in which these toxic substances would be found, not with saliva of the animal.

If you want to read more articles similar to Poisonous toads: types and characteristics, we recommend that you enter our Wild Animals category.

  • Bruna, Christian (2000) Poisonous animals: dangerous poisonous land vertebrates for humans in Spain. Magazine The dangers of entomology.
  • Moyano, M.R. et al., (2009) Acute poisoning in dogs by toad toxin (Bufo bufo). Electronic Veterinary Magazine (M├ílaga, Spain). Volume 10 (4), pp: 1-5.
  • Valledor de Lozoya, A. (1994) Animal poisonings: poisonous and stinging animals of the world. Ediciones Diaz de Santos, S.A.
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