Cane Toad Metamorphs
Cane toads are most vulnerable at this stage of their lifecycle. When they emerge from the end of the tadpole stage onto land they are very small and vulnerable. They are also very dependent on water and so stay close to moisture. Research has shown they move away from water at only a few centimetres a day and while they are congregated in this manner they can be controlled with sprays. In the dry season they are forced to stay very close to moisture as they can dehydrate and die in just 2 hours.
Metamorph toads are just over 1 cm in length and vary a little in colour. They may be darker than the one in the picture. One characteristic to look for is the orange spots on their skin. None of our native frogs have these orange spots.
Many people expect baby toads to be big because adult toads are so big, but they are not large, they are very small.
They are usually in large numbers as well and move in a sort of crawling style or with very short rapid hops. As shown in the picture below they usually emerge from the water in large groups. They are often dark in colour when they emerge.
Metamorph cane toads are diurnal (active in the daytime) and this causes problems for many animals , such as lizards and small snakes and goannas, that are not threatened by adult cane toads. These small reptiles are out looking for food in the daytime and when they see these tiny metamorphs they can try to eat them and end up dead.
Large adult toads are not a direct problem for these smaller reptiles because they are too big and also because they are not out in the daytime.