Monday, May 28, 2012

wildlife, amphibian edition

Say hello to Bufo marinus, the Cane Toad. This is the big South American native (usually 6 inches from nose to butt) whose appetite for cane beetles led to its introduction in sugar producing regions around the world. Yes, it's the amphibian that's devastating Queensland (the Simpsons even made reference to it in their Australian episode), and yes, the cane toad is poisonous to potential predators, except for possum, possibly. But they seem to really like eating the palmetto bugs (the enormous Florida woods cockroach, Eurycotis floridana), so they're cool with us. And they make a great sound in the evening...

We did not realize that cane toads like living in "disturbed" environments, like gardens and yards, when we designed tin box. Nor did we intend the rough stone border at the front of the house to act as the perfect shelter for the toads (in the picture at left, you can see how well camouflaged the toad is among the coral rock).

We're also very happy to see swallow-tailed kites nesting around our home. They like eating flying bugs, so they are very, very welcome to hang out with us.

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