Asian black-spined toad

Alert

Have you seen an Asian black-spined toad?

Be on the lookout for Asian black-spined toads and report suspected sightings to Biosecurity Queensland. Early detection and reporting are vital to prevent Asian black-spined toads from becoming a major problem in Queensland.

Call us on 13 25 23.

Native to China, southern Asia, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Indonesia, the Asian black-spined toad looks similar to the South American cane toad. The 2 species are closely related and adult toads look very similar, although Asian black-spined toads do not grow as large as cane toads.

The Asian black-spined toad is a potentially invasive species and given the opportunity could establish in Australia. It has not yet been recorded in Queensland, however some have been intercepted at Australian airports and seaports from flights and ships arriving from Asia. Its ability to hitch-hike on shipping containers, machinery and personal affects (such as bags and shoes) means it is likely to arrive here at some point. If naturalised in Australia, the Asian black-spined toad is likely to have impacts comparable to the cane toad.

You must not keep, feed, move, give away, sell or release into the environment. Penalties may apply.

You must report all sightings to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours.

Scientific name

Duttaphrynus melanosticus

Other names

  • Asian spined toad, Southeast Asian toad, Asian common toad, spectacled toad, common Indian toad, black-spined toad, common Sunda toad, black-lipped toad, keeled-nosed toad, South Asian garden toad, black-spectacled toad, house toad, Asiatic toad, Asian eyebrow-ridge toad, Asian black-spotted toad, Javanese toad

Similar species

Description

  • Stocky, medium to large toad with small head and short hind limbs.
  • Raised, black, bony ridges over eyes meeting at the nose.
  • Paratoid gland excretes poisonous milky substance.
  • Skin colour is highly variable, most commonly pale yellow-brown with raised, black warty spots.
  • Skin is dry and rough, not moist and slippery.
  • Hind limbs are short with pimple-like warts on feet and toes.
  • Underside is white, cream or pale brown with black-brown spots.
  • Ear drums are visible.
  • Toes are black-tipped and hooked.
  • Upper lip is prominent and black rimmed.
  • Snout is distinct and pointy.
  • Easily confused with Cane toads.

Asian black-spined toad calling

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Habitat

  • Habitat generalist that prefers lowland habitats such as disturbed forest, riparian and human-dominated agricultural and urban areas.
  • Survives in temperate, subtropical and tropical habitats from sea level to 1,800m.
  • Adults require shelter during the day under rocks, leaf litter, logs, drains, rubbish piles and houses.
  • At night the toads often gather beneath street lamps and other lights to catch insects.
  • Asian black-spined toads tolerate temperatures between 13–40 degrees.

Distribution

  • Not yet recorded in Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Breeding is opportunistic in various permanent and temporary water bodies.
  • In tropical climates, breeding can occur all year round, with peaks during warmer months.

Affected animals

  • native frogs
  • birds and possibly quolls

Impacts

Environmental

  • Poisonous to most predators.
  • Competes with native frog species for resources.

Social

  • Urban nuisance in backyards.
  • Potential poison threat to pets.

Natural enemies

  • Asian black-spined toads are prey for crows and checkered keelback snakes. Larger toads are likely to poison a range of predators.

Control

If you see or are in possession of an Asian black-spined toad, contact our Customer Service Centre within 24 hours.

Legal requirements

  • The Asian black-spined toad is a prohibited invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • You must not keep, feed, move, give away, sell or release into the environment. Penalties may apply.
  • You must not take any action reasonably likely to exacerbate the biosecurity threat posed by Asian black-spined toads.
  • You must take any action that is reasonably likely to minimise the biosecurity threat posed by Asian black-spined toads.
  • You must report all sightings to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours.

Further information

Contact the Customer Service Centre.