Saturday, May 01, 2010

An Unexpected Visitor

I watered my plants this morning and was surprised to find a visitor in my Papyrus plant.
A quick search online told me that we were hosting a Mr. Bufo Marinus; common name: Cane Toad or Marine Toad.
This fellow was introduced to the islands in the 1930's to eradicate pests from sugar cane crops. He sleeps by day and eats by night just about anything it can swallow: rodents, bugs, snails, ants. When Bufo is threatened, its glands secrete a toxic milky-white fluid known as bufotoxin. According to Wikipedia, "toad licking could result in serious illness or death."

Our guy was about 5 inches long, the size of an average adult. He didn't seem concerned by my movements and sat completely still throughout the day. I kept checking on him and began to worry that the afternoon sun would roast the fellow. So I rigged an umbrella that kept him in the shade, as any good hostess would.
After sunset, when it was good and dark, I came out one last time to check on him. He was gone, and perhaps with him, my day-long obsession.

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