Cane toads are champion skeeter eaters

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
SYDNEY–The 1935 introduction of African cane toads to
Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji was not quite the ecological
disaster that cane toad foes claim, Sydney University biologists
Rick Shine and Mattias Hagman have discovered.
While cane toads did not control the sugar cane-eating
insects that they were supposed to devour, and have voraciously
consumed some small Australian wildlife, especially goanna lizards,
Shine and Hagman discovered through a series of controlled
experiments that cane toad tadpoles are exceptionally capable
predators of mosquito larvae.

“This is very different from the ecosystem catastrophe
stories we hear about cane toads,” Shine told the Townsville
Bulletin. “We found that the presence of toad tadpoles significantly
reduced the size of adult mosquitoes at emergence and reduced the
survival rates of the larvae of one mosquito species. Mosquitoes did
not want to lay eggs in water where there were cane toads.”
Concluded Shine, “To truly understand the impact of
invasive species, we need to look as broadly as possible, and
incorporate studies on a diversity of variables.”

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