Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Toads Save Sugar Crop


Biological control seldom extends to the importation of Amphibia, but great success has followed the establishment of the large toad Bufo marinus in Puerto Rico. From two lots of this species brought to Puerto Rico from Barbadoes and Jamaica, millions of descendants have sprung, and the food of this host has consisted largely of the May-beetle (Science Service, Washington, D.C.). The sugar crop, which is the staple product of the island, was threatened by great numbers of the ‘white-grub's of May-beetles, which swarmed everywhere in the soil, devouring the roots of the cane and of other plants as well, so that the planters were reduced to picking the grubs by hand. The introduction of the toad has reduced the May-beetles to scarcity, and the Porto Rican sugar crop has been freed from its worst enemy.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Toads Save Sugar Crop. Nature 134, 877 (1934).

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing