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Toads Save Sugar Crop

Abstract

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.

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Toads Save Sugar Crop. Nature 134, 877 (1934). https://doi.org/10.1038/134877d0

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