Message for chocolate lovers

If you like chocolate you need to be grateful to the Sulawesi Toad (Ingerophrynus celebensis).

Sulawesi toad

According to a group of German and Australian agricultural scientists:

The world’s supply of chocolate depends partly on hard work by ugly toads in Indonesia . . . The toads like to dine on an invasive pest, the yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes). The non-native ants, each about 4 millimetres long, have overrun Indonesian cocoa plantations, driving out good ants which help protect the cocoa plants from disease.

Not only is this toad essential to the cocoa supply (Indonesia is the world’s third-largest exporter of cocoa), but its ecological (and economic!) value will add weight to the efforts to save the rain forests. Amphibian populations in general have declined with the disappearance of rain forests.

One of my phobias is frogs/toads. However, if they’re going to do such good work I support their conservation – as long as they do what they do far away from me!

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Nature/Environment


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)


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6 Comments on “Message for chocolate lovers”

  1. Global_Furry_Conspiracy
    October 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    So frogs and toads aren’t exactly the winners of the Animal Kingdom Beauty Contest (probably due to all the bad press they got hundreds of years ago in fairy tales!), but they are fascinating creatures.

    If you want to approach your phobia, how about reading up about it? This is what Lynne Kelly, an Australian science writer, did. She turned rabid arachnophobia into total arachno-obsession. It reached the point that, when the mother trapdoor spider living in her garden was eaten by a bird, she burst into tears out of grief! She even makes spider-themed jewellery. Check out her website (geddit? WEBsite? Oh, well, never mind …):

  2. October 15, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    I’ll kiss a toad (NE-VA!!!) if it means I can have chocolate 😉

    Very interesting post! Never thought about there being good ants and bad ants, just . . . ants.

  3. October 15, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Go toads! Keep up the good work! I love chocolate.
    Sorry I’ve been silent – wasn’t able to get on to my blog or WordPress since Tuesday!
    Sunshine xx

    • October 15, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

      Glad to see you back again. I also see that now that you’ve learned how to insert photos and media, you’re putting the knowledge to good use on your site!

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