Mudpuppy
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Online Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut

Mudpuppy - Necturus maculosus

Description

At a maximum adult size of 19 inches (48.3 cm), this is the largest salamander in Connecticut. The species is completely aquatic. Adults have large feather gills elevated on stalks just behind the eyes. Coloration is gray with darker gray to black dorsal spots and a black stripe passing from the nose, through the small eyes, to the gill stalks.

 

Reproduction

Mates in the fall, but eggs are not laid until the following spring. Eggs are deposited under submerged rocks or logs. As many as 100 eggs are laid in one clutch and may hatch in just over one month. Larvae do not become sexually mature until their sixth year (see Klemens 1992).

 

Juveniles

Larvae look much like the adults, but generally with lighter coloration and a black stripe along the side.

 

Habitat

Occurs in a wide range of water conditions, including rivers and drainage ditches.

 

Food

Eats invertebrates, smaller salamanders, and fish.

 

Range

The species can be found from Canada to Tennessee and as far west as Kansas. In Connecticut it is thought to be an introduced species, found only in the Connecticut River.

 

Status

Not protected in Connecticut.

 

References

Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern/Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 450 pp.

Klemens, M.W. 1993. Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut and Adjacent Regions. Hartford, CT: State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut Bulletin 112. 318 pp.

 

Credits

Text by Gregory J. Watkins-Colwell.
Photographs © Twan Leenders. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Animal featured on this page is a captive animal from an unknown locality.