Maryland's Salamanders and Newts (Order Caudata)
Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)
Adult photo of Mudpuppy courtesy of Art Hulse
8 – 13 in; Record - 19⅛ in.
- Long and stout aquatic salamander with 3 pairs of red or maroon bushy external gills.
- Large fore and hind limbs with 4 toes each.
- Tail is eel-like, vertically flattened with a distinct fin.
- The head is flattened and tapered leading to a blunt snout with enlarged brows behind small, dark and lidless eyes.
- A dark stripe extends from the snout, through the eyes, to the gills.
- It has a rusty brown, grayish brown, blue-black or gray back with scattered dark spots or blotches.
- The underside or belly is gray with some large dark spots.
Photo of Mudpuppy Habitat courtesy of Matt Kline
- A variety of permanently aquatic habitats including large rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
- Fast-flowing streams with rocky bottoms.
- Sluggish and muddy streams.
- Muddy canals and weed-choked ponds.
- They may occur at great depths (>60 feet) or in shallows near shore.
Distribution in Maryland: