DEEP: Common Mudpuppy

Common Mudpuppy

(Necturus maculosus)

{Common Mudpuppy}

IDENTIFICATION: A large, aquatic salamander with well-developed, maroon colored gills, broad flat head with small eyes, and a fin-like tail. Adults are olive colored and can attain total lengths of 200-430 mm. Many larval salamanders possess gills, and are often incorrectly referred to as mudpuppies. Mudpuppies are restricted to deeper waters of the Connecticut River, and are most often encountered by fishermen or taken in eel pots.

Craig (1979) eliminated this large, aquatic salamander from Connecticut's native herpetofauna based on reports by Warfel (1936) and Vinegar and Friedman (1967) attributing the Connecticut River population to introductions made in the 1930s. I subsequently located a specimen collected in the 1870s at Middletown. Correspondence and newspaper clippings in the archives of the Herpetology Division at the American Museum of Natural History also indicated that mudpuppies were present in the Connecticut River well before the 1930s. In Connecticut, the common mudpuppy has been reported only from the Connecticut River. The origins of this population may never be satisfactorily determined.

Salamanders | Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut