OTHER NAMES

English: Common mudpuppy, waterdog; French: Necture tacheté; German: Gefleckter Furchenmolch.

TAXONOMY

Sirena maculosa Rafinesque, 1818, Ohio River, United States (state not recorded). Two subspecies are acknowledged.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

This is the most important member of the genus, reaching 8–19 in (20.3–48.Three cm) in whole size. Coloration varies from deep rusty brown to grey and even black, with scattered black or bluish black spots and blotches. The spots typically could kind two pretty common rows alongside the again. As with different mudpuppies and waterdogs, a darkish bar extends by way of the attention to the gills. The venter is paler, with or with out darkish spots. The margins of the tail generally are tinged with reddish orange.

DISTRIBUTION

This species has by far the widest distribution within the genus, encompassing primarily the whole Mississippi River drainage system, from southern Manitoba and Quebec, Canada, within the north to Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, United States, within the south.

HABITAT

These salamanders inhabit all kinds of completely aquatic habitats, together with rivers, streams, canals, and lakes.

BEHAVIOR

Mudpuppies are lively all year spherical and have been seen transferring round beneath the ice in mid-winter. Adults are largely lively at evening, after they forage, they usually cover beneath rocks and different objects or in burrows throughout the day.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Mudpuppies feed on a wide range of small aquatic invertebrates and vertebrates, together with crayfish and different crustaceans, mollusks, worms, insect larvae, fish, and amphibians.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

As with all mudpuppies and waterdogs, the intercourse of adults may be decided by inspecting the morphologic traits of the vent, particularly throughout the breeding season, when the male’s vent is swollen. The male’s vent additionally is supplied with two nipple-like papillae that venture posteriorly. The vent of the feminine is an easy slit. The mating season is within the autumn or winter, probably extending into spring, relying on the locality. In May or June the eggs are connected to the undersurfaces of huge rocks, the place they're attended by the feminine, who apparently defends them in opposition to predators. Hatching takes place in a single or two months, relying on the temperature of the water. The newly hatched larvae are roughly 1 in (25.four mm) in size and have two lateral yellow stripes on a darkish floor coloration.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Mudpuppies are collected in nice numbers by organic provide corporations to be used in lecture rooms and laboratories around the globe; they're seen typically within the pet commerce as nicely.

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