Mudpuppy Necturus maculosus

Photo by C. E. Smith.
Description: 8 - 13 inches. Mudpuppies are fully aquatic salamanders that retain bright red gills for their entire lives. They are gray or rusty brown in color, with dark speckles and spots throughout the body. Mudpuppies that live in stagnant water with low oxygen will have larger gills than those that live in running streams with higher oxygen.

Similar Species: Larval tiger salamanders are often mistaken for mudpuppies. Tiger salamanders occur in small wetlands and ponds, whereas mudpuppies occur in rivers and some large lakes.

Comments: Ice fisherman sometimes catch mudpuppies. Sometimes locally referred to as a, "hellbender" - but this name is incorrectly used and refers to a species of salamander restricted to the southeastern US. Please report observations.

Distribution Map
Distribution map of Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)

This map is generated from data provided by the Bell Museum of Natural History and HerpMapper.org. Please help us keep it up-to-date by submitting your amphibian and reptile observations.

Photographs