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Temporal range: Paleocene-present
Necturus maculosus maculosus.jpg
Necturus maculosus maculosus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Urodela
Family: Proteidae
Genus: Necturus
Rafinesque, 1819

7 species ( but see text)

  • Exobranchia Rafinesque, 1815 - nomen nudum
  • Phanerobranchus Leuckart, 1821
  • Menobranchus Harlan, 1825
  • Parvurus Dubois and Raffaëlli, 2012

Necturus is a genus of aquatic salamanders native to the eastern United States and Canada.[1][2][3] They are commonly known as waterdogs and mudpuppies.[1][2] The common mudpuppy (N. maculosus) is probably the best-known species - as an amphibian with gill slits, it is often dissected in comparative anatomy classes.


The genus is under scrutiny by herpetologists.[1] The relationship between the species is still being studied. In 1991 Collins elevated N. maculosus louisianensis to full species status, usually considered a subspecies of the common mudpuppy (N. maculosus), but his interpretation was not followed.[1][4][5]


There are five species:[4]

Two known fossil species, N. krausei and an unnamed species, are respectively known from the Paleocene of Saskatchewan and from Florida during the Pleistocene.[6][7]


Necturus are paedomorphic: adults retain larval-like morphology with external gills, two pairs of gill slits, and no eyelids. They are moderately robust and have two pairs of short but well-developed limbs and a large, laterally compressed tail. Lungs are present but small. Typical adult size is 20-25 cm (8-10 in) in total length, but Necturus punctatus is larger and may reach 40 cm (16 in).[3]


Necturus occur in surface waters, preferentially with clear water and rocky substrates without silt. They forage during the night and eat a variety of prey, but have preference for crayfish.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Frost, Darrel R. (2019). "Necturus Rafinesque, 1819". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "North American Herpetofauna: Amphibia: Caudata". Centre for North American Herpetology. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Vitt, Laurie J. & Caldwell, Janalee P. (2014). Herpetology: An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles (4th ed.). Academic Press. pp. 463-465.
  4. ^ a b "Proteidae". AmphibiaWeb. University of California, Berkeley. 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ Petranka, J.W. (1998). Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press ISBN 1588343081.
  6. ^ "Fossilworks: Necturus krausei". Retrieved .
  7. ^ "PBDB". Necturus Rafinesque (mudpuppy).

External links

  • Media related to Necturus at Wikimedia Commons

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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