Common Mudpuppy
Necturus maculosus maculosus

Common Name:

Common Mudpuppy

Scientific Name:

Necturus maculosus maculosus



nektos is Greek for "swimming", oura is Greek for "tail".


maculosus is Latin meaning "full of spots". Referring to the spotted dorsum.


maculosus is Latin meaning "full of spots". Referring to the spotted dorsum.

Average Length:

8 - 13 in. (20 - 33 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

19.1 in. (48.6 cm)

Virginia Wildlife Action Plan Rating Tier III - High Conservation Need - Extinction or extirpation is possible. Populations of these species are in decline or have declined to low levels or are in a restricted range. Management action is needed to stabilize or increase populations.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This is a large, permanently-gilled salamander. It has four toes each on both hindlimb. The gills are dark red. The dorsum is rusty brown to gray with black blotches. The venter is white to gray and sometimes spotted. Extending through the eyes and to the gills is a dark bar. Its snout is heavily truncated. Juveniles begin to look like adults at 13-15 cm. Hatchlings have prominent yolk sacs with a dark dorsal band with a light yellow stripe *11305*.

REPRODUCTION: Females construct nests by excavating under rocks, logs or other cover in submerged bottom sediments. Eggs are attached by disklike outer envelopes with a short stalk. Females can lay at least 12 eggs in a day.*11305*

BEHAVIOR: This species is nocturnal *1009,883*. They inhabit vegetation-choked or muddy habitats during the day.*11305* They normally walk or crawl over the bottom but are capable of rapid bursts of speed when disturbed.*11305*

ORIGIN: This species is native *1009,883*.

References for Life History

  • 883 - Conant, R., 1975, A field guide to reptiles and amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, 429 pgs., Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA
  • 1009 - Bishop, S.C., 1943, Handbook of Salamanders, 555 pgs., Comstock Publ. Co., New York, NY
  • 11305 - Petranka, J.W., 1998, Salamanders of the United States and Canada, 587 pp. pgs., Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC


*Click on a thumbnail for a larger version.

Verified County/City Occurrence

Lee County
Russell County
Scott County
Smyth County
Tazewell County
Verified in 5 Counties/Cities.

Box Turtle Reporting

VHS Amazon Smile

Spadefoot Reporting