Eastern Lesser Siren
Siren intermedia intermedia

Common Name:

Eastern Lesser Siren

Scientific Name:

Siren intermedia intermedia

Etymology:

Genus:

seiren is Greek meaning "mermaids of Greek myth".

Species:

intermedia is Latin meaning "in between". Referring to the intermediate size of the salamander.

Subspecies:

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intermedia is Latin meaning "in between". Referring to the intermediate size of the salamander.

Average Length:

7 - 27 in. (18 - 68.6 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

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 species averages 8 5/8 inches in length, with extremes of 5 9/32 inches and 13 5/8 inches recorded. The body is long, slender and eel-like. The head is long and widens just above the gills. The eyes are small and without lids. The mouth is small, crescentic, subterminal, and slightly overhung by the upper jaw. Nostrils are small and slit-like and placed at the ventrolateral angles of the snout. There are 31-34 costal grooves. The tail is broadly oval in cross section at the base, becoming more strongly compressed toward the tip. The dorsal tail fin arises as a low ridge above the vent, but immediately thins and continues to the tip. Only the forelegs are present. There are 4 toes on each front foot. The color varies from deep brown to olive-green. Many rounded black spots are scattered over the back and sides of the head, trunk, and tail. The ventral side is darker than the dorsal. Reproduction: This species usually inhabits still water in cypress or pine woods. It is also found in ditches, ponds, streams or reservoirs where aquatic vegetation, debris or bottom mud and muck allow it to hide during the day. In places where siren lacertina is also present it is less likely to inhabit rivers and streams.

References for Life History

  • 1009 - Bishop, S.C., 1943, Handbook of Salamanders, 555 pgs., Comstock Publ. Co., New York, NY
  • 3082 - Collins, J.T., R. Conant, J.E. Huheey, J.L. Knight, E.M. Rundquist, H.M. Smith, 1982, Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles, Herpetol. Circular No. 12, 28 pgs., Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ohio Univ., Athens

Photos:

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Verified County/City Occurrence

Caroline County
Hanover County
Isle of Wight County
King William County
Prince George County
Southampton County
Suffolk City
Verified in 7 Counties/Cities.



FROGS

Virginia is home to 28 species of frogs and toads.

SALAMANDERS

We have a large diversity of salamanders consisting of 56 different species and subspecies.

LIZARDS

Virginia is home to 9 native lizard species and two introduced species, the Mediterranean Gecko and the Italian Wall Lizard.

SNAKES

The Commonwealth is home to 34 species and subspecies of snake. Only 3 species are venomous.

TURTLES

Virginia has 25 species and subspecies of turtle. Five of these species are sea turtle.