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Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)

MudpuppyNH Conservation Status: Unknown, thought to be Introduced.


State Rank Status: Unknown, thought to be Introduced.


Distribution: Parts of the Connecticut River and its tributaries. Introduced into other waterbodies.


Description: A very gray to brown large (8-13 inches) aquatic salamander. Mudpuppies retain large red bushy gills throughout their life span.


Commonly Confused Species: None.


Habitat: All types of permanent water bodies including lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. Often found close to underwater debris piles.


Life History: Attaches single eggs beneath underwater objects. Nests in the vicinity of weeds and rocks to provide cover. Active throughout the winter in deep water.


Conservation Threats: Believed to be an introduced species.


Distribution map: View a map showing the towns where this species is reported to occur in NH PDF Document


Mudpuppies are easily recognizable by their large size and bushy red gills. The historic and current distribution of this species is unknown in New Hampshire. Report your sightings but never relocate mudpuppies or release pet mudpuppies to New Hampshire waters. Released pets can transmit diseases to native populations and outcompete native wildlife.

©Solon Morse photo