Common name: Mudpuppy
available through www.itis.gov
Size: generally 20 - 33 cm
Native Range: Sporadically distributed from the southeastern U.S. north to New York, Vermont and Quebec and west to North Dakota and Manitoba.
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Necturus maculosus are found here.
Table last updated 12/4/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Ecology: Found in clear lakes, rivers and streams, and some weedy, turbid and mud-banked streams. It lingers in shallow aquatic habitats under rocks and logs and swims deep in lakes on occasion. Primarily nocturnal, but is known to venture out during daytime in cloudy or sheltered water. Females construct underwater nests and lay up to 100 eggs (average 48-60) during May and June.
Means of Introduction: The New England populations are releases or escapes from college biology programs.
Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.
References: (click for full references)
Reigle, N. J., Jr. 1967. The occurrence of Necturus
in deeper waters of Green Bay. Herpetologica 23:232-233.
Revision Date: 9/14/2011
McKercher, E., 2023, Necturus maculosus (Rafinesque, 1818): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=156, Revision Date: 9/14/2011, Access Date: 12/4/2023
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.