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Species Description

Alabama Waterdog

Necturus cf. beyeri


Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Proteidae

Description

Reddish brown to black. The degree of mottling is highly variable; scattered light spots are often present. The mid-belly is white and not spotted. 15 - 22 cm (6 - 8.5 in) long.

Life Cycle

The Alabama Waterdog has internal fertilization. Eggs are laid in water in the spring and early summer. Egg masses are small, containing fewer than 100 eggs, and are often attached to the undersides of rocks or logs. The female guards the eggs untill they hatch four to six weeks later. The Alabama Waterdog is totally aquatic. It is secretive and nocturnal, spending daylight hours hidden under rocks or debris. It feeds on crayfish, worms, snails, aquatic insects, and small fish. It inhabits medium to large streams that offer plenty of shelter. It lives in both clear and muddy water, and has been found in impounded streams.

Range

Alabama Waterdog Region Map The Alabama Waterdog is found in western Georgia, approximately west and south of Atlanta.

Conservation Status

The Alabama Waterdog is uncommon and not well studied. Habitat destruction of the larger streams through siltation and pollution are its chief threats at the present time.

Similar Species

The Mudpuppy is only found in extreme north Georgia. The Dwarf Waterdog is found in the Atlantic drainages, whereas the Alabama Waterdog occurs in Gulf drainages. The Dwarf Waterdog has no obvious speckles or mottles, and only a very narrow central portion of its belly is white. Larvae of the Mole Salamander have five toes on their back feet.