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Species Description

Dwarf Waterdog

Necturus punctatus

Species Image


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


Gray to black. No conspicuous dark spots or mottling, although there may be a few small light spots on the back. Dark coloration covers the sides and edge of the belly, while the center of the belly is whitish and may have some specks of color. This is the smallest of the waterdogs, ranging from 11 - 16 cm (4.5 to 6.5 in).

Life Cycle

Little is known about the Dwarf Waterdog. It has internal fertilization and probably lays eggs in the spring. The Dwarf Waterdog is completely aquatic. It is an opportunistic feeder and will eat crayfish, aquatic insects, and worms. It is found where leaves and similar debris cover the bottom, in black-water and slow-moving streams, swamps, flooded fields, and irrigation ditches.


Dwarf Waterdog Region Map The Dwarf Waterdog is found from the Atlantic Coastal Plain to the Fall Line and west throughout the Altamaha River drainage.

Conservation Status

The Dwarf Waterdog is uncommon to locally common on the Georgia Coastal Plain. Very little is known about its reproduction or the complete extent of its range. It is not considered threatened at this time. Preservation of its habitat is necessary.

Similar Species

Larvae of the Mole Salamander have five toes on their back feet, whereas Dwarf Waterdogs have four.