Wildlife Journal Junior!
New Hampshire PBS

Home       |       Wild Files       |       N.H. Animals       |       Animals A-Z       |       Watch Online

Amphiumidae - Amphiumas

 

Classification

 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Amphibia
 Order: Caudata 
 Family: Amphiumidae

pixel

two toed amphiumaThere are only three species in this family. Amphiuma are found in the southeastern United States. They have smooth skin, very long bodies, and very tiny legs. In fact, amphiuma look like eels and are sometimes called Congo eels.

Amphiumas have gill slits and lungs and are found in slow moving streams, lakes, marshes, swamps, ditches, and bayous. They spend the day in burrows in the mud or in vegetation.

Amphiumas are nocturnal and eat amphibians, insects, reptiles, crayfish, worms, and fish. One species, the three-toed amphiuma, can be three feet long!

Female amphiumas lay clusters of up to 200 eggs. The female cares for the eggs until they hatch at 20 weeks. The larvae have external gills. When they become adults, they lose their gills but keep a pair of gill slits.

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct in Wild extinctExtinct
Status taken from ICUN Redlist. If no status is listed, there is not enough data to establish status, or there is no status data for the species.

US Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in US Endangered in US Endangered in NH Endangered in NH Introduced Introduced
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife and NH Fish and Game

Location Key
AfricaAfrica AsiaAsia AustraliaAustralia EuropeEurope North AmericaNorth America South AmericaSouth America New Hampshire SpeciesNH More InfoClick for More Info pictureClick for Image

  New Hampshire Species

 

 North/Central American Species

None   One-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma pholeter Near Threatened North America More Info
Three-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma tridactylum Least Concern North America image More Info
Two-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma means Least Concern North America image More Info

Additional Information

Resource Key
profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

Amphiuma profile Photos
The three salamanders in this family are often called “congo eels”, “conger eels”, “ditch eels’, “lamp-eaters”, and “congo snakes.”
Source: Caudata Culture Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

One-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma pholeter profile Near Threatened North America
The one-toed amphiuma is only found in Florida and a small part of southern Georgia
Source: Savannah River Ecology Lab Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

One-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma pholeter profile Near Threatened North America
The one-toed amphiuma is 8.5 - 12.5 inches long.
Source: Georgia Museum of Natural History Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

One-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma pholeter Photos Near Threatened North America
The one-toed amphiuma is 8.5 - 12.5 inches long.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

One-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma pholeter profile Photos Near Threatened North America
The one-toed amphiuma is 8.5 - 12.5 inches long.
Source: Amphibia Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: High School Teacher Section: No

Two-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma means profile Photos Least Concern North America
The two-toed amphiuma can be up to four feet in length.
Source: Savannah River Ecology Lab Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Two-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma means profile Photos Least Concern North America
The two-toed amphiuma has large, sharp teeth.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Elementary School Teacher Section: No

Two-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma means profile Photos Least Concern North America
Two-toed amphiumas mate in late winter.
Source: Amphibia Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: High School Teacher Section: No

Three-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma tridactylum profile Photos Least Concern North America
Three -toed amphiumas are found from western Alabama to eastern Texas, and north through the Mississippi Valley to the southeastern portion of Missouri.
Source: National Zoo Intended Audience: Students Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Three-toed Amphiuma - Amphiuma tridactylum profile Photos Least Concern North America
The three-toed amphiuma grows up to almost 42 inches long.
Source: St. Louis Zoo Intended Audience: Students Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes