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Cryptobranchidae - Giant salamanders, Hellbenders

 

Classification

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

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HellbenderThere are only three species in this family. They are found in the eastern United States, China, and Japan. They are the largest species in the caudata order. The Chinese giant salamander and the Japanese giant salamander can grow to almost six feet in length. The hellbender can grow to three feet in length.

They have large, flat bodies; short, stocky legs; and laterally flat tails. Their flat bodies help them squeeze under rocks and logs in the water!

The species in this family live in the water. They don't have gills; they breathe through their loosely hanging skin! They eat insects, crayfish, salamanders, and worms. The male makes a nest under a rock or log, and the female lays a string of eggs. The male fertilizes the eggs and guards them for 2-3 months until they hatch.

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

US Status Key
Threatened in USThreatened in US Threatened in New HampshireThreatened in NH Endangered in USEndangered in US Endangered in NHEndangered in NH breeds in nhBreeds in NH IntroducedIntroduced
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   Hellbender - Cryptobranchus alleganiensis Near Threatened North America image More Info

Species Around the World

Africa Africa Asia Asia Australia Australia/Oceania Europe Europe North America North/Central America South America South America New Hampshire Species NH Species

Chinese Giant Salamander - Andrias davidianus Critically Endangered Asia image More Info
  Japanese Giant Salamander - Andrias japonicus Near Threatened Asia image More Info

Additional Information

Resource Key
profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

Chinese Giant Salamander - Andrias davidianus profile Photos Critically Endangered Asia
The Chinese giant salamander is found in central, southwestern, and southern China.
Source: AmphibiaWeb Intended Audience: General Reading Level: High School Teacher Section: No

Chinese Giant Salamander - Andrias davidianus profile Photos Video Critically Endangered Asia
The Chinese giant salamander is the largest salamander and largest amphibian in the world.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Chinese Giant Salamander - Andrias davidianus profile Photos Critically Endangered Asia
The Chinese giant salamander can be as more than 5 feet in length.
Source: EDGE Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Chinese Giant Salamander - Andrias davidianus profile Photos Video Critically Endangered Asia
The Chinese giant salamander takes 6 years to reach sexual maturity.
Source: Memphis Zoo Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Japanese Giant Salamander - Andrias japonicus profile Photos Video Near Threatened Asia
The Japanese giant salamander is found in Japan.
Source: AmphibiaWeb Intended Audience: General Reading Level: High School Teacher Section: No

Japanese Giant Salamander - Andrias japonicus profile Photos Near Threatened Asia
The Japanese giant salamander can be up to 5 feet in length.
Source: National Zoo Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Japanese Giant Salamander - Andrias japonicus profile Photos Video Near Threatened Asia
The Japanese giant salamander relies on smell and touch to locate prey like  salamanders, worms, insects, crayfish and snails.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Japanese Giant Salamander - Andrias japonicus profile Photos Video Near Threatened Asia
The Japanese giant salamander can survive for weeks without eating.
Source: BBC Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Hellbender - Cryptobranchus alleganiensis profile Photos Near Threatened North America
The hellbender is found in the Susquehanna River drainage in southern New York and Pennsylvania, and large portions of the Missouri, Ohio, and Mississippi River drainage from western Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, extreme southern Indiana, most of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, northern Alabama and Georgia, western North Carolina and Virginia.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Hellbender - Cryptobranchus alleganiensis profile Photos Video Near Threatened North America
Adult hellbenders are 11-29 inches in length.
Source: AmphibiaWeb Intended Audience: General Reading Level: High School Teacher Section: No

Hellbender - Cryptobranchus alleganiensis Photos Video Near Threatened North America
Hellbenders are found in clear fast-flowing streams and rivers with rocky bottoms.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Hellbender - Cryptobranchus alleganiensis profile Photos Video Near Threatened North America
Adult hellbenders eat crayfish, small fish, snails, insects, worms, and tadpoles.
Source: Illinois Natural History Survey Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Hellbender - Cryptobranchus alleganiensis profile Photos Near Threatened North America
The hellbender has a flat body and a flat head with tiny eyes.
Source: World Association of Zoos Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No