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The Natural History and Captive Care of the Mudpuppy – Part 2

Mudpuppy tadpolesPlease see Part 1 of this article to learn more about the natural history of the Mudpuppy or Waterdog (Necturus maculosus), one of the world’s largest salamanders.

Captive Habitat

A primary consideration in keeping Mudpuppies is their sensitivity to light – they will be stressed and difficult to observe in a brightly lit aquarium. Hiding places are essential, even for most well-habituated individuals.  Large mats of floating live or artificial plants can be used to cut down on the amount of light that reaches the bottom of the aquarium. Read More »

The Natural History and Captive Care of the Mudpuppy – Part 1

MudpuppyA Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus) was the first large aquatic salamander I kept in captivity, and I remain as intrigued by them today as I was in childhood.  Increasingly rare in the wild, Mudpuppies or Waterdogs make quite hearty captives if attention is given to their unique needs. Today we’ll take a peek at their lives in the wild, and move on to husbandry in Part 2.


The Mudpuppy shares the Family Proteidae with 4 similar species, all native to North America, and the Olm (Proteus anguinus).  The Olm, limited in distribution to Northern Italy and the Balkans, spends its entire life in subterranean streams (please see photo of white salamanders). I’ll highlight this blind, other-worldly creature in the future. Read More »

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