Sep 22, 2007

More Confused

Maybe someone can help me here. When is a mudpuppy not a larval tiger salamander or an axolotl (I'm sure most of you lie awake at night wrestling with this same problem)? I can't get anyone in the know to give me a straight answer. I believe the photo below is of a mudpuppy. Can someone verify that for me?

Thanks for the link, Rasmus. I'm more confused now then before.

Photo courtesy: Digimorph.org

12 comments:

Denita TwoDragons said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellbender

Maybe one of these, perhaps?

*crosses fingers and hopes an automated net censor doesn't start screaming...*

--TwoDragons

Booge said...

Two Dragons, thank you! Wikipedia told me Hellbender is also called SNOT OTTER! You and Wombat made my day.

Rasmus said...

As the saying goes, Wombat: "the more I know, the less I understand".

pkeli said...

"Snot Otter" is the best name for any creature I've heard in a long time. And they get to be 29 inches long?? They're like the amphibian version of the coconut crab.

Cozytailmom said...

Hrmmm That is a mystery. It does look like a hellbender except for those gilly things by it's neck. Maybe it sometimes tucks them in for photos. I found another pic that was just labelled giant salamander. It had those frilly gills.

biology student said...

Oh, it is actually quite easy. Mudpuppy, tiger salamander and axolotl are three different species, whose larval forms loke alike. Mudpuppy is Necturus maculosus, tiger salamander is Ambystoma tigrinum and axolotl is Ambystoma mexicanum. Mudpuppy and tiger salamander start their life as larvae with outer gills and undergo metamorphosis. Axolotl are neotenic, they reproduce as larvae and never metamorphe. They are quite similar in their larval form in the same way as caterrpillars from different butterfly species can look quite similar.

Arachnophile said...

I have to echo Pekeli when she says that Snot Otter is quite possibly the coolest name EVAHR. No matter what this is actually named.

Seriously though axolotl tend to be paler and a LOT larger as adult. They really are the only ones who are adult size, eventhough that is really relaive. *sigh*

Booge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Booge said...

One more thing: it was pointed out to me this salamander has both a death metal name (Hellbender) and a punk rock name (Snot Otter). The more I think about my new friend,the more I love him.

Kritter said...

Snot Otter and the Hellbenders!

Anonymous said...

biology student is almost entirely correct. axolotls never metamorphose, but neither do mudpuppies. however, the american subspecies of tiger salamanders also frequently experience neoteny, though not always.

Anonymous said...

That is a Mud Puppy, they are freshwater fish and harmless,i do not think it is ugly,its actually cute! my science teacher has two!