The Ohio Mudpuppy’s breeding season is fall, but won’t lay eggs until spring

OHIO – Fall is spotted pup breeding season, but these aquatic salamanders don’t begin laying eggs until fall in an interesting breeding cycle.

Mudpuppies are between 20 and 33 cm long. They are fully aquatic and have large gills that are brown in color throughout their life. The muddy puppies (Necturus maculosus) prefer a deep, muddy water habitat in large rivers, streams, and ponds. They are nocturnal. For these reasons, they are rarely seen. If you were to see a mudpuppy it would make quite an impression. He has a broad, flat head, a square nose, and very small eyes. The most notable features are the bushy red gills on both sides of its neck. Gills are normally found on larval forms of amphibians, but the adult mudpuppy retains these gills.

Like the master of hell, their appearance is deceptive. Mudpuppies are harmless.

The mudpuppy’s reproductive cycle is also very different, the males during courtship usually in the fall, will deposit a small plug of sperm on the substrate, and the female will pick it up with a specialized storage organ and store it inside. inside of itself. She will hold this until spring when she will fertilize her eggs in the spring. She will then expel the male from the nest and hang the eggs from the ceiling of the nest. About 20-200 eggs are produced. The female will stay with the eggs until they hatch.

When the next life cycle begins, mudpuppies are small at less than an inch, and it will take them up to six years to reach sexual maturity. Mudpuppies live for about twenty years.

Threats to the mudpuppy include habitat loss and alteration, degradation of water quality, pollution, siltation, and use of lampricides. Although Mudpuppy apparently tolerates some siltation, habitat modification activities such as channeling of rivers, dams, shoreline development, and dredging can bury rocks, logs, or other types of cover needed for refuge and nesting. Mudpuppies are not considered endangered in Ohio

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