Three-toe amphiumas prefer swampy habitat and are often found in alluvial swamps, ditches, streams, lakes and calcareous swamps throughout their geographic range. They are sympatric with many species of crayfish and often seek shelter in abandoned crayfish burrows. These salamanders can live in ditches and temporary pools and are sometimes found in ditches of more developed urban areas. They are most often found in the murky waters of swamps and marshes. ("Amphiuma Tridactylum", 2010; Cochran and Goin, 1970; Dundee, 2004)
Amphiuma species have two rows of teeth on their upper jaw; one which is located on the vomeropallatine, the other on the premaxillary. Amphiuma have teeth on their mandible as well. is peadimorphic. It maintains gill arches and a laterally compressed tail throughout adulthood and also possess a lateral line system throughout its life as well. It also has lungs, and reduced, lidless eyes. Presumably as a form of defense, it secretes copious amounts of mucus, which makes it difficult to grasp ahold of. (Cagle, 1948; Dundee, 2004; Fontenot and Seigel, 2008; Glorioso, et al., 2010; Pough, et al., 2008; Thomas, 1996)is among the largest salamanders recorded. It has long cylindrically shaped body with four vestigial legs, and feet containing three toes. The hind legs are shorter than the front legs. The dorsum is dark brown to black in coloration and the venter tends is significantly lighter in comparison. The underside of the neck tends to be dark in coloration. Males are heavier than females of equivalent body length and often have wider, heavier heads than females. Adults have a maximum body length of 117 cm. Hatchlings range from 4.3 to 6.4 cm and newly metamorphosed individuals range in size from 6.1 cm. In general,
Amphioma tridactylum females tend to their nests, and during dry periods aestivate in their burrows while wrapped in their eggs. Females also defend their eggs but do not prevent them from floating away. There is no information available regarding paternal care in this species. (Cagle, 1948; Fontenot Jr., 1999)
Amphiuma means. It is non-migratory and occupies a small home range, which encompasses the burrow site and expands during breeding season. has been shown to travel nearly 400 m at any one time. In general, members of Amphiuma move via lateral undulations of the body both on land and in the water, and their vestigial limbs are useless while in terrestrial habitats. This species is often found covered in bite marks, regardless of sex or age. These markings are through to be the result of its foraging behavior and not a result of predation or competition for mates. (Cagle, 1948; Fontenot and Seigel, 2008; Glorioso, et al., 2010; Karlin and Means, 1994)is nocturnal, and although most activity occurs between dusk and dawn, this species is most active around midnight. aestivates in subterranean burrows during the dry season in vernal wetlands. In some regions of its geographic range (e.g., Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama) it is sympatric with
In general, members of Amphiuma have reduced lidless eyes and must rely on olfaction and their lateral line system to detect prey and potential predators. One report suggests that can emit a high pitched whine when preyed upon. Although solitary throughout most of the year, males and females attract potential mates via chemical cues and communicate their willingness to mate via physical contact. (Cagle, 1948; Dundee, 2004; Harper, 1935; Thomas, 1996)
crayfish, it is also known to feed on insects, worms, snails, small fish, small reptiles, and other amphibians. Cannibalism has been observed on occasion. is an ambush predators and remains in its burrow with only its head protruding. It may also stalk prey until it is within striking distance. When attacking prey, it bites and tears while turning and thrashing in a manner similar to the death roll performed by members of Crocodylidae. (Cagle, 1948; Dundee, 2004; Oliver, 1964)is a generalist carnivore. Although preferred prey consists of
Other than a few species of snake, has few natural predators. Mud snakes, king snakes, and water moccasins are all known to prey on . This species cryptic coloration, burrowing tendencies, and ability to secrete copious amounts of mucus likely help reduce risk of predation. (Cagle, 1948; Harper, 1935)
insect and their aquatic larvae, potentially helping control insect pest populations. They are the dominant prey item for mud snakes and are also preyed upon by other species of snake as well. There is no information available concerning parasites specific to this species. (Cagle, 1948; Cochran and Goin, 1970; Dundee, 2004; Harper, 1935; Oliver, 1964)is a major predator of crayfish and other small aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates throughout its geographic range. It also preys on various species of
Although precise populations estimates are unknown, amphibian populations across the globe are in steady decline due to habitat destruction, novel diseases and pollution. Fortunately, faces no major threats at present and does not require specific conservation and management strategies to ensure its longterm survival. ("Amphiuma Tridactylum", 2010)is classified as a species of least concern on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. Despite this,
Abigail Schnelker (author), Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Mark Jordan (editor), Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, John Berini (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
uses sound to communicate
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
a wetland area rich in accumulated plant material and with acidic soils surrounding a body of open water. Bogs have a flora dominated by sedges, heaths, and sphagnum.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
active at dawn and dusk
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
a substantial delay (longer than the minimum time required for sperm to travel to the egg) takes place between copulation and fertilization, used to describe female sperm storage.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
parental care is carried out by females
union of egg and spermatozoan
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
mainly lives in water that is not salty.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
Animals with indeterminate growth continue to grow throughout their lives.
fertilization takes place within the female's body
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
marshes are wetland areas often dominated by grasses and reeds.
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
specialized for swimming
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.
the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
mature spermatozoa are stored by females following copulation. Male sperm storage also occurs, as sperm are retained in the male epididymes (in mammals) for a period that can, in some cases, extend over several weeks or more, but here we use the term to refer only to sperm storage by females.
a wetland area that may be permanently or intermittently covered in water, often dominated by woody vegetation.
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
living in cities and large towns, landscapes dominated by human structures and activity.
uses sight to communicate
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