Other Amphibian of the Week

Two toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma means)

Photo by  by Brian Gratwick

Common Name: Two-Toed Amphiuma, Conger Eel, Congo Eel, Congo Snake, Lamprey Eel, Ditch Eel, and Fish Eel
Scientific Name: Amphiuma means
Family: Amphiumidae
Location: United States – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia
Size: 1.5 – 3.8 feet (46 – 116 cm)

The Two Toed Amphiuma lives swamps, bayous, muddy lakes, and streams throughout the coastal plains of Southeastern United States. While the amphiuma may look like a worm or an eel, it is actually an amphibian. The Two Toad Amphiuma has two toes on each foot which differentiates it from the other species of amphiuma. Thy are primary a fully aquatic species but they have been known to move overland during the rain to find a new body of water. They hunt at night for whatever they can fit in their mouth. During the day, they hide in their underground burrows.

Amphiumas breed during the winter time. Not much is known about the mating rituals of them. Fertilization is internal and females then lay the eggs under rocks, logs, or in the underground burrows. The female then guards the eggs for five or six months.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assess the Two Toad Amphiuma as Least Concern for Extinction. It has a wide range and a presumed large population.

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