Other Amphibian of the Week

One Toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma pholeter)

by Dan Hipes

Common Name: One Toed Amphiuma, Conger Eel, and Congo Eel
Scientific Name: Amphiuma pholeter
Family: Amphiumidae – the Amphiuma family
Location: United States – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi
Size: 8.6 – 13  inches (22-33 cm)

The One Toed Amphiuma is found only around the Florida panhandle region, extending into Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi. They are a nocturnal, aquatic species of salamander found found primarily in mucky waters in swamps and streams. They have a long eel like body with teeny tiny legs. The One Toed Amphiuma gets its name due to them only have one toe on each leg. They differ from Sirens due to having all four legs and they differ from Mudpuppies and Water Dogs by not having gills. The One Toed is the smallest of the three different species of amphiumas. 

photo by Captainjack0000

Not much is known about their lifestyles due to their secretive nature (being nocturnal, living in swampy waters, never leaving the water). Eggs are thought to be laid during the summer.

They are listed as a near threatened species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list due to the development of their habitat for logging, mining, or housing / urban areas. In Alabama, they are listed as a species of high conservation concern. They are a protect species in Georgia.

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