Amphiumas (family Amphiumidae
) are usually found in mud or slime. They are eel-like and have two pairs of legs but the legs are so tiny that they are basically useless. Adults have gill openings and larvae have external gills.
The Two-toed Amphiuma
or Congo Eel
, Amphiuma means
, is found in slow-moving freshwater throughout the state. Its body is dark gray above, lighter gray below, and may grow to 39" long. It has two toes on each leg. It eats worms, small fish, tadpoles, and crustaceans.
In the winter, females lay 50-200 eggs, usually in wet mud, and guard them until they hatch about six months later. The larvae are black above and tan below and 1.5-2" long.
It has strong jaws and a vicious bite. It should be handled very carefully.
The One-toed Amphiuma
, Amphiuma pholeter
, is found in marshy sloughs around streams in the gulf hammock region. It is gray black to black and may grow to 12.5" long. It has one toe on each tiny leg. It feeds on earthworms.
[ Amphibian Index | Protected Amphibians ]
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