Gulf Coast waterdog

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Gulf Coast waterdog
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Proteidae
Genus: Necturus
Species: N. beyeri
Binomial name
Necturus beyeri
Viosca, 1937

The Gulf Coast waterdog, speckled waterdog or Beyer’s waterdog (Necturus beyeri) is a species of aquatic salamander native to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas in the United States.

Description[edit]

Gulf Coast waterdogs grow to lengths of 6.0-8.5 inches and are an overall brown in color, with lighter brown and black speckling. Due to their entirely aquatic nature, their legs are short, with four-toed feet. They have external gills, which look like feathery appendages on either side of their heads. They have paddle-shaped, flattened tails. Gulf Coast waterdogs have the largest known amphibian genome, with over 100 billion base pairs.[1]

Behavior[edit]

They have lungs as well as gills, and they are typically found hiding among rocks in clear, spring-fed streams with sandy bottoms. They will consume almost any small aquatic invertebrate they can catch.

Taxonomy[edit]

The controversy over the taxonomy of the genus Necturus has been significant, particularly in regard to N. alabamensis, N. beyeri, and N. maculosus. However, electrophoretic evidence suggests N. beyeri is a distinct species [2]

References[edit]