Necturus maculosus - (Rafinesque, 1818)
Common Mudpuppy
Synonym(s): Necturus maculosus maculosus (Rafinesque, 1818)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Necturus maculosus maculosus (Rafinesque, 1818) (TSN 208249) ;Necturus maculosus (Rafinesque, 1818) (TSN 173630)
French Common Names: necture tacheté
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105412
Element Code: AAAAE01042
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Salamanders
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Proteidae Necturus
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Collins, J. T. 1990. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles. 3rd ed. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 19. 41 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B90COL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Necturus maculosus maculosus
Taxonomic Comments: Following Fouquette and Dubois (2014), Frost (2017) recognizes N. louisianensis as a distinct species.
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 05Jun2015
Global Status Last Changed: 01Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Nov1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4N5 (08Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S2), Connecticut (S3S4), Georgia (S1), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S2), Iowa (S2), Kansas (S3), Kentucky (S5), Maine (SNA), Maryland (S1), Massachusetts (SNA), Michigan (S3S4), Minnesota (S3), Mississippi (S4), Missouri (SU), New Hampshire (SNA), New York (S4), North Carolina (S1), North Dakota (S4), Ohio (S4), Pennsylvania (S3), Rhode Island (SNA), South Dakota (SH), Vermont (S2), Virginia (S2), West Virginia (S4), Wisconsin (S3S4)
Canada Manitoba (S3S4), Ontario (S4), Quebec (S4)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Not at Risk (01May2000)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for designation: This large aquatic salamander is adversely affected by industrial contaminants and sedimentation of waterways, yet remains widespread and is, as we now know, abundant.

Status history: Designated Not at Risk in May 2000.

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MAexotic, MD, MEexotic, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NHexotic, NY, OH, PA, RIexotic, SD, VA, VTnative and exotic, WI, WV
Canada MB, ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CT Fairfield (09001), Hartford (09003), Litchfield (09005)
GA Catoosa (13047)*, Fannin (13111)
IA Allamakee (19005), Black Hawk (19013), Boone (19015), Buchanan (19019), Butler (19023), Clayton (19043), Des Moines (19057), Floyd (19067), Henry (19087), Howard (19089), Lee (19111), Sac (19161), Webster (19187), Winneshiek (19191)
IL Cass (17017)*, Champaign (17019), Cook (17031), Crawford (17033), Douglas (17041), Edgar (17045), Fayette (17051), Greene (17061), Hancock (17067)*, Hardin (17069), Iroquois (17075), Jersey (17083), Kankakee (17091), Mclean (17113), Piatt (17147), Pulaski (17153)*, Rock Island (17161)*, Sangamon (17167), Union (17181), Vermilion (17183), Will (17197), Winnebago (17201), Woodford (17203)
IN Cass (18017), Dubois (18037), Elkhart (18039), Fulton (18049), Greene (18055), Hamilton (18057), Harrison (18061), Jennings (18079), Kosciusko (18085), La Porte (18091), Lagrange (18087), Lake (18089), Lawrence (18093), Marion (18097), Martin (18101), Monroe (18105), Newton (18111), Noble (18113), Porter (18127), Putnam (18133), Steuben (18151), Vigo (18167), Washington (18175), Whitley (18183)
MD Garrett (24023)*
MN Aitkin (27001), Becker (27005), Blue Earth (27013), Brown (27015), Carver (27019), Chippewa (27023), Chisago (27025), Clearwater (27029), Dakota (27037), Dodge (27039), Douglas (27041), Faribault (27043), Fillmore (27045), Goodhue (27049), Hennepin (27053), Houston (27055), Kanabec (27065), Le Sueur (27079), Mahnomen (27087), Mower (27099), Nicollet (27103), Norman (27107)*, Olmsted (27109), Otter Tail (27111), Pennington (27113), Pine (27115), Polk (27119), Pope (27121), Ramsey (27123), Redwood (27127), Renville (27129), Scott (27139), Sibley (27143), Swift (27151), Wabasha (27157), Washington (27163), Wilkin (27167), Winona (27169), Yellow Medicine (27173)
MO Barry (29009), Bates (29013), Benton (29015), Callaway (29027), Camden (29029), Cape Girardeau (29031), Cass (29037), Cedar (29039), Clay (29047)*, Cole (29051), Crawford (29055), Dade (29057), Dallas (29059), Franklin (29071), Gasconade (29073), Henry (29083), Hickory (29085)*, Jackson (29095)*, Jefferson (29099)*, Lewis (29111), Madison (29123)*, Maries (29125), Miller (29131)*, Monroe (29137)*, Morgan (29141), Osage (29151), Perry (29157), Phelps (29161), Pike (29163), Pulaski (29169), Ralls (29173), Shelby (29205)*, St. Clair (29185)*, St. Louis (29189)*, Taney (29213), Texas (29215), Warren (29219), Washington (29221)
MS Benton (28009)*, Tishomingo (28141)*
NC Alleghany (37005), Ashe (37009), Buncombe (37021)*, Henderson (37089), Macon (37113), Madison (37115), Transylvania (37175)
PA Armstrong (42005), Crawford (42039), Indiana (42063), Venango (42121), Warren (42123)
RI Providence (44007)*
SD Day (46037)*, Roberts (46109)*
VA Lee (51105)*, Russell (51167), Scott (51169), Smyth (51173)
VT Addison (50001), Chittenden (50007), Franklin (50011), Rutland (50021)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Lower Connecticut (01080205)+, Narragansett (01090004)+*, Housatonic (01100005)+
04 Little Calumet-Galien (04040001)+, Pike-Root (04040002)+, St. Joseph (04050001)+, St. Joseph (04100003)+, Mettawee River (04150401)+, Otter Creek (04150402)+, Winooski River (04150403)+, Lamoille River (04150405)+, Missiquoi River (04150407)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+
05 Upper Allegheny (05010001)+, Middle Allegheny-Tionesta (05010003)+, French (05010004)+, Middle Allegheny-Redbank (05010006)+, Conemaugh (05010007)+, Youghiogheny (05020006)+*, Upper New (05050001)+, Middle Wabash-Deer (05120105)+, Tippecanoe (05120106)+, Vermilion (05120109)+, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+, Embarras (05120112)+, Upper White (05120201)+, Lower White (05120202)+, Eel (05120203)+, Muscatatuck (05120207)+, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+, Patoka (05120209)+, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+, Lower Ohio-Bay (05140203)+, Lower Ohio (05140206)+*
06 North Fork Holston (06010101)+*, South Fork Holston (06010102)+, Upper French Broad (06010105)+, Upper Little Tennessee (06010202)+, Upper Clinch (06010205)+, Powell (06010206)+*, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+*, Ocoee (06020003)+, Bear (06030006)+*
07 Long Prairie (07010108)+, Twin Cities (07010206)+, Upper Minnesota (07020001)+, Pomme De Terre (07020002)+, Hawk-Yellow Medicine (07020004)+, Chippewa (07020005)+, Redwood (07020006)+, Middle Minnesota (07020007)+, Cottonwood (07020008)+, Blue Earth (07020009)+, Watonwan (07020010)+, Le Sueur (07020011)+, Lower Minnesota (07020012)+, Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Kettle (07030003)+, Snake (07030004)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, Rush-Vermillion (07040001)+, Cannon (07040002)+, Buffalo-Whitewater (07040003)+, Zumbro (07040004)+, La Crosse-Pine (07040006)+, Root (07040008)+, Coon-Yellow (07060001)+, Upper Iowa (07060002)+, Grant-Little Maquoketa (07060003)+, Turkey (07060004)+, Upper Wapsipinicon (07080102)+, Flint-Henderson (07080104)+*, Skunk (07080107)+, Shell Rock (07080202)+, Middle Cedar (07080205)+, Pecatonica (07090003)+, Lower Rock (07090005)+*, Middle Des Moines (07100004)+, North Raccoon (07100006)+, Bear-Wyaconda (07110001)+, The Sny (07110004)+, North Fork Salt (07110005)+*, Peruque-Piasa (07110009)+*, Kankakee (07120001)+, Iroquois (07120002)+, Chicago (07120003)+, Des Plaines (07120004)+*, Mackinaw (07130004)+, Upper Sangamon (07130006)+, South Fork Sangamon (07130007)+, Lower Illinois (07130011)+*, Macoupin (07130012)+, Meramec (07140102)+, Bourbeuse (07140103)+, Big (07140104)+, Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau (07140105)+, Whitewater (07140107)+, Middle Kaskaskia (07140202)+
08 Wolf (08010210)+*, Upper St. Francis (08020202)+*
09 Otter Tail (09020103)+, Elm-Marsh (09020107)+*, Eastern Wild Rice (09020108)+, Red Lake (09020303)+, Clearwater (09020305)+
10 Upper James (10160003)+*, Middle Big Sioux Coteau (10170201)+*, Lower Marais Des Cygnes (10290102)+, Harry S. Missouri (10290105)+, Sac (10290106)+, Pomme De Terre (10290107)+*, South Grand (10290108)+, Lake of the Ozarks (10290109)+, Niangua (10290110)+, Lower Osage (10290111)+, Upper Gasconade (10290201)+, Big Piney (10290202)+, Lower Gasconade (10290203)+, Lower Missouri-Crooked (10300101)+*, Lower Missouri-Moreau (10300102)+, Lower Missouri (10300200)+
11 Beaver Reservoir (11010001)+, Bull Shoals Lake (11010003)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Group Name: Proteid Salamanders (Waterdogs)

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Dams and impoundments (except N. maculosus); upland habitat
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: These salamanders are strictly aquatic and cannot cross upland habitat. With the exception of N. maculosus, these salamanders are unlikely to successfully traverse an impoundment to reach suitable habitat downstream from a dam, unless the impoundment is very small. Because waterdogs do not climb and probably cannot use fishways, virtually all dams constitute a barrier to upstream movements.

Heavily silted or polluted streams may constitute a barrier or at least unsuitable habitat, depending on the severity of the conditions.

Based on data for the hellbender (Cryptobranchus allegheniensis), home ranges probably tend to be small, but information on periodic long-range movements, dispersal distances, and recolonization ability is not available.

The separation distance for unsuitable habitat reflects the nominal minimum value of 1 km. The 10-km separation distance for suitable habitat reflects the ease of movement and dispersal along riverine habitats and the likely low probability than locations separated by less than 10 km of suitable habitat would represent independent populations.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .1 km
Date: 15Mar2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:

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