Necturus maculosus (Common Mudpuppy)
June, 2012. Jennings County, IN.
Mudpuppys are a large aquatic salamander that is found in streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs throughout the eastern United States. Their numbers have undoubtedly declined, but due to a lack of survey effort, we really don't know by how much. I had searched a few streams in Indiana for this species in years past, but was ecstatic to finally find a few adults after much effort looking in the streams at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge. It is encouraging to know that the streams there seem to still harbor a healthy population.