Proteidae – Mudpuppies
Unlike other salamanders, they never lose their gills, allowing them to spend their lives underwater
Also known as waterdogs, this small group of salamanders is found in the eastern United States. They are adapted for life in the water, with gills and a streamlined body shape. Proteid salamanders are typically small, with a total length of less than 15 cm (6 in), but some can grow up to 20 cm (8 in). They have a distinctive appearance: a broad head, small eyes, and a short, flattened tail. Waterdogs are carnivorous, feeding on insects, worms, and other small invertebrates.
Members of this family are found in a variety of aquatic habitats, including streams, ponds, and marshes. Proteid salamanders are not widely known or studied, and little is known about their behavior and ecology. Some species are threatened or endangered due to habitat destruction, pollution, and other human activities.