Sirenidae – Sirens

Unique in having small forelimbs and no hind limbs & external gills; only salamanders known to eat plants

Sirens, or siren salamanders, are a small group found in the southeastern United States. They are characterized by their long, slender bodies, long tail fins, and ability to breathe through their skin and mouth lining, similar to plethodontid salamanders. Sirenid salamanders, with gills and a streamlined body shape, are adapted for life in the water. They are typically large, with some species reaching up to 70 cm (28 in) in length, but they are not as heavily built as other large salamander families such as Cryptobranchidae.

Siren salamanders are carnivorous, feeding on insects, worms, and other small invertebrates. They are found in various aquatic habitats, including swamps, marshes, and slow-moving streams. Sirenid salamanders are not widely known or studied, and little is known about their behavior and ecology.