Red River Mudpuppy

Necturus louisianensis


This species of salamander can be found in flowing bodies of water with sand bottoms. They can be found in various permanent bodies of water, including rivers. They are dark brown or tan with many dark spots that do not continue to the belly. Water dogs and mudpuppies maintain all four limbs, but are highly specialized for aquatic environments with external gills and laterally compressed tails. RR mudpuppies can be 6-9 inches fully grown (Powell et al., 2016).

Adult Mudpuppy, © Kevin Hutcheson

Identifying Traits

  • Tan or brown body, sometimes with spots
  • External gills
  • Spots do not extend to belly, sometimes with darkened sides (differentiates from N. beyeri)


Sandy-bottom flowing water



Generally utilizes natural structures like rocks and logs for shelter, highly aquatic and rarely leaves water bodies


Various invertebrates

© Bryce Wade
© Kevin Hutcheson