Hellbender Cryptobranchus alleganiensis (Daudin, 1803)G3 (Globally rare/local)  -  Endangered (MD)  -  S1 (Highly state rare)  -  Vulnerable  -  Garrett only  Synonyms: Eastern Hellbender, Snot Otter.

Status:

The Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) is the largest North American salamander, with adults typically up to 20 inches in length (record length 29.1 inches). This impressive animal is fully aquatic, with a flattened head and short appendages, suitable for hiding in crevices under rocks. Hellbenders live in well-oxygenated creeks or rivers with moderate to strong current and large, flat rocks to burrow under. They are primarily active at night (Maryland DNR site; Virginia Herpetological Society site). Hellbenders were historically found in the Susquehanna River, where it is now extirpated. Currently known in Maryland from a couple of rivers in Garrett County. Young Hellbenders apparently have difficulty escaping the voracious appetite of the introduced Brown Trout. The species is state-endangered in Maryland, and ranked as S1. It has a global conservation rank of G3 (moderate risk of extinction).

There are 13 records in the project database.

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An Eastern Hellbender in New York (10/16/2010). This impressive creature is rare, local, and declining in Maryland. Photo by USFWS Northeast . (MBP list)


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