The Mudpuppy is a salamander that lives completely in lakes, rivers and ponds for their entire lives.

What Does the Mudpuppy Look Like?

The Mudpuppy is usually brown and has grey or black and some blue like spots.  Some are albino and have light skin.

When the Mudpuppy is shown in water, their skin looks darker in color and when the water is darker, their skin looks lighter.

Most of the Mudpuppies will get up to 13 inches long but have grown over 17 inches.

The Mudpuppy has gills that are on the outside and they can be smaller or larger.  They also have limbs that are flat so that they can use them for walking on the bottom of ponds or other bodies of water.

The Mudpuppy’s skin is slimy looking.


The Mudpuppy’s skin is slimy and is covered in a clear coating that is a poison to its predators.

Where Does the Mudpuppy Live?

The Mudpuppy lives in the eastern part of North America.  They are found in waters such as ponds, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water.

Most of the time, you will find a Mudpuppy under rocks or logs in the day and they enjoy going in muddy waters and will be more active if the water is muddy.

Mudpuppy’s can live in the lake when the water freezes and they will thaw out and be normal when the water heats back up.

What Does the Mudpuppy Eat?

The Mudpuppy eats insects, mollusks, annelids, earthworms and any insect they can find.

Behavior of the Mudpuppy

The Mudpuppy is nocturnal which means they are most active at night.

They will live their day in the water if the water is murky and hard to see in.

The Mudpuppy will reach adult hood after 6 years of age.

Finding a Mate

The Mudpuppy will look for a mate in the fall.  When they look for a female, she will come to them and the male will make a nest.

The female will lay the eggs in the nest which is usually under a rock or a log.  The female Mudpuppy can lay up to 200 eggs but usually only lays 60 at a time.  The female will stay with the eggs for around 40 days until they hatch.


There are three subspecies of the Mudpuppy, the Red River Mudpuppy, the Common Mudpuppy and the Lake Winnebago Mudpuppy.

What Does the Mudpuppy Eat?

The Mudpuppy has teeth and they use these teeth to eat their prey.  They actually have three sets of teeth which are the vomerine, the premaxillary and the dentary.  All the teeth are in different areas of the mouth so they can eat their prey with these teeth.

One set of the Mudpuppy’s teeth prevent the prey from escaping.  The Mudpuppy will usually eat small fish, amphibians, insects, mollusks, earthworms, spiders and more.

The jaw of the Mudpuppy is made so that it can grip the food and eat it so that it doesn’t get away.  This allows the Mudpuppy to eat prey that is larger than other salamanders and it can include even turtles, snakes and crayfish.

Facts About the Mudpuppy:

  • Many Mudpuppy’s are rusty color to be able to hide in the murky waters.
  • Most of the Mudpuppy’s will eat whatever it can get in its mouth.
  • The Mudpuppy goes through pedomorphosis which means that it takes them a long time to become an adult salamander.
  • Mudpuppy’s are unusual because they keep their external gills and don’t lose them.

What Did You Learn?

  • What is a Mudpuppy?  The Mudpuppy is a salamander that is found in North America and spends all of its life in the water.
  • What does the Mudpuppy eat? Since the Mudpuppy has a different kind of mouth than other amphibians, it can eat almost anything.  It can even fit larger amphibians, fish and other things into its mouth.  It is a carnivore which means it eats meat.
  • Where does the Mudpuppy live? The Mudpuppy lives in water areas such as ponds and will be found under rocks or logs.
  • What is special about the female Mudpuppy? The female Mudpuppy will stay with its eggs until they fully hatch.
  • What does the male Mudpuppy do for the family? The male Mudpuppy creates a nest for the eggs.