These salamanders were found in a stream on UF’s campus, and used to describe a new subspecies of Mud Salamander. While this species appears tolerant of habitat loss in many places, it is locally extinct on campus.
Mud Salamanders are typically found along streams, springs and seeps at low elevations in the eastern U.S. These salamanders are large and robust, typically reddish-brown, reach up to 8 inches in total length and lay their eggs under rocks in streams.
This particular Mud Salamander has a special connection to Florida. In 1942, this specimen was described as a new subspecies of Mud Salamander found in northern Florida. This and several other specimens were collected in 1936 on the University of Florida campus by Archie Carr. Dr. Carr was the first Ph.D. in biology at the University of Florida and is among the state’s most well-known naturalists. Like elsewhere across the native range of Mud Salamanders, Carr found this specimen along a creek on campus. However, the authors that described this new subspecies noted the creek only as “C” Creek because calling it by its real name, Crapper Creek, would have been uncouth in the scientific publication of the time.
While this species appears tolerant of habitat loss in many places, it is locally extinct on the campus of the University of Florida.
Associate Curator, Herpetology
Florida Museum of Natural History
Rusty Mud Salamander (Pseudotriton montanus floridanus)
From Alachua Co., Florida, mid-1900s