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South Central ARMI

Guide to Louisiana Amphibians

Lesser siren (Siren intermedia)

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  Image of Lesser siren (Siren intermedia)
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  Range Map for Lesser siren (Siren intermedia)
  Range map source: USGS National Amphibian Atlas, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Nocturnal, eel-like salamander ranging from 7 to 27 inches in length. Dorsum is dark in coloration with markings. Dorsum color ranges from dark brown to bluish gray to olive. Lighter specimens may have irregularly spaced dark markings. Some individuals have dark specks along sides. Young have a red band that runs across the snout to the side of the head, but the band disappears as they mature. Small, vestigial front legs contain four toes, but there are no hind legs. Gills are pronounced and bushy. During the day the species is most commonly found on the bottom of shallow, stagnant water. Eat large amounts of filamentous algae, debris, vascular plants, and microzooplankton. Little is known about the reproductive habits. External or internal fertilization has yet to be determined. Siren intermedia nettingi is the only subspecies represented in Louisiana. Species occurs throughout the State.

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