Lesser Siren

Siren intermediaLesser Siren - Siren intermedia

Description: An eel-like salamander with a long slender body (18-68 cm long) and a very small dorsal fin that runs from the vent to the tail tip. It has only a pair of front legs; each foot has four toes. The head is flattened, and there are bushy external gills located on each side of the head. This animal varies in color from light grayish green to olive or black.

Range: Eastern United States and Northern Mexico.

Habitat: Will inhabit most any slow and sluggish body of water that is shallow and with plenty of aquatic vegetation, including marshes, ponds, ditches, and canals.

Reproduction: Not much is known about the courtship and actual breeding behavior of the Lesser siren. Eggs are laid in early spring they are deposited in shallow depressions in the soft bottom of the occupied water body, usually in highly vegetated areas. The female will lay from 12 to over 300 eggs.

Diet: Feeds primarily on aquatic invertebrates such as crustaceans, insect larvae, worms, and snails. They will also readily consume young amphibian larvae and their own eggs.

Fun Fact: This siren is very vocal, which is unusual for a salamander. It communicates with clicks when other sirens are around and when disturbed or attacked by a predator it will emit a very shrill call.