Northern Dwarf Siren, Pseudobranchus striatus
The Northern dwarf siren (Pseudobranchus striatus) is a salamander species and a member of the Sirenidae family. The Northern dwarf siren is native to the southeastern United States, ranging throughout Florida and in southern Georgia and South Carolina. The species inhabits aquatic environments, typically ponds, ditches, swamps and marshes.
The Northern dwarf siren is the smallest of the sirens and measures between 4 to 6 inches. While the salamander lacks hind legs, its front legs are short and each foot has only have three toes. Coloration varies greatly but a common characteristic is its faint stripes running the length of its back or sides. The salamander has a slim body with a laterally compressed tail.
The Northern dwarf siren is nocturnal creature and a bottom-feeder. Typical diets consist of small invertebrates found in plants and debris at the bottom of the water source.
Little is known about the breeding habits of the species. It is believed the Northern dwarf siren lays individual eggs and they attach to underwater gravel and vegetation. It can take up to 30 days for its young to hatch after it’s laid.
Urbanization, drainage and increased tourism have all resulted in the declining population of the Northern dwarf siren species. Habitat loss continues to be a threat to the salamander. Monitoring and claiming its natural habitat as protected will help to ensure the species survival.
Image Caption: Northern dwarf siren (Pseudobranchus striatus). Credit: USGS/Wikipedia (public domain)