Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for One-Toed Aphiuma

Nope, this guy is not a snake. He is, actually, an amphibian. A salamander, not unlike this little cutie.

So where's this one toe?

Well, it's a little difficult to see.

From the University of Georgia's website:

Amphiumids are commonly known as "congo eels," a complete misnomer if there ever was one. First of all, amphiumids are amphibians, rather than fish (which eels are). Furthermore, the congo eel, which is probably the basis for this common name, is a marine fish... It is easy to overlook the diminutive legs, and the lack of any external gills... adds to the similarity between the amphiumas and eels. Amphiumas have two pairs of legs, and the three species, all of which occur in the southeastern United States, differ in regard to the number of toes at the ends of these limbs. There are three species: one species has one toe, one has two, and the third has three toes per limb. The one-toed amphiuma has a restricted range that is mostly in Florida and only barely extending into southern Georgia. It is a protected species in Georgia.

I'm sure we protect it here in Florida as well, because even here it's considered rare.

I couldn't find a good picture of the one toe of the one-toed aphiuma. Blogfest picture fail. However, below is an image of the three-toed aphiuma, whose tiny wittle legs are a bit easier to see. Can you count three toes?


  1. You are determined to give me nightmares, aren't you ?????

    Wow.. never heard of this though ;) and even though I read it, I skimmed the pictures :p ;) or squinted my eyes so I didn't stare at it ;)

  2. i just seen one of these in dyersburg tn walmart parking lot but it dont have any lags at all i have 2 pics i can send