Texas Blind Salamander (Eurycea rathbuni)

Photograph of the Texas Blind Salamander

TPWD ©

Texas Status
Endangered
U.S. Status
Endangered, Listed 3/11/1967
Description
Because the Texas blind salamander is adapted for living in water underground, it has no eyes, only two small black dots under the skin. It has little skin pigment, is white in color, and has red external gills used to get oxygen from the water.
Life History
The blind salamander is an active predator. It moves its head from side to side as it searches for food on the bottom. It hunts animal food by sensing water pressure waves created by prey in the still underground waters where it lives. Tiny snails, shrimp, and other aquatic invertebrates make up its diet. Reproduction occurs year round. It is unknown how many Texas blind salamanders exist.
Habitat
The Texas blind salamander lives in water-filled caves of the Edwards Aquifer near San Marcos, Texas.
Distribution
This rare salamander lives in the Edwards Plateau region, Hays County, Texas.
Other
The Texas blind salamander depends on a constant supply of clean, cool water from the Edwards Aquifer. Pollution and overuse of water caused by the growth of cities threaten its survival. You can help by conserving water and preventing water pollution.
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