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Hellbenders are salamanders that grow up to two feet in length. They have flat bodies and heads; beady dorsal eyes and slimy skin. Like most salamanders, they have short legs with four toes on the front legs and five on their back appendages, and their tails are keeled to propel them through water. They are generally blotchy brown or red-brown in color, with a pale underbelly.
Swift-flowing, shallow, rocky-bottom streams
This spotting occurred during a catch-and-return population analysis project (and I was grateful for permission to photograph the specimen!)