Animalia > Chordata > Amphibia > Caudata > Cryptobranchidae > Cryptobranchus > Cryptobranchus alleganiensis

Cryptobranchus alleganiensis (Hellbender)

Synonyms: Salamandra alleganiensis

Wikipedia Abstract

The hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis), also known as the hellbender salamander, is a species of aquatic giant salamander endemic to eastern North America. A member of the family Cryptobranchidae, hellbenders are the only members of the genus Cryptobranchus, and are joined only by one other genus of salamanders (Andrias, which contains the Japanese and Chinese giant salamanders) at the family level. These salamanders are much larger than any others in their range, they employ an unusual means of respiration (which involves cutaneous gas exchange through capillaries found in their dorsoventral skin folds), and they fill a particular niche—both as a predator and prey—in their ecosystems, which either they or their ancestors have occupied for around 65 million years. The species is lis
View Wikipedia Record: Cryptobranchus alleganiensis


EDGE Analysis

There are two recognised subspecies – the eastern hellbender and the Ozark hellbender. The largest amphibian species in North America, hellbenders are giant salamanders that dwell mainly in cold-water waterways in central and north-east USA. The preferred habitat is large streams and rivers with fast-flowing water and a rocky substrate. Individuals are most frequently found under large boulders, submerged logs or in rock crevices. Although currently listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, hellbender populations are declining in many areas of their range due to a variety of factors from enigmatic diseases to habitat degradation.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 92.49
EDGE Score: 5.23


Adult Length [2]  29 inches (73.66 cm)
Gestation [3]  72 days
Litter Size [3]  275
Litters / Year [2]  1
Maximum Longevity [3]  29 years
Water Biome [1]  Rivers and Streams
Adult Weight [3]  358 grams
Diet [2]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates)
Female Maturity [3]  5 years
Male Maturity [3]  5 years


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Allegheny Highlands forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Central U.S. hardwood forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Southern Great Lakes forests Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests

Protected Areas

Prey / Diet

Regina septemvittata (Queen Snake)[4]


Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Range Map


North America;

External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Oliveira, Brunno Freire; São-Pedro, Vinícius Avelar; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Penone, Caterina; C. Costa, Gabriel. (2017) AmphiBIO, a global database for amphibian ecological traits. Sci. Data.
3de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
4COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Queen Snake Regina septemvittata in Canada, Smith, K. 1999, Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. 1-28 pp
5Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License