Texas Designates Austin Blind Salamander as Endangered Species
January 23, 2015
The Austin blind salamander (Eurycea waterlooensis), native to the state of Texas, has been added to the state’s endangered species list, two years after the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service approved it for the federal endangered species list.
According to the San Antonio Current, the amphibian should have been added to the state’s list after the federal designation but was “inadvertently not added to the state endangered species list at the time," the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Commission said.
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The Austin blind salamander can only be found in Barton Springs in Texas.
The salamander has been affected by the degradation of its aquatic habitat and has been adversely affected by pesticides and fertilizers in central Texas. It can only be found in Barton Springs fed by the Edwards Aquifer in Austin.
Little is known about the Austin blind salamander. Its size ranges from 1/2” to more than 3” in length and is pearly-white to lavender in coloration with three pairs of red external gills. It has eye spots but they do not form images, and it eats macro-invertebrates. It is speculated that it also eats juvenile salamanders and salamander eggs.
John B. Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata