The Necturus alabamensis is in the Appalachian headwaters of the Black Warrior River drainage basin in Alabama. This specie’s range comprises the Sipsey Fork and Brushy Creek in Winston County. It also includes the Mulberry Fork, Blackwater Creek and the Lost Creek in Walter County. It also includes the North River and Yellow Creek in Tuscaloosa County. Lastly, it includes the Locust Fork and Blackburn Fork in Blount County.
They are usually located in unsalted small or medium-sized streams in clay areas. Areas of dead leaves and detritus at times found backwaters are important to the Necturus alabamensis. Their diet consists of small fish, tadpoles, fish eggs, crayfish and water insects. Mating occurs during winter. The female lays about 15 – 55 eggs between March and May. Once they hatch, the young hide in bunches of leaves.
The Alabama Waterdog grow to about 200 mm in total length. They have irregular light spots overlaid with dark rounded spots. These form three stripes down its back. They pale bellies that are free from spots. They have small nostrils and two small eyes. They have no eyelids. The Black Warrior River Waterdog has four legs which have four toes each. It also has a long, vertically flattened tail for swimming. Most interestingly, they have three feathery external gills on each side of their heads. The young ones of this specie have distinct brown stripes that run down their back and sides. It goes from nose to tail and disappears by maturity.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians