Amphiumidae Gray, 1825

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Amphiumidae
3 species

Amphiumidae Gray, 1825, Ann. Philos., London, Ser. 2, 10: 216. Type genus: Amphiuma Garden, 1821.

AmphiumoideaFitzinger, 1828, Isis von Oken, 21: col. 24. Explicit family.

Cryptobranchi Wagler, 1828, Isis von Oken, 21: 859. Explicit family to contain Amphiuma Garden, 1821, and "etc." which may have been Cryptobranchus, although this conjecture has no evidentiary weight. Unavailable name for reason of not being based on a generic name.

AmphiuminaBonaparte, 1839, Mem. Soc. Sci. Nat. Neuchâtel, 2: 16; Bonaparte, 1840, Nuovi Ann. Sci. Nat., Bologna, 4: 101 (p. 11 of offprint); Bonaparte, 1840, Mem. Accad. Sci. Torino, Ser. 2, 2: 395. Treated as a subfamily of Amphiumidae. 

AmphiumidesDuméril and Bibron, 1841, Erp. Gen., 6: table opposite page 53. Explicit non-Latinized family-group name.

Muraenopses Fitzinger, 1843, Syst. Rept.: 34. Type genus: Muraenopsis Fitzinger, 1843.

Pérobranches Duméril, Bibron, and Duméril, 1854, Erp. Gen., 9: 199. Non-Latinized family-group name (unavailable) coined as a synonym of Amphiumides Duméril and Bibron, 1841.

AmphiumidaJan, 1857, Cenni Mus. Civ. Milano: 55; Smith, 1877, Tailed Amph.: 19; Knauer, 1878, Naturgesch. Lurche: 96.

AmphiumoideaeStejneger, 1907, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 58: 3 Explicit superfamily.

AmphiumoideaDunn, 1922, Am. Nat., 56: 426; Dubois, 2005, Alytes, 23: 19. Superfamily.

AmphiumoidaeHay, 1930, Carnegie Inst. Publ., 390(1): 843. Superfamily.

AmphiumoidaeDubois and Raffaëlli, 2012, Alytes, 28: 77–161. Epifamily.

Amphiumeidae — Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 278. Apofamily. 

English Names

Amphiumas (Cochran, 1961, Living Amph. World: 29; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 27; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 19; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 10; Powell, Conant, and Collins, 2016, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. North Am., 4th ed.: 37).

Congo Snakes (Jordan, 1878, Man. Vert. North. U.S., Ed. 2: 197).


Southeastern USA.


Larson and Dimmick, 1993, Herpetol. Monogr., 7; Wiens, Bonett, and Chippindale, 2005, Syst. Biol., 54: 91–110; Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297: 115, and Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583 (see comment in Amphibia record) recovered Amphiumidae as the sister taxon of Plethodontidae. See detailed accounts for species by Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 131–138. Bonett, Chippindale, Moler, Van Devender, and Wake, 2009, PLoS One, 5: e5615 (1–10), reported on phylogenetics of the family, including fossil taxa, and discussed the evolution of large body size. Zhang and Wake, 2009, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 53: 492–508, reported on molecular phylogenetics of salamanders based on mtDNA and provided an estimate of time since origin of the salamander families. Zheng, Peng, Kuro-o, and Zeng, 2011, Mol. Biol. Evol., 28: 2521–2535, reported on the estimated time of origin of this taxon. Blackburn and Wake, 2011, In Zhang (ed.), Zootaxa, 3148: 39–55, briefly reviewed the taxonomic history of this taxon. Powell, Collins, and Hooper, 2011, Key Herpetofauna U.S. & Canada, 2nd Ed.: 11, provided a key to the species. Chen, Wang, Liu, Xie, and Jiang, 2011, Curr. Zool., Chengdu, 57: 785–805, on the basis of 11 protein-coding mtDNA genes, confirmed the placement of Amphiumidae as the sister taxon of Plethodontidae, as did Shen, Liang, Feng, Chen, and Zhang, 2013, Mol. Biol. Evol., 30: 2235–2248, on the basis of substantial molecular evidence. Vitt and Caldwell, 2014, Herpetology, 4th Ed., provided a summary of life history, diagnosis, and taxonomy.

Contained taxa (3 sp.):

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