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Asiatic Giant Salamanders and Hellbenders: Cryptobranchidae

Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Hellbender (cryptobranchus Alleganiensis): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, HELLBENDERS ASIATIC GIANT

HELLBENDER (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis): SPECIES ACCOUNT

Asiatic giant salamanders and hellbenders live in the eastern part of China, the southern part of Japan, and the eastern part of the United States.


Asiatic giant salamanders and hellbenders live in cool streams and rivers with gravel- or rock-covered bottoms. Chinese giant salamanders live in mountain streams, usually at heights less than 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) above sea level. Japanese giant salamanders live at heights less than 2,300 feet (700 meters) above sea level. Hellbenders live below 2,500 feet (750 meters) above sea level.


People have eaten Asiatic giant salamanders and hellbenders for centuries. In parts of Asia these animals were used as medicines and in religious ceremonies and were considered delicacies until they gained protected status. In North America hellbenders have been used for food and fish bait. Asiatic giant salamanders and hellbenders usually are harmless but if attacked can give a severe bite to a finger or hand.


Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceAmphibians