Hellbenders are the largest aquatic salamander in the United States, regularly reaching up to a foot in length. Hellbenders “breathe” through their skin, which makes them sensitive to water quality issues and the species has declined due to water quality degradation and habitat loss. Hellbenders rarely leave the water, and are active mostly at night, spending the day hiding out under rocks. Their diet consists of mostly crayfish, supplemented with small fish, tadpoles, and toads.
Friends of Blackwater works to protect rare and endangered species.