Eel like creatures

My brother in law clears farm land in eastern NC. He has found several specimens of an eel like creature that seems to be found (at least by us) exclusively in the dense root mat of large deciduos trees. They are dark grey to black in color, 8" to 16", very small and useless appendages at rear, small eyes (we think they are blind), rounded broad head kinda like catfish, tapering to eel like torso and tail. I have been trying to identify these things for over a year…what the hell is it?

Perhaps it is a caecilian?

Perhaps it is some sort of salamander. Do any of these fit the bill?

There are no native caecilains in the U.S., and in any case they don’t have any appendages in the rear.

It certainly sounds like a salamander with very reduced legs, except that the most reduced forms (like the Amphiuma shown in Firx’s link) are generally aquatic.

Perhaps glass snakes, which are actually legless or vestigial-legged lizards? The habitat sounds right. Quick test for this one - do the tails break off like lizards? That’s where the name comes from.

maybe an Axolotl? (although my research seems to indicate that these are native only to Mexico, so maybe not


Necturus Maculosus

Here are a few links to glass lizards (glass snakes). They have a distinctly snake-like appearance, so judging from the OP’s “eel like” description, I don’t think they are what he’s looking for.

Here’s a link to North Carolina salamander species, including Sirens, Hellbenders, Mudpuppies, and Waterdogs.

Those are great names, dontcha think?

have already researched mud puppies, am quite familiar with the glass lizzard and the other suggestions are beyond habitat…hmmmmmm

Thanks for the link…think we have a winner!!! The two toed amphiuma (Amphiuma means)

Whoo-hoo! What do I win? Can I keep one? They are cuddly…