Say hello to the official State Amphibian — the Eastern hellbender
HARRISBURG — Say hello to Pennsylvania’s State Amphibian, the Eastern hellbender.
The state House voted 191-6 on Tuesday to grant the honor to the nocturnal salamander, which can grow to more than two feet in length.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said he plans to sign off on the House’s bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Garth Everett, a Republican from Lycoming County.
The Eastern hellbender withstood a challenge from the Wehrle’s salamander to win the honor, according to the Associated Press.
“Not many people have actually seen hellbenders,” Everett said after the vote. “They live only in very clean streams, and they live under rocks.”
Members of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s student leadership council began the campaign to designate it as the state’s official amphibian, and their efforts were aided by Lycoming College’s Clean Water Institute, the AP reports.
Hellbenders are the largest North American amphibian, with a colorful set of nicknames that include mud devil, devil dog, ground puppy, snot otter, lasagna lizard and Allegheny alligator.