nmenopomaA genus of large tailed amphibians, typical of the family Menopomidæ so called from the persistence of the gill-slits or branchial apertures. The genus is peculiar to America, where it represents the so-called “giant salamander” of Japan (Cryptobranchus, or Sieboldia, or Megalobatrachus maximus). There are two species of these large, ugly, and repulsive creatures, M. alleghaniensis and M. horrida. They have four short but wellformed limbs, the fore feet four-toed and the hind feet five-toed. They attain a length of one or two feet, and live in muddy waters of the Alleghany region and Mississippi basin. They are voracious, may readily be taken with hook and line, and are very tenacious of life. They are the largest amphibians of America, and are wrongly reputed to be poisonous. They are popularly known by the names of hellbender, mud-devil, water-puppy, water-dog, ground puppy, and tweeg. The genus is also called Protonopsis, its two species being then known as P. fusca and P. horrida. See cut under hellbender.