'Snot otter,' 'lasagna lizard,' 'mud devil' — Pa. has an official state amphibian

Tony Romeo
April 17, 2019 - 6:49 am
Eastern hellbender salamander

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Look out, Pennsylvania. You’re about to get an official state amphibian. The state's long "salamandoff" is finally over. 

Nothing is ever simple in the capital, and that includes deciding which species of salamander should be named the official state amphibian. 

The Senate wanted that honor to go to the eastern hellbender. However, in the last two-year session of the legislature, the majority leader of the House favored a different critter for the title. But he retired at the end of the year.

So, the Senate, hell-bent and determined to have its way, has now prevailed. 

After the House voted to send a bill to the governor, which a spokesman says he will sign, Republican Garth Everett gave lawmakers a briefing on what they need to know.

"The hellbender is the largest American salamander. And it’s the third-largest salamander in the whole world. It can grow up to about two and a half feet long," Everett said.

There you have it. Thanks to more legislative salamandering, the eastern hellbender is the state amphibian of ... Pun-sylvania.