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'Snot otter' named Pennsylvania's official amphibian

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's new official amphibian is a slimy, 2-foot-long (0.6-meter) salamander that needs clean streams to thrive. Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Tuesday granting the honor to the Eastern hellbender, a nocturnal animal whose colorful nicknames include snot otter, lasagna lizard and mud devil.

Members of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's student leadership council have spent three years campaigning to get it designated as the state's official amphibian, helped by Lycoming College's Clean Water Institute.

It's the largest salamander in North America. Wolf says the most recent official designation of that type in the state occurred in 1974, when the firefly was named Pennsylvania's official insect.

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