ground puppy n
1826 Amer. Jrl. Science 11.278, Menopoma Alleghaniensis. . . Hell-bender. Mud-devil. Ground-puppy. Tweeg. Young Alligator. 1827 Democrat (Huntsville AL) [8 June 4]/5, I was present when Mr. John Smith had up one of his negroes as he said for poisoning his horses; the negro . . . said he had dried and powdered a ground puppy, & gave that to the horse. 1829 Amer. Jrl. Science 16.43 MD, I found that she, (the patient,) had puked up two ground puppies . . : the first was dead when ejected, the second was alive when I arrived, and ran about the room; they were about three inches long. 1834 Transylvania Jrl. Med. 7.143 KY, The soft-skinned species which live under damp logs, and under stones, and those which inhabit the water, called newts, “ground pups,” or “water dogs,” had better be preserved in whiskey. 1851 De Bow’s Rev. 11.53 LA, There is an animal living under logs, being smooth skinned, slimy and blue, and white color, resembling lizards in shape, and known here as the ground lizard or ground puppy. They are reputed to be poisonous. 1854 Wailes Rept. on Ag. & Geol. MS 328, Salamandra salmonea [= Gyrinophilus porphyriticus]. S. fasciata [=Ambystoma opacum]. S. bilineata [=Eurycea bislineata]. S. fusca [=Desmognathus fuscus]. S. porphyritica [=Gyrinophilus porphyriticus]. Ground puppy. 1899 Bergen Animal Lore 62 ceMD, Ground-dog or ground-puppy or puppy, salamander, Necturus maculatus. 1899 (1912) Green VA Folk-Speech 208, Ground-puppy. . . A small animal said to live under the ground, and bark when disturbed. 1907 Star (Kansas City MO) 25 Oct sec B 6/5, A Fairfax man found a “varmint” in his potato patch that is something of a curiosity. He pronounced it a “ground puppy,” but, excepting its flat, dog-like head, it looks more like a young alligator. 1916 Outing 67.614 MO, In season the Chain of Lakes is rich with living things—coon, possum, squirrel, owls, snakes, and a funny looking little animal called a “ground pup,” which resembles a baby alligator. The principal use of the ground pup is to scare tenderfoot hunters. 1920 Sioux City Jrl. (IA) 19 Sept 13/2, “That’s a ground dog,” said he. “It’s bite is more poisonous than that of a rattlesnake. . .” The milk bottle was immediately covered, and the antics of the creature, which resembles a lizard, except that it is as lively as an eel and spotted as a leopard, were watched in safety. 1926 TX Folkl. Soc. Pub. 5.62 Sth, Ground . . puppies are land salamanders. . . If you kill a ground puppy and dry its body and powder it and then place it in a small bag and conceal the bag under the doorstep of a house, the first person who crosses the threshold will receive into his veins the rejuvenated body of the ground puppy. 1928 Baylor Univ. Museum Contrib. 16.7 TX, Mud-puppy. Ground-puppy. Water-puppy. Ground-dog. In Texas, these four names refer to three species of land salamanders which inhabit the eastern part of the State. In one locality, all four names may commonly apply to one species of salamander, while in another, one of the names may be used indiscriminately for all three of the amphibians. The three species referred to are the Spotted (Ambystoma maculatum (Shaw)), Marbled (A. opacum (Gravenhorst)), and Texan (A. texanum (Matthes)) salamanders. 1930 Copeia 4.153 swGA, Plethodon glutinosus . . Slimy salamander. . . This and other salamanders of the region are called ‘ground puppies.’ One of the boys helping me said: ‘If one of these ground puppies pops his teeth at you three times you’ll die.’ 1938 in 1970 Hyatt Hoodoo 1.358 ceVA, I was sick one day and the next day I were well. I went on until I had it every change of the moon. I throwed up a groun’ dog . . that’s as big as your finger, it has spots on it. c1940 Newman–Murphy Conserv. Notes 5 neLA, There are . . varied reptiles in the parish. . . ground puppies. 2000 Delta Farm Press 22 Dec (Internet) nwMS, Occasionally, when turning over a rotten leg [sic], we would uncover a spotted salamander that we called a “ground-puppy,” thus assuring a catfish. I defy any man, even today, to bait a set hook with a ground-puppy and not catch a catfish. 2001 McLean Co. News (Calhoun KY) 15 Feb sec B 4/4, A gentleman phoned me recently and asked if a “ground dog” was a kind of lizard. . . I hadn’t heard the term “ground dog” since I was a boy. Many years ago a man was plowing some land on which my father planned to plant tobacco. . . He was frightened by a very large (eight to 10 inch) salamander that had been exposed as the soil was overturned.
2 A velvet ant n.
1946–47 McDavid Coll., 2 infs, ce, seGA, Ground puppy—type of burrowing bee(?), not the same as yellow jacket. 2009 in 2019 DARE File—Internet csLA, [Caption to photo of a velvet ant:] Not sure what these really are, but my grandma always called these ground puppies. They sting.
3 A mole cricket n.
1959 FL Naturalist 32.42, It is interesting to note that at one time a bounty of 10 cents was paid in Florida for ground puppies, as they can be very destructive to root crops and flower bulbs. 1968 DARE (Qu. R4, A large winged insect that hatches in summer in great numbers around lakes or rivers, crowds around lights, lives only a day or so, and is good fish bait) Inf GA20, Ground puppy. 1969 DARE FW Addit seGA, Ground puppy—a mole cricket (a cricket-like insect 1½ inches long, light brown, [that] has feet like a mole, burrows at roots of garden plants; [it] eats the roots and kills the plants, and perforates the ground; [it makes] good fish bait).