Desmognathus ochrophaeus
Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander
Subgenus: Desmognathus
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Plethodontinae

© 2011 Todd Pierson (1 of 21)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
NatureServe Status Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States



View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

This species occurs in the USA and Canada, on ridges of the Ridge and Valley Physiographic Province, including Brumley, Clinch, Walker, and Potts mountains of southwestern Virginia; Cumberland Mountains and Plateau of southeastern Kentucky, and the Allegheny Mountains and Plateau of West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York through the Adirondack Mountains to southern Quebec (Tilley and Mahoney 1996). Additional populations exist in the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee and extending as far as western North Carolina and northern Georgia (Anderson and Tilley 2003, COSEWIC 2007).

Habitat and Ecology

It can be found at lower elevations and in winter it usually concentrates near seepage areas, springs, and small streams. Animals may range into adjacent wooded areas in wet weather. It is more terrestrial at higher elevations, characteristic inhabitant of floor of spruce-fir forests. It is often abundant on wet rock faces. Eggs are laid in wet rock crevices or under rocks, logs, or moss in seepage areas or near small streams. The larvae develop in water.


Total adult population size is unknown but probably exceeds 100,000. There are not sufficient data to determine population trends.

Population Trend


Major Threats

There are no major threats of widespread significance. Potential future threats include groundwater extraction which limits the volume of water available in the species habitat.

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No conservation is needed as it occurs in many protected areas. 

Research Needed
This species has only recently been discovered in Canada due in part to being mistaken for D. fuscus, and so further research in to its range, habitat, and population in Canada, particularly Ontario, is needed.

Red List Status

Least Concern (LC)


Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of sub-populations and localities, and presumed large population size.

Taxonomic Notes

Populations in the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee that were previously known as this species were assigned to Desmognathus abditus (Anderson and Tilley 2003).


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Desmognathus ochrophaeus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T59253A63999116. .Downloaded on 16 February 2019


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