AmphibiaWeb - Desmognathus ocoee


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Desmognathus ocoee Nicholls, 1949
Ocoee Salamander
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Plethodontinae
genus: Desmognathus
Species Description: Nicholls, J. C., Jr. (1949) A new salamander of the genus Desmognathus from East Tennessee. Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science 24: 127–129.

© 2016 Dr. Joachim Nerz (1 of 86)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
NatureServe Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (106 records).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States

U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (106 records).
Occurs in two different mountainous regions in the southeastern USA, and may represent a species complex or separate species: in the Cumberland Plateau of the Appalachian Plateau of northeastern Alabama into Tennessee, and separately in the southwestern Blue Ridge region including western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, west South Carolina, and north Georgia (Highton et al 2017).

This species was featured in the News of the Week on August, 30, 2021:

Despite lacking specialized climbing structures, a wide range of salamanders are known to climb vegetation, trees, or rocks. Their ability to cling and climb allows these salamanders access to more food resources, to more suitable microclimates, and to escape predators. O'Donnell and Deban (2021) explored what factors contribute to this ability across a wide range of size, morphology, and ecological niches in salamanders. They found that the adhesive nature of their mucus coating was a major factor, but that cling ability also was associated with body mass and the amount of body contact area utilized, which include feet, tail, belly, and ventral surface of their head, to increase cling. The best clingers in their experiments were the small plethodontid salamanders, such as Batrachoseps attenuatus, Desmognathus aeneus, D. ocoee, Eurycea guttolineata, and E. wilderae. However, plethodontid salamanders in general, like large salamander Desmognathus quadramaculatus, were comparable or exceed the cling ability of arboreal and scansorial frogs. (AChang)


Highton R, Bonett RM, and Jockusch EL (2017). "Caudata- Salamanders." Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, With Comments Regarding Confidence In Our Understanding. Crother, BI, eds., Herpetological Circular No. 43: Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles., 22–34.

Edited by: Michelle S. Koo (2021-08-29)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Desmognathus ocoee: Ocoee Salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 24, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 24 Sep 2023.

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