AmphibiaWeb - Desmognathus fuscus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Desmognathus fuscus (Rafinesque, 1820)
Dusky Salamander
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Plethodontinae
genus: Desmognathus
Taxonomic Notes: Studies by Alex Pyron point to a species complex. Following Pyron, R.A. & Beamer, D.A. (2022). A nomenclatural and taxonomic review of the salamanders (Urodela) from Holbrook’s North American Herpetology. Zootaxa, 5134(2), 151-196, Desmognathus quadramaculatus is synonymized with Desmognathus fuscus but more taxonomic updates will occur.

© 2004 Henk Wallays (1 of 108)
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 (46 records).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Canada, United States

U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia

Canadian province distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (46 records).

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

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)

Edited by: Michelle S. Koo (2023-04-28)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Desmognathus fuscus: Dusky Salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 20, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 May 2024.

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