7841831178_d00c9f1c48 7841842014_ac07eaaf8c_s
Photo © John Beatty, all rights reserved
Indian Steps Museum, PA (Google, OSM)
39.8626873961, -76.3784659894
open

Description

I'm looking to identify the lower Salamander in these photos. The top one is a Two-Lined Salamander but I'd like to identify the lower one. I thought maybe it was a Seal Salamander but not sure.

Aug. 22, 2012 21:32:26 -0400
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Comments & Identifications

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If i had to guess by looking at other images I'd say an Allegheny Mountain Dusky

Posted by wabbytwax about 2 years ago (Flag)
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Dusky Salamander - Photo (c) Ken-ichi Ueda, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
kueda's ID: Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)

This is a better match for the location, and Conant says D. fuscus has a keeled tail while D. ochrophaeus does not, and yours seems to have the keel.

Posted by kueda about 2 years ago (Flag)
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Definitely D. fuscus - the tail is noticeably keeled and it lacks the typical dorsal chevrons typical of D. ochrophaeus.

Posted by mikeygraz about 2 years ago (Flag)
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Dusky Salamander - Photo (c) Ken-ichi Ueda, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
mikeygraz's ID: Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)
Posted by mikeygraz about 2 years ago (Flag)
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Dusky Salamander - Photo (c) Ken-ichi Ueda, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
wabbytwax's ID: Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)
Posted by wabbytwax about 2 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks guys!

Posted by wabbytwax about 2 years ago (Flag)
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It looks like many juvenile Desmognathus monticola I've found in the Laurel Highlands.

Posted by briansg 9 months ago (Flag)
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I was originally thinking Seal for this one too. What % sure are you its a seal then?

Posted by wabbytwax 9 months ago (Flag)
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I should have payed more attention to the geographic locality where the specimen was found. Although it does look like a juvenile Seal Salamander, it would be very unlikely that this species would be found so far east. Desmognathus spp. are very tough to ID from photos; at least for me. The fact that hybridization occurs in some species is also a problem. To be on the safe side you may want to change the ID to Desmognathus sp.

Posted by briansg 8 months ago (Flag)
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I am 100% sure that this is a Northern Dusky Salamander (D. fuscus), based on a combination of locality information and morphology.

I'm not sure why Brian is so resigned to saying this is a D. monticola or go so far as to call it a hybrid...while obviously photographs are rarely sufficient for any Desmognathus, this one is pretty clearly D. fuscus. Haphazardly referring to it as D. monticola isn't appropriate when both morphology and range (which is this case, is a pretty significant separation both geologically (large river separation) and geographically (distance)) clearly demarcate one species. Suggesting hybridization (which hasn't been recorded for this species, to the best of knowledge) certainly isn't the appropriate direction, either.

Posted by mikeygraz 8 months ago (Flag)
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Nicely put. Thanks for the help!

Posted by wabbytwax 8 months ago (Flag)
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I never said that the specimen in question was a hybrid. I was only stating that hybridization does occur in some species of Desmognathus (See Tilley 1988.Herpetol. Monographs 2:27-39; Anderson and Tilley 2003. Herpetol. Monographs 17:75-110), making identifications from photos difficult.

Posted by briansg 8 months ago (Flag)
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Identification Summary

Dusky Salamander - Photo (c) Ken-ichi Ueda, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
wabbytwax's ID: Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)
Dusky Salamander - Photo (c) Ken-ichi Ueda, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
Community ID: Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)
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kueda mikeygraz 2 people agree
lungless salamanders - Photo (c) Josiah Townsend, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND)
loarie's ID: lungless salamanders (Family Plethodontidae)

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Data Quality Assessment

Community-supported ID? Yes
2 people agree
0 people disagree
Date? Yes
Georeferenced? Yes
Photos or sounds? Yes
Is the organism wild/naturalized? Unknown
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Does the location seem accurate? Unknown
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Does the date seem accurate? Unknown
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Observation © John Beatty
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