Medium
Photo © Marlo Perdicas, all rights reserved
Boston Run, Boston Heights, Ohio, US (Google, OSM)
41.242309, -81.509987
Accuracy: 5m
open
Aug. 28, 2012 23:49:06 -0400
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Comments & Identifications

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Dusky Salamander - Photo (c) Ken-ichi Ueda, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
mperdicas's ID: Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)
Posted by mperdicas almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Dusky Salamander - Photo (c) Ken-ichi Ueda, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
hartvillestuff's ID: Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)
Posted by hartvillestuff almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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"Dusky Salamander" really refers to the whole genus Desmognathus, of which we have two species in NE Ohio. I'm not sure why iNaturalist doesn't do a better job with current taxonomy. Desmognathus fuscus should be Northern Dusky Salamander. Does this bother anyone else or am I just being nitpicky? Be honest... I can take it.

Posted by sagamoreoh almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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In our defense, common names are pretty arbitrary unless you're talking about North American birds. My really, really old edition of Conant reserves the name "Northern Dusky Salamander" for the subspecies D. fuscus fuscus, and there are a number of species in Desmognathus that don't go by the "dusky" moniker (D. quadrimaculatus, D. monticola).

That said, there's definitely more we can do to match people's common name preferences. One suggestion that's been made is to associate observations with a taxonomic concept AND one of the several names associated with that taxon, and use the most popularly used common names to set the default common name.

Posted by kueda almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Very true, and I mean no disrespect. I applaud the iNaturalist site for what it has put together here. Normally I wouldn't care too much about common names except that "dusky salamander" seems especially vague to me considering there are approximately 10 species within that genus that are a variation of the "dusky" moniker but none that are technically referred to as just "dusky salamander" (http://www.cnah.org/nameslist.asp?id=5).

I can't speak for other groups of organisms, but there is a well established authority in the herpetological community that standardizes common and scientific names of North American reptiles and amphibians. Birds don't hold a monopoly on standardization of common names, although it is undoubtedly better established.

This website: http://www.cnah.org/ managed by the Center for North American Herpetology standardizes (and regularly updates when needed) the names for North American herps. Maybe this site can help resolve any confusion on iNaturalist and help disseminate proper terminology for herps.

Of course, latin names will always trump common names and SHOULD help us avoid this confusion... except of course when taxonomists keep changing names after every genetic analysis paper comes out!

Posted by sagamoreoh almost 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 almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Dusky Salamander - Photo (c) Ken-ichi Ueda, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
jwhittle's ID: Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)
Posted by jwhittle almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Identification Summary

Dusky Salamander - Photo (c) Ken-ichi Ueda, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
mperdicas'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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Data Quality Assessment

Community-supported ID? Yes
3 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 © Marlo Perdicas
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