Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus (Cope, 1859)  

Status:

Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus ochrophaeus) is a common, stocky salamander of western Maryland, distributed in Garrett and Allegany Counties. This species may be distinguished from the very widespread Northern Dusky Salamander (D. fuscus) by noting the rounded shape of the dorsal tail (knifelike on Northern). There is some overlap in habitat preference, and both species can sometimes be found at the same site, though Allegheny is often more terrestrial. Like Northern Dusky, this species tends to be found in microhabitats that retain moisture, under rocks or logs along streams or seeps, but after rain storms, it may occasionally be found roaming far from water (Conant & Collins, 1998; Maryland DNR site). Allegheny Mountain Duskies breed during the spring or early summer.

Description:

Extremely variable in coloration. Back often with a pale middorsal stripe, frequently with chevron-shaped markings, but not always readily evident. Many older individuals may be mostly patternless. Often shows a pale diagonal stripe from the eye to the base of the jaw. This species has a rounded tail, while the Northern Dusky has a sharply keeled tail, which can be a useful difference to quickly separate them in the field. Viewed laterally, adult male Allegheny Mountain Dusky shows a wavy, sinuous mouth, in contrast to the less curved mouth of Northern Dusky.

There are 19 records in the project database.

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An Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander in Garrett Co., Maryland (9/5/2016). Photo by Justin Lee. (MBP list)

An Allegheny Dusky Salamander in Garrett Co., Maryland (6/9/2013). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

An Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/26/2018). Photo by Ben Springer. (MBP list)

An Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander in Smythe Co., Virginia (5/31/2011). Photo by Terry Hibbitts. (MBP list)

Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/2/2016). Photo by Kerry Wixted. (MBP list)

An Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/26/2018). Photo by Ben Springer. (MBP list)


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