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Blue Ridge Dusky Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Desmognathus orestes

Classification: Amphibian

Conservation Status:

Size: Up to 4 inches

Distribution: Because the Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander and Blue Ridge Dusky Salamander are so similar in appearance, they are best differentiated by location. Blue Ridge Dusky Salamanders occur in the Blue Ridge physiographic province of Patrick, Floyd, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth and Washington counties in southwestern Virginia. They are generally found under cover along mountain, forested streams.

Identifying Characteristics

Blue Ridge Dusky Salamanders are very similar to the Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander. The back often has a broad stripe either straight edged or wavy that may be yellow, brown or red. The belly is light to dark gray. Larger adults may be uniformly dark gray.

Did You Know?

Most species of salamander only need a few meals per year to survive.

Role in the Web of Life

Mating occurs in the spring, summer or fall. Females lay eggs; usually in May–July in depressions, under cover objects near water, then remain with them until hatching. Larvae live in the quiet, slower moving portions of streams and metamorphose the following spring.

Conservation

Tier IV Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan.

Last updated: February 22, 2021