Smoky Mountains Salamanders ID Help

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Bostaff of Asclepius
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Joined: January 29th, 2013, 9:21 am
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Smoky Mountains Salamanders ID Help

Post by Bostaff of Asclepius » November 13th, 2018, 8:46 pm

Greetings,

Below are a few individuals found on a hike along the Chimney Tops trail that I am having a hell of a time identifying:

Any help would be appreciated, driving myself and girlfriend nuts trying to id.
Attachments
salamander 3 lateral .JPG
Salamander 3 lateral
salamander 3 dorsum.JPG
Salamander 3 dorsum
salamander 2 lateral.JPG
Salamander 2 lateral
salamander 2 dorsum.JPG
Salamander 2 dorsum
salamander 1 ventrum.JPG
Salamander 1 ventrum
salamander 1 dorsum.jpg
Salamander 1 dorsum

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: Smoky Mountains Salamanders ID Help

Post by Bryan Hamilton » November 14th, 2018, 9:49 am

They both look like Desmognathus to me. Some of them can only be identified based on species or genetics.



Disclaimer: I am NOT a salamander id expert. But I like to play one online.

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Smoky Mountains Salamanders ID Help

Post by Josh Holbrook » November 15th, 2018, 9:52 am

The first two look like Blackbellied salamanders (Desmognathus quadramaculatus) - they have a line of paired white spots laterally. The next couple are something in the mountain Dusky Salamander complex (maybe D. carolinensis) - they’re one of the few in the SAPPs with a rounded tail cross section. I can’t see well enough on the last one, but probably also a black belly.

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Aneides Aeneus
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Re: Smoky Mountains Salamanders ID Help

Post by Aneides Aeneus » November 28th, 2018, 8:09 pm

I would call salamanders 2 (photos 3 and 4) and 3 (first 2 photos) santeetlah dusky salamanders. They have slightly greenish-brown hue and a lot of white flecking which is something I've seen a lot in santeetlah dusky salamanders in the park. Their heads also seem too pointy to me to be black-bellies, and the keeled tail rules out mountain duskies (which would be ocoee in that area). I'd say salamander 1 (the 5th and 6th photos) is definitely a black-bellied salamander. That being said Josh seems to disagree on a lot of that so take my word with a grain of salt. However he may not have noticed that you provided two shots of each specimen and only posted 3 specimens total.

Hope this helps! Dusky identification is always a spicy time!

-Ananth

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Bostaff of Asclepius
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Re: Smoky Mountains Salamanders ID Help

Post by Bostaff of Asclepius » November 29th, 2018, 4:23 pm

Aneides,

After pouring over a few different guides, online databases And having observed other individuals in the field that is what I had tentatively concluded as well. I have a few others I will post with my ID guesses in a few days.

The help of all is appreciated!

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