Santeetlah Dusky Salamander
Desmognathus santeetlah

Photo by Grant Connette

Description: This species ranges in color from light to dark brown with a light belly, a moderately keeled tail, and “salt-and-pepper” flecking along the sides. Some individuals may have a faint pattern of spots, stripes, or reticulations down the back. Most individuals also have a faint yellow tint to the underside of the hind limbs and base of the tail.

Habitat/Range: The Santeetlah dusky salamander is found only at higher elevations in the mountains in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Santeetlah dusky salamanders are often found around streams and seeps but may also be encountered under debris on the forest floor as well as on damp rock faces.

Diet: Santeetlah dusky salamanders consume primarily small invertebrates.

Reproduction: Females lay eggs under moss or in excavated spaces in soil or rotting logs. Nest sites are typically very close to flowing water. The female guards her eggs until they hatch. Hatchling salamanders emerge from their eggs with external gills and undergo a brief period as fully-aquatic larvae. Hatchlings metamorph into the adult body form within a year and are sexually mature by their second or third year.

 

Back to Salamanders of North Carolina
Back to Herps of North Carolina

The shaded region represents the range of the Santeetlah dusky salamander in North Carolina.

Photo by Grant Connette

Photo by Grant Connette

Photo by Grant Connette

Photo by Grant Connette

Photo by Grant Connette

This website created by: J. Willson, Y. Kornilev, W. Anderson, G. Connette and E. Eskew.
For comments or questions contact M. Dorcas: midorcas@davidson.edu.
M. Dorcas homepage: http://www.bio.davidson.edu/dorcas
Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina 28035-7118.

Partial Funding for this website provided by a Associate Colleges of the South, National Science Foundation, and Duke Energy.