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Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide

Seal Salamander, Desmognathus monticola


Note:  Dusky Salamanders (genus Desmognathus) are extremely difficult to identify due to their highly varied patterns and coloration. They can be distinguished from many other types of Lungless Salamanders by the presence of a light line stretching from the corner of the mouth to the eye. The patterns on these salamanders change with age and show a high degree of variability both among individuals in a population and among different areas of their range. If you find a specimen in the field first look at the range maps in an identification guide to narrow your search to species found in your area. Dusky Salamanders have aquatic larvae.


Seal Salamander
The Seal Salamander is a stout-bodied Dusky Salamander attaining lengths of 5.5 inches. Nearly half of their length is tail. The latter half of the tail is keeled, i.e. "compressed" from the sides and "knife-edged" above. The Seal Salamander is light brown to gray above with very distinct but highly variable dark markings. The belly is light as well as the lower half of the sides. The upper half of the sides are dark like the back, and the transition is abrupt. The pale eye line is usually present.
Seal Salamander
The Seal Salamander is often found in well-shaded banks and ravines of mountain streams and around brooks and streams in forested areas. They hide by day under stones or in burrows, but can be sometimes be found out in the open at nigh with the aid of a flashlight. The Seal Salamander is found from sea level to high mountains from Pennsylvania to southwestern Alabama.
Seal Salamander Range

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