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Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide

Black-bellied Salamander, Desmognathus quadramaculatus

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.

blackbelly salamander
The Black-bellied Salamander is the largest and most robust of the Dusky Salamanders, reaching lengths over 7 inches. They have a completely black belly, which may be flecked with yellow in young animals. There is usually a double row of light spots on each side of the darkly colored body, or they may be scattered with small light flecks. The tail is sharply keeled on top. It is also the most aquatic of the Duskies, being found in stony streams and brooks. The seldom wander beyond the splash zone of these habitats, seeking shelter under the rocks within them.
Black-bellied Salamander Black-bellied Salamander Range

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