Desmognathus fuscus — Northern Dusky Salamander
I was unsuccessfully trying to locate a small frog that I had seen hop into the water when I noticed this mostly-submerged salamander out of the corner of my eye. Many of the Desmognathus salamanders look similar, and I catch this one to look for otherwise-concealed physical cues, but given the appearance and location I'm guessing it is D. fuscus. This species comprises two subspecies, the Northern Dusky Salamander (D. f. fuscus) and the Spotted Dusky Salamander (D. f. conanti). Yellow Branch Falls is smack dab in the middle of the intergrade zone of these two subspecies.
- Conant, R., Collins, J. T. 1998. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Third Edition, expanded
- Petranka, J. W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada