Desmognathus monticola Seal Salamander
Smokemont Loop Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Swain County, North CarolinaMay 7, 2004
Seal Salamander (Desmognathus monticola)
There are three large species of Desmognathus found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Seal Salamanders, Black-bellied Salamanders, and Shovel-nosed Salamanders. I'm reasonably confident that this fellow is a Seal Salamander, but it's not inconceivable that I've identified it incorrectly. If you can confirm or deny, please send me email, and please tell me your reasoning.
Elkmont Nature Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sevier County, TennesseeMay 8, 2004
Seal Salamander (Desmognathus monticola)
Here's another adult. This one was under a rock right at a stream's edge, and was briefly willing to pose on dry land.
Yellow Branch Falls Trail, Oconee County, South CarolinaApril 10, 2013
Seal Salamander (Desmognathus monticola) Seal Salamander (Desmognathus monticola)
A colony of these salamanders was living in the splash zone where a thin stream trickled down over some wet boulders and formed a tiny thin waterfall about a foot high. They were remarkably hard to photograph, because they would jump quickly into the gaps between rocks when exposed, and then squirm away instantly. This first one was perhaps the smallest salamander I've ever seen.
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