Desmognathus fuscus

Northern Dusky Salamander

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Desmognathus fuscus; Photo taken by T. Anderson.

Photo taken by T. Anderson.

Desmognathus fuscus: close-up of head; Photo credit unknown.

Photo credit unknown.

Desmognathus fuscus

Photo credit unknown.

Desmognathus fuscus: ventral view

Ventral view. Photo credit unknown.

Photos of egg masses are below.
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Distribution of Desmognathus fuscus in Vermont

Distribution Map

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The Northern Dusky Salamander is a grayish-brown salamander that is noticably chunkier than the Northern Two-lined Salamander. Adults range from 3 - 5½ inches long. White lines outlined in black start at the eye and angle down to their jaw. Their back legs are larger and stronger then their front legs, and their tail is partially keeled.

They lay their eggs under moss, and the females remain with the eggs until they hatch.


The Northern Dusky is found in saturated soil near streams or in seepages in forested areas. They do not travel very far from their streams and seeps.

Northern Dusky Salamanders are found statewide, but less often in the Northeast Kingdom.


The Northern Dusky Salamander has a state natural heritage rank of S5 (common). It is locally common in good habitat. Please report sightings of this species in Vermont if you have not reported them within the last five years from a given location. Any natural history observations (feeding, migrations, road crossing areas, early or late season appearance, abnormalities, etc.) are appreciated. Photographs are always helpful, particularly if your report is the first report of this species from a town.

More Info

Species summary written by Kaile Burgess.

Desmognathus fuscus egg mass

Desmognathus fuscus with eggs; photo by K. Briggs. Desmognathus fuscus egg mass; photo credit unknown.

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