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Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)

Northern Dusky SalamanderNH Conservation Status: Not listed.


State Rank Status: Wide spread and secure.


Distribution: Throughout New Hampshire except streams near the seacoast.


Description: A small 2.5-4.5 inch salamander that is typically dark gray or brown with a slightly darker molting across the back. Along the sides of the body are light salt and pepper flecks. The hind legs are noticeably stouter than the front legs. There is a light line that runs from the back of the eye to the back of the jaw.


Commonly Confused Species: Two-lined Salamander.


Habitat: Found along woodland streams under logs, rocks, moss, and wet leaves. Also found in brooks, near springs, and in seepages.


Life History: Eggs are laid within a few feet of a stream under logs, bark, or moss. The female guards the eggs until hatch. Hibernates under logs and rocks in deeper water.


Conservation Threats: Habitat loss, water pollution.


Distribution map: View a map showing the towns where this species is reported to occur in NH PDF Document


Northern Dusky Salamander
Dusky salamanders have stout hind legs in comparison to the front legs.

Photo by Mike Marchand.


Northern Dusky Salamander
Notice the light line extending from eye to jaw in this dusky salamander.

Photo by Mike Marchand.


Northern Dusky Salamander
Adult dusky salamander poking its head out of moss. Dusky salamanders are associated with streams and seeps.

Photo by Mike Marchand.