Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander /
Salamandre sombre des Montagnes
The Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander varies enormously in colour and pattern, but
Canadian populations are less varied. Generally it has a wide band running down its
back with dark V-shaped marks. A key diagnostic feature of dusky salamanders is the
pale line that runs from the eye diagonally to the jaw. It has a rounded tail. The
Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander can grow to 11 cm in total length, counting its
The most similar looking species is the Northern
Two-lined Salamander, which has a yellowish band running down its back, bordered
by two dark lines. However, in some individuals the line is broken or faint. It lacks
the diagonal eye line. There is also the closely related
Dusky Salamander. It can be tan to dark brown in colour and be either plain or
mottled. It also has the line from eye to jaw, but the shape of tail is triangular
rather than round.
First discovered in Canada in the late 1980's, the Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander
is found in extreme southern Quebec and has recently been discovered in the Niagara
Gorge close to Niagara Falls in Ontario. It is possible that other populations remain
undiscovered in the area. The Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander has a limited range
outside of Canada, being largely limited to the area of the Appalachians.
The preferred habitat for the Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander is spring-fed rocky
creeks in forested areas. They are rarely found far from water.
Breeding generally occurs in the spring. Females lay up to 25 eggs in grape-like clusters
attached to moss or rotting logs near water. The female generally remains with the eggs
until they hatch. The larvae are less than 1.5 cm long when they hatch. They transform
sometime the following summer and become mature in three to four years.
Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamanders are frequently found under rocks next to creeks.
They eat a variety of insects and other invertebrates. During the winter, they can
remain active in the water.
Given the limited distribution in Canada, the Allegheny Allegheny Mountain Dusky
Salamander has been designated Threatened in Québec and Endangered in Ontario by