Desmognathus fuscus (Rafinesque, 1820)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Plethodontidae > Subfamily: Plethodontinae > Genus: Desmognathus > Species: Desmognathus fuscus

Salamandra fusca Green, 1818, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 1: 357. Type(s): Not stated or known to exist, although likely originally in ANSP. Type locality: Not stated, but "probably vicinity of Princeton, New Jersey", USA, according to Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 29. Junior primary homonym of Salamandra fusca Laurenti, 1768 (= Salamandra atra). Synonymy (with Salamandra nigra) by Gray, 1850, Cat. Spec. Amph. Coll. Brit. Mus., Batr. Grad.: 31 and with Triturus fuscus Rafinesque by Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 81. Considered to be a nomen dubium by Highton Tilley, and Wake in Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Green, Highton, Iverson, McDiarmid, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Tilley, and Wake, 2003, Herpetol. Rev., 34: 197, which cannot confidently be allocated to a particular taxon.

Salamandra nigra Green, 1818, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 1: 352. Holotype: Not stated or known to exist, although Harlan, 1827, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 5: 332, noted specimens in the ANSP and Baird, 1850 "1849", J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Ser. 2, 1: 285, suggested that the one ANSP specimen he examined might be the type. Type locality: Not stated, though presumably from region of Princeton, New Jersey, USA; given as "Pennsylvania", USA, by Harlan, 1827, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 5: 332. Restricted to "probably vicinity of Princeton, New Jersey", USA by Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 29. Synonymy by Hallowell, 1856, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 8: 7. Considered to be a nomen dubium by Highton Tilley, and Wake in Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Green, Highton, Iverson, McDiarmid, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Tilley, and Wake, 2003, Herpetol. Rev., 34: 197, which cannot confidently be allocated to a particular taxon.

Salamandra sinciput-albida Green, 1818, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 1: 352. Holotype: Not stated or known to exist, although likely originally in ANSP. Type locality: "Newjersey", USA. Synonymy by Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 81. Considered to be a nomen dubium by Highton Tilley, and Wake in Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Green, Highton, Iverson, McDiarmid, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Tilley, and Wake, 2003, Herpetol. Rev., 34: 197, which cannot confidently be allocated to a particular taxon.

Triturus fuscus Rafinesque, 1820, Ann. Nat., Lexington, 1: 4. Type(s): Not designated or known to exist. Type locality: "in the northern parts of the state of New York, in small brooks", USA. Treated by many authors as a subsequent use of Salamandra fusca Green, 1818 (e.g., Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 81); Triturus fuscus Rafinesque was clearly intended as a new name. Placed on the Official List of Specific Names in Zoology by Direction 57, Anonymous, 1956, Opin. Declar. Internatl. Comm. Zool. Nomencl., 10: 373.

Triturus nebulosus Rafinesque, 1820, Ann. Nat., Lexington, 1: 5. Type(s): Not designated or known to exist. Type locality: "near New York, at Harlem and Long Island", New York, USA. Synonymy by Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 82, who gave priority to Triturus fuscus Rafinesque, 1820.

Salamandra picta Harlan, 1825, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 5: 136. Holotype: Not stated, although Harlan, 1827, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 5: 333, notes ANSP specimens. Type locality: "Inhabit shallow brooks in the vicinity of this city [Philadelphia]". Synonymy (with Salamandra nigra) by Gray, 1850, Cat. Spec. Amph. Coll. Brit. Mus., Batr. Grad.: 40; Müller, 1865, in Reisen Ver. Staaten Canada und Mexiko., 3: 618. Synonymy by Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Grad. Batr. Apoda Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 77.

Salamandra intermixta Green, 1825, Port Folio and N.Y. Month. Mag., 20: 159. Holotype: Not stated although possibly originally in ANSP. Type locality: "common in the neighbourhood of this city [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. It is also found in the southern states", USA; given as "Jefferson College, Pennsylvania", USA by Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 29. Synonymy (with Salamandra picta) by Harlan, 1835, Med. Phys. Res.: 98. Synonymy (with Salamandra nigra) by Gray, 1850, Cat. Spec. Amph. Coll. Brit. Mus., Batr. Grad.: 40. Synonymy with Triturus fuscus by Baird, 1850 "1849", J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Ser. 2, 1: 285, and Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Grad. Batr. Apoda Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 77.

Salamandra frontalis Gray, 1831, in Cuvier, Animal Kingdom (Griffith), 9—Appendix: 107. Substitute name for Salamandra sinciput-albida Green, 1818.

Triton nigerHolbrook, 1842, N. Am. Herpetol., Ed. 2, 5: 81. Considered by Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 179, to be a new name, homonymous with Salamandra nigra Green, 1818, although Holbrook makes it explicitly clear that this is a subsequent use of that name. Based on specimens of Desmognathus fuscus according to Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 64. 

Desmognathus niger — Baird, 1850 "1849", J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Ser. 2, 1: 285; Hallowell, 1856, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 8: 11.

Ambystoma frontale — Gray, 1850, Cat. Spec. Amph. Coll. Brit. Mus., Batr. Grad.: 38.

Ambystoma nigrum — Duméril, Bibron, and Duméril, 1854, Erp. Gen., 9: 105.

Plethodon fuscumDuméril, Bibron, and Duméril, 1854, Erp. Gen., 9: 85.

Molge brunnea Duméril, Bibron, and Duméril, 1854, Erp. Gen., 9: 86. Nomen nudum attributed to Valenciennes. Synonymy by Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 82.

Molge arenatus Duméril, Bibron, and Duméril, 1854, Erp. Gen., 9: 86. Nomen nudum attributed to Valenciennes. Synonymy by Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 82.

Ambystoma nigrumDuméril, Bibron, and Duméril, 1854, Erp. Gen., 9: 105.

Salamandra phoca Matthes, 1855, Allg. Deutsche Naturhist. Zeitung,, N.S.,, 1: 273. Holotype: Not stated or known to exist, but likely originally in NHMW. Type locality: Taylor's Creek, opposite the town of Miami, on the west bank of the Miami River, Ohio (about 14 miles northwest of Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky) [USA]. Synonymy by Grobman, 1945, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 58: 39–43. Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 167, suggested that this may actually be the older name for the species currently called Desmognathus monticola, but presented no evidence in support of this conjecture. 

Plethodon nigerHallowell, 1856, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 8: 101.

Ambistoma nigrumJan, 1857, Cenni Mus. Civ. Milano: 55. Incorrect subsequent spelling.

Desmognathus fuscaCope, 1859, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 11: 124.

Desmognathus nigra — Cope, 1869, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 21: 113.

Desmognathus niger — Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Grad. Batr. Apoda Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 79.

Desmognathus fusca var. fuscaCope, 1889, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 34: 195.

Desmognathus nigraNash, 1905, Check List Vert. Ontario Cat. Spec. Biol. Sect. Prov. Mus.: 7.

Spelerpes fuscus — Werner, 1909, Amph. Rept., 1: 10. 

Desmognathus fuscus fuscusStejneger and Barbour, 1917, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept.: 22.

Desmognathus phocaDunn, 1923, Proc. New England Zool. Club, 8: 39.

Desmognathus (Desmognathus) fuscusDubois and Raffaëlli, 2012, Alytes, 28: 144. See comment under Desmognathus regarding the status of this subgenus. 

English Names

Black Ebbet (Triturus fuscus: Rafinesque, 1820, Ann. Nat., Lexington, 1: 4).

Black Salamander (Salamandra nigra: Green, 1818, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 1: 352; Gray, 1831, in Cuvier, Animal Kingdom (Griffith), 9—Appendix: 107; Jordan, 1878, Man. Vert. North. U.S., Ed. 2: 192; Davis and Rice, 1883, Bull. Chicago Acad. Sci., 1: 27; Rhoads, 1895, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 47: 400).

White-nosed Salamander (Salamandra sinciput-albida [no longer recognized]: Green, 1818, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 1: 352).

Whate-faced Salamander (Salamandra sinciput-albida [no longer recognized]: Gray, 1831, in Cuvier, Animal Kingdom (Griffith), 9—Appendix: 107).

Brown Salamander (Salamandra fusca: Green, 1818, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 1: 357).

Painted Salamander (Salamandra picta [no longer recognized]: Storer, 1839, Rep. Ichthyol. Herpetol. Massachusetts: 251; Storer, 1840, Boston J. Nat. Hist., 3: 51).

Black Triton (Desmognathus nigra [no longer recognized]: Yarrow, 1882, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 24: 22; Brimley, 1907, J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc., 23: 154).

Painted Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus: Verrill, 1863, Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., 9: 199).

Dusky Triton (Triton niger: De Kay, 1842, Zool. New York, 1: 85).

Painted Salamander (Salamandra picta: Gray, 1831, in Cuvier, Animal Kingdom (Griffith), 9—Appendix: 107).

Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus: Jordan, 1878, Man. Vert. North. U.S., Ed. 2: 192; Davis and Rice, 1883, Bull. Chicago Acad. Sci., 1: 27; Rhoads, 1895, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 47: 400; Fowler, 1907, Annu. Rep. N.J. State Mus. for 1906: 74; Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 29; Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 174; Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 5; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 25; Powell, Conant, and Collins, 2016, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. North Am., 4th ed.: 45).

Brown salamander (Salamandra fusca: Gray, 1831, in Cuvier, Animal Kingdom (Griffith), 9—Appendix: 107).

Brown Triton (Desmognathus fusca: Hay, 1892, Annu. Rep. Dept. Geol. Nat. Res. Indiana for 1891: 451).

Black Water Lizard (Fowler, 1907, Annu. Rep. N.J. State Mus. for 1906: 74).

Brown Newt (Fowler, 1907, Annu. Rep. N.J. State Mus. for 1906: 74).

Yellow Salamander (Fowler, 1907, Annu. Rep. N.J. State Mus. for 1906: 74).

Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus: Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 6; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 21; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 16; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 12; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 25).

Brown Triton (Desmognathus fuscus: Yarrow, 1882, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 24: 22; Brimley, 1907, J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc., 23: 154).

Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus fuscus [no longer recognized]: Bishop, 1943, Handb. Salamanders: 188; Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 29; Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 174; Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 261; Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 5; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 31; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 6).

Distribution

Southern New Brunswick and southern Quebec (Canada) south of the Great Lakes and west to southeastern Indiana, western Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, and northeastern Georgia, excluding the coastal plain of North Carolina and South Carolina, USA.

Comment

See comments under Desmognathus conanti and Desmognathus santeetah. Bonett, 2002, Copeia, 2002: 344–355, studied the contact zone of Desmognathus conanti and Desmognathus fuscus and further confirmed the distinctiveness of these species and further noted that Desmognathus fuscus may be composed of at least two cryptic species. Kozak, Larson, Bonett, and Harmon, 2005, Evolution, 59: 2000–2016, provided a molecular phylogenetics study that suggested two species under this name. Tilley, Eriksen, and Katz, 2008, Zool. J. Linn. Soc., 152: 115–130, noted a population along the Blue Ridge escarpments in southern Virginia that might represent an unnamed species. Beamer and Lamb, 2008, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 47: 143–153, found population of nominal Desmognathus fuscus that they demonstrated to be substantially differentiated at the molecular level, although very conservative morphologically. Weller and Cebek, 1991, Herpetol. Rev., 22: 23, provided a number of localities from Quebec, Canada. Tilley, Bernardo, Katz, López, Roll, Eriksen, Kratovil, Bittner, and Crandall, 2013, Ecol. Evol., 3: 2547–2567, documented complex discordant patterns of mtDNA (cytochrome B) and morphology between this species, Desmognathus carolinensis, and a form referred to as the "Sinking Creek" population, as well as that species with Desmognathus conanti in eastern Tennessee. Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 173–181, provided a detailed account in which Desmognathus conanti was retained as a subspecies. Means, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 708–710, provided an account containing a detailed summary of the literature and range. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 425–426, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map. Altig and McDiarmid, 2015, Handb. Larval Amph. US and Canada: 103, provided an account of larval morphology.  

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