Black Mountain Salamander
Desmognathus welteri

Common Name:

Black Mountain Salamander

Scientific Name:

Desmognathus welteri

Etymology:

Genus:

desmos is Greek for  "ligament",  gnathos is Greek for "jaw"  - This refers to the bundle of ligaments holding the jaw.

Species:

welteri is in honor of  Dr. Wilfred August Welter (1906-1939).

Average Length:

3 - 5 in. (7.5 - 12. 5 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

6.7 in. (17 cm)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 80-170 mm; brown; usually with scattered dark spots but occasionally uniformly tan above; venter is yellow, lightly mottled with dark pigment; toes dark-tipped *1014*.

REPRODUCTION: Clutch=26; eggs laid in spring and summer *1014*. Habitat: Large turbulent brooks; live under stones and crevices in splash zone; larvae and juveniles inhabit spring seep tributaries *1014*; found in mountain springs, brooks, and pools; under stones and logs either in or near water *2077*; female coils around eggs; larval stage lasts nearly 2 years *1014*.

References for Life History

  • 1014 - Martof, B.S., Palmer, W.M., Bailey, J.R., Harrison, III J.R., 1980, Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, 264 pgs., UNC Press, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 2077 - Russ, W.P., 1973, The rare and endangered terrestrial vertebrates of Virginia, Ph.D. dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ., Blacksburg, 339 pgs.

Photos:

*Click on a thumbnail for a larger version.


Verified County/City Occurrence

Grayson County
Lee County
Russell County
Scott County
Smyth County
Wise County
Verified in 6 Counties/Cities.



FROGS

Virginia is home to 28 species of frogs and toads.

SALAMANDERS

We have a large diversity of salamanders consisting of 56 different species and subspecies.

LIZARDS

Virginia is home to 9 native lizard species and two introduced species, the Mediterranean Gecko and the Italian Wall Lizard.

SNAKES

The Commonwealth is home to 34 species and subspecies of snake. Only 3 species are venomous.

TURTLES

Virginia has 25 species and subspecies of turtle. Five of these species are sea turtle.