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Northern Dusky Salamander

Desmognathus fuscus
  • A small 8-9 cm salamander.
  • The northern dusky salamander is grey to brown in colour, with a diagonal line running from the eye to behind the mouth.
  • Young dusky salamanders are brightly colored with a yellow or red stripe on their back, but this pattern is obscured on older individuals.
  • The northern dusky salamander is one of the most widely distributed salamanders in North America; however, its range in Ontario is restricted to the Niagra Gorge.
  • This species is a "stream-side" salamander typically found along the banks of gorge-bottom streams.
  • The northern dusky is not usually found far from water, because it is a lungless salamander and its skin must stay moist in order for it to breathe.
  • Eggs are laid in clusters of 12-27 eggs in scooped-out nests under rocks close to water.
  • Eggs hatch after 70-89 days, and larvae transform at an age of 7-19 months.
  • Larvae are aquatic, but transforming larvae are found among dead leaves and loose debris along the stream edge.
  • Adult salamanders feed on insects, slugs, and other invertebrates.