Black-bellied Salamander


 

Black-bellied Salamander (Desmognathus quadramaculatus)

These are the largest dusky salamanders in the state reaching over 8 inches in length.  The dorsal pattern of Black-bellied Salamanders lacks a stripe and varies from dark brown or black with scattered greenish or light brown blotches.  They have 2 rows of light dots along each side and the belly is uniformly black in adults. The tail is sharply keeled on top.

 Black-bellied Salamanders are found in swiftly flowing small streams with numerous boulders and waterfalls.

 Twenty to 40 eggs are attached to the underside or rocks or logs in the streambed in May and June.  Females stay with the eggs until they hatch in late summer or early autumn and the larvae transform in about 4 years.

Black-bellied Salamanders are a southern species that reach the most northern point of their range near Gauley Bridge in Fayette County.  In West Virginia, they are known from Fayette, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers counties.

 

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