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Help identifying

This is a discussion on Help identifying within the Species, Genus & Family Discussions forums, part of the Advanced Newt & Salamander Topics category; Hiking in my.back yard in the middle of winter about 4 years ago I noticed two ( my guess male ...

Species, Genus & Family Discussions Topics that deal with a species, genus, or family of caudata. Includes "common name" forums, such as axolotls and fire-bellied newts.

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Old 10th March 2013   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help identifying

Hiking in my.back yard in the middle of winter about 4 years ago I noticed two ( my guess male and female ) very large salamanders ... one was easily 6 inch es ... ever since I have wondered the species ... I did lots of research but the closest I can find is Pachytriton archospotus which is not native to the US ... this was northern Kentucky in the backwoods in a cattle field ... so these were not released they.were native, I have never seen anything like them again but I know if I saw a picture I would know it on the spot



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Old 10th March 2013   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help identifying

A little description would help.

At that size, they're probably tigers or one of the species of Desmognathus.



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Old 10th March 2013   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help identifying

Wasn't a tiger it had a broad newt tail dark brown almost mud colored ...

I wanted pictures and to see what the species was from pros at the time but I was in high school and didn't even know where to start



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Old 10th March 2013   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help identifying

Sounds like a dusky. They're mostly all kind of mud-colored, big and powerful.



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Old 10th March 2013   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help identifying

Are they common in that range? That looks fairly similar from the pics I saw ... are they mostly.aquatic? They were in the middle of a shallow creek bed



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Old 10th March 2013   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help identifying

Due to extreme color and pattern variations, these are often not reliable or even useful traits. Morphology however, is often more definitive. A Desmognathus does seem much more likely, and not only are these sometimes very variable in color and pattern, but there are also possibly twice as many species known as are named. That means that even WITH a decent guide, you might be batting no better than 50% of a correct ID. I would suggest Desmognathus quadramaculatus [complex], perhaps D.welteri, but from the basic environment you describe, I think the latter more likely. I also wouldn't rule out a mole salamander of some kind, but I suspect the most likely candidate to be a big old Pseudotriton montanus. A pasture would seem a likely place for a muddy seep.



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Old 11th March 2013   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help identifying

The almost black variation of welteri looks very similar the only real difference is the one I saw had markings on its size almost like ribs sticking out but the length of its body ... I have seen them on salamanders of many species before so I guess it just happens?



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Old 22nd March 2013   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help identifying

Is there a chance its this? http://biodiversity.wku.edu/salamanders/Salamander_Images/Smallmouth_Salamander.jpg



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Old 23rd March 2013   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help identifying

Could be. Texanum are pretty restricted in Kentucky. Here's a range map.



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Old 23rd March 2013   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help identifying

I am in the no data range ... But it seems it could still be possible



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