Desmognathus mavrokoilius Pyron and Beamer, 2022

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

Desmognathus mavrokoilius Pyron and Beamer, 2022, Bionomina, 27: 31. Holotype: AMNH A- 93879, by original designation. Type locality. "Dixon Creek, south slope of Grandfather Mountain (NC: Caldwell; 36.108, -81.779; 79 m ASL . . .)", Caldwell County, North Carolina, USA. Zoobank publication registration: 6E2979FB-920E-44D1-AAF9-0E2E2FD68E75 

Desmognathus (Leurognatus) mavrokoilus — Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 1007).

English Names

Pisgah Black-bellied Salamander (Pyron and Beamer, 2022, Bionomina, 27: 33).

Blue Ridge Black-bellied Salamander (Pyron and Beamer, 2022, Bionomina, 27: 33).


Extreme west-southwest Virginia southwest through montane western North Carolina and montane eastern Tennessee almost to the South Carolina line, USA; Blue Ridge Mountains, from the eastern margin of the Great Smoky Mountains and the southeastern versant of the Great Balsam Mountains north to approximately Mount Rogers. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: United States of America, United States of America - North Carolina, United States of America - Tennessee, United States of America - Virginia

Endemic: United States of America


Composed of former Desmognathus 'quadramaculatus' lineages C, E, and G of Pyron, O'Connell, Lemmon, Lemmon, and Beamer, 2022, Ecol. Evol., 12 (2: e8574): 1–38, according to the original publication where comparative morphology, molecular markers, and distribution were detailed. Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 1007–1008, provided an account summarizing systematics, morphology, life history, population status, and distribution (including a polygon map). 

Under the pre-2022 taxonomy, one widespread nominal species, Desmognathus quadramaculatus was known to be a complex of species. Complicating this was the fact that the names Salamandra quadramaculata Holbrook, 1840, as well as Salamandra nigra Green, 1818, are synonyms of Salamandra fusca Green, 1818 (Pyron and Beamer, 2020, Zootaxa, 4838: 226–228). This left a widespread complex of "Black-bellied Salamanders" largely without names (although excepting Desmognathus folkertsi, previously named). Subsequently Pyron and Beamer, 2022, Bionomina, 27: 1–43, remedied this situation with the naming/recognition of Desmognathus amphileucus (former Desmognathus 'quadramaculatus' A), Desmognathus gvnigeusgwotli (former Desmognathus 'quadramaculatus' F), Desmognathus mavrokoilius (former Desmognathus 'quadramaculatus' C, E, and G), and Desmognathus kanawha (former Desmognathus 'quadramaculatus' D). As a result, the literature of former Desmognathus 'quadramaculatus' is only to be used cautiously for any of the daughter species. 

The former comment under Desmognathus 'quadramaculatus' follows: See detailed accounts by Valentine, 1974, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 153: 1–4, and Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 206–213. Rissler and Taylor, 2003, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 27: 197–211, presented molecular evidence that suggests that this nominal species is a composite of cryptic species, forming a paraphyletic series with respect to Desmognathus marmoratusBeachy and Bruce, 2003, Amphibia-Reptilia, 24: 13-26, reported on a miniturized populations in the Bald Mountains of North Carolina, USA. Watson, Pauley, and Camp, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 723–726, provided an account containing a detailed summary of the literature and range. Jones, Voss, Ptacek, Weisrock, and Tonkyn, 2006, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 38: 280–287, and Wooten and Rissler, 2011, Acta Herpetol., Firenze, 6: 175–208, suggested that neither Desmognathus marmoratus nor Desmognathus quadramaculatus are monophyletic, instead being species complexes composed of multiple inter-related lineages. See comment under Desmognathus marmoratus for additional relevant literature. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 430, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map. Altig and McDiarmid, 2015, Handb. Larval Amph. US and Canada: 106–107, provided an account of larval morphology. Beamer and Lamb, 2020, Zootaxa, 4734: 1–61, in their discussion of Desmognathus mtDNA phylogenetics, confirmed the intercalation of apparent cryptic species under this name with apparent cryptic species of Desmognatus marmoratausPyron, O'Connell, Lemmon, Lemmon, and Beamer, 2020, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 146 (106751): 1–13, suggested on molecular grounds that this nominal species is a complex. Pyron, O'Connell, Lemmon, Lemmon, and Beamer, 2022, Ecol. Evol., 12 (2: e8574): 1–38, provided molecular evidence that nominal Desmognathus quadramaculatus is composed of 4–7 lineages of which one, other than Desmognathus quadramaculatus, already has a name available. 

External links:

Please note: these links will take you to external websites not affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. We are not responsible for their content.