Desmognathus ocoee Nicholls, 1949

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

Desmognathus ocoee Nicholls, 1949, J. Tennessee Acad. Sci., 24: 127. Holotype: USNM 128007, by original designation. Type locality: "on the surface and in crevices of cliffs at Ship's Prow Rock, in Ocoee Gorge, beside U.S. Highway 64, nine miles airline west of Ducktown, in Polk County, Tennessee", USA.

Desmognathus (Desmognathus) ocoeeDubois and Raffaëlli, 2012, Alytes, 28: 144. See comment under Desmognathus regarding the status of the subgenus. 

English Names

Ocoee Salamander (Desmognathus ocoee: Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 30; Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 174; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 6; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 21; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 16; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 12; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 26; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 26).

Distribution

Three disjunct population segments in the southeastern USA: one restricted to a small portion of the Cumberland Plateau between Sewanee and Orme, Tennessee in Franklin and Marion Counties; a second occurring broadly on the Cumberland Escarpment (Walden Ridge and Sand Mountain) of south-central Tennessee, extreme northwestern Georgia, and northeastern Alabama ; and a third in the Nantahala, Unicoi, and southern Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, southeastern Tennessee, and north-central Georgia.

Comment

Resurrected from the synonymy of Desmognathus ochrophaeus by Tilley and Mahoney, 1996, Herpetol. Monogr., 10: 25, where it had been placed by Martof and Rose, 1963, Am. Midl. Nat., 69: 376. See also account by Valentine, 1964, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 7: 1–2, and that of Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 196–202. Highton, Tilley, and Wake In Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 21, noted that Desmognathus ocoee is composed of of genetically heterogeneous allopatric and parapatric units that occupy different mountain ranges in the southern Blue Ridge and Cumberland Plateau physiographic provinces and noted that the relationships among these isolates as well as with other species of Desmognathus deserve additional study (see below). Kozak, Larson, Bonett, and Harmon, 2005, Evolution, 59: 2000–2016, provided a molecular phylogenetics study that suggested 8 species under this name. Camp and Tilley, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 719–721, provided an account containing a detailed summary of the literature and range. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 424, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map. Altig and McDiarmid, 2015, Handb. Larval Amph. US and Canada: 105–106, provided an account of larval morphology. Beamer and Lamb, 2020, Zootaxa, 4734: 1–61, in their discussion of Desmognathus mtDNA phylogenetics, found this species to not form a monophyletic group and composed of several lineages. Pyron, 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 ocoee is composed of two lineage-species. Corresponds to the Desmognathus ocoee E–H lineages as delimited by Kozak, Larson, Bonett, and Harmon, 2005, Evolution, 59: 2000–2016, plus the Desmognathus apalachicolae A2 populations of Beamer and Lamb, 2008, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 47: 143–153, according to Pyron and Beamer, 2022, Zootaxa, 5190: 207–240, where mtDNA, nuDNA, and morphological evidence were discussed.  

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