Desmognathus organi Crespi, Browne, and Rissler, 2010

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

Desmognathus organi Crespi, Browne, and Rissler, 2010, Herpetologica, 66: 291. Holotype: MVZ 16183, by original designation. Type locality: " a north-facing slope of Whitetop Mountain, Smyth County, Virginia; 36° 38.342′ N, 81° 36.549′ W; elevation 1672 m ".

Desmognathus (Geognathus) organiDubois and Raffaëlli, 2012, Alytes, 28: 145. See comment under Desmognathus regarding the status of the subgenus. 

English Names

Northern Pygmy Salamander (original publication; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 26; Powell, Conant, and Collins, 2016, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. North Am., 4th ed.: 49; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 26).


Higher elevations (generally above 1100 m) north of the French Broad River valley northward to Whitetop Mountain and Mount Rogers, Virginia, including the Black Mountains, Yancey County, North Carolina; Grandfather Mountain, Avery County, North Carolina; Roan Mountain, Carter County, Tennessee; and Whitetop Mountain and Mount Rogers, Smyth/Grayson Counties, Virginia, USA.

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


Confused with previous to its naming, and the sister taxon of Desmognathus wrighti, according to the original publication. Moskwik, 2014, J. Biogeograph., 41: 1957–1966, documented in this species significant elevational range changes since the 1940s. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 434, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map. Beamer and Lamb, 2020, Zootaxa, 4734: 1–61, in their discussion of Desmognathus mtDNA phylogenetics, confirmed the placement of this species as the sister taxon of Desmognathus wrighti. Pyron, O'Connell, Lemmon, Lemmon, and Beamer, 2022, Ecol. Evol., 12 (2: e8574): 1–38, provided molecular evidence that Desmognathus organi is genealogically and geographically cohesive. Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 973, provided an account summarizing systematics, morphology, life history, population status, and distribution (including a polygon map). 

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