Desmognathus wrighti King, 1936

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

Desmognathus wrighti King, 1936, Herpetologica, 1: 57. Holotype: USNM 101794, by original designation. Type locality: "Mount Le Conte, Sevier County, Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park", USA.

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

English Names

Pygmy Salamander (Bishop, 1943, Handb. Salamanders: 216; Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 32; Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 268; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 17; 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.: 52; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 26).

Pigmy Salamander (Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 174; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 31 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; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 12).

Southern Pygmy Dusky Salamander (Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 972).


Woodland areas at greatest abundance above 1400 m within the southern Appalachians within the Blue Ridge Physiographic province, including the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, the Plott Balsam Mountains and Great Balsam Mountains of North Carolina, but also occurring at lower elevations; also commonly found between 950 m and 1400 m within the Cowee Mountains, Nantahala Mountains, and Unicoi Mountains of North Carolina, USA.

Geographic Occurrence

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

Endemic: United States of America


Detailed accounts by Harrison, 2000, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 704: 1–7, and Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 213–216, and Harrison, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 730–732, in the sense of including what was subsequently named as Desmognathus organi. Crespi, Rissler, and Browne, 2003, Mol. Ecol., 12: 969–984, reported on molecular phylogeography.  Kozak, Larson, Bonett, and Harmon, 2005, Evolution, 59: 2000–2016, provided a molecular phylogenetics study that suggested two species under this name. Crespi, Browne, and Rissler, 2010, Herpetologica, 66: 283–295, redelimited the species to exclude Desmognathus organiRaffaëlli, 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 organi. Pyron, O'Connell, Lemmon, Lemmon, and Beamer, 2022, Ecol. Evol., 12 (2: e8574): 1–38, provided molecular evidence that Desmognathus wrighti is monophyletic with a possible distinct evolutionary lineages in the southern Nantahala Mountains of North Carolina, USA. Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 972–973, provided an account summarizing systematics, morphology, life history, population status, and distribution (including a polygon map).  

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