Desmognathus imitator 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Desmognathus imitator Dunn, 1927
Common Name(s):
English Imitator Salamander
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6 (27 January 2014). New York, USA. Available at: (Accessed: 27 January 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Least Concern since, although its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, it occurs in an area of extensive, suitable habitat which appears not to be under significant threat, it has a presumed large population, and it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species can be found in the Great Smoky Mountains, Balsam Mountains, and Plott Balsam Mountains, 900-2,024m asl, western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee, USA (Petranka 1998). Redmond and Scott (1996) mapped 24 locations in Tennessee. Estimated 21-100 sites in North Carolina (H. LeGrand pers. comm., 1997); condition of sites estimated to be 100% good; no historical information available (K. Langdon pers. comm., 1997).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Total adult population size is unknown. Numbers believed stable, but not adequately surveyed (K. Langdon pers. comm., 1997). Common; populations have been stable over time (S. Tilly pers. comm., 1997).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It can be found in small streams and seepage areas, in leaf-litter, and under surface objects on floor of cool, moist, red spruce-Fraser fir and hardwood forests. It can also be found on wet rock faces. The larvae develop in water.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is no reason to consider it threatened (S. Tilly pers. comm., 1997). It might be detrimentally affected by acid rain, but there is no hard evidence. The highest deposition rates of nitrogen and sulfate in North America occur on the highest peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains (K. Langdon pers. comm., 1997). Due to a highly restricted range and proximity to a major road, a small population on the edge of the range on Waterrock Knob along the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina, is very vulnerable to extirpation (S. Tilly pers. comm., 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs almost entirely within national park boundaries; most populations are protected (Petranka 1998).

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson. 2004. Desmognathus imitator. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59250A11906498. . Downloaded on 23 April 2018.
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