Desmognathus ocoee


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Desmognathus ocoee
Species Authority: Nicholls, 1949
Common Name(s):
English Ocoee Salamander

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because 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 United States. Two allopatric units: (1) Appalachian Plateau of northeastern Alabama and (2) southwestern Blue Ridge Physiographic Province south of the Pigeon River (the latter including the Balsam, Blue Ridge, Cowee, Great Smoky, Nanatahala, Snowbird, Tusquitee, and Unicoi mountains and low-elevation populations in the gorges of the Hiwassee, Ocoee, and Tugaloo rivers), Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee; at least some of the populations in the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee might represent this species (Tilley and Mahoney 1996).
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is one of the most common salamander species in the southern Appalachian Mountains (Petranka 1998).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat ranges from low gorges to the highest mountaintops in the Great Smoky Mountains (Petranka 1998). The species often is abundant on wet rock faces. At lower elevations and in winter, this salamander usually concentrates near seepage areas, springs, and small streams; it may range into adjacent wooded areas in wet weather. It is more terrestrial at higher elevations and is a characteristic inhabitant of the floor of spruce-fir forests. Individuals frequently climb plants on rainy nights (Petranka 1998). Adults and juveniles congregate in seepages and underground retreats in winter (Shealy 1975). Eggs are laid in wet rock crevices or under rocks, logs, or moss in seepage areas or near small streams, usually at or slightly above the water surface (Pope 1924, Martof and Rose 1963, Forester 1977, Bruce 1990, Petranka 1998). The larvae develop in water.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major pervasive threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None needed. It occurs in many protected areas.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson 2004. Desmognathus ocoee. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 October 2014.
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