Valentine’s Southern Dusky Salamander

Desmognathus valentinei


Valentine’s Southern Dusky Salamander (formerly a part of Desmognathus auriculatus [Means et al., 2017], the Southern Dusky Salamander), is a medium-bodied “Desmog” found in coastal Louisiana and Mississipppi. Their range extends north into central Mississippi as well. Habitats for this species are usually clean, alluvial seepages. Length is usually 3-5 inches (Powell et al., 2016). This species is often mistaken for the more-common Desmognathus conanti. D. valentinei has a darker ventral side, often with a reddish or orange-striped tail and distinct paired pink/orange/red dorsal spotting.

Adult sporting characteristic reddish coloration found in some individuals, Forrest Co. (MS), © CJ Hillard

Identifying Traits

  • Gray or brown body
  • Reddish line on tail
  • Paired red, pink, or orange dorsal spotting (separates from D. conanti)


Alluvial streams and ravines (Powell et al., 2016)


Generally utilizes natural structures like rocks and logs for shelter


Various small invertebrates

Young individual found under a log in a wetland surrounded by Longleaf Pine habitat, Harrison Co. (MS)
Adult from muddy seepage, south Mississippi
Subadult found in a south Mississippi seepage, Harrison Co. (MS), © Kevin Hutcheson
Individual under a log, Harrison Co. (MS)
Adult found in a coastal seepage, Hancock Co. (MS)
Small adult with brown patterning, south Mississippi
Adult, note distinct bright spots oriented along the side of the body, south Mississippi