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Type: Article
Published: 2017-05-10
Page range: 467–506
Abstract views: 287
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A new species of dusky salamander (Amphibia: Plethodontidae: Desmognathus) from the Eastern Gulf Coastal Plain of the United States and a redescription of D. auriculatus

Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy, 1313 Milton Street, Tallahassee, FL, 32303, USA. Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 32306-4295, USA.
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, 39401 USA.
Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 77843-3258 USA. Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Institute, Roan Mountain, TN 37687 USA.
cryptic species Gulf Coastal Plain Desmognathus auriculatus D. valentinei sp. nov. swamp habitat Amphibia U.S.A.


The Coastal Plain of the southeastern U. S. is one of the planet’s top biodiversity hotspots and yet many taxa have not been adequately studied. The plethodontid salamander, Desmognathus auriculatus, was originally thought to occur from east Texas to Virginia, a range spanning dozens of interfluves and large river systems. Beamer and Lamb (2008) found five independent mitochondrial lineages of what has been called D. auriculatus in the Atlantic Coastal Plain, but did not examine the extensive distribution of D. auriculatus in the Gulf Coastal Plain. We present morphological and molecular genetic data distinguishing two evolutionarily independent and distantly related lineages that are currently subsumed under the taxon D. auriculatus in the eastern Gulf Coastal Plain. We describe one of these as a new species, Desmognathus valentinei sp. nov., and assign the second one to D. auriculatus which we formally redescribe.


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