The dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus fuscus) is one of the most common salamanders in Ohio, living in all but the northwestern quarter of the state. This amphibian is a member of the lungless salamander family.
The color of the dusky can vary greatly. It is best identified by the dark line that runs from the back corner of the eye, diagonally to the back corner of the mouth. Its hind legs are also much larger than their front.
Dusky salamanders are active at night and in the early morning. They can be found under rocks and debris in habitats of shallow, woodland streams, springs, and wet areas.
Between March and June, females lay 12-36 eggs near water and then coil around them, not leaving - even to eat - until the eggs hatch in 6-13 weeks. The young larva form of the salamander has gills and will live in the water for up to a year before coming onto land. Once on land, the salamander feeds on insect larvae, sowbugs and earthworms. Adults reach a length of 2.5 - 4.5 inches.
“Duskies” are easily seen, but difficult to capture. They are alert, quick and good jumpers.