Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
The length of D. auriculatus ranges from 80 to 164 mm. Its coloration is brown to almost black with two rows of white or reddish-orange spots on either side of the body. Its laterally compressed tail also has a reddish-orange stripe down the center. The belly is dark brown, spotted with white or pale yellow flecks. The gills are bushy and pigmented, with 30 to 43 filaments on each side (Martof et al. 1980). Distinguishing characteristics of D. auriculatus include a light line from the eye to the angle of the jaw, a throat region that is only slightly lighter than the rest of the belly, and a tail that measures 1/2 of its total body length (Carr and Goin 1955).
The larvae are brown to almost black in color. The throat and belly are clear, and they have a row of spots down the center of the back to the tail (Ashton and Ashton 1988).
Desmognathus auriculatus is easily confused with D. fuscus , the Dusky Salamander, but D. fuscus has a lighter belly, with less conspicuous spots. (Martof et al. 1980).