Here's a brief update for all of you citizen scientists! We're still accumulating eDNA samples for analysis in the lab.
In the meantime, Tiffany, Gar, and I went to the field last week to photograph some salamanders and refine the current dichotomous key for identifying them. Here's a quick photo of a salamander belly. Can you guess which species it is? A few hints: it's a species of dusky salamander (genus Desmognathus). The belly is relatively pale, and the white spots stop abruptly on the sides. We found this one at a low elevation, but they're wide ranging in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Identifying salamanders can be tricky, and having good field characters can help! And so can DNA sequences!