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Of the Greater Bay Area

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata

Class: Amphibia Order: Urodela Family: Dicamptontidae Ambystomatidae Salamandridae Plethodontidae


California Giant Salamander Dicamptodon ensatus

Dicamptodon ensatus
Size: 6.3- 17.3 cm Larvae: Aquatic (1-3 years) Breeding: spring and fall; eggs laid in May Behaviors: Female guards eggs Voice: Can bark Range: Coastal Forests Mendocino to Santa Cruz counties


California Tiger Salamander Ambystoma californiense

Ambystoma californiense
Size: 7.6-12.7 cm Larvae: aquatic (metamorphosis) late spring to early summer late as July Breeding: Winter in vernal pools or slow streams Behaviors: lives in burrows; out during rain Voice: none Range: Fragmented; endangered Introduced A. tigrinum competes

Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamander Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum

Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum

Size: 1 3/5 3.5 cm Larvae: Aquatic Breeding: winter Behaviors: prefer shoreline shallow waters Voice: none Range: Very limited Valencia lagoon near Aptos; Ellicott Pond near Watsonville and pond near Elkhorn Slough

Northwestern Salamander Ambystoma gracile

Ambystoma gracile
Size: 7.6-13.2 cm Larvae: aquatic (some neoteny) Breeding: January-August; egg mass with algae Behaviors: butting pose when molested Voice: none Range: Salt point = southern most coastal range; north through SE Alaska


Rough-skinned Newt Taricha granulosa

Taricha granulosa
Size: 5.7-8.9 cm Larvae: aquatic and spotted to striped Breeding: single eggs, males with swollen vents Behaviors: Hunkers back when molested Voice: none Range: Santa Cruz to SE Alaska ID: upper teeth V shaped

California Newt Taricha torosa

Taricha torosa
Size: 7-8.9 cm Larvae: aquatic, double dorsal stripe Breeding: egg mass; December-May Behaviors: Ventral arching when annoyed Voice: none Range: Mendocino to San Diego

Red-bellied Newt Taricha rivularis

Taricha rivularis
Size: 7-8.9 cm Larvae: Aquatic; Uniform color Breeding: Broad bands across vent in males; February-May Behaviors: Breeds in flowing waters Voice: none Range: Sonoma to Humboldt counties


California Slender Salamander Batrachoseps attenuatus

Batrachoseps attenuatus
Size: 3.2-4.7 cm Larvae: oviparous Breeding: eggs laid in fall and winter Behaviors: Mental gland in males; projecting upper teeth scratch skin of female and gland secretes hormone into her bloodstream. Voice: none Range: SW Oregon to San Benito County

Oedipina & Bolitoglossus Bolitoglossinae species

Tropical Salamanders related to Batrachoseps

Arboreal Salamander Aneides lugubris

Arboreal Salamander Aneides lugubris from Gazos Creek

Aneides lugubris
Size: 5.7 - 10 cm Larvae: Oviparous Breeding: Eggs brooded in summer Behaviors: as with Batrachoseps (heartshaped mental gland) Voice: shriek Range: Humboldt County to Baja California Some island populations: Farallon Islands: separate subspecies? (needs more work).

Black Salamander Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus

Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus

Size: 5.1 -9.5 cm Larvae: Oviparous Breeding: Eggs brooded in summer Behaviors: as with Batrachoseps (heartshaped mental gland) Voice: None Range: SW Oregon to Sonoma County

Black Salamander Aneides flavipunctatus niger

Aneides flavipunctatus niger

Size: 5.1 -9.5 cm Larvae: Oviparous Breeding: Eggs brooded in summer Behaviors: as with Batrachoseps (heartshaped mental gland) Voice: None Range: Santa Cruz, Butano, Gazos Creek

Yellow-eyed Ensatina Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica

Ensatina Southern Intergrade Ensatina e. xanthoptica x

Ensatina Northern Integrade Ensatina e. xanthoptica x oregonensis

Ensatina eschscholtzii
Size: 3.8-8.1 cm Larvae: oviparous Breeding: Eggs brooded in summer Male with enlarged lip and slimmer tail. Behaviors: May stand stiff legged with tail arched in defense. Mimic of Taricha Voice: none Range: Ring species (see map)

Cladogram of Selected Families

Cladogram of Genera

Taricha Phylogeny

Lungless Salamander Relationships and Distribution

Ensatina ring species distribution

Ensatina Range Distributions

Ensatina Distributions