Aneides flavipunctatus — Black Salamander
Subspecies I've seen:
Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus — Speckled Black Salamander
I was lucky to find this salamander under a big log, because the area was extremely dry, more suited for the alligator lizard and fence lizards that I saw nearby. It really didn't want to pose for me, and kept plodding for cover, but eventually it sat still for a few seconds and I got a decent shot.
This young salamander was found in the usual salamander place -- under a log. It was something of a consolation prize after my friend Bruce Schneider and I had spent a very long day of hiking hoping unsuccessfully to find Mt. St. Helena Mountain Kingsnakes to admire and photograph. (Bruce went back the next weekend and did find one.)
On the hunt for Red-bellied Newts, I found a few other salamander species, including several of these black salamanders.
Very young Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus are often flecked with green or gold. This tiny tot was less than an inch long.
Aneides flavipunctatus niger — Santa Cruz Black Salamander
Thanks to Fred Harer, I found this young Santa Cruz Black Salamander by looking under bark and stones in a muddy seepage. We had come to primarily look for California Giant Salamanders, but took a little time to hunt for this subspecies that I had not yet seen. The closeup shows the little bits of debris that one usually finds clinging to a mud-dwelling salamander. The salamander took a brief bath in the salamander spa before posing for the glamour shot on the leaf.
My friend Fred Harer uncovered this salamander in a mucky seepage along the stream that flows through this park. Another day, another salamander poised on a leaf.
- Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus account on CaliforniaHerps.com
- Aneides flavipunctatus niger account on CaliforniaHerps.com
- Behler, J. L., King, F. W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians
- Corkran, C. C., Thoms, C. R. 1996. Amphibians of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia: A Field Identification Guide
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition
- Petranka, J. W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada
- Stebbins, R. C. 2003. Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition