Batrachoseps attenuatus — California Slender Salamander
Sheep Dung Estates, Yorkville, Mendocino County, California—November 19, 1998
If you look carefully, you can find these little salamanders wandering about on wet nights, looking for yummy bugs. They are very easy to find in the usual salamander locations -- under logs and rocks -- as long as it's not too dry out.
Here's a couple more attractive slender salamanders from the redwood forests. I particularly like the color patterns on the back of the second one.
These are by far the most common salamanders in the Mendocino area. I generally see at least five times as many of these as all other salamanders put together.
Although I have seen hundreds if not thousands of California Slender Salamanders, and photographed many, from time to time I'm still compelled to take more photos of them. After all, they are still quite cute. And you never know when new DNA studies will split out another species, or three, or ten.
Oregon has its very own slender salamander, called (wait for it) the Oregon Slender Salamander, Batrachoseps wrighti. But this isn't it. This is a California Slender Salamander, whose range extends across the Oregon border just a little bit, along the coast.
I suppose if you were a tiny bug you might not think these guys are so cute. But otherwise, just look at those big eyes!
These salamanders are very cute, but I don't usually take the time to photograph them because they are so very easily found. But I wasn't seeing many animals to photograph on this dry June day, so I spent a few minutes on this li'l guy.
- Batrachoseps attenuatus account on AmphibiaWeb
- Don Roberson has a page discussing all the California Batrachoseps species.
- Batrachoseps attenuatus account on CaliforniaHerps.com
- Basey, H. E. 1976. Discovering Sierra Reptiles and Amphibians
- Behler, J. L., King, F. W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding. SSAR Herpetological Circular 39:1-92.
- Petranka, J. W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada
- Schoenherr, A. A. 1992. A Natural History of California
- Shedd, J. D. 2005. Amphibians and Reptiles of Bidwell Park
- Stebbins, R. C. 2003. Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition