Thread: Ensatinas

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Old 16th January 2013   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatinas

Originally Posted by bewilderbeast View Post
1: Except for 2 subspecies, they are all from California, making it tricky for non Californian's to get a hold of any. As a californian it is illegal for me to sell a native species (there are a few snake species with special permissions) So Ensatina are safely tucked away here in California.
Actually, that would be 4 subspecies; picta and oregonensis in Oregon, and eschscholtzii and klauberi in Baja California Norte. Probably not the most important deal in the world, but just trying to make a point!

They are not secretive at all, in my opinion. I've had Ensatina come out to investigate whenever their lids' open. They are pretty temperature-sensitive, but I've had major temperature fluctuations at my "Herp House", and all have specimens have survived. I've seen more sensitivity in northern subspecies and subspecies that occur at higher elevations. My oregonensis tend to do worse than other ssp. when the temperature exceeds 70 F, which should never happen. Also, I've seen platensis show obvious signs of stress during even the slightest of droughts.

StanleyC, actually the bay area contains three varieties (not ssp.) In the East Bay (Alameda, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa counties) you will find 'pure' xanthoptica (non-intergrades). On the extreme west rim of the Santa Cruz Mtns. (from Morgan Hill to east San Francisco), you can also find 'pure' xanthoptica. In the northwestern portion of the SC Mtns., you can find xanthoptica, oregonensis, and xanthoptica/oregonensis intergrades. In the southwestern portion, you can find xanthoptica, eschscholtzii, and intergrades. In the Davenport (this might be too specific for this forum, remove if needed) area of the SC Mtns, you can find a mixed population (xanthoptica, oregonensis, eschscholtzii, all intergrades).

"insituexstu", I can give you a basic rundown of the captive requirements of all the subspecies;

Ensatina eschscholtzii oregonensis;
This subspecies inhabits northwestern California, western Oregon and Washington, and southwestern British Columbia. The main key is to keep cool and humid climates, and to be able to provide an adequete hibernation setup (as with all Ensatina).

Ensatina eschscholtzii picta;
This subspecies inhabits extreme NW California, and extreme SW Oregon. The range may be extended further north though, read my post ("Range Extensions in Southwestern Oregon"). Same requirements as above.

Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica;
Found in SF Bay Area and a sliver of the parallel Sierra Mtns. Can tolerate higher temperatures than northern ssp.

Ensatina eschscholtzii eschscholtzii;
Found from central Monterey County to Baja California Norte. Can tolerate some temperature fluctuations and some dry periods (not necessarily droughts)

Ensatina eschscholtzii klauberi;
Found on several mountain ranges in the San Diego area. Can tolerate some dry temperatures, but again, they are found on mountains with seasonal snowfall.

Ensatina eschscholtzii croceater;
Found in the extreme south Sierras, in Kern County. I've never kept this ssp., but I'd imagine that they would like conditions similar to klauberi.

Ensatina eschscholtzii platensis;
Found throughout the Sierras. Enjoy a climate similar to klauberi.

Hope this helps. The Staniszewski caresheet is very good for reference. I've found that ssp. do best when you try to match the natural climate of the animal.


0.1.0 Ensatina eschscholtzii klauberi
0.1.0 Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica
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