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Ensatinas

This is a discussion on Ensatinas within the Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; I just recently started keeping a group of Ensatina eschscholtzii oregonensis . These guys are probably my favorite Plethodontids. They ...

Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) The largest, and one of the most diverse groups of salamanders, these salamanders have all evolved to breathe solely through their skin and are found almost exclusively in North America.

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Old 26th May 2012   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatinas

I just recently started keeping a group of Ensatina eschscholtzii oregonensis. These guys are probably my favorite Plethodontids. They stay hidden most of the time, but they aren't skittish. My group includes a gravid adult.

When I spray them down with a pressure mister, they juveniles wave their tails in the air in a defensive display, which cracks me up.



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Old 20th November 2012   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatinas

I think there are 2 main reasons for these salamanders not being more popular in captivity.

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.

2: Despite the striking colors and variability within even the same ssp., Ensatina make boring captives. They have a tendency to remain under cover most of the time. They are just more sedate than say, Aneides, which are surface active some of the time and quite acrobatic because of they're climbing abilities. Even my A. flavipunctatus, which are more terrestrial and fossorial (like Ensatina) than most Aneides, will be out and about the tank or "treefrogging" it on the side of the glass at night.


They are real pretty though. I should post some pics..... it's been a while since I posted any photos to the site.



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Old 20th November 2012   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatinas

Haha, not being able to be sold doesn't keep them from leaving California.

I will also add that they are very temperature-sensitive.



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Old 20th November 2012   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatinas

I disagree about them being secretive. I've been keeping some Ensatina eschscholtzii platensis that I collected with a fishing license back in March. They don't hide as much as I would have thought. I will grant you they don't move around much during the day, but they are nocturnal like most salamanders. They really come alive when you put some food in there. And that long tongue is phenomenal!



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

Quote:
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.

Aneides




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Old 28th October 2014   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatinas

Hope it's cool that I'm bringing up an old thread... I've always been enamored by these guys, but lived no where close to them. This past summer I traveled to the west coast and saw 4 out of the 7 subspecies and became even more enamored!

I've been checking out a couple of ensatina threads seeing the legality of keeping them (out of state) and I've seen conflicting responses. Does anyone that keep the Cali subspecies live outside of California?

Thanks!!



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Old 22nd November 2014   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatinas

I have kept some Oregon Ensantina they are pretty easy if you can meet temperature and moisture requirement



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Old 23rd November 2014   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatinas

Quote:
Originally Posted by matamander View Post
Hope it's cool that I'm bringing up an old thread... I've always been enamored by these guys, but lived no where close to them. This past summer I traveled to the west coast and saw 4 out of the 7 subspecies and became even more enamored!

I've been checking out a couple of ensatina threads seeing the legality of keeping them (out of state) and I've seen conflicting responses. Does anyone that keep the Cali subspecies live outside of California?

Thanks!!
You can collect them with a valid fishing license ( in your case a non resident fishing license ). However, they have to be legal in your state as well. As far as I have seen California is the ONLY state where you can legally collect them, it is illegal in both Oregon and Washington. No permits or licenses are offered to the general public to attain them in Washington.
In your state ( Virginia ) it looks like they are legal to keep, but investigate for yourself before transporting them, if you ever decide to.
I don't keep any California subspecies, but I legally could. Here is the current regulations.
Quote:

(a) Only the following amphibians may be taken under the authority of a sportfishing license, subject to the restrictions in this section. No amphibians may be taken from ecological reserves designated by the commission in Section 630 or from state parks, or national parks or monuments.
(b) Limit: The limit for each of the species listed below is four, unless otherwise provided. Limit, as used in this section, means daily bag and possession limit.
(1) Pacific giant salamander
(Dicamptodon tenebrosus)
(2) Rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa)
(3) Northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile)
(4) Black salamander (Aneides flavipunctatus): See Special Closure (f)(1)
(5) Clouded salamander
(Aneides ferreus)
(6) Arboreal salamander (Aneides lugubris)
(7) California slender salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus)
(8) Pacific slender salamander (Batrachoseps pacificus)
(9) Dunn’s salamander (Plethodon dunni)
(10) Ensatina salamander (Ensatina eschscholtzii)
(11) Western toad (Bufo boreas)
(12) Woodhouse’s toad (Bufo woodhouseii)
(13) Red-spotted toad (Bufo punctatus)
(14) Great Plains toad (Bufo cognatus)
(15) Great Basin spadefoot toad (Spea (Scaphiopus) intermontana)
(16) California chorus frog (Pseudacris (Hyla) cadaverina)
(17) Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris (Hyla) regilla)
(18) Southern leopard frog (Rana Lithobates) sphenocephalus): Limit: No limit.
(19) Rio Grande leopard frog
(Rana (Lithobates) berlandieri): Limit: No limit.
(20) Bullfrog (Rana (Lithobates) catesbeiana): Limit: No limit.


Hope this helps! -Seth




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Old 8th May 2015   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatinas

I keep one Oregon ensatina. They do not need lots of water or water to swim in but need some spraying maybe every 4 days. I give mine small crickets but it eats them in the middle of the night.



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