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Albino Aneides lugubris? Or what?

This is a discussion on Albino Aneides lugubris? Or what? within the Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; Hello all, I recently found a newt under a wooden barrel in my yard. I live at about 6000 ft ...

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 3rd May 2008   #1 (permalink)
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Question Albino Aneides lugubris? Or what?

Hello all,

I recently found a newt under a wooden barrel in my yard. I live at about 6000 ft asl in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California. I'm new to the area and I don't know the local amphibians, but the arboreal salamander is known to occur here. If this is Aneides lugubris, however, it must be a very lightly pigmented individual (I'm not sure that it's a true albino). I've attached a photo. Any assistance you can give in helping me identify this lovely fellow would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Brian
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Albino Aneides lugubris? Or what?-pict0115.jpg  



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Old 3rd May 2008   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: albino Aneides lugubris? Or what?

It's an Ensatina.



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Old 3rd May 2008   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: albino Aneides lugubris? Or what?

And it's not albino, it has black eyes.



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Old 4th May 2008   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: albino Aneides lugubris? Or what?

Thanks for the ID. Do you have any guess as to the species or subspecies?



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Old 4th May 2008   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: albino Aneides lugubris? Or what?

Ensatina e. eschscholtzii



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Old 9th October 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Albino Aneides lugubris? Or what?

Monterey Ensatinas from southern California are much paler than the ones in Monterey county.

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0.1.0 Ensatina eschscholtzii klauberi
0.1.0 Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica
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Old 10th October 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Albino Aneides lugubris? Or what?

The dead giveaway that it's an Ensatina, btw, is the round tail with a strong constriction near the base.

The subspecies can be identified by means of range maps in any decent field guide, unless you're very close to a range boundary. Because subspecies tend to overlap in characteristics and interbreed freely, geographic location is a better indicator in many cases of "correct" identification than any physical traits might be.

That said, ensatinas are actually a complex of species and the current subspecies identities don't tell an accurate story. There is often very little interbreeding, even between some nearby and apparently 'identical' populations, while some forms have managed some great feats of range expansion and occasional interbreeding with distant cousins. In your case, there is the possibility of pure large-blotched, pure yellow-blotched, or hybrids of these with each other or with Monterey ensatinas. Most likely you have a pure Monterey, as that's what's found in most of the San Bernardino Mountains.



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Old 13th October 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Albino Aneides lugubris? Or what?

I have found some on the west end of the SBs that were downright weird looking. They strangest aspect is how they lighten up at night. I have seen some posts from the SBs that claim that they are hybrid (E.e.e. x E.e.c.) or some pigment anomaly, I don't concur with either.



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Old 11th March 2012   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Albino Aneides lugubris? Or what?

I found a eschscholtziii from the San Diego area that looked completely white! But up in the Monterey area they look reddish.

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