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Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

This is a discussion on Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area within the Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; What are the species found here in SF other than Attenuatas? Also what are other salamanders that can be found ...

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 1st December 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

What are the species found here in SF other than Attenuatas? Also what are other salamanders that can be found in this region. I am planning to do some herping for the first time and would like to stay near this area for now.

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Old 31st December 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

Batrachoseps attenuatus is the only species of the genus in the area. They are abundant in the right habitat. With a good day's work, you could find up to 30 individuals in a single search. Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica, the Yellow-eyed Ensatina is probably the second most common salamander in the SF Bay Region, although Aneides lugubris (Arboreal Salamander) is a common sight in San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland backyards. Aneides lugubris can be sympatric (occuring in the same microhabitat) with the Yellow-eyed Ensatina, but the Arboreal Salamander prefers arboreal microhabitats, while the Yellow-eyed Ensatina is more terrestrial. The California Giant Salamanders, Dicamptodon ensatus, oftenly occur in streams and seepages, but beware, they bite hard! The Coast Range Newt (Taricha torosa torosa) is common in lentic habitats such as ponds in oak woodlands. These newts are highly toxic and shouldn't be ingested. I use disposable gloves when handling this species. Also, the Rough-skinned Newt, Taricha granulosa, is even more toxic than it's deadly cousin, and definetely wear gloves when handling them. They tend to want more shade, so look in slow moving streams or shaded ponds or lakes. The Bay Area is one of my favorite places to herp, and it has a diverse array of caudates.

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Old 31st December 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

You mentioned Anedies lugubris found in san jose,CA,Ive lived there my whole life up til 2002 and never found them.Of course they could be in specific parts of the city plus I didn't think to look in the city..I have seen slenders in the county parks however.



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Old 4th January 2012   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

Over 2 years or so I have found over 5. The best place to look is under garbage cans. Believe it or not, but this is my #1 technique in finding lugubris. You also might want to try looking in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Arboreals may be way out numbered to Yellow-eyed Ensatinas or California Slender Salamanders, but you may find a few. Good Luck,
Aneides



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Old 21st January 2012   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

This resource may help - Amphibians of San Francisco Bay Area : sfbaywildlife.info.Aneides, if you don't mind, I may include some of your tips on that page. Are there any other links that you would recommend including on that page? Thanks,

--- Ameet



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Old 22nd January 2012   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

Aneides,

Do you thinl Aneides Lugubris, or any of the other Aneides species will be in an urban San Francisco backyard? I live a block away from Golden Gate Park and find California Slenders often under flower pots in my backyard, but have never seen other species. My brother says he's seen a black or dark brown salamander about the size of my orientalis in the garage though. Any ideas what this one might've been? Black Salamander?



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Old 6th March 2012   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

Sfbaywildlife, AmphibiaWeb - Batrachoseps attenuatus is a link on the most common salamander in the Bay Area. It is the Amphibiaweb.org account for the California Slender Salamander. Amphibiaweb has other excellant accounts as well and can be accessed by www.amphibiaweb.org.
Stanleyc, the only Aneides sp. in San Francisco would be lugubris. Aneides flavipunctatus niger (Santa Cruz Black Salamander)can be found south in the Santa Cruz area. I would have to know where your brother saw the salamander in order to tell you if it was a Santa Cruz Black or an Arboreal Salamander.

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Old 20th November 2012   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

Aneides lugubris and Batrachoseps are both common backyard salamanders in the bay area.

I have better luck in backyards under paving stones etc... for those two species than I ever do "in the wild".

You will increase your success if you search at night in wet weather when these animals are more surface active.... I have found lugubris climbing at eye level on my door frame and next to porch lights on rainy nights.

lugubris prefer oak habitat in the wild and searching areas of wood fall in live oak or valley oak habitat will do you better than say, redwoods and bay laurel or rock piles.

In The East Bay you can also find Ensatina and Taricha in backyards the further up into the hills you get.

You also aren't too far from fantastic newt and salamander habitat south of you in the Santa Cruz mountains or North of you In Marin County .... Giant salamanders abound.... and the creeks are filled with newts!



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Old 21st November 2012   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

Around the bay area you can find several species, depending on exactly where you look. These include Aneides lugubris, Aneides iecanus, Aneides flavipunctatus, Aneides niger, Aneides quercetorum, and Aneides sequoiensis. Only a couple of those will be found in the urban areas. I don't recall if Aneides ferreus occurs quite that far south.



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Old 21st November 2012   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

FrogEyes.... Half those species you list don't exist.

ferreus is only found in the very northwestern corner of the state several hundred miles north of the Bay area....

flavipunctatus is found north of the bay from napa/sonoma north.

niger is found in the southern Santa Cruz mountains.

the other animals named are fictitious?



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Old 22nd November 2012   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

No. They are all valid species and all previously named. Each is restricted to a particular environment in and around a particular mountain range. The unfamiliar names have all historically been included in A.flavipunctatus, but several recent studies have revalidated them. A.niger has already been treated as distinct, but some of the names were fairly obscure, which has added to delays in revalidating them. No-one wants to simply split a species up if it leaves certain populations nameless. However, A.iecanus has already been adopted by some because the name was well-known and the taxon well-identified by current data. Two populations north of the Bay account for the other names.

This unpublished thesis is the best overview so far:
http://humboldt-dspace.calstate.edu/...U.pdf?sequence

Note however, that some of the changes have previously appeared in published papers as well as other theses. A.iecanus already appears on many sites, including IUCN.



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Old 22nd November 2012   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

I realize my language seemed a bit confrontational. Not my intention, and I apologize if I rubbed the fur the wrong direction there.

I was aware of work being done with flavipunctatus populations in Northern California and the proposed split, but have never come across mentions of the other scientific names. Well perhaps in some OLD California Academy of Sciences publications from the late 20's.... but I ignored most of that since they also had about 10 different species of Taricha listed.

Thanks for the schooling.... that's info I like to know. I'm a splitter, myself. If it's different, that should be noted. species, subspecies, color morph.... I feel it matters. distinction within a patterns is what its all about.

I have a friend doing Masters work on flavipunctatus at humboldt state.... I think she is doing a habitat study and not genetics though.



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Old 23rd November 2012   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Batrachoseps species native to the San Francisco area

I haven't yet dug up the older work, but it's my impression that these [quercetorum, sequoiensis] were originally named in the 1950s as subspecies, defined by habitat, distribution, and appearance. What is surprising is that the latest data from genetics and ecological niche modeling seems to confirm the original division more or less in its entirety - each genetic population has a characteristic appearance, distribution, and microhabitat requirements. It's common for older names to be revived, but rare I think for the original definition to be more or less "correct" in terms of new data as well. Frost's ASW lists A.iecanus. From what I have read, these names were considered "available", and I went by that, though that would be true normally ONLY if they were actually published with some kind of accompanying descriptions.

This thread is now #3 on Google if you search for Aneides quercetorum...which should tell you how obscure the name currently is!

Here's an earlier published paper on the subject, which has been used to substantiate use of A.niger and A.iecanus:
http://patagonia.byu.edu/Portals/65/...ETalSysBio.pdf

The original work was an unpublished thesis...from 1950!
Lowe, Charles H., 1950. Speciation and ecology in salamanders of the genus Aneides. Doctoral thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, 162 pp.

While the two names proposed by Lowe appear to have only been used in thesis [and thus would normally go unrecognized], two subsequent papers on the complex appear to have discussed the names and thereby given them validity (as I don't yet have Larson, and haven't had time to review Lynch, I can't be sure):

Larson, A. 1980. Paedomorphosis in relation to rates of morphological and molecular
evolution in the salamander Aneides flavipunctatus. Evolution 34:1-17.
Lynch, J. F. 1981. Patterns of ontogenetic and geographic variation in the Black
Salamander, Aneides flavipunctatus. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 324.

Lynch is available here:
http://si-pddr.si.edu/jspui/bitstrea...324-Lo_res.pdf


Edit - Lynch cites Lowe, but doesn't mention either of Lowe's new names. Unless someone else used those names in print, they will both likely require new names. It is possible that any "new" names could be identical to the "old" ones. More digging is in order. Neither of Stebbins' 1950's field guides [California, SF Bay], nor his Peterson Western guide mention anything other than niger and flavipunctatus, although the Peterson guide does mention and describe the populations. I need to also find and check Lynch's 1974 Catalog of American Amphibians and Reptiles account.



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