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Ensatina subspecies i.d. request

This is a discussion on Ensatina subspecies i.d. request within the Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; Hi, I was wondering if anyone out there could i.d. this salamander? I think its an Ensatina salamander - possibly ...

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 December 2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ensatina subspecies i.d. request

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone out there could i.d. this salamander? I think its an Ensatina salamander - possibly a Monterey? I will be inheriting the salamander in a few days from a friend. Apparently it arrived in Canada on a shipment of evergreens from the USA a few years ago. I have looked at the Staniszewski care sheet for Ensatinas, but I would also appreciate any additional suggestions that members may have regarding Ensatina care!

Best,

Lydia
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Old 3rd December 2012   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatina subspecies i.d. request

Looks like a female Ensatina eschscholtzii eschscholtzii to me. That would make a lot of sense how it got up to Canada too; lots of Christmas tree farms in that area of California.



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Old 3rd December 2012   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatina subspecies i.d. request

Thanks, Perry!

Given the evergreen connection with this species, I was thinking about including a few miniature Douglas Firs in her terrarium setup. Do you (or others) think that this would be appropriate? I am afraid that she will be injured by the needles. Is this silly?

Lydia



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Old 3rd December 2012   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatina subspecies i.d. request

I don't know if it would be necessary, it might look nice though. I've mostly found them in rotting wood/bark piles and underneath pine needle duff when mushroom hunting. We had a big colony of females with eggs underneath our woodpile a few years back (these were the oregonensis subspecies). We carefully replaced a few big logs and in all likelihood they're still there.

Good luck with yours! They are a lot of fun to keep.



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Old 7th January 2013   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatina subspecies i.d. request

For me to be able to identify it, I would need to have some more precise locality information. It morphologically resembles a female Ensatina eschscholtzii oregonensis, but eschscholtzii would be my second guess. Nice ensatina, by the way. I don't know about Douglas Firs, but some trees can harm ensatinas due to acidity. I've found ensatinas in Douglas Fir forests, so it shouldn't be a problem. Ensatina are one of the best plethodontids in captivity, in my opinion. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions!

Sincerely,
Aneides



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0.1.0 Ensatina eschscholtzii klauberi
0.1.0 Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica
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Old 7th January 2013   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensatina subspecies i.d. request

I would consider Douglas fir wood or bark to be a great addition, but I have found that keeping live fir trees in a terrarium is problematic. They need better ventilation. Most northwestern salamanders can be found in, under, or under the bark of Douglas fir and sometimes other conifers. I have found ensatinas, rough-skinned newts, northwestern salamanders, clouded salamanders, northwestern long-toed salamanders, coastal long-toed salamanders, western red-backed salamanders, and coastal giant salamanders in such situations. I have not found Oregon slenders at all, but this is a typical habitat for them. I have not found Dunn's, Couer D'Alene, Idaho giant, Cope's giant, Blue Mountains long-toes, northern long-toes, eastern long-toes, nor any of the torrents under or in logs.

The two subspecies mentioned are the most likely candidates,although each of those may actually consist of multiple species. E.e.oregonensis is more likely, although the two, plus E.e.xanthoptica, have complementary ranges around San Francisco.



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