Dicamtodon In April?

Aneides

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Hey, I was kind of wondering if there is any chance of me finding a Dicamtodon active in April? One of my prime Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica spots was drier than usual and I only found TWO!! Dicamtodon I imagine need more moisture and when the dry season comes they reatreat to hibernation. I was also seeing if I have a chance of seeing a Dicamptodon morph at all in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I've heard the habitat description many times...................under rocks near fast moving streams in moist forest in northern California. I get it. Any other info would be welcome. If bewilderbeast could answer this that would be nice, but this can eventually make its way to the Dicamptodon Enthusiasts Group (again by bewilderbeast) I also have a group (not to go off-topic) called Ensatina Interest Group. Just look at the complete list of social groups, It will be there. Thank you for viewing this thread and I hope all the Dicamptodon experts could view this (not many, I know). You can PM me if you have any questions on Ensatina eschscholtzii

Regards,
Aneides
 

FrogEyes

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My experience with Dicamptodon (all but D.ensatus) doesn't include this early in the year, but I have to say that I haven't found any of them to "hibernate" at drier times of year. They only occur in forest areas which are permanently damp or at least have permanently damp locations along drainages. They are usually in or next to permanent creeks. I have found D.tenebrosus and D.aterrimus under rocks and at the bases of waterfalls (larvae or recently transformed) along creeks which were virtually dry, with only the tiniest trickles of water connecting puddles. Juvenile D.tenebrosus (5-6 inch SVL) are often extremely abundant, moreso at the height of summer when they transform.

If you find a permanent or near-permanent creek, in forest, within their range, you will probably have no problem finding the genus at this time of year. I'm sure that they can easily be found in OR and WA right now, provided you don't pick a creek surrounded by ten feet of wet snow.
 

otolith

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Its been such a wet winter here that it seems more likely than most years that you could find one, but I still think its a bit of a long shot. You will undoubtedly find lots of larvae under rocks in the creeks but adults are pretty rare even when they migrate to breed. You are on the right track with location in SC and habitat so you have a good chance. I've found more of them under wood than rocks though, I would suggest focusing on large dead fall. Year round drainages in redwood forests are a good place to start, I havn't seen a difference in numbers in creeks that have fish vs. those without.
 
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