Field herping/Amphibian hunting in Long Beach, CA

Markgilst

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Hey, I want to find salamanders and other amphbians in Long beach. I frequently come across many species of slender salamanders in my backyard during springtime (they live under bricks, which are under moist vegetation) but I want to know if it's possible for me to catch toads and frogs in my backyard too, or if it's possible to find them in El Dorado park. Where are the best places to look for amphibians in Long Beach?

Oh, and here's videos of salamanders I've caught over years.
YouTube - Salamander
YouTube - Salamander 2
YouTube - Salamander 3
YouTube - Salamander 4

Which species are they?
 

Azhael

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They certainly look like Batrachoseps sp. I can´t help you with the actual species.

I hope you realize we have a strict rule against providing information about specific locations.
 

otolith

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I dont know any specific places but you should be able to find Western Toads (Bufo boreas) and Pacific Tree Frogs (Pseudacris regilla) in most areas. They dont need much water to breed, any place with seasonal ponds or deep ditches would be worth trying, they are usually fairly uncommon to find them in lakes with fish unless there are a lot of weedy shallow flats. Both species used to try and breed in my girlfriend's pool when she lived in Glendale so they can definitely be found in urban areas.
 

Markgilst

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That's weird, I have never seen any species of frog go into my backyard, maybe because the soil is just too dry and there's too much concrete and wide roads everywhere. The only place I can actually find tadpoles is in some outdoor, coastal nurseries that have ponds and such.

So, how do I get frogs to come to my ponds? I have a 20 gallon bucket with losta algal water in it, and a 300-400 gallon pond with one 6 inch black goldfish, some gambusia, lotsa hair algae, and a few bullfrogs and leopard frogs (tadpoles or they are frogs that are less than 2 years old.)

Would frogs and toads favor these habitats?
 

Azhael

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If you want frogs to come, get rid of the fish. Gambusia, particularly, are a very bad choice.
 

otolith

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Also getting rid of the bullfrogs would be a good step too since they eat all of the CA native species. They are actually a major factor in population decline of the red legged and yellow legged frogs and a number of central CA reptile species.

Azhael - Regarding the Gambusia, the West Nile Vector Control dumps them in nearly every body of water in CA to "control" mosquitoes. They are a major issue in areas with vernal pools where Ambystoma californiense breed (especially in Sonoma County) as they eat the larvae. Pretty odd that it is common practice to dump a destructive non-native across the entire state.
 

John

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To me, California's policies and record on amphibians are a joke, and now they want to ban exotic frog species. If their pet stores openly sell Axolotls in contravention of their laws, how can anyone take anything the California Legislature has to say seriously.

Regarding Gambusia - surely they die in vernal pools due to their temporary nature?
 

otolith

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John-

They do but they get typically get re-stocked annually. A lot of the spawning sites I have seen are seasonally connected to rivers or are located in flood plains so there are a number of ways for them to find their way in. I agree with you wholeheartedly about CA herp laws. I havnt seen an axolotl for sale in several years though, and most of those were from local breeders.
 

jake96

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To me, California's policies and record on amphibians are a joke, and now they want to ban exotic frog species. If their pet stores openly sell Axolotls in contravention of their laws, how can anyone take anything the California Legislature has to say seriously.
Although I have never seen an Axolotl in a store I have seen vendors at shows sell Tiger salamanders. Also in some parts of Sonoma County on rainy nights you can see people collecting them as "pets". If California really wanted to help there native fauna they should buckle down on laws. Just my thoughts on the matter

- Jake
 

jake96

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To Markgilst-
The salamanders in the video are Batrachoseps major major, the Garden Slendor Salamander. They are the only slender salamander in southern California.

- Jake
 

Azhael

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Azhael - Regarding the Gambusia, the West Nile Vector Control dumps them in nearly every body of water in CA to "control" mosquitoes. They are a major issue in areas with vernal pools where Ambystoma californiense breed (especially in Sonoma County) as they eat the larvae. Pretty odd that it is common practice to dump a destructive non-native across the entire state.
Trust me, you don´t have to tell me about it. I live in a completely different continent and yet Gambusia is present in a very large percentage of the local water masses in my community.
I live in Salamanca, and if you go down to the river the very first fish (and locally, the only one) you see are Gambusia holbrooki (the other fish that nowadays inhabit the river are also introduced american or asian species; the native species have either disappeared or are in big trouble). I´ve seen them in many, many cattle ponds, which by the way are by far the most important breeding sites for the local amphibians, particularly caudates. You can imagine the effect this has had....¬¬

In fact, i have a breeding group of Gambusia that i caught in the river. I use the youngsters as food for my animals as a kind of cosmic revenge :p
 

Markgilst

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Wouldn't it just make more sense to let the toads and froglets and tadpoles eat mosquito larvae? I've seen video of them do that, and mosquitoes are tiny, so they'd be a perfect froglet snack.
 

jake96

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That would make sense, but most mosquitos bred in stagnent water and in small space where water collects where as most toads and frogs breed in cold, clear, water.
 

Markgilst

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That would make sense, but most mosquitos bred in stagnent water and in small space where water collects where as most toads and frogs breed in cold, clear, water.
Then why not put gambusia in the cesspools?
They can survive in dirty water that is less than a few mm deep. (I got one in my fiddler crab's tank right now)
 

Markgilst

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I just re caught one of these in my backyard, under a pile of wood chunks. I kinda replicated it's habitat, threw in some baby slugs, and it seems to be doing fine. Will these eat pill bugs and slugs?
 

jake96

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Then why not put gambusia in the cesspools?
They can survive in dirty water that is less than a few mm deep. (I got one in my fiddler crab's tank right now)
That would make sense but the cesspools can form in almost every little nook and crevise.

"I just re caught one of these in my backyard, under a pile of wood chunks. I kinda replicated it's habitat, threw in some baby slugs, and it seems to be doing fine. Will these eat pill bugs and slugs?"
No they will not eat slugs and pill bugs they eat much smaller prey like springtails and fruit flies. And what size tank is it in?
 

Markgilst

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Yeah, I threw in some baby spiders and springtails and it likes those. The tank is a little critter keeper, but the salamander, please remember, is barely as big as the first two joins of my pinky.
 

Azhael

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That doesn´t mean the animal doesn´t need space. If you don´t know the proper specific care and don´t have a suitable terrarium, i personally think you should reconsider wether taking the poor animal from the wild is right.
 

jake96

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Markglist-
Although the salamander is small they like room to wander at night. I would suggest a 5 gallon that has plenty of floor space.
- Jake
 

Markgilst

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Okay, I'll find a 5 gallon tank. The kritter keeper is only temporary anyways.
 
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