In the garden disruptions associated with our porch construction, I have uncovered several nests of salamanders, under rocks and buried in the dirt. I have seen two salamander types in our back yard along the Guadalupe River in San Jose, California. From the pictures on the Californiaherps web page, they are:
- Aneides lugubris, the Arboreal salamander, a species of climbing salamander native to California, where it is primarily associated with oak and sycamore woodlands, and thick chaparral. About 6″ long – Pictured above.
- Batrachoseps attenuatus, California Slender Salamander, a lungless salamander found primarily in Northern California, one of a handful quasi-endemic amphibians in the state. About 4″ long. Pictured below.
The big one pictured above is guarding a nest of eggs. The two species live near each other but not together (the pictures here were taken of salamanders living under different rocks about a foot apart). I have seen as many as seven in one nest underground – large and small but all of one species. I once turned on the water hose and out shot a very surprised large salamander who had been hiding inside. They mostly hold still when uncovered but they can move fast. I try to leave them alone – only moving them to a safer spot if their current location is dangerous.
Images Copyright 2012-2013 by Katy Dickinson