CaliforniaHerps.com

A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California


Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander - Batrachoseps campi

Marlow, Brode & Wake, 1979
Click on a picture for a larger view



Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Range MapRange in California: Red

Dot-locality Range Map

Range Map of all Slender Salamanders in California



observation link



SoCalHerpsCover
Android and iPhone App
Electronic Field Guide to the
Reptiles and Amphibians of
Southern California.
Click for More Information.
Available Now at the
iTunes App Store
 and Google Play




Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander
  Adult, 6,000 ft., Inyo County  
Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander
  Adult, 6,000 ft., Inyo County  
Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander
Adult, Inyo County. © Adam Clause. (Animal captured and handled under state Scientific Collecting Permit and released at point of capture.) Slender Salmanders (genus Batrachoseps) have only 4 toes on their hind feet. All other California salamanders have 5 toes on their hind feet.
Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander
Adult, Inyo County. © Adam Clause. (Animal captured and handled under state Scientific Collecting Permit and released at point of capture.) Adult, Inyo County. © Adam Clause. (Animal captured and handled under state Scientific Collecting Permit and released at point of capture.) Adult, Inyo County. © Adam Clause. (Animal captured and handled under state Scientific Collecting Permit and released at point of capture.)
     
Habitat
Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Habitat Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Habitat Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Habitat
Desert Riparian Habitat,
Inyo Mountains, Inyo County
Desert Riparian Habitat,
Inyo Mountains, Inyo County
Desert Riparian Habitat,
Inyo Mountains, Inyo County
  Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Habitat  
  Desert Riparian Habitat,
Inyo Mountains, Inyo County
 
Description
 
Size
Adults are 1-1/3 to 2-2/5 inches long (3.2-6.1 mm) from snout to vent.

Appearance
A long stocky slender salamander with a broad head, rounded snout, large eyes, and 16 - 18 costal grooves.

There are four toes on the front and hind feet, which is typical of all Slender Salamanders. (Other California salamanders have five toes on the hind feet.)
Color and Pattern
Ground color is dark brown, reddish, silvery, or black.
Iridophores speckle the head and anterior body, or form a continuous pattern covering the entire dorsal surface resulting in an overall silvery-green color.

Life History and Behavior
A member of family Plethodontidae, the Plethodontid or Lungless Salamanders.
Lungless Salamanders breathe through their skin which requires them to live in damp environments on land and to move about on the ground only during times of high humidity. (In California, they do not inhabit streams or bodies of water, but they are capable of surviving for some time if they fall into water.)
Lungless salamanders are distinguished by their naso-labial grooves, which are vertical slits between the nostrils and upper lip that are lined with glands used in chemoreception. All California Lungless Salamanders lay eggs in moist places on land. The young hatch from the egg directly into a tiny terrestrial salamander with the same body form as an adult. (They do not hatch in the water and begin their lives as tiny swimming larvae breathing through gills, as occurs with other types of salamanders.)
Activity
Nocturnal.
Can be extremely difficult to locate on the surface.
Seasonal activity period is March - November, but salamanders have been observed in December and January.
The moderate temperature and perennial moisture of their riparian habitats create the possiblity that this species may be active on the surface year round.
Diet and Feeding
Probably consumes a variety of small invertebrates, using a projectile tongue, as is the case with all other Batrachoseps species.
Breeding
Reproduction is terrestrial.
Only juvenile and adults of this species have ever been observed. Nests and eggs have not been found.
It is assumed that B.campi undergoes direct developement as do the other members of the genus, with females laying eggs in moist places on land and young hatching fully formed.

Geographical Range
Endemic to California.
Discovered in 1973 in French Spring and Long John Canyon.
This ancient species of Batrachoseps is confined to about 20 known localities in canyons and springs along a 25 mile (40 km) section of both the Inyo Mountains, Inyo County, California.
13 localities are on the east slope of the Inyo Mountains, and 7 localities are on the west slope. (Herpetological Review 45(2), 2014)
Elevational Range
Elevational range extends from 1,800 - 8,600 ft. (550 - 2620 m).

Habitat
Inhabits very dry mountain ranges (Death Valley lies just to the south-east) typiclly in the immediate vicinity of springs, seeps, and their associated riparian growth where there is a small area of suitable habitat surrounded by inhospitable desert terrain. B.campi may be more widely distributed that is currently recognized: they have been found in pitfall traps on a ridge next to rock formations far from surface water, indicating that at high elevations they may not be restricted to riparian areas in canyon bottoms. Although they have been found on both slopes of the Inyo Mountains, they are more widely distributed on the east side. The type locality is also the most southernly: Long John Canyon, 5560 ft. elevation.

Taxonomic Notes
Officially described in 1979. B.campi belongs to the group of robust slender salamanders. No subspecies are recognized, and very little genetic variation is exhibited throughout it's range. The taxonomic status of this species has not ever been questioned since it was first described in 1979. B.campi's closest known relative is the Kern Plateau slender salamander (B.robustus).

Here's a Diagram of the Batrachoseps Complex showing the relationships between species.

Conservation Issues  (Conservation Status)
This species is currently protected under California law because of its limited and fragile desert riparian habitat.
Water diversion at some sites has degraded habitat. Mining activities near salamander habitats can be a threat to salamander populations. Feral burros and cattle have also degraded habitat at some locations. Natural flash flooding also degrades habitat by removing riparian vegetation.
Taxonomy
Family Plethodontidae Lungless Salamanders Gray, 1850
Genus Batrachoseps Slender Salamanders Bonaparte, 1841
Species

campi Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander Marlow, Brode & Wake, 1979
Original Description
Marlow, R. W., J. M. Brode, and D. B. Wake. "A new salamander, genus Batrachoseps, from the Inyo Mountains of California, with a discussion of relationships in the genus." Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County #308 1979

Meaning of the Scientific Name
Batrachoseps: Greek - amphibian, frog lizard - describes lizard-like appearance.
campi: honors Camp, Charles L.

from Scientific and Common Names of the Reptiles and Amphibians of North America - Explained © Ellin Beltz

Alternate Names
Inyo Mountains Salamander

Similar Neighboring Salamanders
Kern Plateau Slender Salamander
Tehachapi Slender Salamander

More Information and References
California Department of Fish and Wildlife

AmphibiaWeb

Stebbins, Robert C., and McGinnis, Samuel M.  Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of California: Revised Edition (California Natural History Guides) University of California Press, 2012.

Stebbins, Robert C. California Amphibians and Reptiles. The University of California Press, 1972.

Stebbins, Robert C. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. 3rd Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003.

Behler, John L., and F. Wayne King. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.

Powell, Robert., Joseph T. Collins, and Errol D. Hooper Jr. A Key to Amphibians and Reptiles of the Continental United States and Canada. The University Press of Kansas, 1998.

Bartlett, R. D. & Patricia P. Bartlett. Guide and Reference to the Amphibians of Western North America (North of Mexico) and Hawaii. University Press of Florida, 2009.

Bishop, Sherman C. Handbook of Salamanders. Cornell University Press, 1943.

Lannoo, Michael (Editor). Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species. University of California Press, June 2005.

Petranka, James W. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution, 1998.


Conservation Status

The following status listings come from the Special Animals List and the Endangered and Threatened Animals List which are published by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.



Organization
Status Listing
U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) None
California Endangered Species Act (CESA) None
California Department of Fish and Wildlife DFG:SSC California Species of Special Concern
Bureau of Land Management BLM:S Sensitive
USDA Forest Service USFS:S Sensitive
 

Home Site Map About Us Identification Lists Maps Photos More Lists CA Snakes CA Lizards CA Turtles CA Salamanders CA Frogs
Contact Us Usage Resources Rattlesnakes Sounds Videos FieldHerping Yard Herps Behavior Herp Fun CA Regulations
Beyond CA All Herps


Return to the Top

 © 2000 -