Salamanders of the North Coast

Here are some of the common salamanders found in the redwood forest of northern California. Collected in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. (and released unharmed after posing for these photos)

clouded salamander,
                  photo by Kim A. Cabrera
Clouded Salamander
Aneides ferreus


Clouded salamanders are found in cool humid coastal forests. They are climbing salamanders and are often found 20 feet and higher in trees. They lay their eggs inside rotting logs or underneath slabs of bark. The female will guard her eggs, which are each attached to the surface by a mucus stalk.  They spend the dry summers deep inside rotten logs where they are protected from high temperatures and from drying out.


clouded salamander, photo by Kim A. Cabrera

Clouded salamander video

Clouded Salamander


slender salamander, photo by Kim A. Cabrera These are one of the world's smallest salamanders. They have four toes on each tiny foot. They hunt by using their long sticky tongues to catch prey. Favorite habitat is woodland with plenty of dead leaves, logs, and bark on the ground. They are frequently  found walking around after a rain. If attacked, the tail can be detached. A new one will eventually regrow to replace it. These salamanders are also very agile. They are usually nocturnal.

California slender salamander
Batrachoseps attenuatus


slender salamander,
                  photo by Kim A. Cabrera

California Slender Salamander

ensatina, photo by Kim
                  A. Cabrera

Ensatina eschscholtzi


ensatina backlit,
                  photo by Kim A. Cabrera
Backlit ensatina


ensatina face, photo by Kim A. Cabrera Ensatinas have a constriction at the base of the tail. They also have five toes on the hind foot. The tail of the male is often longer than his body. These salamanders do not have an aquatic stage. They lay their eggs underground and these hatch into fully formed salamanders. They prefer a habitat of cool coastal forest. They can be found along streams or in damp dead leaves. If attacked, the tail may be broken off to distract the predator while the ensatina escapes.  They also have toxins in the tail that are distasteful to predators. The tail is used as a food storage organ. The fatter the tail, the more nutrients the salamander has stored up.

Ensatina video


ensatina, photo by Kim
                  A. Cabrera
Ensatina salamander making tracks. Photo
                  copyright by Kim A. Cabrera 2002.
An ensatina and the tracks it left behind.


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