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The arboreal salamander (Aneides lugubris) is a species of climbing salamander.[3] An insectivore, it is native to California and Baja California,[4] where it is primarily associated with oak and sycamore woodlands,[5] and thick chaparral.

Aneides lugubris
Aneides lugubris.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Urodela
Family: Plethodontidae
Subfamily: Plethodontinae
Genus: Aneides
A. lugubris
Binomial name
Aneides lugubris
(Hallowell, 1849)

Salamandra lugubris Hallowell, 1849 "1848"[2]
Triton tereticauda Eschscholtz, 1833
Ambystoma punctulatum Gray, 1850
Plethodon crassulus Cope, 1886



Aneides lugubris is 6.5–10 cm (2.6–3.9 in) SVL (snout-vent length),[6] with plain purplish-brown coloring, usually spotted dorsally with gold or yellow, although it may also be unspotted. The tail is prehensile. The juvenile is dark overall, clouded with greyish color and fine yellow speckling on the back. It has rusty markings on the snout, tail, and on sides above the forelimbs. The male of this species can be distinguished by its broad triangular head, with the front teeth of the jaw extending beyond the bottom lip.

This species is an excellent climber and difficult to capture. It is nocturnal, spending daylight hours and dry periods in the cavities of oak trees, often with many other individuals of its species.[7] A large adult can inflict a painful bite. Arboreal Salamanders hatch from eggs laid and guarded in subterranean burrows.[8] Hatchling size is 24 mm SVL, age at maturity is 2.69 yr, and average adult age is 8–11 yr.[9] Annual survival probability increases with age from 0.363 in age 0 to 0.783 in ages >4 yr.[9]


  • Farallon Island salamander – A. l. farallonensis (Van Denburgh, 1905)
  • A. l. lugubris (Van Denburgh, 1905)

These subspecies have been proposed in the past due to genetic and morphological differences, but they are not currently recognized.



  1. ^ Parra-Olea, G.; Wake, D. & Hammerson, G.A. (2008). "Aneides lugubris". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2008: e.T59118A11884773. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T59118A11884773.en.
  2. ^ Hallowell, Edward. 1849. Description of a new species of Salamander from Upper California. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, vol. 4, p. 126.
  3. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2015). "Aneides lugubris (Hallowell, 1849)". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Arboreal Salamander - Aneides lugubris". Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  5. ^ "Arboreal Salamander - National Wildlife Federation". Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  6. ^ Lynch, J.F. and D.B. Wake. 1974. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.
  7. ^ Grismer, L. L. (2002). Amphibians and Reptiles of Baja California. Los Angeles: University of California Press. 56-7.
  8. ^ Wake, D B; Hanken, J (2004-07-01). "Direct development in the lungless salamanders: what are the consequences for developmental biology, evolution and phylogenesis?". International Journal of Developmental Biology. 40 (4). doi:10.1387/ijdb.8877460 (inactive 2019-06-07). ISSN 0214-6282.
  9. ^ a b Lee, Derek E.; Bettaso, James B.; Bond, Monica L.; Bradley, Russell W.; Tietz, James R.; Warzybok, Peter M. (2012). "Growth, age at maturity, and age-specific survival of the arboreal salamander (Aneides lugubris) on Southeast Farallon Island, California". Journal of Herpetology. 46 (1): 64–71. doi:10.1670/10-282. ISSN 0022-1511.

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