Slender salamander

Batrachoseps is a genus of lungless salamanders (Plethodontids) often called Slender salamanders. They can be distinguished from other lungless salamanders by the four toes they have on each foot.

Slender salamanders
Slender salamander big basin.jpg
Batrachoseps attenuatus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Urodela
Family: Plethodontidae
Subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
Genus: Batrachoseps
Bonaparte, 1839

See table

Their genus name Batracho-seps means "frog-lizard", in reference to their projectile tongues.

Diet and physiologyEdit

The lungless salamanders, in addition to having no lungs, have long slender snake-shaped bodies with very small limbs that appear almost vestigial in several species.[1] Their main diet consists of small insects, such as springtails, small bark beetles, crickets, young snails, mites, and spiders. Like all salamanders in this family, they have long frog-like projectile tongues which they use to grab their prey in a flash.

Unlike all other amphibians (and birds, and lizards, and nearly all fish) mature red blood cells in species in the genus Batrachoseps have no nucleus, which is a trait that is only known to occur in mammals and certain species of antarctic fish.[2]


Batrachoseps range from Oregon and California (USA) to northern Baja California (Mexico). Slender salamanders in California tolerate diverse variety of environments, as long as their basic needs are met.[3]


21 species are recognized in this genus, but their taxonomy is uncertain. Some species may in fact be subspecies of others, and some subspecies may be distinct species of their own. Genetic analysis is in process.

Batrachoseps gavilanensis – Gabilan Mountains slender salamander
Image Common Name Scientific name Year described Distribution
  California slender salamander Batrachoseps attenuatus Eschscholtz, 1833 Sierra Nevada, California, and northern Central Valley of California, and southwestern Oregon.
Inyo Mountains slender salamander Batrachoseps campi Marlow, Brode & Wake, 1979 Inyo County of eastern California
Hell Hollow slender salamander Batrachoseps diabolicus Jockusch, Wake & Yanev, 1998 California, in Mariposa County
  San Gabriel slender salamander Batrachoseps gabrieli Wake, 1996 San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles County, California
  Gabilan Mountains slender salamander Batrachoseps gavilanensis Jockusch, Yanev & Wake, 2001 Central Coast region from Santa Cruz to northern Kern County, California
  Gregarious slender salamander Batrachoseps gregarius Jockusch, Wake & Yanev, 1998 western Sierra Nevada and the eastern Central Valley in California
San Simeon slender salamander Batrachoseps incognitus Jockusch, Yanev & Wake, 2001 south-western Monterey and northern San Luis Obispo Counties, California
  Sequoia slender salamander Batrachoseps kawia Jockusch, Wake & Yanev, 1998 Tulare County, California
  San Lucia Mountains slender salamander Batrachoseps luciae Jockusch, Yanev & Wake, 2001 Monterey County, California
  Garden slender salamander Batrachoseps major Camp, 1915 northern Baja California in Mexico and Southern California, United States
Lesser slender salamander Batrachoseps minor Jockusch, Yanev & Wake, 1998 San Luis Obispo County, California
  Black-bellied slender salamander Batrachoseps nigriventris Cope, 1869 California.
  Pacific slender salamander Batrachoseps pacificus (Cope, 1865) Channel Islands of California.
King's River slender salamander Batrachoseps regius Jockusch, Wake & Yanev, 1998 Fresno County, California.
Relictual slender salamander Batrachoseps relictus Brame & Murray, 1968 Kern County, California.
Kern Plateau slender salamander Batrachoseps robustus Wake, Yanev & Hansen, 2002 Tulare and Inyo, and Kern Counties, California.
Kern Canyon slender salamander Batrachoseps simatus Brame & Murray, 1968 Kern Counties, California.
Tehachapi slender salamander Batrachoseps stebbinsi Brame & Murray, 1968 Kern Counties, California.
  Oregon slender salamander Batrachoseps wrighti (Bishop, 1937) Oregon,
Fairview slender salamander Batrachoseps bramei Jockusch, et al., 2012 California
Greenhorn Mountains slender salamander Batrachoseps altasierrae Jockusch et al., 2012 (Kern and Tulare counties, California, USA


  1. ^ Burton, M.; Burton, R. (2002). International Wildlife Encyclopedia: Leopard - marten. International Wildlife Encyclopedia. Marshall Cavendish. p. 1503. ISBN 978-0-7614-7277-3. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  2. ^ Cohen, W. D. (1982). "The cytomorphic system of anucleate non-mammalian erythrocytes". Protoplasma. 113: 23–32. doi:10.1007/BF01283036.
  3. ^ "Slender salamander". Animal Estates / 5.2 California quail. Retrieved 3 February 2019.

External linksEdit