another for you archives
Location: el dorado county, california
May 5, 2011 8:34 pm
i see these little guys quite often, was wondering on the species,
This is some species of Salamander, an amphibian. We couldn’t match the markings on your specimen to any of the individuals pictured on the Identifying California Salamanders website, however it seems most like the Pacific Newts in the genus Taricha. Your location in El Dorado County indicates the likeliest species is the Sierra Newt, Taricha sierrae, however, the mottling on your specimen is quite different from all the images on that website. Perhaps one of our readers will be able to confirm or correct us while we are at work today. The coloration on the individual in this video is the closest to your specimen that we were able to locate in a short period of time.
Ed. Note: Correction
Ryan wrote in with a comment indicating that is is probably Ensatina eschscholtzii platensis. Here is a page from CaliforniaHerps.com that supports Ryan’s comment and where it is indicated: “Ensatina live in relatively cool moist places on land, and stay underground during hot and dry periods where they are able to tolerate considerable dehydration. They are most active on rainy or wet nights when temperatures are moderate. High-altitude populations are also inactive during severe winter cold.”