Creature Feature: California Slender Salamander

This week’s creature may be one of the smallest we’ve featured so far–but important nonetheless! The California Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus) is shy but not uncommon in Humboldt county. They enjoy damp, dark places and typically travel the forest floor under cover of fallen leaves or through the tunnels of other animals.

During the summer, these salamanders will retreat underground and wait out the dry season in the damp soil. Once it starts raining, they are on the move again. You can see them most frequently just after it rains, especially in December when they are out looking for a place to lay their eggs. They won’t go far, however. Most remain in a very small area for most of their lives.

Fun fact: these salamanders don’t have lungs! They breathe through their skin instead, which is why they need to keep things damp. Not too damp, though! Unlike other amphibians, they can’t go in the water for more than a few seconds.

PC: J. Maughn on Flickr Sources: Wikipedia, Californiaherps.com