Gabilan Mountains Slender Salamander

Batrachoseps gavilanensis

Summary 2

The Gabilan Mountains slender salamander (Batrachoseps gavilanensis) is a species of salamander in the Plethodontidae family. It is endemic to California, in Monterey and San Benito, and San Luis Obispo Counties in the western United States.

Description 3

B. gavilanensis is an elongate slender salamander of moderate length with relatively short limbs. It is similar morphologically to B. attenuatus and B. nigriventis but has a slightly larger body size than either where their geographic ranges approach each other. The head, body and tail are cylindrical in general form, and there is an inconspicuous neck. The head is relatively narrow, but broader than in B. attenuatus and B. nigriventris. The face is small and inconspicuous, and the eyes are only slightly protuberant. The hands and feet are small but the digits are well formed and discrete, with expanded tips that bear subterminal pads. This is a dull grey salamander. There is an impression of a broad dorsal band which is lighter in color, but it is faint. The lateral surfaces are speckled with white.

North of Monterey Bay, this species can be found in sympatry with B. attenuatus. In the southwest corners of its range, sympatry with B. nigriventris has been found. The species is in close proximity to the range of B. luciae along its western limits in the Santa Lucia Mountains and although the two species are found within a few hundred meters of each other and sympatry is expected, they have not be found in sympatry and no hybrids are known.

See another account at

Distribution and habitat 4

The salamander is broadly distributed in central coastal California, from Rodeo Gulch, Santa Cruz County in the north along the coast down to Jack's Peak, Monterey County. Further south, distribution moves away from the coast and extends to the southeast into the Gabilan Range and into southwestern Monterey, western Fresno, and extreme northwestern Kern counties.

Habitats include heavily shaded, moist redwood and mixed evergreen forests through oak woodland and chaparral to include even open grassland with only widely scattered small oaks. Its climatic range includes hot, arid southeastern localities and the cool, wet, equable climate of its northwestern limits. This is the only plethodontid salamander that is known from the very edge of the intertidal zone at Moss Landing, California, and it has been shown to be relatively tolerant of increased salinity.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Jacob Kirkland, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  2. Adapted by Michelle S. Koo from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  3. (c) AmphibiaWeb © 2000-2011 The Regents of the University of California, some rights reserved (CC BY),
  4. (c) AmphibiaWeb © 2000-2011 The Regents of the University of California, some rights reserved (CC BY),

More Info

iNat Map

Taxonomy:family Plethodontidae
Iucn status Least_Concern