Santa Lucia Mountains Slender Salamander

Batrachoseps luciae

Summary 2

The Santa Lucia Mountains slender salamander (Batrachoseps luciae) is a species of salamander in the Plethodontidae family.

Distribution and habitat 3

B. luciae is distributed in the northern Santa Lucia Mountains along the coast of Monterey Co., California, but has not been recorded outside this county. It ranges north onto the Monterey Peninsula and south to near the Monterey/San Luis Obispo Co. line. Inland, it extends along Carmel Valley and the eastern slopes of the Santa Lucia Mountains at least as far south as Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (ca. 36°0' N). B. luciae is found predominantly in mesic redwood and mixed evergreen forests, but inland it occurs mainly on wooded (especially with tan-bark oaks and maples), north-facing slopes. During favorable climatic periods the species can be found under suitable cover in open, disturbed habitats.

Description 4

This is a small species. The mean length for 10 adult males is 36.3 mm (range 32.0-40.1), and the mean for 10 adult females is 41 mm (range 36.8-44.8). The species is robust; there is an inconspicuous neck and the eyes are only slightly protuberant; The head is narrow and the mean width for males is 8.5 (range 7.9-9.1), and for females is 9.3 (range 8.5-9.9). The nostrils are small; there are only slight nasolabial protuberances in males; no mental hedonic glands are observed in males; The grooving patterns of the head, throat and neck are typical to this genus. Females possess more vomerine teeth (range 6-19), and maxillary teeth (range 4-40) than males. The premaxillary teeth are also more numerous in females, who have a mean of 11.5 (range 7-14), but there are fewer and substantially larger and longer teeth in males which have a mean of 4.2 (range 3-6). Trunk vertebrae in the type series range from 19-20; the tail is long and slender; the males have a tail with a mean length of 1.2 (range 0.9-1.5), and females have a mean length of 1.3 (range 1.2-1.4); there is no discernable basal tail constriction; A distinct postiliac gland is typically present. The limbs are moderately sized. The mean length for males is 5.8 (range 5.4-6.3), and for females the mean is 5.9 (range 5.4-6.8). The hands and feet are small with expanded tips that bear subterminal pads. Tibial spurs are usually present. The webbing between the digits is insignificant. The fingers and toes in order of decreasing length are 3-2-4-1 Coloration in life of the species is generally dark. The dorsum is covered with brassy iridophores.

This species is relatively common and widespread within its range. It has not been taken in sympatry with any other species of the genus, but it has been found within a few hundred meters of the range of B. gavilanensis both at the northern and at the southern end of its range.

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Sources and Credits

  1. (c) greenrosettas, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by Chris Cook,
  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