Black-bellied Slender Salamander

Batrachoseps nigriventris





Between 3 – 4.5 cm long, Batrachoseps nigriventris bodies have a speckled, rusty top with equally spotted grey sides. Residing in mixed chaparral and oak or conifer forest, B. nigriventris spend most of their time in burrows dug out by other animals (1). Limited by extremes in temperature and moisture, surface activity is usually limited to rainy winter months (1), November to April for Mediterranean climates. Little is known about their feeding habits, though it is thought to be like their cousins, Batrachoseps attenuates, eating worms and small terrestrial invertebrates (1). Unique to B. nigriventris, studies have found that clutches are laid at communal sites and develop without parental care (2).

(1) Zeiner, D.C., W.F.Laudenslayer, Jr., K.E. Mayer, and M. White, eds. 1988-1990. California's Wildlife. Vol. I-III. California Depart. of Fish and Game, Sacramento, California.

(2) Jockusch, Elizabeth L., and Meredith J. Mahoney. "Communal Oviposition and Lack of Parental Care in Batrachoseps nigriventris (Caudata: Plethodontidae) with a Discussion of the Evolution of Breeding Behavior in Plethodontid Salamanders." Copeia 1997, no. 4 (1997): 697-705. doi:10.2307/1447288.

(Photograph) © Alice Abela 


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