Herping Salamanders in the Bay

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BayFun
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Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by BayFun » January 7th, 2016, 5:44 pm

Hi! This is my first post here and first time -successfully- fieldherping too! I wasn't disappointed at all. :)

These pictures are from December. Overall I've found 4 Ensatina xanthoptica (2 adults and 2 metamorphs) and many California Newts (I stopped counting around 8)

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Sorry if the pictures are meh, I took them with an Iphone 5C. If anyone could give a new herper tips, I'd really appreciate it! I want to see the rest of Northern California's herps! :)

Zach_Lim
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by Zach_Lim » January 8th, 2016, 11:12 am

Keep it up! Now is the time to find lot of amphibians in the Bay Area, as well as some of the more cold tolerant snake species- sharp-tailed snakes, ring-necked snakes, and even Rubber Boas.

Remember to replace everything that you may have flipped over in your searches- make it look like it has never been flipped before!

Happy herping!

-Zach

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Owen
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Location: San Jose', Northern Catcrapistan

Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by Owen » January 8th, 2016, 12:00 pm

I might add that three four of our Bay Area salamanders are protected, so no handling on those:

Federal and CA Endangered (Threatened):

California Tiger Salamander - Ambystoma californiense

Federal and CA Endangered (Endangered):

Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamander - Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum

California Species of Special Concern as of March 2013:

Santa Cruz Black Salamander - Aneides flavipunctatus niger

California Giant Salamander - Dicamptodon ensatus

BayFun
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by BayFun » January 8th, 2016, 4:59 pm

Thanks a lot guys! Don't worry, I'll be mindful of the environment, biota, and other people! I've actually lurked a while on this forum before making my account.

Much appreciated Owen! Normally, I actually wouldn't handle but I couldn't get a good picture with the Iphone and I was a little bit too hyped to be reasonable immediately.

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Calfirecap
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by Calfirecap » January 9th, 2016, 8:31 am

Welcome aboard Bayfun, it should be easy to add CA Slenders to your list, and Arboreals with just a little effort. The others will take a little time and leg work, but you are in the right place at the right time.
Also, please consider adding your finds to NAHERP.

Lawrence

BayFun
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by BayFun » January 9th, 2016, 6:58 pm

Oh, I forgot to add, Slenders live in my backyard! :D But I haven't identified them to ssp yet. Also I'm relieved that Arboreals are a common salamander. They're my favorite of all caudates and by far.

I'll add the salamanders to the database tonight. :)

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El Garia
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by El Garia » January 10th, 2016, 11:55 am

Welcome to the forum, BayFun. As you've probably noticed, it's been an unusually dry year on the West Slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Usually, we get dumped on more so than other spots in the Santa Clara Vallley, but that's not the case, this year. When I went out for salamanders, last week, it was still too dry under a majority of the cover that I flipped in an oak forest. Conditions should be better now, with the recent storm, and another smaller one coming down the pike this week...

Gary Nafis' California Herps website is invaluable as a field guide. You'll have no problem keying out your slender salamander. Calherps is a fantastic site; the best resource for herp reference and i.d. that I've found. Check it out!

California Herps Main Page:
http://www.californiaherps.com/index.html

California Herps' "Reptiles and Amphibians of the San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.californiaherps.com/identifi ... herps.html

-Derek

hellihooks
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by hellihooks » January 10th, 2016, 3:30 pm

wait till ya flip a BIG Dicamp, dude... you'll crap a brick... :lol: Lotta great herpers up that way, so you're in the right place, with the right crowd... :thumb:

BayFun
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by BayFun » January 10th, 2016, 5:49 pm

:D Thanks for your responses!
El Garia: Yeah, most of the cover I flipped was pretty dry underneath too. Using the range maps from CA herps (what a great reference!) the Batrachoceps I've seen are definitely attenuatus. It's reassuring that Caudate weather will be improving. :) Also cool username. Alligator lizards are the best!

Hellihooks: Glad to hear that! I'll die happy if I encounter one of those in situ.

BayFun
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by BayFun » January 17th, 2016, 11:33 am

Well, I herped at a new place yesterday, but still the same herps minus the ensatinas (but plus a banana slug).

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BayFun
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by BayFun » January 18th, 2016, 7:20 pm

Yes! Today I went fieldherping spontaneously at a place waaay closer to me than the others, and this has been my best herping experience by far! I found a diverse array of herps composed of :
Western skink (1)
Pacific ringneck snake juvenile(1)
Ensatina e. xanthoptica (1 adult, 2 juveniles)
Taricha torosa (11 adults, 4 juveniles)
Aneides lugubris (2 adults probably sexually mature, 1 youngish adult)


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I flipped over a tiny rock ~5 inches long, not expecting anything. Finding a herp, and a snake especially in territory I thought only fit for caudates, was euphoric!
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But then, under a different but also very small rock, I spotted a magnificent blue tendril poking out of the ground. However... I became very disturbed because originally I thought that it was a dead skink. It didn't react at all when I flipped over the rock and I couldn't see any of the lizard beside its tail. But then it started moving... :)
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The ubiquitous newt.
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Cuties, but by far the highlight of my day was seeing this pair of Aneides lugubris under an oak limb
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I'm really happy today was great. Saturday's excursion actually discouraged me immensely, believe it or not. It made me think that I would be forever condemned to see only newts.

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El Garia
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by El Garia » January 18th, 2016, 7:45 pm

Right on! Nice array of species, here! Thanks for the update, BayFun. :thumb:

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jonathan
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by jonathan » January 20th, 2016, 12:39 pm

Very nice!

BayFun
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Re: Herping Salamanders in the Bay

Post by BayFun » January 20th, 2016, 5:12 pm

Thanks guys! I appreciate the encouragement. :)

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