Klamath Black Salamander
Klamath Black Salamander

Klamath Black Salamander

Aneides klamathensis


Aneides klamathensis habitat covers parts of northern California and southern Oregon in the USA, including Jackson County in Oregon and Del Norte, Siskiyou, and Humboldt Counties in California. It inhabits areas near the Applegate, Smith, Klamath, Trinity, and Van Duzen rivers.


Aneides klamathensis usually occurs at low elevations below 500 m, but it has been recorded at around 1000 m near Hilt in Siskiyou County. A. klamathensis is a terrestrial salamander found in moss-covered rockslides and under surface covers in conifer forests.


Aneides klamathensis belongs to the Aneides flavipunctatus complex and has a large and robust body. Its standard length ranges from 68.2 mm to 84.8 mm depending on the sex, but its total length is often distorted by tail regeneration. It has a very large and flat head with a broad and rounded snout that protrudes beyond the lower jaw. The nostrils are closer to the snout than the eye and are less apart than the eyes. The nasolabial protuberances are modest and the jaw muscles are prominent and bulging. The eyes are moderately large and prominent but not protruding. The number of premaxillary teeth varies from 3 to 8 depending on the sex. It has a large and prominent mental gland that is oval-shaped and wider than long. The head has distinct integumentary grooves and a well-defined neck. A. klamathensis has a black body and various patterns of white markings. The back and sides are sprinkled with white or gray, while the belly has white speckles that increase with size. Some individuals have cream-colored patches on their limbs. The eyes and pupils are dark. When preserved, the black color remains on most of the body, except for some white spots on the edges and limbs. The chin, throat, hands, feet and tail tip are unpigmented or pale. The mental gland and nasolabial features are also lightly pigmented or not at all.

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