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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Salamander weather

Intense rainfall during the past couple of days made me think about salamanders.  They aren't common on Bodega Head — there isn't much surface water around — but can be found occasionally in moist habitats.  Today I encountered one of the most fascinating species the Arboreal Salamander (Aneides lugubris).  

Arboreal Salamanders live in oak woodlands, but also occur in coastal marshes and dunes.  They have expanded toes and a prehensile tail for climbing and have been found up to 60 feet high in trees!  Adults are brown with yellow spots, but juveniles are darker with blue spots and metallic tones.  These two juveniles were approximately 4 cm long.

Check out the bright blue spots!

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