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Hell Hollow Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps diabolicus)

Created: December 3rd, 2009 - 04:27 PM
Last Modified: March 14th, 2015 - 01:02 PM
Entered by: Benjamin Witzke
Record 33844
Country:
United States
State:
California
County:
Stanislaus County
Time:
2009-11-17 14:30:00
Qty:
1
Age:
Adult
Sex:
--
Method:
Rock flipping
Habitat:
blue-oak and scrub with granite boulders
Body Temperature:
-----
Air Temperature:
57.00F
Ground Temperature:
-----
Humidity:
-----
Sky Conditions:
Few clouds
Moon Phase:
-----
Elevation:
400.00ft
Barometric Pressure:
-----

Notes


So, After 3 years of wondering what the heck species this is, researching it, asking experts; I decided it was absolutely something no one knew was there, I was able to revisit the locale and find some more specimens.

I took a live specimen and brought it to David Wake at MVZ in Berkeley, and he agreed the animal was certainly not B. attenuatus, but did not think it was B. diobolicus either. Based on morphology, he guessed it might be B. gregarious, but couldn't be sure. Especially given that it would be a range extension of over 100 kilometers to the north.

A week or so later I brought in the animal again for Elizabeth Jockusch to look at and take a tissue sample. They were both very excited about the find and couldn't believe I'd sat on it for 3 years.

David Wake had the molecular work done and it IS B. diabolicus. And more closely related to populations to the north east of the range than to those directly to the east.

Vouchers

Comments

Posted by Jonathan Hakim on May 10, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Ben - can you add your confirmation of B. diabolicus update into the notes of the entry itself? It's great work and should be in the main body of the account.

Posted by Owen Holt on Nov 21, 2012 at 04:06 PM

Great to know. Thanks.

Posted by Benjamin Witzke on Nov 21, 2012 at 02:37 PM

Yes, David Wake had the molecular work done and it IS B. diabolicus. And more closely related to populations to the north east of the range than to those directly to the east.

I plan on collecting some specimens for MVZ and CAS this winter.

Posted by Owen Holt on Nov 21, 2012 at 02:11 PM

I'm working on doing some CA county species profiles and of course, because of the known range, I flagged this. Has any molecular conclusion been reached yet? Pretty cool find.

Posted by Brian Hinds-AKA Fundad on Jul 24, 2012 at 06:48 PM

Great Stuff, thanks for adding it here, and sharing the story for all to read. This is what herping is all about.

Posted by Jonathan Hakim on Jul 24, 2012 at 08:50 AM

Nice job Ben. I thought I brought up the fact that you were entering a significant range extension (or significant error) in the nicest way possible. ;)

Posted by Brian Hinds-AKA Fundad on May 04, 2012 at 09:20 AM

Outstanding Job Ben..

Posted by Benjamin Witzke on Jun 19, 2010 at 02:59 PM

ID is questionable if based on range maps but I have seen a lot of CA slenders and this one just looked different to me. Which is why I documented it. I am not usally in the habit of logging CA slenders because I see TooManyToCount. I have no other proof of ID but my comparison of these photos to those of B. attenuatus.

Second opinions are welcome.

Posted by Jonathan Hakim on Jun 15, 2010 at 12:40 AM

Interesting find - I was not aware of Hell Hollow slenders ranging as far west as Stanislaus County.