Batrachoseps major - Camp, 1915
Garden Slender Salamander
Other English Common Names: garden slender salamander
Synonym(s): Batrachoseps pacificus major
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Batrachoseps major Camp, 1915 (TSN 208343)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.103750
Element Code: AAAAD02040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Salamanders
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae Batrachoseps
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Collins, J. T. 1990. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles. 3rd ed. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 19. 41 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B90COL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Batrachoseps major
Taxonomic Comments: This taxon was regarded as a semispecies or subspecies of B. pacificus by Yanev (1980). Wake and Jockusch (2000) recognized B. major as a distinct species with two subspecies, B. m. major and B. m. aridus. The latter formerly was regarded as a species.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 17Dec2001
Global Status Last Changed: 05Oct2001
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (05Nov1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (SNR)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species occurs in southern California, United States, from the base of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains south to the vicinity of El Rosario in Mexico. There is an isolated population in the San Pedro Martir Mountains, Baja California, Mexico; and on Catalina, Los Coronados, and Isla Todos Santos Sur (United States) (Stebbins 1985, Jockusch et al. 2001). The San Pedro Martir population might be a distinct species. The subspecies B. m. aridus is known only from Hidden Palm Canyon, Riverside County, California. United States.

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: Represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout the range.

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 10,000.

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The only known significant threat is intensive habitat alteration. These salamanders can co-exist with low intensity suburbanization (Petranka 1998).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 10,000. It is generally common within its range.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: "Except for island populations, this species needs minimal protection" (Petranka 1998).

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) This species occurs in southern California, United States, from the base of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains south to the vicinity of El Rosario in Mexico. There is an isolated population in the San Pedro Martir Mountains, Baja California, Mexico; and on Catalina, Los Coronados, and Isla Todos Santos Sur (United States) (Stebbins 1985, Jockusch et al. 2001). The San Pedro Martir population might be a distinct species. The subspecies B. m. aridus is known only from Hidden Palm Canyon, Riverside County, California. United States.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Riverside (06065)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
18 Whitewater River (18100201)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Breeds December-January. Female lays a string of 10-20 eggs. There is no aquatic larval stage (Behler and King 1979).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Hardwood
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Habitat is primarily chaparral and coastal live-oak woodlands, in canyons, washes, bases of grass-covered hills, rural gardens, and urban areas adjacent to natural areas. Salamanders retreat to burrows or underground crevices in sandy or gravelly soil during cold or dry weather. They can be found under rocks and litter in the wet season. This species is a terrestrial breeder and does not have an aquatic larval stage.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Members of this genus feed on a wide variety of small invertebrates including insects, spiders, snails and sowbugs (Stebbins 1972).
Adult Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Inactive in cold temperatures or hot, dry weather. Most active November to April in cool wet or humid weather.
Length: 16 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Terrestrial Plethodontid Salamanders

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway, especially with high traffic volume at night; major river or lake; other totally inappropriate habitat that the salamanders cannot traverse.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 3 km
Separation Justification: These salamanders rarely successfully cross roadways that have heavy traffic volume at night, when most movements occur. Rivers and lakes pose formidable impediments to movement and generally function as barriers, with the effect increasing with river and lake size. Treatment of these as barriers or unsuitable habitat is a subjective determination.

Compared to larger ambystomatid salamanders, the movements of plethodontids are poorly documented, but it is clear that home ranges tend to be very small (e.g., Marvin 2001), on the order of a few meters to a few dozen meters in diameter. For example, Welsh and Lind (1992) found that over six months, 66% of Plethodon elongatus males and 80% of females recaptured were in the same 7.5 x 7.5 m grid, and the maximum distance moved was 36.2 m. D. Clayton (pers. comm 1998) estimated that average home ranges may be as small as one square meter. Yet, on occasion, dispersing plethodontids likely travel at least several hundred meters. The separation distance for unsuitable habitat reflects the nominal minimum value of 1 km. The separation distance for suitable habitat reflects the limited movements of these salamanders, tempered by their tendency to occur throughout patches of suitable habitat and the likely low probability that two locations separated by a gap of less than a few kilometers of suitable habitat would represent independent occurrences over the long term.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .1 km
Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Dec2001
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Jun2010
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.

  • Blackburn, L., P. Nanjappa, and M. J. Lannoo. 2001. An Atlas of the Distribution of U.S. Amphibians. Copyright, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA.

  • Bruce, R. C., R. G. Jaeger, and L. D. Houck, editors. 2000. The biology of plethodontid salamanders. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York.

  • Collins, J. T. 1990. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles. 3rd ed. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 19. 41 pp.

  • Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.

  • Petranka, J. W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1972. California Amphibians and Reptiles. University of California Press, Berkeley, California.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985a. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. xiv + 336 pp.

  • Wake, D. B., and E. L. Jockusch. 2000. Detecting species borders using diverse data sets: examples from plethodontid salamanders in California. Pages 95-119 in Bruce, R. C., R. G. Jaeger, and L. D. Houck, editors. The biology of plethodontid salamanders. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.

  • Yanev, K. P. 1980. Biogeography and distribution of three parapatric salamander species in coastal and borderland California. Pages 531-550 in D. M. Power, editor. The California islands: proceedings of a multidisciplinary symposium. Santa Barbara Mus. Nat. Hist. 787 pp.

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