Arboreal Salamander

Arboreal Salamander – Aneides lugubris

This salamander is commonly seen in moist shaded yards and gardens in Northern California, especially around the Bay Area. It also occurs along the coast through southern California, and north to Humboldt county along the coast and northern coast ranges, as well as in the central Sierra Nevada foothills. These salamanders can be seen walking around on the ground at night, or climbing on walls and trees, especially during or after rains, usually from about November until the end of the spring rains in April or May. They may also be found under wood, branches, flower pots, slabs of cement, paving stones, or any other objects in your yard, and they are also occasionally found inside basements and garages.

This salamander is typically brown with cream-colored spots. The size of spots varies, and some have few or none. The ground color can vary from light grey or brown to dark brownish purple. Young salamanders are very dark with light speckles or patches. The limbs have no yellow or orange coloring (as do the young of another neighboring species.) The head is large and triangular on males and the eyes are dark with a patch of gold speckles.

Size: 2 1/4 – 4 in. (5.7 – 10.1 cm) from snout to vent and up to 7 inches (18 cm) in total length (including tail.)


During the dry period, usually from May or June to October or November, Arboreal Salamanders hide out in cool moist areas, usually underground, sometimes in tree hollows, sometimes in basements and underground garages.

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