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Species of the Week:
Batrachoseps attenuatus

Amphibian News
Disease dynamics are rarely simplistic and often difficult to reconstruct historically; chytridiomycosis is no exception. Sette et al (2015) examined chytrid prevalence using both historic museum and current field samples of the California Slender salamander, Batrachoseps attenuatus. From random samplings of about 30k museum specimens, they found that Bd emerged rapidly in Northern California and exhibited a non-linear pattern of spread. By resampling the sites with historic positives, they were able to determine that modern-day persistence of Bd was negatively correlated with time since first detection of infection, suggesting that recent invasions were more likely to persist, and positively correlated with proximity to lentic aquatic habitat, suggesting that aquatic carriers of Bd may transfer it to terrestrial B. attenuatus populations. Interestingly, sociality was also suggested as an important factor in disease spread and populations exposed earliest to Bd showed lower probability of aggregation behavior in the field.

Current number of amphibian species: 7,473 (Nov 29, 2015) Newly added species