AmphibiaWeb - Batrachoseps gavilanensis
Batrachoseps gavilanensis
Gabilan Mountains Slender Salamander
Subgenus: Batrachoseps
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Batrachoseps

© 2009 Nick D Waters (1 of 13)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
NatureServe Status Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report.



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (10 records).

B. gavilanensis is an elongate slender salamander of moderate length with relatively short limbs. It is similar morphologically to B. attenuatus and B. nigriventis but has a slightly larger body size than either where their geographic ranges approach each other. The head, body and tail are cylindrical in general form, and there is an inconspicuous neck. The head is relatively narrow, but broader than in B. attenuatus and B. nigriventris. The face is small and inconspicuous, and the eyes are only slightly protuberant. The hands and feet are small but the digits are well formed and discrete, with expanded tips that bear subterminal pads. This is a dull grey salamander. There is an impression of a broad dorsal band which is lighter in color, but it is faint. The lateral surfaces are speckled with white.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States

U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: California


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (10 records).
The salamander is broadly distributed in central coastal California, from Rodeo Gulch, Santa Cruz County in the north along the coast down to Jack's Peak, Monterey County. Further south, distribution moves away from the coast and extends to the southeast into the Gabilan Range and into southwestern Monterey, western Fresno, and extreme northwestern Kern counties.

Habitats include heavily shaded, moist redwood and mixed evergreen forests through oak woodland and chaparral to include even open grassland with only widely scattered small oaks. Its climatic range includes hot, arid southeastern localities and the cool, wet, equable climate of its northwestern limits. This is the only plethodontid salamander that is known from the very edge of the intertidal zone at Moss Landing, California, and it has been shown to be relatively tolerant of increased salinity.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Eggs are laid in the Fall and hatching of young occurs in early winter.

Trends and Threats
This species is locally abundant and does not appear to be in any immediate danger. Greatest threats are expansion of human activities such as agriculture and urbanization.

North of Monterey Bay, this species can be found in sympatry with B. attenuatus. In the southwest corners of its range, sympatry with B. nigriventris has been found. The species is in close proximity to the range of B. luciae along its western limits in the Santa Lucia Mountains and although the two species are found within a few hundred meters of each other and sympatry is expected, they have not be found in sympatry and no hybrids are known.

See another account at


Jockusch, E.L., Yanev, K.P., and Wake, D.B. (2001). ''Molecular phylogenetic analysis of slender salamanders, genus Batrachoseps (Amphibia: Plethodontidae), from central coastal California with descriptions of four new species.'' Herpetological Monographs, 15, 54-99.

Originally submitted by: Brian Petirs (first posted 2001-09-25)
Edited by: D. B. Wake (2004-04-05)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2004 Batrachoseps gavilanensis: Gabilan Mountains Slender Salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 22, 2022.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 May 2022.

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