AmphibiaWeb - Batrachoseps minor


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Batrachoseps minor Jockusch, Yanev & Wake, 2001
Lesser Slender Salamander
Subgenus: Batrachoseps
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Batrachoseps
Batrachoseps minor
© 2012 William Flaxington (1 of 10)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Data Deficient (DD)
NatureServe Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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The smallest member of the genus, Batrachoseps minor is still relatively robust compared to neighbors B. gavilanensis and B. nigriventris. It can be distinguished from other members of the genus by its small size at sexual maturity. The head is relatively broad, and there is a distinct neck region. The face is small and inconspicuous, and the eyes are slightly protuberant. While small in length, it has relatively long limbs and large four-toed hands and feet. There are usually 18-19 (male) or 19 (female) trunk vertebrae, and 5-8 costal folds between adpressed limbs. Species has a dark blackish-brown color with flanks especially being the darkest part of the body. Many individuals have a prominent dorsal band much lighter than the rest of the body.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States

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

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (12 records).
The species is endemic to California and is restricted to the southern Santa Lucia Range of north-central San Luis Obispo County. In the north, it occurs immediately north of Black Mountain, and it ranges south and east into the drainages of Paso Robles and Santa Rita creeks.

The type locality is a mesic canyon surrounded by relatively more xeric habitats. It was often found in shaded areas with abundant leaf litter. Trees include tanbark oak, coast live oak, blue oak, sycamore, and laurel, and abundant lower story vegetation dominated by poison oak. Species seems to be restricted to higher elevations and mesic regions.

Trends and Threats
B. minor has become noticeably less common in recent years.

Throughout its entire distribution, the species is microsympatric with B. nigriventis although it is somewhat more robust than this relative. This species was common locally about 20 years ago but in the past 10 years it has been almost impossible to find. A single specimen was found in the spring of 2000 following diligent searches by several experienced herpetologists over the course of several years. It is difficult to understand factors in its decline, but in the immediate vicinity of the York Mountain Vinyards and Winery, where it was once abundant, modernization and expansion has eliminated some habitat.

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: BP (added map), D. B. Wake (2004-04-05)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2004 Batrachoseps minor: Lesser Slender Salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 22, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Jun 2024.

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