ILLUSTRATED CHECKLISTS OF ANIMALS
provided are specific to the geographical scope of
this paper. Measurements for salamanders, frogs, and
toads are standard snout-vent lengths. Some details
of the natural history are provided as identification
arrangement of information is as follows: order (common
names within order), characters common to the order
(or family), common names of individual species (scientific
name, family name), size, description, and habitat.
Descriptions are mostly taken from California Amphibians
and Reptiles and Western Reptiles and Amphibians
by Robert C. Stebbins, as well as from personal notes.
to each written description is a graphic illustration
taken with permission from California Department of
Fish and Game's California's Wildlife.
(Newts and salamanders)
animals look like lizards, but have no scales
or claws. SALAMANDERS have moist, soft
skin. Male NEWTS have rough, dry skin when
on land; smooth, swollen skin in water (where
they breed). Newts are more active by day than
other salamanders. Their skin secretes a TOXIN
which protects them from most would-be predators.
newt, Coast Range newt (Taricha torosa,
Salamandridae) This species ranges in size between
23/4 and 31/2 inches. It is brown-tan above,
yellow-orange below, and has a light-colored
lower eyelid. The California newt eats earthworms,
snails, slugs, sowbugs, and insects. It is found
primarily in or near streams in riparian, coastal
scrub, chaparral, and annual grassland communities.
SALAMANDERS breathe through their moist skin.
Most species are primarily nocturnal. They have
very restricted surface activity. They breed on
land. They are not likely to be seen unless one
looks under rocks, fallen logs, etc.
Monterey salamander (Ensatina eschscholtzii,
Plethodontidae) Ensatina ranges in size from
11/2 to 3 inches. This species is extremely
varied in coloration, but in this area mostly
has a reddish-brown back with orange sides and
a pale belly with fine black specks. Its tail
appears swollen as its body is constricted at
the base of the tail. If injured, it may drop
its tail. The tail exudes a sticky, milky TOXIN.
Ensatina eats a variety of arthropods, millipedes,
centipedes, and earthworms. It is primarily
nocturnal. Its surface activity coincides with
fall, winter, and spring rains. It is found
in moist soils in riparian, mixed chaparral,
and oak woodland communities.
SALAMANDERS have prominent jaw muscles that
make their heads look triangular when viewed from
above. They have conspicuous costal and caudal
grooves. Their toes are usually square-tipped.
salamander (Aneides lugubris, Plethodontidae)
This salamander has a size range of 21/4 to
4 inches. Its back is greenish brown with yellow
speckling, its belly whitish. It has a prehensile
tail. It is an excellent climber. It is most
likely found under bark in trees or snags. When
it does surface, it is primarily during moist
periods. It is predatory on other terrestrial
slender salamanders and arthropods. It may also
eat fungi. It inhabits mainly moist areas of
the riparian, chaparral, and oak woodland communities.
SALAMANDERS have slim bodies, long tails,
very small limbs, and four toes on their feet
(other salamanders have five). They have conspicuous
costal and caudal grooves. Their tail may be cast
off (to be grown anew) when stressed. Slender
salamanders eat earthworms, slugs, snails, sowbugs,
millipedes, mites, spiders, and small insects.
They are found primarily from October to May.
slender salamander (Batrachoseps nigriventris,
Plethodontidae) This species ranges in size
from 11/4 to 2 inches. It usually has a beige-tan,
brown, or reddish dorsal stripe and a dark belly
that is finely speckled with white. It is found
at the surface primarily during the rainy season
in semi-mesic areas of riparian, oak woodland,
and mixed chaparral communities.
slender salamander (Batrachoseps pacificus,
Plethodontidae) This salamander ranges in size
between 11/4 and 23/4 inches. This salamander
is extremely varied in size and coloration.
Its surface activity is most common during the
rainy season. It occurs primarily in semi-mesic
to wet areas within riparian, oak woodland,
chaparral, and grassland habitats.
(Toads and frogs)
are "stocky, short-legged, broad-waisted,
warty, toothless anurans with a pair of large
glands (parotoids) on back of head; well-developed
tubercles on hind feet; ridges, cranial crests,
usually frame upper eyelids on top [of] head.
Warts and parotoids contain poison glands which
secrete sticky, milky fluid that repels some predators
and irritates human eyes. Toads do not cause warts."
They breed in water.
toad, California toad (Bufo boreas,
Bufonidae) This toad ranges in size from 21/2
to 5 inches. It is mostly non-vocal. It has
a distinctive white or cream-colored dorsal
stripe down its dusky, grey, or green, blotchy-colored
back. Warts may be tinged with rust and are
found in dark blotches. Western toads may be
found in a variety of niches from rodent burrows
to rock fissures to inside or under boards,
tree bark, rotting logs, or boulders. They occupy
most natural plant communities occurring in
are small, slender-waisted, long-legged frogs.
They have a large head and rounded snout. They
are good jumpers. The prominent adhesive toe pads
are used for climbing.
treefrog (Hyla (Pseudacris) regilla,
Hylidae) The Pacific treefrog ranges in size
from 3/4 to 2 inches. The dorsal coloration
is highly variable (especially green or brown,
but also tan, black, grey, or a reddish color).
The Pacific treefrog can change its color rapidly.
However, this frog has a distinctive black or
dark brown eye stripe. Its ventral surface is
cream-colored, and its hind legs are tinged
in yellow. Pacific treefrogs eat small insects,
spiders, isopods, and snails. They can be found
on low plants near water in riparian, grassland,
chaparral, woodland, and pastoral habitats.
FROGS are slim-waisted, long-legged, and smooth-skinned.
They have well-developed webbing on their hind
feet. They have teeth in their upper jaw. They
are excellent jumpers.
red-legged frog (Rana aurora, Ranidae)
This frog has a size range of 13/4 to 51/4 inches.
It takes its name from the coloring of its lower
abdomen and the ventral surface of its hind
legs: red over a yellow ground color. The color
of its back varies: brown, grey, olive green
or a reddish ground color, all speckled in black
and darkly splotched. It often has a blackish
mask bordered by a whitish jaw stripe. It has
dark bands on its legs. It has coarse black
or grey, red, and yellow mottling in the groin.
The California red-legged frog eats insects
and isopods. It inhabits riparian communities
in quiet pools of streams and ponds.
yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii,
Ranidae) This species ranges in size from 11/2
to 3 inches. It is colored grey, brown, red,
or olive green above, usually spotted and mottled
with brownish-grey tones. It has distinctive
yellow legs. It eats insects and snails. It
is found in or near rocky streams in a variety
of habitats including riparian, coastal scrub,
and mixed chaparral.s
(Rana catesbeiana, Ranidae) The bullfrog's
size ranges between 31/2 and 8 inches. It is
olive green, green, or brown above and mostly
whitish mottled with grey below. Its legs are
banded and blotched in greyish-brown. Bullfrogs
are found in or near permanent, quiet waters
of ponds and streams in riparian, woodland,
chaparral, and pastoral communities. They eat
insects, small fish, frogs, tadpoles, snakes,
turtles, birds, and mice. They are native to
the eastern United States. Bullfrogs are probably
most common in the lowest reaches of Brizzolara
Creek, as well as in ponds around campus.