IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Description

Salamanders of the genus Batrachoseps are generally small and elongated, have short limbs, and are fossorial. B. major has an especially enlongated and wormlike body, four toes on the hind feet, and 17 to 20 costal groves. Adults reach 50 mm standard length. The head is flat and oval in dorsal profile and widest at the jaw, which is equal or slightly greater than the width of the body. The snout is obliquely truncate in lateral profile. The eyes are large, elliptical, and protruding. A well-defined middorsal furrow runs the length of the body and tail. Their 17 to 20 costal groves weakly encircle the body ventrally. The coloration varies greatly between and within populations, but their bodies are generally dark on the dorsum with dark iridophores in arranged in a netlike pattern. Brassy and pale blue iridophores on the dorsum form a dorsolateral stripe that is more noticeable on some specimens than others. The sides have a light bluish tint because of ventral speckling. Dark coloration extends midway down the ventral region which contains blue and white iridophore speckling. The mental, gular, pectoral, and pelvic regions contain dark iridophores. The iris of the eyes is black with brassy iridophores, and coppery iridophores are present on the tops of the eyes and snout.

See other subspecies accounts at www.californiaherps.com: B. m. aridus and B. m. major. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. . Accessed on 11 March 2005.

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