Arboreal salamander

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Aneides lugubris
Aneides lugubris.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Subclass: Lissamphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Plethodontidae
Genus: Aneides
Species: A. lugubris
Binomial name
Aneides lugubris
(Hallowell, 1849)

Salamandra lugubris Hallowell, 1849
Aneides lugubris Baird, 1849
Autodax lugubris Cope, 1889
Aneides lugubris Stejneger & Barbour, 1917

The arboreal salamander, Aneides lugubris, is a species of climbing salamander. An insectivore, it is native to California and Baja California, where it is primarily associated with oak and sycamore woodlands, and thick chaparral.


Arboreal Salamander

Aneides lugubris is 6.5–10 cm (2½-4 inches) SVL (snout-vent length),[1] with plain purplish-brown coloring, usually spotted dorsally with gold or yellow, although it may also be unspotted. The tail is prehensile. The juvenile is dark overall, clouded with greyish color and fine yellow speckling on the back. It has rusty markings on the snout, tail, and on sides above the forelimbs. The male of this species can be distinguished by its broad triangular head, with the front teeth of the jaw extending beyond the bottom lip.

This species is an excellent climber and difficult to capture. It is nocturnal, spending daylight hours and dry periods in the cavities of oak trees, often with many other individuals of its species.[2] A large adult can inflict a painful bite.

An albino Aneides lugubris found in Lafayette, California.


  • Farallon Island salamander – A. l. farallonensis (Van Denburgh, 1905)
  • A. l. lugubris (Van Denburgh, 1905)


  1. ^ Lynch, J.F. and D.B. Wake. 1974. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.
  2. ^ Grismer, L. L. (2002). Amphibians and Reptiles of Baja California. Los Angeles: University of California Press. 56-7.

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