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Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide

Ensatina, Ensatina eschscholtzii


Oregon Ensatina
Ensatinas, like other members of the family Plethodontidae, are slender salamanders. They reach total lengths of about 3 -5 inches. The easiest way to identify this salamander is by the structure of the tail. As seen in this photo, the tail much narrower where it begins. Ensatinas are the only western salamanders that have both a tail with such a constriction at the base and five toes on the back feet. The tail constriction may not be visible, however, is if the tail has been broken off (as in the case of an unsuccessful predation attempt) at which time their tail may be uniform from the body and tapering as it reaches the end.
Oregon Ensatina
The general coloration is variable across the Ensatina's range and partially the basis for the different subspecies. Generally, they are a darker orange to brown color and they may have flecking mixed in. The base of the limbs are often a lighter color, usually yellow or orange, than the the lower part of the limb. Mails often have tails that are longer than the body, females tails are shorter. Enstainas lay there eggs underground. These hatch directly into salamanders, skipping an aquatic larval stage as in many other plethodontid salamanders.
Ensatina Range

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