Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Red Car Property Adjacent: "Squirmy"

Photo: Stephanie Bartron, January 2, 2017.  Recent rains bring Slender Salamanders out of hiding.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Bartron writes in an email, "I usually find them in the soil, while pulling out invasive grasses or just under a layer of rotting leaves."  

Red Car Canyon, as well as gardens with shady, moist areas seem to be favored neighborhood habitat for the tiny amphibians that are sometimes mistaken for worms. 

Bartron continued, "These guys are super wiggly, small and worm-like like when you first see them. Last time I found one, its tail came off, either from fear or my weeding spade.  So there were two crazy wiggling things for a few minutes. We named him 'Squirmy' and I let the kids make a habitat for him and keep him for a few days before releasing."
Photo: Stephanie Bartron, January 2, 2017.  Using a dime for scale really gives you an idea of just how slim the Slender Salamander really is.

Bartron, who co-authored LA County handbook, The Drought Tolerant Garden, added, "They are protected in Oregon, but not here.  They're not super common though, a great example of how Southern California is a biodynamic hotspot."

Learn more about all kinds of salamanders on California Herps

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