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California Giant Salamander Dicamptodon ensatus


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California Giant Salamander
credit: Pierre Fidenci

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Family: Dicamptodontidae, Giant Salamanders view all from this family

Description Brown-reddish brown and brown/golden blotches or mottling. 12-13 coastal grooves. Smooth skinned. Tail is 40% of body size. Broad head with a shovel-like snout.

Dimensions 18-30cm. (7-11 3/4")

Habitat Temperate forests, rivers, fresh water lakes and marshes.

Range Endemic to Northern California. 2 or 3 isolated regions - From Sonoma and Marin counties to Lake County and the San Francisco Bay to San Mateo County.

Discussion Some Larva grow into adulthood without losing their gills, a process called neoteny. These adults are a uniform brown color. One of the few species capable of vocalising.