E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Ensatina eschscholtzii Gray, 1850
Ensatina; Oregon Ensatina
Family: Plethodontidae
Photo of species

© Kristiina Ovaska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2630)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Ensatina eschscholtzii in British Columbia
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Species Information


The Ensatina is an entirely terrestrial, lungless species of salamander that is found in North America from British Columbia south to Baja, California (Mexico) (Matsuda et al. 2006, Wikipedia 2012). Seven subspecies are recognized throughout its range, with one subspecies present in BC: the Oregon Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii oregonensis) (Matsuda et al. 2006). In British Columbia, this species is found west of the Coast and Cascade Mountains, on Vancouver Island, along the coast north to Kitlope, and in the Fraser Valley east to Boston Bar (Matsuda et al. 2006).

The Ensatina is medium brown to pinkish tan in colour and lacks markings; the tail is constricted at the base, the eyes are large, and it lacks parotoid glands (Matsuda et al. 2006). Eggs are laid in the spring underground or in a rotted log (Matsuda et al. 2006). This is a predatory species. Diet includes insects and other small animals (spiders, mites, beetles, sowbugs, crickets, springtails, centipedes, millipedes, termites, earthworms, and snails) (AmphibiaWeb 2012).

The Ensatina is a non-migratory species (AmphibiaWeb 2012).

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
COSEWIC
NativeS4YellowNAR (May 1999)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Ensatina klauberi Dunn, 1929
Heredia oregonensis Girard, 1856
Plethodon croceater Cope, 1868

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Matsuda, Brent M., David M. Green and Patrick T. Gregory. 2006. Amphibians and Reptiles of British Columbia. Royal BC Museum Handbook. Victoria.

General References


Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2022-01-19 12:43:27 AM]
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