Ensatina eschscholtzii (commonly known by its genus name, Ensatina) is a species of salamander with a range stretching from British Columbia, through Washington, Oregon, across California (where all seven subspecies variations are located), all the way down to Baja California in Mexico.
The Ensatina subspecies E. e. eschscholtzii, or Monterey Ensatina, can be found in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and the California coastal mountains. They reach a total length of three to five inches, and can be identified primarily by the structure of the tail, and how it is narrower at the base. This salamander is the only type that has this tail structure and five toes on the back feet.
Males often have longer tails than the females, and many of the salamanders have lighter colored limbs in comparison to the rest of the body. The salamanders lay their eggs underground, often in threes, which then hatch directly into salamanders, skipping the usual aquatic phase.
The ensatina can usually be found under logs, brush, by or in streams and lakes, and in other moist places. Because they breathe through their pores, distress in the animal can be caused by improper handling by human hands.
Experimental Support for Aposematic Coloration in the Salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica: Implications for Mimicry of Pacific Newts
May 09, 2005; A field experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that the plethodontid salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii...