Family Friday

Rhyacotritonidae – Torrent Salamanders

Rhyacotriton_variegatus
Photo by James Bettaso, U.S. Fish & Wildlife service

Number of Genera: 1 – Rhyacotriton
Number of Species: 4 – Cascade Torrent Salamander (Rhyacotriton cascadae), Columbia Torrent Salamander (Rhyacotriton kezeri), Olympic Torrent Salamander (Rhyacotriton olympicus), and Southern Torrent Salamander (Rhyacotriton variegatus)

There are only four salamanders in this small family. The family used to be part of the Mole Salamander family (Ambystomatidae), then moved to Pacific Giant Salamander family (Dicamptodontidae), and finally moved to it’s own family.  The family is found in the Northwestern United States (California, Oregon, Washington) only. There was originally only one species of Torrent Salamanders but it was split into four.

The Cascade Torrent Salamander is found in Northern Oregon and Southern Washington along the Western slopes of the Cascades. It is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.

The Columbia Torrent Salamander is found along the coast of Southern Washington and Northern Oregon. It is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.

The Olympic Torrent Salamander is found in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. It is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

The Southern Torrent Salamander is found along the coast of Oregon and Northern California. It’s listed as Least Threatened by the IUCN.

 

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