Hell Hollow Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps diabolicus)

Hell Hollow Slender Salamander
photo by William Flaxington

Common Name: Hell Hollow Slender Salamander
Scientific Name: Batrachoseps diabolicus
Family: Plethodontidae – Lungless Salamander family
Location: United States – California
Size: 1.77 inches (45 mm) snout to vent, 4.3 inches (110 mm) total length

The Hell Hollow Slender Salamander are most active during the cool rainy wet nights of late fall into winter. They come up from their underground burrows and can be more easily found under logs.

The salamanders are a member of the family Plethodontidae – the Lungless Salamander family. Since they don’t posses lungs, they breath through their skin. Like the other Plethodontid salamanders in the state, the Hell Hollow Salamander lays their eggs on lands. Once the eggs hatch, little salamanders emerge, skipping a free larvae phase.

The salamander is named after where it was originally found in Hell Hollow in Mariposa County, California. However, the salamander is found not only there but spread over the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has not assessed the Hell Hollow Slender Salamander since 2004 when they said they didn’t have enough info at the time. That’s almost 20 years, they need to get on this.

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