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.


Northern Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea bislineata)

Northern Two-lined Salamander
photo by Henk Wallays

Common Name: Northern Two-lined Salamander
Scientific Name: Eurycea bislineata
Family: Plethodontidae – Lungless Salamander family
Locations: Canada and the United States
US Locations: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia
Size: 2.4 – 3.8 inches (61 – 97 mm)

The Northern Two-lined Salamander lives in and near brooks, streams, and seepages. Like all members of the family Plethodontidae, they lack lungs and absorb the oxygen they need through their skin.

Reproduction starts from September (southern areas) to May (northern areas) depending on the location. Males lay their spermatophores for the females to pick up. The males will nose the female to try to get her to pick them up. Females lay up to 200 eggs on the underside of rocks. Females have been observed guarding their clutches of eggs. Eggs hatch after a month and then the larva take one to three years to complete their metamorphosis.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Northern Two-lined Salamander as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a good size range and are numerous throughout it. However, the salamanders do not like highly urbanized areas which are increasing in their range.


Pets Update August 2023

Hey, I haven’t done an pet update in awhile so I thought I would share how they are doing.

Hall and Oates are doing great

Stuart 2 doing well. Stuart 1 is also doing great but is not being photogenic atm.

Rayna is her usual chunky self

The Bumblebee Dart Frogs, whom I haven’t named yet (maybe tweet me some suggestions?) are doing fine.

What’s going in this tank? It’s a secret

Frog of the Week, Uncategorized

Mazumbai Warty Frog (Callulina kisiwamsitu)

Mazumbai Warty Frog
photo by John Lyakurwa
Conservation status is Endangered

Common Name: Mazumbai Warty Frog
Scientific Name: Callulina kisiwamsitu
Family: Brevicipitidae – African Rain Frogs
Locations: Tanzania
Size: 1.2 – 1.6 inches (30 – 40 mm)

The Mazumbai Warty Frog lives in the forests of the western Usambara Mountains. They can be found in plants and on the ground. During rainy season, the males call from vegetation to attract females. Once a female shows up, the smaller males glue themselves to the back’s of the females and she carries him to a breeding location underground. There, she lays her eggs.

Relatively new species of frog, separated from Krefft’s Warty Frog (Callulina kreffti) in 2004. The two frog’s DNA and call frequency is different. The Kreftt’s Warty Frog is confined to the eastern side of the Usambara Mountains, which could have led to the evolutionary differences between the species.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the frog as Endangered. The Mazumbai Warty Frog as a small range that is threatened by deforestation to make room for farms. Luckily, it lives in some protected forests that should keep it safe.


Freetown Long-fingered Frog (Arthroleptis aureoli)

Freetown Long-fingered Frog
photo by Theodore Papenfuss

Common Name: Freetown Long-fingered Frog and Mount Aureol Squeaker
Scientific Name: Arthroleptis aureoli
Family: Arthroleptidae
Locations: Guinea and Sierra Leonne
Size: 0.8 to 1.2 inches (2 – 3 cm)

The Freetown Long-fingered Frog was originally found in the forests on the Free Town Peninsula. However, new populations of the frog was found in the northeast of Sierra Leonne and into Guinea. Info about the frog is hard to find. For reproduction, they are a direct developers, skipping the tadpole stage and hatching directly into froglets.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the frog as Near Threatened with Extinction. They live only in two areas and the quality of the habitat is decreasing. It is close to being listed as Vulnerable to Extinction. Better protections are needed to save this beautiful creature.


New Species of Siren – Seepage Siren (Siren sphagnicola)

photo by: Fedler et al., doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.5258.4.1.

A new species of siren has been described from coastal southeastern United States. Sirens are a type of aquatic salamanders that live a highly secretive lifestyle. They spend most of their time at the bottom of muddy ponds, swamps, and streams, making them hard to observe. The new species was named after the seepage fed creeks that they live in.

The Seepage Siren is the smallest of the genus Siren, only reaching 7.8 inches (20 cm) long while some sirens can reach over 3 feet long. Besides being smaller than the other sirens, it also has 30 – 33 costal grooves and a gray base color.

You can read the full paper here.


RIP Mountain Mist Frog (Litoria nyakalensis)

Mountain Mist Frog
photo by Steve Richards

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has assessed the Mountain Mist Frog as Extinct earlier this month. The frog lived in northeastern Australia in the streams of their rain forests. Sadly, the frog hasn’t been seen since the 1990s. There are a couple reasons for its extinction including Chytrid Fungus, a deadly fungal disease, habitat loss, and climate change. Biggest reason I believe is because the people in power just don’t give a fuck.