Ensatina eschscholtzii oregnonensis

Identification Tips:

• Medium brown to pinkish tan and lacking marking in British Columbia
• 7-12 cm length, half of which is tail
• Tail constricted at base
• Large, hooded eyes but no parotid gland behind them
• Stands stiffly on all fours and wave tail when disturbed
• May secrete white, poisonous foam from top edge of tail
• Can self-amputate (and later regenerate) tail at the constriction to confuse predators

• Dark purple with light flecks

Conservation Status:

British ColumbiaCanadaNatureserve
COSEWICSpecies at Risk Act
Not at Risk (Yellow List)Not at RiskNoneG5, S4

Life History:

• Lacks lung; breathes through skin and lining of mouth
• Sexually mature by 3 yrs and may live to 15 years
• Female lays 8 to 10 eggs in spring underground or in decaying wood and broods them until they hatch in fall
• Females do not breed every year
• Feed on a wide variety of invertebrates; catching them a sticky tongue


• Entirely terrestrial
• Forest and woodlands, with abundant leaf litter and/or debris
• Can tolerate drier conditions than other salamanders
• Persist in clear cuts


British Columbia
• West of Coast and Cascade Mountains, including Vancouver Island, north to Kitlope
• Fraser Valley east to Boston Bar

• Southwester British Columbia to Baja California (Mexico)

Primary Information Sources:
 Efauna BC: http://ibis.geog.ubc.ca/biodiversity/efauna/
 BC Conservation Data Centre: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/eswp/