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Projecting upper-jaw teeth and triangular head distinguish the Black Salamander as a climbing salamander of the genus Aneides (Dunn 1926). Aneides flavipunctatus has a characteristic black or slaty ventral coloration. Dorsal coloration varies greatly depending upon locality. The dorsum may be uniformly black, or black with very small white flecks in the extreme southern part of its range; black with large white spots in the interior Coast Range (from Alder Springs, Glenn Co., and Lucerne, Lake Co., CA south); black with pale yellow or whitish spots in the outer Coast Range (from Sonoma Co. to middle Mendocino Co.); black frosted with gray, olive, or green, with few or no light spots, in the Redwood country of Mendocino Co. and Humboldt Co.; and black with many small white spots from the Klamath Mts. to Mt. Shasta (Stebbins 1985).