Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Physical Description

Type Information

Paratype for Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis
Catalog Number: USNM 4470
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Mojave Valley, County Undetermined, California, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Bogert, C. M. 1945. American Museum Novitates. (1285): 7, figures 5-9.
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Paratype for Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis
Catalog Number: USNM 18062
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1891
Locality: Virgin River, Locality In Multiple Counties, Nevada, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Bogert, C. M. 1945. American Museum Novitates. (1285): 7, figures 5-9.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Paratype for Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis
Catalog Number: USNM 18061
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1891
Locality: Amargosa, 1000 ft above river, Inyo, California, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Bogert, C. M. 1945. American Museum Novitates. (1285): 7, figures 5-9.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Paratype for Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis
Catalog Number: USNM 18060
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1891
Locality: Argus Range, Maturango Spring, Inyo, California, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Bogert, C. M. 1945. American Museum Novitates. (1285): 7, figures 5-9.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Paratype for Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis
Catalog Number: USNM 9101
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1871
Locality: Cottonwood Canyon, Duchesne, Utah, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Bogert, C. M. 1945. American Museum Novitates. (1285): 7, figures 5-9.
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Ecology

Habitat

Mojave Desert Habitat

This taxon is found in the Mojave Desert, the smallest of the four North American deserts. While the Mojave lies between the Great Basin Shrub Steppe and the Sonoran Desert, its fauna is more closely allied with the lower Colorado division of the Sonoran Desert. Dominant plants of the Mojave include Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata), Many-fruit Saltbush (Atriplex polycarpa), Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa), Desert Holly (Atriplex hymenelytra), White Burrobush (Hymenoclea salsola), and Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), the most notable endemic species in the region.

The Mojave’s warm temperate climate defines it as a distinct ecoregion. Mojave indicator species include Spiny Menodora (Menodora spinescens), Desert Senna (Cassia armata), Mojave Indigobush (Psorothamnus arborescens), and Shockley's Goldenhead (Acamptopappus shockleyi). The Mojave supports numerous species of cacti, including several endemics, such as Silver Cholla (Opuntia echinocarpa), Mojave Prickly Pear (O. erinacea), Beavertail Cactus (O. basilaris), and Cotton-top Cactus (Echinocactus polycephalus).

While the Mojave Desert is not so biologically distinct as the other desert ecoregions, distinctive endemic communities occur throughout. For example, the Kelso Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve harbor seven species of endemic insects, including the Kelso Dunes Jerusalem Cricket (Ammopelmatus kelsoensis) and the Kelso Dunes Shieldback Katydid (Eremopedes kelsoensis). The Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma Scoparia), while not endemic to the dunes, is rare elsewhere. Flowering plants also attract butterflies such as the Mojave Sooty-wing (Pholisora libya), and the widely distributed Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).

There are a total of eight amphibian species present in the Mojave Desert all of which are anuran species: the endemic Relict Leopard Frog (Lithobates onca); the endemic Amargosa Toad (Anaxyrus nelsoni); Lowland Leopard Frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis); Red-spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus); Southwestern Toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus); Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana); Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus); and the Pacific Treefrog (Pseudacris regilla).

The native range of California’s threatened Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) includes the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. The Desert Tortoise has adapted for arid habitats by storing up to a liter of water in its urinary bladder. The following reptilian fauna are characteristic of the Mojave region in particular: Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum NT); Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus), Northern Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis), Western Chuckwalla (Sauromalus obesus), and regal horned lizard (Phrynosoma solare). Snake species include the Desert Rosy Boa (Charina trivirgata gracia), Mojave Patchnose Snake (Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis), and Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus).

Endemic mammals of the ecoregion include the Mojave Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus mohavensis) and Amargosa Vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis); and the California Leaf-nosed Bat (Macrotus californicus).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T5 - Secure

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