IUCN threat status:

Data Deficient (DD)

Comprehensive Description

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The smallest member of the genus, Batrachoseps minor is still relatively robust compared to neighbors B. gavilanensis and B. nigriventris. It can be distinguished from other members of the genus by its small size at sexual maturity. The head is relatively broad, and there is a distinct neck region. The face is small and inconspicuous, and the eyes are slightly protuberant. While small in length, it has relatively long limbs and large four-toed hands and feet. There are usually 18-19 (male) or 19 (female) trunk vertebrae, and 5-8 costal folds between adpressed limbs. Species has a dark blackish-brown color with flanks especially being the darkest part of the body. Many individuals have a prominent dorsal band much lighter than the rest of the body.

Throughout its entire distribution, the species is microsympatric with B. nigriventis although it is somewhat more robust than this relative. This species was common locally about 20 years ago but in the past 10 years it has been almost impossible to find. A single specimen was found in the spring of 2000 following diligent searches by several experienced herpetologists over the course of several years. It is difficult to understand factors in its decline, but in the immediate vicinity of the York Mountain Vinyards and Winery, where it was once abundant, modernization and expansion has eliminated some habitat.

See another account at californiaherps.com.


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