Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fascinating Creatures of the King Range

I ran across several of these Newts today in a small pond in the King Range NCA. I originally had these misidentified as Red-bellied but a gentleman called me today and informed me that these are actually Rough-skinned. I shot an e-mail to our Forest Ecologist and he confirmed this:

the photos you took are of a rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa). Their bellies range from yellow to orange and they have yellow in their eyes, whereas the red-bellied newt (Taricha rivularis) has a red or bright orange belly and an all black eye (no yellow). Both are toxic so washing one's hands after handling them is a good idea. 

So there we have it! These are definitely some of my favorite creatures - and they are native to the forests along the coast of northern California.

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