A small, slender salamander with a broad head and distinct neck, long limbs with moderate sized hands and feet and well formed, discrete digits with expanded tips and subtermianl pads. The dark blackish coloration of this species shows little pattern. A lighter dorsal band is almost always present, but it may be obscure and only slightly lighter than dark lateral ground color. Some individuals have been found which show a very broad dorsal band that is light brown to tan in color. White spotting appears both laterally and ventrally. Males lack mental hedonic glands, and both sexes have 18-19 costal grooves between the limbs. The tail is long, thin and cylindrical, often showing evidence of regeneration (description from Jockusch et al. 1998).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States
U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: California
Known only from the lower drainage of the Kings River System in Fresno County, California. Found in well-shaded, north-facing slopes in areas of mixed chaparral (from Jockusch et al. 1998).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
No data are available on the life-history of this species, but it is probably similar to other Batrachoseps species. They are completely terrestrial, laying eggs usually under logs or lear litter. The eggs hatch directly into small terrestrial salamanders, there is no aquatic larval stage.
Previously being assigned to Batrachoseps pacificus relictus, this species was recently defined as a distinct and new species. Both B. gregarius and B. relictus have been found in close geographic proximity with B. regius, but no instances of sympatry have been recorded. A population of B. relictus is known form high elevations in Kings River drainage which is morphologically very similar to high elevation species of B. kawia. Although B. regius is known only from the vicinity of its previous type locality, a good understanding of the geographic variation in morphology is not had, and it is possible that these specimens might represent a high-elevation population of B. regius. Etymology: The name regius is derived from the Latin word, rex, for king, in reference to the region of the Kings River, the only known habitat of the species (from Jockusch et al. 1998).
See another account at californiaherps.com.
Jockusch, E. L., Wake, D. B. and Yanev, K. P. (1998). ''New species of slender salamanders, Batrachoseps (Amphibia: Plethodontidae), from the Sierra Nevada of California.'' Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, (472), 1-17.
Originally submitted by: Amy Jess and David B. Wake (first posted 1999-04-13)
Edited by: Vance T. Vredenburg (2004-04-05)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2004 Batrachoseps regius: Kings River Slender Salamander <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/5282> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 22, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.
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