Batrachoseps nigriventris Cope, 1869

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Plethodontidae > Subfamily: Hemidactyliinae > Genus: Batrachoseps > Species: Batrachoseps nigriventris

Batrachoseps nigriventris Cope, 1869, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 21: 98. Syntypes: ANSP 481-482 according to Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 232, and Malnate, 1971, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 123: 348, although Cope cited ANSP 1865 and Smithson. Mus. (USNM) 6734 in the original publication. Type locality: "Fort Tejon, [Kern County,] California", USA.

Batrachoseps (Batrachoseps) nigriventrisJockusch, Wake, and Yanev, 1998, Contrib. Sci. Nat. Hist. Mus. Los Angeles Co., 472: 1-17; Jockusch and Wake, 2002, Biol. J. Linn. Soc., 76: 363.

English Names

Black-bellied Lizard (Yarrow, 1882, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 24: 21).

Blackbelly Slender Salamander (Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 5; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 29; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 6; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 11).

Black-bellied Slender Salamander (Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 19; Stebbins, 2003, Field Guide W. Rept. Amph., Ed. 3: 186; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 25; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 24).


Coastal region of California, USA, from southeastern Monterey County south to O'Neill Park, southern Orange County and the lower western slopes of the Sierra Nevada from Mariposa County south to northern Kern County and on Santa Cruz Island.


This is a cryptic species morphologically indistinguishable from Batrachoseps attenuatus of northern coastal California and lower slopes of the northern California Sierra Nevada and from northern populations of Batrachoseps pacificus from Monterey County and the adjacent region. Yanev, 1980, in Power (ed.), California Islands: 531–550, showed that though this species is practically indistinguishable morphologically from the above mentioned forms, Batrachoseps nigriventris is highly distinctive electrophoretically and removed it from the synonymy of Batrachoseps attenuatus where it had been placed by Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 225. Wake and Jockusch, 2000, in Bruce et al., Biol. Plethodontid Salamanders: 111, discussed evidence that nominal Batrachoseps nigriventris covers at least three distinct lineages. In the Batrachoseps (Batrachoseps) nigriventris group of Jockusch, Wake, and Yanev, 1998, Contrib. Sci. Nat. Hist. Mus. Los Angeles Co., 472: 1–17, and Jockusch and Wake, 2002, Biol. J. Linn. Soc., 76: 363. See account by Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 226–228. Stebbins, 2003, Field Guide W. Rept. Amph., Ed. 3: 186–187, and Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 261–262, provided brief accounts, figures, and maps. Hansen and Wake, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 683–685, provided an account containing a detailed summary of the literature and range. Jockusch, Hansen, Fisher, and Wake, 2020, PeerJ, 8 (e9599): 1–37, noted multiple deeply differentiated mtDNA lineages. 

External links:

Please note: these links will take you to external websites not affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. We are not responsible for their content.