Ensatina Gray, 1850

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Plethodontidae > Subfamily: Plethodontinae > Genus: Ensatina
1 species

Ensatina Gray, 1850, Cat. Spec. Amph. Coll. Brit. Mus., Batr. Grad.: 48. Type species: Ensatina eschscholtzii Gray, 1850, by monotypy.

Heredia Girard, 1856, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 8: 140. Type species: Heredia oregonensis Girard, 1856, by monotypy. Synonymy (along with Ensatina) with Plethodon by Cope, 1868 "1867", Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 19: 167. Synonymy by Dunn, 1923, Proc. New England Zool. Club, 8: 39.

Urotropis Jiménez de la Espada, 1875, An. Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat., 4: 70. Type species: Urotropis platensis Jimenez de la Espada, 1875, by monotypy. Preoccupied by Urotropis Rafinesque, 1822 (= Cryptobranchus Leuckart, 1821). Synonymy by Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 181, and Myers and Carvalho, 1945, Bol. Mus. Nac., Rio de Janeiro, N.S., Zool., 35: 1–24.

English Names

Ensatinas (Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 174; Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 6; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 31; Liner, 1994, Herpetol. Circ., 23: 12; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 6; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 22; Stebbins, 2003, Field Guide W. Rept. Amph., Ed. 3: 174; Liner and Casas-Andreu, 2008, Herpetol. Circ., 38: 31; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 12; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 26; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 26).


Southwestern British Columbia and Vancouver I. (Canada), south through mesic western Washington, Oregon, and California (USA), to extreme northern Baja California, Mexico.


Considered the sister-taxon of Aneides + Plethodon by Larson, Wake, Maxson, and Highton, 1981, Evolution, 35: 405-422. Macey, 2005, Cladistics, 21: 194–202, considered Ensatina to be the sister taxon of Hydromantes. Vieites, Min, and Wake, 2007, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104: 19903–19907, within a larger study of plethodontid relationships regarded Ensatina as the sister taxon of (Desmognathus + Phaeognathus) + Aneides.

Contained taxa (1 sp.):

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