Humboldt Wildlife: Coast Giant Salamander

Humboldt Wildlife: Coast Giant Salamander

We were doing some chipping here a couple days ago and we found this critter living under the pile. It’s Coast Giant Salamander Dicamptodon tenebrosus, closely related to the Pacific Giant Salamander that lives south of here.

Coast Giant Salamander

Coast Giant Salamander at my place in Briceland, Humboldt County.


They are fairly common, though rarely seen, spending their time under logs in moist areas. I usually find one every year or two at my place, since I live next to Redwood Creek and have a large water storage pond that they use for breeding.

I pestered it a little to see if it would open its mouth and show it’s fangs.

This is probably the biggest one I’ve ever seen. It was huge. I took photos and then put in a new hiding spot after it peed on me. Many creatures use that as a predator deterrent. Yes, it works.

The link above has more information on Giant Salamanders, including photos of them eating their prey: banana slugs. Giant Salamanders, both kinds that live in California, have fangs and can “bark”. Who knew?

Such a cutie.