Chytrid disease found in two California salamanders

A deadly chytrid disease has been found for the first time in two California salamander species. The fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis or Bd, was found to cause widespread disease in arboreal salamanders (Aneides lugubris) and Santa Lucia Mountains slender salamanders (Batrachoseps luciae). In a recent study of salamanders in the wild and in museum specimens, researchers tracked the progression of Bd in the two species throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. They found that the disease emerged in the species in the 1990s. By 2015, 88% of Santa Lucia Mountain slender salamanders and 71% of arboreal salamanders were dying of the disease.

Read the study in Frontiers in Veterinary Science.

Header Image: An arboreal salamander. The species is one of two California salamanders that researchers recently found were dying of chytrid disease. Credit: Bill Bouton