eschscholtzi The distribution
of this subspecies extends from Baja California, Mexico (about 70 miles
south of San Diego), northward to Atascadero, California. From there it
gradually intergrades northward to about Watsonville where it abruptly
changes to the Yellow Eyed Salamander, xanthoptica. At that locality,
Wake considers it to be a point of incipient species formation between
eschscholtzi and xanthoptica. (Wake,
1997) Eastward it's range extends from the coast to the San Gabriel,
San Gorgonio and Palomar Mountains. (Stebbins,
In the San Gorgonio Mountains and Palomar
Mountains, populations of eschscholtzi meet with populations of
the blotched type, klauberi and the klauberi-croceater intergrades.
Interbreeding between the unblotched eschscholtzi and the blotched
forms is limited to very narrow zones of hybridization. In the Palomar
Mountains, only about 3% of the salamanders show evidence of hybridization.
(Brown, 1974) In the Cuyamaca Mountains east
of San Diego, there is no evidence of any hybridization. (Wake,
Yanev and Brown, 1986) Electrophoritic separation of enzymes seem
to indicate that there has been no interbreeding between the blotched
and unblotched populations in the Cuyamaca area for about 2 million years.