Biota California

Studying the Flora & Fauna of California


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Aphonopelma johnnycashi can be found around Folsom State Prison in California

Hamilton, C.A., Hendrixson, B.E., and Bond, J.E. (2016). Taxonomic revision of the tarantula genus Aphonopelma Pocock, 1901 (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae) within the United States. ZooKeys 560: 1-340. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.560.6264




Aphonopelma johnnycashi sp. n. live photographs. Female (L) – APH_3073; Male (R) – APH_3063.



This systematic study documents the taxonomy, diversity, and distribution of the tarantula spider genus Aphonopelma Pocock, 1901 within the United States. By employing phylogenomic, morphological, and geospatial data, we evaluated all 55 nominal species in the United States to examine the evolutionary history of Aphonopelma and the group’s taxonomy by implementing an integrative approach to species delimitation. Based on our analyses, we now recognize only 29 distinct species in the United States. We propose 33 new synonymies (A. apacheum, A.… Continue reading


California Tiger Salamander, photo US Fish and Wildlife Service, flickr Creative Commons license.


Saturday, February 13, 2016, Merced Vernal Pools & Grassland Reserve

Please RSVP to the trip leader, Chris Swarth, if you’re planning on attending so you can be contacted in case of last minute changes. If you have questions regarding field trips or would like to check the status of trips in case of unfavorable weather conditions, please call the trip leader at the number given below.

Date: Saturday, February 13

Time: 8:00 to Noon

Location: Meet at the Le Grand parking lot at UC Merced at 8:00 am. [Enter the campus at the second entrance off Lake Road. This is the Ranchers Road entrance. Go 1/2 mile east, follow the road as it bends right and becomes Ansel Adams Road. Proceed thru stop sign… Continue reading

For Immediate Release, January 11, 2016

Contact: Justin Augustine, (503) 910-9214,


Photo courtesy USFS


OAKLAND, Calif.The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its failure to protect California spotted owls under the Endangered Species Act. Conservation groups petitioned for the owls’ protection in December 2014, but the agency has failed to issue a decision on whether they warrant protection. The owls are in steep decline on national forest and private lands in the Sierra Nevada Mountains; they face a host of threats, including clearcutting on private lands and commercial and post-fire logging on public lands, as well as climate change, development and competition from the barred owls that are now increasingly present in the Sierras.

“For too long California spotted owls have… Continue reading

Press release issued 23 December by Center for Biological Diversity



©Mike Spencer Flickr Creative Commons License


Endangered Species Act Protection Sought for Rare Frog in California, Oregon

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its lengthy delay in deciding whether to extend Endangered Species Act protection to the foothill yellow-legged frog, which has disappeared from more than half its historical streams in California and Oregon. These stream-dwelling amphibians face a host of threats, including dams and water diversions, logging, mining, livestock grazing, roads, marijuana cultivation, off-road vehicles, climate change, pollution, invasive species and disease.

“Protecting the foothill yellow-legged frog means protecting the rivers and streams we already love and rely on for recreation, wilderness qualities, open space and drinking water,” said the… Continue reading

This document has a comment period that ends in 62 days (02/22/2016)


The Revised Draft Recovery Plan for Giant Garter Snake (Thamnophis gigas) is now available for public review and comment. This revised draft recovery plan includes delisting objectives and criteria, and specific actions necessary to delist the species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requesting review and comment on this draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public.

Any comments on this revised draft recovery plan on or before February 22, 2016.

Copies of this revised draft recovery plan may be obtained from the USFWS Web site at Alternatively, you may contact the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-2605,… Continue reading

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