Ensatina eschscholtzi
eschscholtzi x klauberi
hybrid

 
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hybrid72.gif (96374 bytes)
The photgraph above is of a hybrid between the subspecies eschscholtzi and klauberi. Between these two subspecies there are four hybrid zones discovered so far (2008), Those localities are (1) the San Gorgonio Mountains, (2) San Jacinto Mountains, (3) Palomar Mountains, and (4) the Cuyumaca Mountains, The first three show a limited amount of hybridization; approximately 3%. (Brown, 1974) In the Cuyumaca Mountains the two subspecies eschscholtzi and klauberi are sympatric in a very narrow zone without any evidence of interbreeding. Molecular evidence indicates these populations have not interbred for aproximately two million years. The two subspecies indicate by every definition that they have differentiated into two species. However, since the two are part of this ring species and the seven subspecies show considerable gene introgression among the various types, it does not seem appropriate to divide Ensatina into two or more species. (Wake, 1997; Wake, 2006)