A Toxic Salamander Western Newt is the vernacular name for the genus Taricha of which there are three species: torosa, granulosa, and rivularus. These are toxic salamanders found exclusively in particular regions of California, the western halves of Oregon and Washington, and western costal Canada up through parts of Alaska (3). Okay, so bass eat salamanders, but not all. In the case of the "mud puppies", they are poisonous to bass so the LMB avoid them. How do the bass know what they are not supposed to eat? I guess it must be genetic and not taught... otherwise, some poor, dumb bass would end up eating the deadly salamander and the other bass would take notice. "Whoa! What happened to Charlie?" "I think he's dead. Guess we shouldn't eat those odd colored salamanders" "Good tip." Evidently it must be inborn and not taught... but only for LMB where the salamanders are poisonous. Strange when you think about it.