A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

Nightsnakes found in California


observation link


Not Dangerous
NIghtsnakes do not have venom that is dangerous to most humans.

This small nocturnal snake is typically found on roads at night, or while hiding underneath surface
objects during daytime. It can be found in many habitats; deserts, grasslands, mountains, chaparral,
sagebrush. Two species are present in California, with one containing two subspecies.
Check the map to determine which one occurs in your area.

California Nightsnake San Diego Nightsnake
California Nightsnake San Diego Nightsnake Northern Desert Nightsnake
California Nightsnake
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha nuchalata
San Diego Nightsnake
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha klauberi
Desert Nightsnake     
Hypsiglena chlorophaea deserticola
It may be possibe to differentiate the species of Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha by noticing if the dark stripe behind the eye contacts the dark collar, although there appear to be some snakes that don't follow the rule.
Click the image to see an illustration.

Purple : Hypsiglena torquata nuchalata -  
California Nightsnake

Red: Hypsiglena torquata deserticola -
Desert Nightsnake

Orange: Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha klauberi -
San Diego Nightsnake

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