A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

New Additions in 2005

observation link

The following links lead to pages which include some of the new pictures and other content I have added to the site in 2005 (but not everything - I don't always remember them all). You can use this link to see the new additions for 2004.


Brian Hubbs sent in a couple of atypical California Kingsnakes - a Long Beach melanistic, and an aberrant Newport-Longbeach king (from his forthcoming book on Common Kingsnakes.)

An anonymous field biologist has sent in some pictures of a
California Tiger Salamander
and a
Red-legged Frog
from Monterey County.


All of the range maps have been put on single pages for easier comparison. Range maps are also now on the individual species pages, including some new more-detailed maps of the Sierra and South Coast slender salamanders.

Some new shots of
Long-toed Salamander
Northwestern Salamander


John Stephenson has donated some great pics, including

California Kingsnake with white speckling
Mountain Gartersnake
Valley Gartersnake - with unusual red coloring
Black Salamander - from the coast range
Mojave Glossy Snake
Striped Pacific Gophersnake
Zebra-tailed lizard underside

I have added some Pacific Treefrog land calls, although not in a quiet environment, thanks to incessant airplane traffic.

Some more pictures from the Antelope Valley from Todd Battey

Great Basin Gophersnake
Mojave Rattlesnake


More pictures in the continuing series of Northwestern Salamander eggs and larvae - larvae transforming, losing gills, becoming salamanders.

Jason Penny donated a couple of great pics of a calling male Great Plains Toad, and male and female
Sonoran Desert Toads in amplexus.

Carl Brune donated a picture of a darkly-patterned Panamint Speckled rattlesnake from the eastern Sierras

Puget Sound Gartersnake
Melanistic Wandering Gartersnakes from the Puget Sound

Lots of new pictures and sounds from the Southwest:

Barred Tiger Salamander from Southeast Arizona
Great Plains Toad - and sounds
Rocky Mountain Toad - and sounds
Couch's Spadefoot- and sounds
Red-spotted Toad - and sounds
Sonoran Desert Toad
Green Toad - and sounds
Sonoran Green Toad - and sounds
New Mexico Spadefoot - and sounds
Canyon Treefrog - and sounds
Great Plains Narrow-mouthed Toad - sounds

Arizona Black Rattlesnake
Painted Desert Glossy Snake
Regal Ringneck
Checkered Gartersnake
Mohave Rattlesnake
Western Diamondbacked Rattlesnake - and sounds
Black-tailed Rattlesnake
Desert Kingsnake
Narrow-headed Gartersnake
Arizona Gartersnake
Sonoran Gophersnake

Tucson Banded Gecko
Yarrow's Spiny Lizard
Striped Plateau Lizard
Plateau Lizard

Desert Box Turtle
Sonoran Mud Turtle

Todd Battey has sent in some pictures of herps from the Antelope Valley area
Coast horned lizard

Desert Horned lizard
Desert Spiny Lizard

Bruce Edley has sent in some pictures from San Deigo County
Colorado Desert Sidewinder
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
San Diego Banded Gecko beside a Desert Banded Gecko

Don Huffman sent in some pictures of aberrant California Kingsnakes from Los Angeles County


Rory Doolin has donated some pictures of herps from the San Francisco Peninsula, including some interesting behaviors:
A fence lizard being consumed by a black widow spider
A Coast Gartersnake eating a banana slug
Sharp-tailed Snakes

William Flaxington made a summer trip to the northeast part of California and returned with excellent pictures of some lizards from the sagebrush deserts there:
Pigmy Short-horned Lizard
Long-nosed Leopard Lizard
Northern Desert Horned Lizard


Wandering Gartersnake from Wyoming
Coeur D'alene Salamander from Idaho
Blotched Tiger Salamander larvae from Northwest Wyoming
Columbia Spotted Frogs from Wyoming

Brian Hubbs, author of the definitive book on Mountain Kingsnakes - which you should buy - Mountain Kings , has donated some pictures of California Kingsnakes, including a high-band count snake and a Newport phase snake, a melanistic snake, and a gophersnake hybrid. He will include color photos of many more variations of this snake in his next book specifically about California Kingsnakes, which he better comp me for shamelessly plugging his books.
He also sent me pictures of the extremely rare Mountain Yellow-legged frog from Riverside County, a San Francisco Gartersnake, and a California Mountain Kingsnake from Santa Cruz County.

More pictures of larval Ambystoma gracile - Northwestern Salamander.

Dick Bartlett has sent me a couple pictures of Xenopus laevis, the introduced African Clawed Frog.

May and June

The following are just a few of the many new additions from these months:

Plateau Striped Whiptails from Oregon.
Oregon Spotted Frogs
Northern Sagebrush Lizard from Oregon
Oregon Alligator Lizard
Northern Fence Lizard
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

I've started putting up a few pictures of herps from the Southwest. More will be added eventually.

I've finally started putting up sound effects of frogs and toads, starting with:

Pacific Treefrog
Woodhouse's Toad
Great Basin Spadefoot
Yosemite Toad
Mountain Yellow-legged Frog

Plethodon asupak -
Now that the description has been published and made public, I can finally put up my pictures of the Scott Bar Salamander, a newly described species formerly thought to be P. stormi or P. elongatus, which Tim Burkhardt and I first found in the winter of 2004. Originally they had been on the Plethodon elongatus page.

Van Dyke's Salamander - I finally got some pictures of the dark phase of this salamander from the Washington Cascades.
Northern Red-legged Frog
Cascades frogs and eggs
Northwestern Gartersnake, a nice speckled/striped adult
Great Basin Gophersnake
Western Yellow-bellied Racer
Central Long-toed Salamander and larvae
A nice bright orange-bellied breeding male Side-blotched lizard from Washington
Rubber Boa - from up near Canada

John Accornero sent in some pics of mating Sierra Alligator Lizards

Will Flaxington got some great pictures of California Checkered Gartersnakes - Thamnophis marcianus
and of Mediterranean Geckos

I've borrowed some more pics from the prolific Brad Alexander

San Diego Ring-necked Snake
California Black-headed Snake
Red Diamond Rattlesnake
Coast Horned Lizard from the Kern Plateau
Two Long-nosed Leopard lizards mating
some Coastal Rosy Boas

John Stoklosa gave me pics of the following animals from a CA herping trip

Black Toad and habitat
California Treefrog
San Diego Ring-necked Snake
Panamint Rattlesnake
Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake
Striped Whipsnake
Two-striped Gartersnake
Red Diamond Rattlesnake

John Sullivan has donated some pics from his website

Santa Cruz Gartersnake
Sierra Gartersnake
California Red-sided Gartersnake from Santa Cruz County

Sean Barry has donated two pictures of some of the last remaining California Red-legged frogs from the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Rick Staub has given me a picture of an Arboreal Salamander from the Sierras, the first here from that side of the state
and some nice red-headed breeding male Greater Brown Skinks

Joe Bouvier donated a pic of a California Kingsnake from Imperial County in the "Yumensis" phase, with reduced light stripes

Jackson Shedd has contributed more pics from the northern Sierras
a nice orange Mountain Gartersnake, and a
Sierra Alligator Lizard

Andy Stoker has sent in a pic of a juvenile Coast Horned Lizard

I've borred some more pics from Jeremiah Easter:
Chuckwalla - a cute little juvie
Red Diamond Rattlesnake


Taricha granulosa - Rough-skinned Newt - pictures of larvae
Rana boylii - Foothill yellow-legged frog Eggs in a creek
Rana draytonii - California Red-legged Frog - eggs and tadpole

Will Flaxington has donated pictures from a trip to Northern California:

Aneides ferreus - Clouded Salamander (The first pictures I have of this species from California)
Thamnophis ordinoides - Northwestern Gartersnake - with beautiful red coloring
Eumeces gilberti placerensis - Northern Brown Skink

A few new Northwestern salamander pictures

Plethodon vehiculum -
Western Red-backed Salamanders, several color variations, all from the same location.
Rhyacotriton kezeri
- Columbia Torrent Salamander

More great pics from the Northern Sierras from Jackson Shedd:

Eumeces gilberti placerensis - Northern Brown Skink
Contia tenuis - Sharp-tailed Snake
Rana boylii - Foothill Yellow-legged Frog
Actinemys marmorata marmorata - Northern Pacific Pond Turtle
Ensatina eschscholtzii platensis - Sierra Nevada Ensatina

Brad Alexander has donated some more excellent pics from the central coast:

Anniella pulchra - California Legless Lizard
Thamnophis elegans terrestris - Coast Gartersnake - from Santa Cruz County
Aneides flavipunctatus niger - Santa Cruz Black Salamander
Rana draytonii - California Red-legged Frog

New Javascript search features allow searching of the entire site, from the home page, or of individual families, from the species lists pages.

After getting kicked off of due to what they claim is excess bandwidth, or traffic on the site (they are probably overselling their capacities, like many hosts) the site was moved to So far, so good - fast and easy.
Due to the excess traffic, slideshows of all CA herps came and went. I will put abbreviated versions back up eventually.


A few animals from east of Portland:

Plethodon larseli - Larch Mountain Salamander
Plethodon dunni - Dunn's Salamander
Rhyacotriton cascadae - Cascades Torrent Salamander larva
Dicamptodon copei - Cope's Giant Salamander
Thamnophis sirtalis concinnus - Red-spotted Gartersnake

Jackson Shedd has generously sent me pictures of animals from the northern Sierra foothills, a region previously not well represented here:

Ambystoma macrodactylum sigillatum - Southern Long-toed salamander
Spea hammondii - Western Spadefoot
Coluber mormon - Western Yellow-bellied Racer
Taricha torsa sierrae - Sierra Newt (Including pictures of egg sacks.)
Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi - Valley Gartersnake
Pseudacris regilla -
Pacific Treefrog

Brad Alexander has provided some excellent new pictures. His photography just gets better and better:

Tantilla planiceps - California Black-headed snake (Some people have all the luck...)
Lampropeltis getula californiae -
California Kingsnake
Crotalus ruber - Red-diamond rattlesnake
Lichanura trivergata roseofusca - Coastal Rosy Boa
Ensatina eschscholtzii klauberi x escholtzii - Large-blotched/Monterey Ensatina Hybrid
Eumeces gilberti rubricaudatus - Western Red-tailed skink
Xantusia henshawi - Granite Night Lizard


Thanks to an extraordinarily wet winter, I had the opportunity to put up new pictures of most of California's salamander species and a few other amphibians and reptiles:

Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus
Speckled Black salamander (several different pattery types, including one from Lake Shasta - a type new to the site.)
Aneides flavipunctatus niger -
Santa Cruz Black Salamander
Aneides lugubris - Arboreal Salamander
Aneides ferreus - Clouded Salamander
Batrachoseps attenuatus
- California Slender Salamander
Batrachoseps diabolicus - Hell Hollow Slender Salamander
Batrachoseps gregarius - Gregarious Slender Salamander
Batrachoseps gabrieli -
San Gabriel Mountains Slender Salamander
Batrachoseps gavilanensis -
Gabilan Mountains Slender Salamander
Batrachoseps incognitus -
San Simeon Slender Salamander
Batrachoseps kawia -
Sequoia Slender Salamander
Batrachoseps luciae -
Santa Lucia Mountains Slender Salamander
Batrachoseps nigriventris -
Black-bellied Slender Salamander
Batrachoseps regius -
Kings River Slender Salamander
Batrachoseps simatus -
Kern Canyon Slender Salamander
Batrachoseps stebbinsi -
Tehachapi Slender Salamander
Dicamptodon tenebrosus - Coastal Giant Salamander
Dicamptodon ensatus -
California Giant Salamander
Ensatina eschscholtzii picta -
Painted ensatina
Ensatina eschscholtzii platensis -
Yellow-blotched Ensatina
Ensatina eschscholtzii eschscholtzii -
Monterey Ensatina
Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica -
Yellow-eyed Ensatina
Ensatina eschscholtzii oregonensis - Oregon Ensatina
Hydromantes brunus - Limestone Salamander
Hydromantes shastae - Shasta Salamander
Plethodon stormi -
Siskiyou Mountains Salamander
Plethodon elongatus -
Del Norte Salamander
Rhyacotriton variegatus - Southern Torrent Salamander
Taricha rivularis - Red-bellied Newt
Taricha torosa torosa - Coast Range Newt
Taricha torsa sierrae - Sierra Newt

Rana boylii - Foothill Yellow-legged frog
Pseudacris regilla - Pacific Treefrog
Uta stansburiana
- Sideblotched Lizard
Eumeces skiltonianus skiltonianus - Skilton's Skink
Contia tenuis - Sharp-tailed snake
Thamnophis elegans terrestris -
Coast gartersnake (with no red on the sides - from San Luis Obispo County)


A few new pictures of animals from Washington:

Ensatina eschscholtzii oregonensis - Oregon Ensatina
Ambystoma macrodactylum macrodactylum - Western Long-toed Salamander eggs and hatchlings
Ambystoma gracile - Northwestern Salamander eggs and hatchlings

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