A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

New Additions in 2007

observation link

The following links lead to updated pages which include some of the new pictures and other content I have added to the site in 2007
The list of additions to the site in 2006 is here.


All of the turtles descriptions and page re-designs are completed.

Desert Striped Whipsnake from Jackson Shedd
San Joaquin Fence Lizard from Patrick Briggs
Brahminy Blind Snake (or Island Blind Snake)
California Mountain Kingsnake eating a rattlesnake from Patrick Briggs
some atypical California Kingsnakes from Patrick Briggs


Finally, the lizard pages are all updated with full descriptions and a some new and improved pictures.

Sierra Newt and Coast Range Newt - I have changed the range maps following the recent research by Shawn R. Kuchta where he determined that the southern sierra Newts are Coast Range Newts, not Sierra Newts.

Mt. Lyell Salamander and habitat from a recently-discovered locality in Placer County were sent by Will Richardson.

Baja California Night Lizard - a recent paper has established the presence of this lizard in southern Californa, and supports the recognition of this lizard as a full species and not a subspecies of Xantusia vigilis. This adds a brand new species of lizard to the state list and the list of North America north of Mexico.

Salamander Identification page
Since salamander season is approaching, I have put up a very simple page with information about identifying some of the more commonly seen salamanders in the state, based on identification requests I've received over the years. A more complete section will follow... someday....

Mediterranean Gecko chirping sounds. I've never heard any recordings of these before.

Squirrel Treefrog calls
Cliff Chirping Frog calls
Rio Grande Chirping Frog calls


Google Map of California Gila Monster Localities. (Use Hybrid mode for the most fun.) It would be awesome to see this kind of range map for every species, but it won't be me who does it...

Yosemite Toad from Tioga Pass from Douglas Aguillard
A juvenile Great Basin Rattlesnake from Don Johnson
Pacific Ring-necked Snake from Edgar Ortega
Pacific Treefrog from Nevada County from Maxine
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake from Shasta County from Richard Gentile
Rough-skinned Newt mating ball from Oregon from Steven Krause

Some more Texas lizards:
Twin-spotted Spiny Lizard
Laredo Striped Whiptails
Colorado Checkered Whiptail
Eastern Collared Lizards
Desert Side-blotched Lizard
Northern Crevice Spiny Lizard
Texas Banded Gecko
Green Anoles
Northern Keeled Earless Lizard
Blue Spiny Lizard
Mediterranean House Gecko

Texas Tortoise
East Texas Toad
American Bullfrog


Squirrel Treefrog
Yellow Mud Turtle
Coastal Cricket Frog
Hurter's Spadefoot

Two mating LA County Coast Horned Lizards, sent by Becky Trask
Humboldt County Red-backed Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs from Steven Krause


Bronze Frog
Baird's Ratsnake
Western Cottonmouth
Western Coachwhip
Cliff Chirping Frog
Southern Copperhead
Chihuahuan Hook-nosed Snake
Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake
Texas Salamander
San Marcos Salamander
Texas Blind Salamander


Sheep Frog
Common Musk Turtle
Northern Crevice Spiny Lizard
Plains Spadefoot
Mottled Rock Rattlesnake
Trans-Pecos Ratsnake
Pickerel Frog
Northern Green Frog
Couch's Spadefoot
Texas Toad
Texas Long-nosed Snake
Blotched Watersnake
Northern Ring-necked Snake
Northern Watersnake
Texas Alligator Lizards, several adults and hatchlings
Texas Spiny Lizards
Texas Horned Lizard
Merriam's Canyon Lizard
Big Bend Canyon Lizard
Presidio Canyon Lizard
Desert Box Turtle
Trans-Pecos Striped Whiptail
Big Bend Spotted Whiptail
Great Plains Ratsnake
Sonoran Gophersnake
Texas Banded Gecko
Round-tailed Horned Lizard
Kansas Glossy Snake
Chihuahuan Greater Earless Lizard
Texas Nightsnake
Texas Tree Lizard
Big Bend Tree Lizard
Great Plains Narrow-mouthed Toad
Rio Grande Chirping Frog

Some new frog and toad sounds have been added:
Green Treefrog
Eastern American Toad
Mexican Treefrog
Sheep Frog
Spotted Chorus Frog
Strecker's Chorus Frog
Spring Peeper
Western Chorus Frog

Todd Battey photographed some African Clawed Frogs in Los Angeles County

Alan Barron finished sending me pictures of all of the amphibians of Del Norte County with a picture of a
along with other Del Norte County herps:
Northwestern Salamander
Northwestern Gartersnake
Valley Gartersnakes

Western Sagebrush Lizard

Loren Prins sent in several pics from Lassen County, a county not well represented here, including a possible range extension for the Ground Snake in California
Ground Snake
Western Yellow-bellied Racer
Long-nosed Snake

Dick Bartlett sent in a couple of pictures of a yearling Santa Cruz Island Gophersnake.

Ross Padilla sent in some photos of a nice, orange Coastal Rosy Boa from the San Gabriel Mountains.

Bob Hasse sent me some very nice pictures of Island Night Lizards from San Clemente Island, including the striped form.

Now that there are so many separate lists on the site, I have added complete lists of all herps found on this site to make it easier to browse all of the species shown here. They have been separated into the usual Snakes, Lizards, Turtles, Frogs, and Salamanders.
The menus have been changed to reflect the new lists.

A Texas list has been added.
An Appalachian Salamanders list has been added.

Lawrence Anderson sent me a picture of a very dark green Northern Pacific Rattlesnake from his backyard in Lake County.


I finally put up some of the many Appalachian Salamanders and other Herps that I photographed in April and May

Green Salamander
Tellico Salamander
Chattahoochee Slimy Salamander
Pigeon Mountain Salamander
Wehrle's Salamander
Seepage Salamander
Yonahlossee Salamander
Pigmy Salamander
Weller's Salamander
Shenandoah Salamander
Shenandoah Mountain Salamander
Red-legged Salamander
Red-cheeked Salamander
Red-spotted Newt
Cow Knob Salamander
Cheoah Bald Salamander
Peaks of Otter Salamander
Zigzag Salamander
Cheat Mountain Salamander
Southern Graycheek Salamander
Northern Graycheek Salamander
Southern Appalachian Salamander
White-spotted Slimy Salamander
Slimy Salamander
Blackchin Red Salamander
Eastern Red-backed Salamander
Seal Salamander
Carolina Dusky Salamander
Dwarf Black-bellied Salamander
Northern Dusky Salamander
Imitator Salamander
Ocoee Salamander
Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander
Blue Ridge Dusky Salamander
Black-bellied Salamander
Northern Spring Salamander
Carolina Spring Salamander
Blue Ridge Spring Salamander
Blue Ridge Two-lined Salamander
Cave Salamander
Southern Two-lined Salamander
Northern Two-lined Salamander
Santeetlah Dusky Salamander
Cumberland Plateau Salamander

Spotted Chorus Frog from Texas
Mexican Treefrog from Texas

Eastern Wormsnakes

David Jahn sent in pics of a California Black-headed snake, one of the most difficult California snakes to find.

Jackson Shedd sent in more great pictures of
Coast Horned Lizards from San Benito County and the Santa Cruz Mountains,
Rubber Boas from Butte County, and a
San Joaquin Coachwhip from San Benito County. This has been quite the Spring for SJ Coachwhips as I have received pictures of 4 or 5 of them already. Hopefully that means they are doing well in the limited remaining suitable habitat.

Chad Lane contributed a couple of nice pictures of Western Spadefoots

Ed Dickie sent in a photo of a San Francisco Gartersnake that he took while working as a docent at Ano Nuevo


Sam Murray has had some great luck photographing some uncommon herps in Northern California this spring:
California Glossy Snakes
Alameda Striped Racer
California Nightsnake
Coast Horned Lizard

Green Treefrog from Texas
Upland Chorus Frog from Texas
Cane Toad from Texas
Strecker's Chorus Frog from Texas
Texas Black-spotted Newt

Texas Cooters from Texas
Guadalupe Spiny Softshells from Texas
Texas Tortoise from Texas

Texas Greater Earless Lizard from Texas
Blue Spiny Lizard from Texas
Texas Yellow-headed Racerunner from Texas
Northern Keeled Earless Lizard from Texas
Short-lined Skink from Texas

Gulf Coast Ribbon Snake from Texas
Flat-headed Snake from Texas
Groundsnake from Texas
Texas Ratsnakes from Texas
Great Plains Ratsnake from Texas
Eastern Black-necked Gartersnake from Texas

Eastern Yellow-bellied Racers from Kansas
Black Ratsnakes from Kansas
Speckled Kingsnakes from Kansas
Red Milksnake from Kansas
Central Plains Milksnake from Kansas
Osage Copperheads from Kansas
Smooth Greensnake from West Virginia
Prairie Ring-necked Snake from Kansas

Common Five-lined Skinks from Kansas
Great Plains Skinks from Kansas
Eastern Collared Lizard from west Kansas
Eastern Fence Lizard from Kentucky

Eastern American Toad from Tennessee
Great Plains Narrow-mouthed Toad from Kansas

Jackson Shedd finally got some Coast Horned Lizards from Butte County

Alan Barron sent in a picture of the first recorded Rubber Boa from Del Norte County

Erin McGuire sent in some pictures of a Mojave Rattlesnake eating an Antelope Ground Squirrel.

Jackson Shedd sent in some pictures of animals from the Sutter Buttes, including Skilton's Skink, Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, and California Alligator Lizard.


Western Marbled Whiptail
from Texas
Texas Spotted Whiptail from Texas
Plains Blindsnake from Texas
Green Treefrog from Texas
Gray Treefrog from Texas - pictures and sounds
Blanchard's Cricket Frog from Texas - sounds

Some new pics of a difficult snake to find and photograph, the San Joaquin Coachwhip. 3 snakes found on the same day in two different spots by Patrick Briggs and Chad Lane.

A beautiful reddish striped Pacific Gophersnake from Edgar Ortega

A nice CA Red-sided Gartersnake from Monterey County from K. Moussally


Houston Toad from Texas - pictures and sounds
Gulf Coast Toad from Texas - pictures and sounds
Southern Leopard Frog from Texas - pictures and sounds
Broad-banded Copperhead from Texas
Pacific Treefrog - A calling male and some new encounter call recordings
Large-blotched Ensatina
Desert Banded Gecko (and the sound of a weak chirp from this gecko)
Desert Iguana
Southern Sagebrush Lizard
Banded Rock Lizard
Zebra-tail Lizard
Southern Desert Horned Lizard
Mojave Sidewinder
Coastal Rosy Boa
San Diego Mountain Kingsnake
Southern Rubber Boa

Joy Lutz-Mizar sent a photo and asked me to ID a couple of large male San Diego Alligator lizards fighting in her backyard. Spring is here.

Alan Barron sent in more great pics showing amphibian variations from Del Norte County, including
Painted Ensatina
from an offshore island, and a very stunning adult from sand dune forest
California Slender Salamanders from an offshore island
Del Norte Salamanders, including a bright red juvenile
Dunn's Salamander
Pacific Treefrogs

Maureen Krinsky used this site to identify the Northern Red-legged Frogs calling and breeding in her pond, and sent in some nice pictures of amplexing frogs and egg masses.

More great pics from Patrick Briggs:

Baja Ratsnake
California Glossy Snake
San Francisco Gartersnake
Gophersnakes hatching and eating gophers
California Whiptail
Great Basin Whiptail
Desert Iguana
Western Spadefoot Tadpoles
Southern Pacific Pond Turtle


Rough Earth Snake from Texas
Western Slimy Salamander from Texas

Edgar Ortega donated some pics of Sonoma County CA Tiger Salamanders he saw early this month

Nancy Gribler saw a California Giant Salamander eating a Banana Slug one night in her back yard in Mill Valley, looked it up on this site, emailed me a picture and asked what it was and I put up the picture all in the same evening.

I have finally put up a couple of pages listing
Herps introduced into California
Herps that are not described yet or that might occur in the state


Thomas Kavenaugh sent in a wonderful picture of a gartersnake eating a trout.

2007 starts out with lots of great new pictures from Patrick Briggs, including:
our first pictures of introduced Moorish Wall Geckos
Desert Banded Gecko
Long-nosed Leopard Lizards
Coast Horned Lizard
A stunning Chuckwalla from dark lava fields in the Mojave Desert
Sagebrush Lizard
a beautiful juvenile Arroyo Toad
Coastal Giant Salamander
Rubber Boas
Sierra Gartersnake
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake
Smith's Black-headed Snake
Mohave Rattlesnake including a good look at scales on the top of the head
Night Snake
Lyre Snake
Western Yellow-bellied Racer
Valley Gartersnake from the southern part of its range
Mojave Patch-nosed Snake
Red Diamond Rattlesnake
Sharp-tailed Snake

The Baja California section is finally up. Some day I might borrow more pictures from other photographers some day to fill out this part even more. Jackson Shedd has already sent in lots of great ones.

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