A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

New Additions in 2012


observation link

These are some of the new pictures, sounds, and video that I have added to the site in 2012.

The links lead to pages which include thumbnails and other links to the new content. You will have to search the page to find them.
The most recent additions are on top of the list.
The list of additions to the site in 2011 can be seen here.


Katherine Hughes sent in a picture of an Arboreal Salamander with a light and dark mottled head.

Brian Flaigmore sent in a picture of a Green Anole from San Diego, so I finally added the species to the state list and collection. They must be established there by now.

Zach Lim sent in pictures of a Yellow-eyed Ensatina from San Francisco, the first I've seen from there.


Adam Clause contributed a whole lot of great pics of California herps (too many for me to list here.)


Zachary Lim sent in some pictures of San Francisco Alligator Lizards that were actually found in San Francisco.


Sean Kelly contributed some pictures of a nice pale pink Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake.


A  great Chico Turtle Lab picture showing the life cycle of the Western Pond Turtle, with an adult, a hatchling, and an egg side by side.

Shelly Hancock sent in a beautiful picture of two mating Red Diamond Rattlesnakes in San Diego County.

Ben Witzke has contributed some great pics from Trinity County of a California Mountain Kingsnake and an Oregon Gartersnake eating a Coastal Giant Salamander. He also made a nice Batrachoseps complex tree diagram showing the relationships between the species.


Thomas Martin sent in a picture of a very cool reddish-brown Northwestern Gartersnake he found in Vancouver, Canada.

A nice black helleri from LA County from Koby Poulton.

Lots of new pics and videos of Cascades Frogs in a breeding pond up on a snowy mountain, including a number of calling males.


I went back and found a larger Pygmy Short-horned Lizard that let me follow it around and set up 2-3 feet from where it stoped to scan for ants. It moved around every few minutes to slightly elevated rocks or clumps of dirt or plants and raised its body up on all fours for a better view of the surroundings. I got some great video of it stalking and eating ants. It was so much fun watching that little guy do his thing while tolerating my presence, and that was after I had already picked it up to take a few controlled photos. Usually they run and hide after that kind of stress.

New pics of a tiny juvenile Pygmy Short-horned Lizard from sagebrush habitat in central Washington, and a couple of Northern Rubber Boas.

Gary Ridley sent in some great pics of a Sierra Gartersnake eating a brown trout.

Ryan Sikoa sent in pics of a San Joaquin Coachwhip from Kern County.

An Escondido home owner sent in a picture of a San Diego Gophersnake that she found entangled in plastic "wildlife netting" used as a barrier to pests but which has become a terrible danger to snakes. Fortunately she cut it out and released it, then removed the netting. Unfortunately, I am seeing more and more of this netting used for many purposes and that means more and more snakes will die unnecessarily.  Somebody should make up a "No More Netting" sign, with pictures of mangled snakes on it, dress up in a snake costume, and picket Lowes and Home Depot to demand the banning of this netting. It would be your 15 minutes of TV news media fame and make you a YouTube star....


Some new video of a calling male Bullfrog putting on a really good show, including a territorial bonk sound right before leaping into the air after his rival.

Keith Condon did some herping in some isolated mountain ranges in the desert sending in pictures of Great Basin Fence Lizards from the Granite Mountains and the Kingstons.

Some fiery orange breeding male side-blotched lizards from the Washington gorge, a few sagebrush lizards, and a great basin gopher snake.

Steve Bledsoe sent in a picture of a very pale Southern Pacific Rattlesnake

A Mediterranean gecko from a new location - San Marcos - from Nathan Smith.

A Panamint Rattlesnake from 9 mile canyon from David Miles

If I see a warning or informational sign involving herps, I'll take a picture, even if I have to make a U-turn. It's crazy, I know. As a result, my signs page has finally gotten too big for it's own good. So I split it into several pages divided into categories to make them easier to download and see. I might have to do the same with my other pages of random herp stuff.

More of my pictures of animals from the southeast:

Southern Toad
Florida Cricket Frog
Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad
Pig Frog - I finally got some lousy pics of a couple of different frogs.
Eastern Cricket Frog
Cuban Treefrog
Squirrel Treefrog
Green Treefrog
Southern Leopard Frog

Florida Reef Gecko
Ashy Gecko
Giant Ameiva
Coal Skink
Prairie Lizard
Five-lined Skink
Giant Whiptail
Southern Green Anole
Northern Green Anole pics and videos
Bark Anole
Brown Basilisk
Cuban Brown Anole pics and videos
Puerto Rican Crested Anole
Tropical House Gecko
Common House Gecko
Eastern Fence Lizard
Eastern Collared Lizard pics and videos - including a tiny juvenile gaping and jumping at the camera again and again.
Green Iguana
Gray's or Black Spiny-tailed Iguana

Bullsnake pics and video
Peninsula Ribbonsnake
Florida Cottonmouth
Florida Watersnake
Everglades Racer
Flat-headed Snake
Prairie Ring-necked Snake
Southern Black Racer

Gopher Tortoise pics and video
Eastern Mud Turtle

American Crocodile


Richard Porter sent in a photo of a very cool Giant Gartersnake with brick-red coloring.

The inspirational story of Andy Cat - a cat who was bitten by a rattlesnake and survived, with before, during, and after photos. I often hear of pets who die from rattlesnake bite, but this cat is one of the lucky ones, thanks to the smart actions of his owners.

Lynn Christiansen sent me a picture that her grandson Kevin Bryant took showing the leg of a lizard poking through the side of a juvenile Pacific gopher snake. I've seen pictures like this on the web where they claim it was a snake with legs.

Ken Pitts sent in a very clear underwater shot of a ball of mating Coast Range newts he took last month in the Santa Ana Mountains.

I'm slowly adding pictures that I have taken from the southeast recently, mostly from Florida. I'll add more to this list as I get them uploaded:

Red Cornsnake

Gray Ratsnake
Eastern (Yellow) Ratsnake pics and video
Brown Watersnake
Eastern Coachwhip
African Agama
Red-sided Curlytail Lizard
Northern Curlytail Lizard
African Five-Lined Skink
Florida Scrub Lizard
Florida Sand Skink
Southeastern Five-lined Skink
Eastern Six-lined Racerunner 1 and 2


Red Hills Salamanders are big reddish-brown beasts that live in holes in the forest, and to see them - or to see only their eyes and noses, because that's all that ever emerges - you have to go out at night in the back woods of the Red Hills of Alabama with a light and look for them poking out of their tiny holes. Definitely one of the coolest ways to find salamanders! But a lousy way to get good pictures...

I have put up the 2012 California Herping Regulations, which are identical to those from last year and the year before.


Dave Feliz sent in a picture of a Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamander and its habitat from Monterey County, an interesting California Kingsnake from Yolo County, and an Ensatina from Solano County.

An anonymous user used this site to identify a huge California Giant Salamander he saw walking on a trail in mid day, then sent in a short video of the salamander growling and rattling. I almost didn't believe it was real when I first heard it, but it was. That's the kind of vocal performance I've been hoping to document myself. I like how the video shows that the first time the salamander growls, it actually  startled the photographer. I would have jumped too!

Two new California salamander species have been described in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountain: The Kern Canyon Slender Salamander was split into itself and a new species - the Fairview Slender Salamander, and the Relictual Slender Salamander was split into itself, now including salamanders from Breckenridge Mountain, and a new species - The Greenhorn Mountains Slender Salamander. Fortunately I have been anticipating some changes in this area (for 10 years!) and I already have pictures of the newly-described species and their habitat. Thanks to Robert Hansen for giving me a copy of the paper he co-wrote.

I put up a couple of short videos of the new Fairview Slender Salamander and the Kern Canyon Slender Salamander.


Rodney Lacey sent in a picture of a pink Common Sharp-tailed Snake next to a normally colored snake, that he found together in Butte County.

First snake of the year for me was this little juvenile Western Yellow-bellied Racer found under a rock in Contra Costa County.  Plenty of Ensatina, CA slenders were seen, but the newt ponds are so low that few newts are breeding yet. Do your rain dance.

Nor Cal has had very little rain so the California Tiger Salamanders aren't having a good winter, but Edgar Ortega did see a juvie in January and sent some pics.

New pictures of some San Francisco Gartersnakes, two with very pale stripes, a color form that I had not shown here before, from noted author Briain Hulbbx, who insisted that I spell his name right.

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