A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

New Additions in 2013


observation link

These are some of the new pictures, sounds, and video that I have added to the site in 2013.

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 2012 can be seen here.


It must be really nice to find horned lizards in December.... John T. Snow sent in a picture of a juvenile Cape Horned Lizard found by some fisherman on a beach at Todos Santos.

Australian nature photographer Ken Griffiths asked for an ID on a Wandering Gartersnake he found at Mono Lake and let me use his excellent picture for a subspecies not very well-represented here from California.

Greg Litiatco sent in some pics of a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, a Southern Rubber Boa, a black and yellow Mojave Shovel-nosed Snake, and a real nice black and white Mojave Shovel-nosed Snake.

Bob Martz found a Red Diamond Rattlesnake eating a brush rabbit and sent in some photos, including the uneaten rabbit corpse that the snake eventually spit out.

More pictures from Jeff Ahrens - Desert Tortoise from California and Green Sea Turtle nesting tracks, American Crocodiles, and Spectacled Caiman from Costa Rica.

Christian Naventi sent photos of a Foothill Yellow-legged Frog he and some friends found in the Sierra Nevada Foothills where they have become rare.

John T. Snow sent in some pictures of a Zebra-tailed Lizard from the cape region of Baja California.


I have finally started adding information and identification pictures for similar snake species and subspecies to help tell one from the other. It will take some time, but I hope to put up many more. Sometimes it's surprising how little difference there is between subspecies, sometimes only a different scale or two, and that some subspecies don't show the scale counts and other details that they're supposed to show.

Jason Fitzgibbon contributed some pictures of a dark Rubber Boa from a high-elevation Inyo County location in the eastern Sierra Nevada.

Jeff Ahrens contributed pictures of Red-eared sliders, including nice comparison shots of melanistic and normal sliders, and Pacific Pond Turtles, with comparison shots with Red-eared sliders, and a colorful San Diego Gophersnake from Chino.

Biologist Neil Keung has contributed pictures of Pacific Pond Turtles from his tracking research, a California Red-legged Frog with a transmitter attached to it, some Bay Area Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs and their eggs, and a beautiful little juvenile albino Northern Pacific Rattlesnake.

New pics from Ceal Klinger from Inyo County: Desert Striped Whipsnake and Wandering Gartersnake.


Jeff Ahrens, an Orange County Biologist, sent in some pics of animals he's found - Western Spadefoots and their eggs, California Toads, a Mohave Rattlesnake, Desert Tortoises in burrows and their scat, Red Diamond Rattlesnake, San Diego Gophersnake, Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, California Striped Racer, Bullfrogs, Pacific Pond Turtles, and African Clawed Frog.

A couple of nice additions of herps from Texas - a Texas Patch-nosed Snake eating a Texas Spotted Whiptail from Denise Kocek, and a very colorful male Prairie Lizard from Lou Hamby.


There are now 5 species of legless lizards. Ted Pappenfuss who co-described the new species, sent me some pictures of the Temblor legless lizard and habitat which was the only one I was missing. Another one to go find!

Angel Patton sent in a picture of a Mediterranean Gecko found in North Highlands, just northeast of Sacramento.

David Couch contributed some rare pictures of a California Striped Racer eating a Coast Patch-nosed Snake.

Richard Lingo contributed a couple of great shots of a large male Great Basin Collared Lizard eating a small rodent.

Rachel DuBose sent in a picture of a Mediterranean Gecko found in Davis.

Holly Lane sent in pictures of a beautiful light brown California Kingsnake.

Stacy Holt sent a bunch of great pictures taken by Jay Snow in Death Valley National Park - a Red Racer (coachwhip) trying to eat a Desert Horned Lizard, and two mating Desert Horned Lizards showing why they're called horny toads.


Michael Gates contributed a great series of pictures of a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake eating a chipmunk and a Sierran Treefrog he found up at the top of a fire lookout in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Kathy and Dave Biggs sent in a picture for ID that turned out to be a Cascades Frog from well east of Mt. Shasta.

George M. Ramirez sent in a picture of a Mediterranean Gecko from another new location - Modesto.


Tyler Young sent in pictures of Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes and Pacific Gophersnakes he picked up through his snake removal service.

Dan Schroeter sent in some nice zebra-tailed lizard pics.

Aureliano Gaglione sent me some nice pictures of Bullfrog eggs and egg masses, something I've been needing here for a long time.

Adam Helbert sent in several pictures of herps with unusual patterns: a patternless Side-blotched Lizard, a spotted California Kingsnake from Riverside county along with a striped one, and a nearly patternless San Diego Alligator Lizard.

Jay Keller sent in pics of another Coast Patch-nosed Snake, a nice pale Colorado Desert Sidewinder from the sand dunes, a Coastal Whiptail from Cuyamaca, African clawed frog tadpoles, a juvenile San Diego alligator lizard, and a juvenile Coast horned lizard.

Jake Sibley found many a herper's nemesis - a Coast Patch-nosed Snake foraging around some holes on a trail in San Diego and sent me some pics. It's always fun to see a snake actually doing something rather than just resting under a rock or board or on a road.


Nicholas Hess sent in a great picture of a California Kingsnake swimming in a pond in Orange County and of a Western Yellow-bellied Racer from Orange County where it is fairly uncommon.

Gregory Litiatco sent in pics of a Coast Patch-nosed Snake and a San Bernardino Mountain Kingsnake both from LA County.

Gérard Menut saw a juvie Pacific Gopher Snake eating a fence lizard and sent me a picture. He said the snake was eating all afternoon as they raced gliders.

John Snow sent some pics of a beautiful Baja California Gopher Snake near a golf course in Los Cabos, BC sur.

Richard Porter sent me an awesome series of pictures of a Giant Gartersnake eating a sunfish.

Debbie Frost sent in pictures of some interisting colors of Sierran Treefrogs found resting above her door in Lassen County.

Adam Clause is continuing his PHD work studying Panamint  Alligator Lizards at a spring in the Inyo Mountains intending to radio track them. He found lots of them and sent in a few pics along with some Inyo Mountains Slender Salamanders that he found while searching for the gators that help to show the wide variety of colors and patterns found in these salamanders.

Walter Combs removed a Smith's Black-headed Snake from inside his mom's house in 29 palms and sent me some pics.

Lori Paul's sent in some pics of a Great Basin Fence Lizard that her cat caught.

Paul Burke sent in pics of a Red Racer that died when it got entangled in some abandoned landscape netting.

Gregory Litiatco sent in pics of Pacific Pond Turtles, an Arboreal Salamander, and a Red Racer from Los Angeles County.

Ben German sent in more pictures of Coast Mountain Kingsnakes and a Rubber Boa from the Santa Lucia Mountains in Monterey County.

Jay Selman sent in a picture of a very nice brick-red Red Diamond Rattlesnake from his property in Orange County.

Colin Byrne sent me some pictures of herps and habitats from the Santa Monica Mountains, a range not well represented here. I thanked him and told him I wished I had some pictures of zonata from those mountains, since I had none. He replied that he had never found one there and only 1 of his 15 lab colleagues had seen one there in 5 years. Less than a month later he sends some pics of a zonata he found out on the crawl in daylight. I hope he bought a lottery ticket, too.

Sean Kelly sent in a couple of pictures of a speckled rattlesnake eating a great basin fence lizard behind his garbage can. Some people just live in the best places.


Janjaap Dekker let me use a great shot of amplexing Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs, something not shown here yet. Apparently the female and her rider were hopping past him along the Salmon River in Siskiyou County.

Debbie Frost sends me pictures of herps from Lassen County, a CA county not frequently covered by herp photographers. This time it's a Western Yellow-bellied Racer and a Great Basin Gopher Snake.

Early in the morning of May 24th, with the water temperature unusually warm for this time of year (65-67), Jeanne Schultz found some turtle tracks on Silver Strand State Beach that are probably from a Green Sea Turtle and sent me a picture.

Ben German contributed pics of SF Gartersnakes and two Coast Mountain Kingsnakes from Monterey County, Santa Cruz County, and the Gabilan Mountains in San Benito County, a place where few people, if any, have found them, along with a California Kingsnake from southern Monterey County

Mike and Cheryl Dorsey sent in a nice series of pictures of two male Great Basin Fence Lizards fighting over some territory.

Phil Vogel sent in some pictures of a nice pale Blaiville's Horned Lizard (I hate that new name!) from Vandenburg AFB, a place few of us get to visit. Fortunately he also included a habitat picture.

Patricia Woodfill sent in a picture of a very cool Northern Pacific Rattlesnake with no pattern and a wide dark band along the back that she found that had been shot and killed in southern Monterey County.

Cody Merylees let me use a picture of one of his juvenile "Highway Stripe" morph California Kingsnakes.

Ryan Sikola flipped a Coronado Skink incubating her eggs under a rock and contributed a picture. I think this is my first picture of lizard eggs on the site.

Doug Campbell contributed a  great shot of two mating CA Striped Racers, a snake that normally won't sit still for a second.

Daniel Seung sent in pictures of a Tree Lizard from El Centro. It's possible they are spreading west from the Colorado River.

Colin Byrne sent in some pictures of Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes and habitats from the Santa Monica Mountains, including a melanistic adult.

Yes, it's zonata time again, and Chad Lane got some nice shots of a Sierra Mtn. Kingsnake from Calaveras County.

Zach Lim came across this breeding mass of Santa Cruz Gartersnakes in March. That's something I would love to see.

Lucky Zach Lim found two beautiful Coast Mountain Kingsnakes in the Bay Area and sent in some pics to make us all jealous.

Rod (no last name) sent in some very nice pictures of mating alligator lizards locked up for two consecutive days in Placer County. I thought they might be E. c. palmeri at first because of the greenish yellow coloring, but then I decided they were California Alligator Lizards due to the eyes and the markings. No way to check the belly. A lot of Sierra Nevada Southern alligator lizards seem to have some yellow coloring on the head or body, unlike most of those along the coast ranges that I've seen.


Some very cool pictures of a CA Striped Racer eating a baby Southern Pacific Rattlesnake in LA County from Anthony (no last name). It's Nature in action, but it's probably upsetting to crote fans.

A new juvenile Northern Pacific Rattlesnake from Nate (no last name).

John Andermann sent in a cool picture of a very pale and patternless coast horned lizard he found on a San Diego County beach.

I have changed the rubber boas range maps back to show the range of the southern rubber boa as it is classified by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, because of its protected status. The species of the recently-found boas in SLO county is not really known for sure.

It's gator lizard love season. Este (no last name) sent in her sister's pictures of a couple of San Diego alligator lizards found in an empty plastic wading pool in the yard.

Tom Millington sent in pics of a western diamondbacked rattlesnake he photographed at Calexico. I don't have many of this species from CA so they're always welcome. Also a nice Sonoran desert sidewinder pic.


I have added the new California Department of Fish and Wildlife (they changed their name this year) fishing regulations for 2013, including a list of changes from last year's regulations. Yes, they finally updated many of the scientific names and removed a buch of species from the list after several years with no changes. Several more salamanders are now restricted, one frog, one lizard, and a few snakes.

Ryan Sikola sent in some pictures of another anerythristic herp. This time it was a California Alligator Lizard.

Myke Clarkson sent in a few nice desert herp pics, including a light lyre snake from San Diego County and a nice pale Yuma AZ county speckled rattlesnake.

Sean Kelly sent in a picture of a Coronado Skink he found in his swimming pool for my yard herps collection.

Anastasia Dimitriu Shupp sent in a pic for an ID which was a desert iguana with a re-grown tail - something I don't see very often and didn't have a good picture of, so she let me use it.

Filip Tkaczyk contributed some pictures of a very dark desert horned lizard and a very dark collared lizard that were both found in a dark lava rock area. He also let me use a cool picture of a desert horned lizard with its nasal valves closed.
His herping companion Robert Mellinger let me use his picture of a swimming Skilton's Skink.


I was hibernating way down in a deep hole under a big, unflippable, rock.   Or not. I didn't get any submissions this month, but I did continue adding things of my own that I've put off until later, like habitat shots and videos and stuff that I don't think are worth reporting here.


Ryan Sikola sent in some pictures of an anerythristic (lacking red pigment) Lyre Snake from Inyo County.

Steve Bledsoe sent in pics of a very pale California Toad from the desert that looks a lot like a Red-spotted toad.

Robert Black sent in a picture of a very high-elevation Granite Night Lizard. At 8740 ft. it is probably an elevation record - but it is not yet yet published.)

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