A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

New Additions in 2014


observation link

These are some of the new pictures, sounds, and video that I have added to the site in 2014.

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 2013 can be seen here.


Abby Edwards sent in pics of a California Giant Salamander eating a Banana Slug. I made the mistake of picking up one of those slugs once - never again. They are so sticky I don't know how on earth they can be eaten, but the Dicamptodon seem to enjoy them.

Zach Lim sent in pics of a Red-bellied Newt from the introduced population in Santa Clara County, and a Santa Cruz Black Salamander.

Winter Bonnin sent in some pictures of a Green Sea Turtle that washed up on a park beach in Orange County in early December.

The CalHerps photo pirate strikes again - plundering Luke Talltree's Flickr Gallery for some great shots of an Alameda Striped Racer, a very dark Rubber Boa, lots of Red-sided Gartersnakes, Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes including a baby next to its shed, a wide-striped Santa Cruz Gartersnake, Coast Gartersnakes from dull brown to screaming red, San Francisco Gartersnakes, several California Night Snakes, black, maybe melanistic Sierra Gartersnake, a Bullfrog, a Fence Lizard, a Gopher Snake, and a Ring-necked Snake from San Francisco County, a Foothill Yellow-legged Frog from Shasta County, a California Kingsnake from Shasta County, and a cool shot of three different gartersnake species from the same location in Marin County.

I'm happy to say that Mark Gary's monthly picture of a California Tiger Salamander pond that we've been photographing for years is now full after being nothing but dirt since July.

Philip Brown sent in the first picture of a Mountain Gartersnake from San Bernardino County on the site.

Karen Cooper sent me a recording of a Coqui frog from Puerto Rico, so maybe I can help anyone who hears one in Southern California, as they did last summer, know what it is they are hearing and call their animal control department.


Stuart Youg sent in pics of Leaf-toed Geckos from Baja and from Imperial County, along with a Lyre Snake and a Colorado Desert Sidewinder coiled up on a rock instead of in sand as they usually do.


James Maughn let me use some of his pictures of Red-bellied Newts from the recently-publicized introduced population in Santa Clara County.

Bob Cossins let me use his pictures of a Santa Cruz Gartersnake.

Holly Brown asked me to identify and then let me use her picture of a Coast Gartersnake in Santa Clara County with not only red side stripes, but a red dorsal stripe. I haven't seen that before. This is why I love to get pictures to ID in my email.

Craig Tooley let me use a picture of a CA Red-sided Gartersnake from Sea Ranch. It's not the blue form so that helps narrow down the area where the blue coloring disappears - somewhere between there and Sebastopol.

Adam G. Clause contributed some great pics of animals found during his summer field season in Inyo and San Bernardino Counties, including Panamint Alligator Lizards, Southwestern Threadsnakes, Smith's Black-headed Snakes, and a really nice Northern Desert Nightsnake with a speckled dorsal pattern instead of the typical blotched pattern.

Zach Lim contributed lots more good stuff, including some habitat shots I needed - a Rubber Boa, a nice Santa Cruz Gartersnake with a green head, Terrestrial Gartersnakes from San Mateo and SF Counties, a Cal King from a Coast Zonata location in Santa Cruz County, a striped Pacific Gophersnake, and a Delta Morph California Kingsnake.

Joe Lovell sent in some pics of Northwestern Fence Lizards from Stanislaus County, which was not previously covered on the page.


A short video of a Gila Monster in Arizona wriggling the tip of its tail in a typical "tail decoy" movement, from Steve Bledsoe.

A hatchling Desert Banded Gecko from Santa Clarita.

A hatchling Great Basin Fence Lizard from early September from near the site of a nest dug by a female that Connie McDowell photographed in June.

Striped and albino Pacific Gopher Snakes from Solano County sent in by Lou Silva.

Several more Mediterranean House Geckos found in California from various sources.


Owen Holt sent in some very nice picture composites of  comparing a Calfornia Red-legged Frog tadpole and a Foothill Yellow-legged Frog tadpole along with a picture of an adult of each of those species in the same creek in Santa Clara County.

Benjamin Bruno found a California Kingsnake eating a young rattlesnake on a trail in Santa Barbara county while he was running a trail race. Fortunately for us he stopped to take some pics to send in.

Michael Robinson sent in a rare picture of Flat-tailed horned lizards breeding on the sand out in the open in Imperial Canyon.

Jim Dillon found a Mohave shovel-nosed snake in his pool near Palm Springs and sent it in for ID.

I've added a few new Mediterranean Gecko, Moorish Wall Gecko, and Green Anole pictures and from people who have noticed I'm trying to track their occurance around the state. Thanks to all these reports the dots are spreading on the map.

John Snow and 12-year-old Mauricio Correa sent in some Desert Iguana pics from Baja Calfornia.

I've been adding more herps from the east coast. New species not shown below are Yellow-bellied Sliders, Eastern Mud Turtle, Northern Dusky Salamanders, Northern Two-lined Salamanders, and Eastern Red-backed Salamanders.


A short video of a Green Frog calling at night in Virginia and another out in daylight, some American Bullfrogs in places where they belong, some Coastal Plains Leopard Frogs, some swimming Snapping Turtles, Pickerel Frogs, Five-lined Skinks, and Northern Watersnakes from Virginia and Maryland, a couple of the many Eastern Wormsnakes I found in Virginia and Maryland, an Eastern Fence Lizard from Maryland, and a Northern Black Racer in situ, which is Latin for "I didn't think I was fast enough to catch it so I just snapped some pics." Some new turtles (since I don't have lenses long enough to get sharp pics of distant turtles, I'll have to make do with fuzzy ones): Spotted Turtles, Eastern Painted Turtles, a Woodland Box Turtle, Northern Red-bellied Cooters, and even some Red-eared Sliders in places where they have been introduced in Virginia and Maryland.

Pete Veilleux sent in a series of pictures of a Two-striped Gartersnake eating a trout in Monterey County. He said the creek is so dry this year that it contains only small pools full of dead and dying trout.

Lots of pictures of Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes from assorted counties from Tim Dayton, along with a California Kingsnake killing a Pacific Gophersnake for dinner.

Pictures of a very cool Northern Pacific Rattlesnake - normal in the rear, but patternless in front from Tony Chasar via Chris Evelyn.

A  new salamander - a juvenile Spotted Salamander from Virginia. Tiny, but a lifer's a lifer.

Pictures of another population of Brown Anoles, this time in Orange County from Larry Leon.

Gregory Litiatco sent in some pics of two male Red Diamond Rattlesnakes in combat and another male guarding a female he wants to mate with when she's ready.

Liz Samperi contributed pictures of a striped California Kingsnake eating a San Diego Alligator Lizard.

Jim ? sent in his nephew's scout leader's picture of a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake that is in the blue and actually blue.


Tons of pictures and videos of a scarey amount of  Red-sided Gartersnakes in their post-hibernation-emergence breeding congregations at the Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba, Canada.

Stacey Patton sent in a picture for ID of a Mountain Gartersnake with blue coloring from near Willets. I've seen similar blue snakes from Mt. St. Helena and near Geyserville. I wonder how far this coloring extends and where the contact area is between
T. e. terrestris and T. e elegans is in the North Coast Ranges. I'd like to see some T. e. elegans from Humboldt County, too.

Pictures of a couple of dark gartersnakes from the edge of the Puget Sound - some Puget Sound Gartersnakes, and a nigrescens variation Wandering Gartersnake.

Keith Condon sent in a picture of how babies are made - baby Desert Iguanas, that is.

Connie McDowell discovered a female Great Basin Fence Lizard laying eggs on her patio and sent in a cameraphone picture. A little blurry, sure, but it's great that everyone has a camera with them at all times now.

Keith Condon sent in pics of a juvenile Rubber Boa found in northern Inyo County and some Great Basin Fence Lizards from Mono County, where they get huge, and a couple of Wandering Gartersnakes from Mono County.

David Feliz sent in pics by Linda Pittman of Sierra Gartersnakes in a reservoir. They look so much better in the water than out.

Lots of pictures from Jeff Ahrens - Baja California Treefrog adults, eggs, and tadpoles, Desert Tortoise burrows, habitat, and scat, California Newts, and a Great Basin Whiptail.

A nice shot of a Coastal Whiptail from Ventura County and some more alien Green Anoles for the state list from San Diego.

Ryan Sikola sent me a picture of a California Nightsnake he found in the Greenhorns, the first he's seen there in years. I don't know why the Sierra Nevada nightnsnakes are so secretive. This is only the second one I have from anywhere in the Sierras.

I've added a new toad to the site and a new lizard - Canadian Toad, and Northern Prairie Skink, from Manitoba, Canada. Also some Northern Leopard Frogs, including video of a calling male, a calling Boreal Chorus Frog (I was lucky to see anything at all of those tiny frogs) Western Painted Turtles and a couple of Couer d'Alene Salamanders from Idaho.


A Uromastyx that someone found living in their So Cal Backyard.

A California Red-legged Frog that showed up at her backyard pond from Tamara Spaur.

A beautiful black Two-striped Gartersnake from the San Gabriels from Kyle Watson.

An orange-bellied San Bernardino Ringe-necked snake from Mark Miller.

A Desert Striped Whipsnake from up at Kennedy Meadows, which I have added to the range maps, from Brian Hinds.

A  swimming Pacific Gopher Snake from a lake in Sacramento County.

A very nice looking Terrestrial Gartersnake from Napa County down near the bay.

A  high band count LA County coast California Kingsnake sent in by Don Sterba.

JP Benson sent in a picture of a San Diego Alligator Lizard he found in a golf course community near the Mojave River in the middle of the desert.

Seth Coffman gave me a picture of a Two-striped Gartersnake sucking up a sucker in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Nancy Herron sent in a Leopard Lizard picture from way up on the Kern Plateau.

Amy Jaecker-Jones found a beautiful pale amelanistic juvenile San Diego Alligator Lizard with a long and perfect tail in her Pasadena yard and sent in several pictures.


Robert de Vico sent in some pictures of his twin 9-year-old girls and some of the several Coast Horned Lizards they found at Griffith Park on what must have been a wonderful day.

Ryan Sikola found a juvie San Joaquin Coachwhip in some open space in downtown Bakersfield and sent in a photo.

Lou Silva finally joined the digital age and sent in a few of his recent finds - Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes, Western Yellow-bellied Racer, Pacific Ring-neck, and Pacific Gopher Snake.

Bo Zaremba contributed pics of a striped Western Side-blotched Lizard, a melanistic Great Basin Fence Lizard, and a Desert Patch-nosed snake all from around the Joshua Tree NP area.

Jay Smart sent in a picture of a beautiful white-tipped Coast Horned Lizard from SLO County sand dunes.
(No offense to Mr. Blainville but I HATE species where the common name starts with a possessive human name. Give them the Latin name, but not the common name!  Why does Blainville own this species? And that means you too, Mearns, Belding, Skilton, Cope, Smith, Marcy, Couch, and Dunn!  This concludes my April Rant.)

Scott Shoemaker sent in pictures of a female Western Side-blotched Lizard with a whole lot of orange coloring on her face and throat. I'm assuming she's gravid because she's so fat and that explains the coloring.

Melissa Wantz sent in a picture of a California Striped Racer that tried to eat a San Diego Alligator Lizard but lost the fight when the lizard snapped its jaws shut on the snakes nose.

Stacy Holt sent me a series of pictures of a California Kingsnake constricting a Panamint Rattlesnake last August at Death Valley NP.

More Brown Anole invaders, this time from Huntington Beach, courtesy of Gordon Snelling.

A month late this year, I finally put up the new 2014 - 2015 CDFW sportfishing regs pertaining to herps. Since there were no changes at all from last year (they didn't even fix the mistakes) I was waiting for some, but it looks like the new herping regs review they've been doing will not be put into effect for a while.

Jim Buskirk and Steve Berry contributed pictures of Shasta Alligator Lizards, including a nice bright bodied blue-headed male.

Ken Owen with Channel Islands Restoration let me use his picture of a Western Yellow-bellied Racer that was found on Santa Cruz Island.

Len Geiger sent me some pictures of some of the Brown Anoles on his property. He's got an established colony of them there, probably originating from tropical plant shipments from Florida.

Mark Gary sent me a picture of a pond with an insane number of Western Pond Turtles on its shore. He counted over a hundred that day. It makes me wonder what is in that pond to eat that can support so many.

Steve Bledsoe sent me some pics of a California Glossy Snake from Orange County. I didn't know there were any still there, but he's seen a few in his surveys.


Amelia True sent in some of my favorite kind of photos - a California Newt eating a huge worm.

Zach Lim has really been on a roll in March with two more California Nightsnakes from Santa Cruz and San Mateo County, several !! coast zonata, a Santa Cruz Black Salamander, a bright red Coast Gartersnake from San Francisco, and a pair of mating oreganus.

After a few months work, all range maps are now bigger, with county lines, some topo background, and more accurate information.  And now it will be a lot easier for me to make changes when new info comes up.

Steve Berry and Jim Buskirk found and photographed a Desert Striped Whipsnake in Modoc County in 1980 and only just now emailed me pictures of the snake and its habitat. Why they didn't do this in 1980, I don't understand...

Chris Mowry sent in some pics he took a few years ago in LA County of two mating San Diego Gophersnakes, twisted around each other like the snakes on the cadeuceus.

David Rodriguez contributed a picture of a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake without much pattern.

In May, 2009, Ron Ruppert was in the Providence mountains with a group of Cuesta College students when they found and photographed a Gila Monster. He gave me some pictures taken by Andrea Reddick and Dave Bowlus to use here.

Janet Ellis sent in a picture of a gartersnake (can't tell if it's a Diablo - most likely, or a Terrestrial with no red) eating a vole at a golf course in Vallejo, surrounded by golfers with cameras, after it rolled down an incline with the vole in its mouth.

Cody Merryless let me use his photo of a stunning fence lizard with bright white scales.

Jim Maughn photographed a pair of mating San Francisco Gartersnakes and took some nice pics you can see here along with a beautiful red Coast Gartersnake. He also sent in pictures of a Leatherback sea turtle he photographed from a boat on Monterey Bay.

Zach Lim contributed pictures of a Variegated Skink and a San Francisco Alligator Lizard with an unusually striped back.

Scott Futral contributed pictures of a group of California Newts fighting over a worm that they stretched until it looks like it's about to break.

Mark Gary flipped and photographed many a herper's nemesis snake, a Western Black-headed Snake, on a rainy day in early March.

Tony Kurz sent in pics of a Western Spadefoot from the Carrizo Plain

David Rodriguez sent in a California Red-sided Gartersnake from Alameda County.


Zach Lim found a California Nightsnake and sent me pics, the only ones I've seen from the west bay.

Christian Gingerich sent in some pics of a juvenile San Diego Banded Gecko for ID and let me use them since the location at the bottom of San Antonio Canyon is almost as far west as this subspecies gets (there's a record from Claremont), not to mention that it was out foraging at night in mid February when he found it!

New pictures of California Toad, Zebra-tailed Lizard, Great Basin Collared Lizard, Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard, Southern Desert Horned Lizard, Two-striped Gartersnakes, Granite Spiny Lizard, and the grisly results of a California Kingsnake preyed on by a red-tailed hawk, all from Jeff Ahrens.

Jim Bennett let me use two great pictures he took of two different California Striped Racers eating two different kinds of lizards - a western fence lizard and a southern alligator lizard.


Jon Hirt contributed some pics of a hatchling Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizard, an Alameda Striped Racer, Blainville's Horned Lizard, a Western Side-blotched Lizardfrom the inner Bay Area, Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamander, Shasta Salamander, San Francisco Gartersnake, and a series of pictures of a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake eating a kangaroo rat in Alameda County.

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