A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

New Additions in 2017


observation link

These are some of the new pictures, sounds, and video that I have added to the site in 2017.
Most of these come from other photographers who I want to thank. I'm too lazy to list everything that I add myself.

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, but most of them are usually put at the bottom of the gallery of thumbnails.
The most recent additions to the site are on top of the list below.
The list of additions to the site in 2016 can be seen here.


Huck Triggs contributed a bunch of pictures: Blainville's Horned Lizard, Southern Desert Horned Lizard, Red-legged Frog, Cape Gopher Snake, Coast Patch-nosed Snake, Desert Patch-nosed Snake, Common Sharp-tailed Snake, San Diego Nightsnake, Western Yellow-bellied Racer, and Coast Mountain Kingsnake.

Stephanie Root sent me pictures of a couple of San Nicolas Night Lizards that she photographed while doing some biological monitoring on San Nicolas Island with the National Park Service in partnership with the Navy. This was the only form of California herp for which I did not have a picture, so, hooray to that!

Zach Lim sent pics of a Delta morph California Kingsnake found east of Patterson Pass in Alameda County.

Ellitot Smeds recorded the defensive sounds of a California Giant Salamander with his phone and contributed them here.


Teejay O'Rear contributed a picture of a Cascades Frog in Trinity County along with some good California songs for my list.

Stacy Schenkel contributed pictures of a black San Diego Alligator Lizard.

Sasha Robinson contributed some pictures of two male Arboreal Salamanders biting each others heads, with one showing a large bloody gash.

LJ Moore sent in a picture of a Sierran Treefrog from the previously unrepresented county of San Luis Obispo, and two frogs from San Francisco.

Katie Quehl sent in pictures of a California Alligator Lizard with the rear half of its body stuck in a beer can.

Sean Barefield contributed pictures of a Great Basin Fence Lizard from the New York Mountains, one of its isolated populations in the desert.

Chris Rombough contributed pictures and a video of hundreds of bullfrog tadpoles feeding on dead fish in Oregon.

Someone found a juvenile two-headed San Diego Gopher Snake in her Riverside County backyard and a friend of mine heard about it and sent me some pictures. The snake was shooed away, but it kept coming back so it was captured and donated to a local nature center since it appeared to be struggling. I have been allowed to show pictures of it here, which is great, because I don't have nearly enough two-headed animals represented on this site. In fact, I think this is the first one.


Guntram Deichsel helped me to get a series of photos from Michael Waitzmann of a leucistic American Bullfrog found in Germany that show it developing from an almost all-white tadpole into a really beautiful little frog that gets blacker as it gets older.

Marisue Crystal contributed a picture of a tiny juvenile Granite Spiny Lizard which is a needed addition.

A new dam has been constructed at the little California Tiger Salamander breeding pond Mark Gary and I have been photographing for years. I hope it will not bring about negative changes to the pond and its inhabitants.

Verle Thompson contributed a shot of a juvenile Southern Pacific Rattlesnake.

Zach Lim sent in pics of Tailed Frog, Yellow-legged Frog, Northern Red-legged Frog, Pacific Ring-necked snake, and California Mountain Kingsnake.

Bill Bachman sent in a picture of a Great Basin Rattlesnake from Nevada.

Douglas Brown contributed pictures of a San Diego Ring-necked Snake.

Dan Boyd contributed a picture of a Coronado Skink.


Eleanor Breslin sent in pictures of a melanistic (black) Rosy Boa from San Diego County.

Someone sent in a picture of a dark neonate Southern Pacific Rattlesnake from Orange County.

Timothy Boomer contributed pictures of a California Mountain Kingsnake from Plumas County that has only a few complete red bands.

Grayson B. Sandy sent me a picture of a very interesting weirdly-pigmented, possibly albino, American Bullfrog Tadpole from Sacramento last month but I forgot about it until now....


Craig Tooley contributed a picture of a California Red-sided Gartersnake that has its red side coloring washing over its side stripe, something I haven't seen on this subspecies.

Dan K. contributed a picture and a video of courting Mearns' Rock Lizards.
Heather Gent sent in a picture of a green Northern Pacific Rattlesnake from Monterey County. People keep telling me they see "bright green" ones but nobody has showed me one yet. This is the greenest normally-patterned one I've seen yet.

I've put up lots of pictures of a new species of toad recently described in Nevada - the Dixie Valley Toad and lots more of two other possible new species within the Anaxyrus boreas complex from Nevada, from Hot Creek NV, and from Railroad Valley, NV.

I've put up pictures of what might be a new short-horned lizard subspecies, P. hernandesi ornatum, and pictures of the last subspecies of side-blotched lizard I hadn't photographed - the Northern Side-blotched Lizard. Unfortunately, every one of the roughly 30 lizards I found was a tiny juvenile. This means, of course, that someone will now immediately re-organize the entire Uta genus, wiping out all of the currently-recognized species (something I've been expecting to happen for years.)

I was sent a picture of a Long-nosed Snake from what could be a range extension found in San Benancio Canyon west of Salinas in Monterey County.

Noah Morales contributed pictures of a Northern Western Pond Turtle and Red-eared Sliders from the Consumnes River in Sacramento County.

Darrell Roberts sent in pictures of a large Red Racer that was eating a dove up in a tree in Maricopa County, Arizona.


A lucky sailor saw a Green Sea Turtle in Marina Del Rey harbor and sent me a picture.

An anonymous contributor donated a picture of some Arboreal Salamander eggs he found along with a bunch of salamanders in Sonoma County.

More pictures of the hybrid alien whiptails in Orange County, now spread to Aliso Viejo, from Kevin Lentz and others from William Flaxington.

Mark Girardeau of sent in pictures of a Mountain Gartersnake from Big Pine Lakes in the Sierra Nevada and a nice colorful female Granite Spiny Lizard.

Kevin Shayer sent in a picture of a tiny juvenile red-tailed skink from Kern County with a bright red tail.

Douglas S. Brown contributed pictures of California toadlets and Sierran Treefrogs from the high Sierra.

Joel A. Germond contributed pictures of Pond Turtles from San Luis Obispo County.

Klaus Eickelmann contributed some pictures of a colorful Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake from the Big Bend region in Texas.


Jeff Ahrens contributed a picture of a Desert Banded Gecko from Santa Clarita.

Dave Goodward contributed a picture of a San Diego Alligator Lizard found at 8,000 ft. elevation in the San Bernardino Mountains, which might be an elevation record.

Will Flaxington contributed pictures of three species of geckos he found in Orange County that are alien species in California, the first pictures I have of those species from the state - Tropical House Gecko, Indo-Pacific Gecko, and Flat-tailed House Gecko. The Indo-Pacific Gecko has been documented in Orange County, but I'm waiting for someone to publish notes I can cite that document the presence of the other two species in the state before I add them to my state list.

Steve Bledsoe sent in some great pictures of a California Lyresnake thermoregulating in a rock crevice on a cold day in March.

Richard Porter let me use several pictures of Western Spadefoots he found all on one night in Sacramento County.

Tony Charlton contributed pictures of Blainville's Horned Lizards from Ventura County.

Patrick Randall contributed a picture of a distinctly striped juvenile Sideblotched Lizard from Anza-Borrego.

Stuart Young sent in some more pictures of lizards and their habitat from Baja California - Granite Night Lizard and Southern Desert Horned Lizard, and a dark Southern Pacific Rattlesnake from the Cuyamaca Mountains.

Peter Gaede contributed pictures of a California Black-headed Snake he found in San Luis Obispo County, which makes only the second record from that county that I know about.

Ryan Wolter contributed a picture of a nice green Western Spadefoot found in Orange County last winter.

Jared Heald contributed pictures of a California Kingsnake and a very high contrast California Night Snake, both from Santa Cruz County.

Ben German contributed new pics of Blainville's Horned Lizard, Ring-necked Snake, Coast Mountain Kingsnake, and California Red-sided Gartersnake.

Keith Miller contributed pictures of a Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard from San Luis Obispo County, a new county reccord.

Andreas Kettenburg and Mark Hilands discovered a population of California Red-legged Frogs in Ventura County and sent in pictures.

An anonymous contributor sent in pictures of a painted turtle that wandered into her garden in Malibu.

Lauren Marie and Yuri Brezinger contributed pictures of an unusual Valley Gartersnake eating a toad in Lake County.

Andrew Klotz contributed pictures of a juvenile Southern Pacific Rattlesnake eating a fence lizard.

Jim Hewitt sent in pictures of a Pacific Gophersnake from San Jose that had eaten a very large meal then died on a hiking trail. What's stranger than that is that he said he found several others in a similar condition.


Bill Mayer contributed some very cool underwater pictures of Sierra Newts breeding in the Yuba River.

Sam Cartwright sent in pictures of a pretty Shasta Alligator Lizard, the likes of which I've never seen, with an almost black back with yellow markings, from the mountains in northwestern Colusa County.

Amy Patten sent in some pictures of a beautiful "Lavender phase" California Kingsnake from the Kern County desert.

Stacy Schenkel contributed several nice shots of a huge beautiful Red Racer in San Diego County.
Grayson Sandy sent in some pics of a huge Texas Spiny Softshell found in Milpitas.

Jared Heald contributed pictures of a rare find - a Diablo Mouintain Kingsnake - now called a California Mountain Kingsnake - in Santa Clara County.

Cherie Trivizio contributed pictures of a swimming Two-striped Gartersnake and its habitat, a flooded meadow in the San Diego County mountains.

Chris Rombough contributed video of two male Skilton's Skinks fighting.

Lou Silva contributed several pictures from the Mojave Desert: Desert Tortoise, Side-blotched Lizard, Great Basin Whiptail, and Desert Horned Lizard.

Ed Smith found a California Kingsnake eating a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, tooks some pictures, and contributed them here.

Holly Lane sent in some pics of a pale-faced Pacific Gopher Snake from Santa Clara County.

Sam Fellows sent in a picture of a nice reddish Baja California Coachwhip from extreme southwestern San Diego County.

Chad Lane contributed some great pics of one of the recently-described legless lizards, the Southern Sierra Legless Lizard. He also contributed pictures of other species of legless lizards: Southern California Legless Lizard, Temblor Legless Lizard, Northern California Legless Lizard, and Black Legless Lizard.

Rod sent in an unusual picture of a Northwestern Fence Lizard and a Northern Brown Skink basking next to each other in Placer County, a picture of a pair of courting Northern Brown Skinks, a video of two Northwestern Fence Lizards fighting, and video of a Northwestern Fence Lizard interacting with a garter snake.

Andrew Hausheer contributed pictures of a male Green Anole found in Laguna Hills, where they are definitely established.


Keith Condon contributed the first pictures of a Sonoran Lyresnake from California that I have on the site so far. It was from eastern Imperial County and had a divided anal plate.

Spencer Riffle sent in an amazing series of pictures of a female Wandering Salamander brooding her eggs over a period of three months, until they hatched.

Ryan Sikola sent in a picture of a Northern California Legless Lizard from the population found in the southern Sierra Nevada in Tulare County.

Chad Lane sent in some pics of a Scott Bar Salamander.

A Valley Gartersnake from the valley from Brett Burch.

Pics from Jared Heald: A screaming red Coast Gartersnake, a Forest Sharp-tailed Snake, a Santa Cruz zonata with read on the head, and a weird Northern Pacific Rattlesnake from the southern Sierra Nevada.

Stuart Young contributed pictures of a Baja California Coachwhip from San Diego County and some pictures from Baja California of a Baja Collared Lizard, a Southern Sagebrush Lizard, and two Baja California Spiny Lizards.

Rachel Bennett sent in Michael McCormick's picture of a very cool hypomelanistic San Diego Striped morph California Kingsnake from San Diego County.

Dan Schroeter contributed some pictures of a nice adult male Desert Spiny Lizard from near Palm Springs.

Dan Boyd contributed some nice pictures of courting male and female San Diego Alligator Lizards.

Ryan Sikola contributed a short video clip of a California Mountain Kingsnake eating a Western Red-tailed Skink that he observed in the Greenhorn Mountains.


Stuart Young contributed a bunch of great pictures of herps and habitats from Baja California - Baja California Ratsnake, Baja California Rattlesnake, California Lyresnake, Variable Sandsnake, a couple of Rosy Boas, Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake, a Mid Baja Gopher Snake, some Chuckwallas, a Cedros Island Horned Lizard, and intergrade banded geckos.

An anonymous contributor sent in pictures of what I have identified as a San Diego Night Snake from Santa Barbara County, close to where the two subspecies meet.

Christian Gingerich contributed a picture of an adult San Diego Banded Gecko.

Chad Lane contributed pictures of a Yellow-eyed Ensatina x Sierra Nevada Ensatina intergrade from Calaveras County.

Zachary Lemon contributed a picture of a reddish Northern Pacific Rattlesnake from the southern Sierra Nevada.

Lou Silva contributed pictures of Chuckwallas found in Arizona, including a great one of an adult posing on a rock decorated with petroglyphs.

Zach Lim sent in pictures of some Pacific Ring-necked Snakes found in San Francisco. I don't know how they can afford the rent....

Seth Erickson sent in some pictures of unusually-colored Western Red-backed Salamanders from Washington.

Doing a little early Spring cleaning, I simplified the home page and changed the drop-down menus so that the menus on all of the pages that pertain to California Herps site are the same and pages that are not specifically about California Herps have a different menu - inlcuding all the non-CA lists and the complete lists of snakes, lizards, frogs, etc. You might have to refresh your browser to see the new menus. Now you have to click on the "Beyond California" link to get into that Non-Cal world and find those links, but everything is still there. It has always bothered me that a lot of irrelevant pages were linked to the Cal Herps site, so now they're not... sort of. There really should be two web sites but I don't want to pay for that so this is the best way I could figure out to keep them separated.

I have added a list of Australian herps I photographed during an amazing trip last Fall (Spring down under.) I've got a few more snakes and turtles to add, but it's mostly finished.

The new herping regulations are out and copied here. There are not a lot of changes to herps that can be taken, but the taxonomy has been changed considerably.


Jared Heald sent in a picture of a Sierra Newt from Shasta County.

An anonymous contributor sent in a picture of a very dark California Alligator Lizard from Lake Folsom.

Alex Bairstow sent in pics of a weird hybrid Large-blotched x Monterey Ensatina.

Dave Zeldin sent in a picture of an adult Western Spadefoot from near Lake Matthews in Riverside County.

Huck Triggs contributed pictures of a California Kingsnake, a San Diego Nightsnake, and some San Bernardino Ring-necked Snakes.

Jay Keller contribute pictures of a Large-blotched Ensatina found under the same log with a Monterey Ensatina on Mt. Palomar, and side-by-side adult and juvenile Garden Slender Salamanders from San Diego County.

Isaac Chellman contributed a bunch of pictures of Southern Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a part of their range from which I had no pictures, until now.


Ryan Sikola sent in pictures of some hard to find and hard to identify San Simeon Slender Salamanders.

Jared Heald sent in some pictures of Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamanders showing eating and foraging behavior, and pictures of an Aroboreal Salamander and a Sharp-tailed Snake.

Luke Talltree sent in some pictures of a Shasta Salamander he photographed in late December.

Brad Hollingsworth sent me a voucher picture from the San Diego Natural History Museum of one of the recently-described Northern Italian Wall Lizards that have colonized a neighborhood in San Marcos.

Mark Gary took the monthly California Tiger Salamander breeding pond picture and also sent in photos of California Tiger Salamander eggs that were laid in the pond in December.

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