CaliforniaHerps.com


California Snakes



 

A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California
   
Snakes Word Cloud This is a complete llst of snakes that occur naturally in California, including alien species with well-established populations.


California's snakes are listed here by scientific name and sorted by family, genus, species, and subspecies if applicable.

They are listed by common name below the first list.

Follow the blue links to go to a page with information about each kind of turtle along with pictures of them and their habitat and maybe some videos.

The names used on this list are based mainly on the lists published by the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Scientific Name
Common Name Original Description Alternate Name CA Endemic
         
Order Squamata Scaled Reptiles (Snakes) Oppel, 1811    
         
Boidae Boas and Pythons Gray, 1842    
         
Charina Rubber Boas (Gray 1849)    
Charina bottae Northern Rubber Boa (Blainville, 1835)    
Charina umbratica Southern Rubber Boa Klauber, 1943   Endemic
         
Lichanura Rosy Boas Cope, 1861    
Lichanura orcutti Northern Three-lined Boa Stejneger, 1889 Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca -
Coastal Rosy Boa
Lichanura trivirgata gracia -
Desert Rosy Boa
 
         
Colubridae Harmless Egg-Laying Snakes Oppel, 1811 Colubrids  
         
Arizona Glossy Snakes Kennicott, 1859    
Arizona elegans Glossy Snake Kennicott, 1859    
  Arizona elegans candida Mohave Glossy Snake Klauber, 1946    
  Arizona elegans eburnata Desert Glossy Snake Klauber, 1946    
  Arizona elegans occidentalis California Glossy Snake Blanchard, 1924    
         
Bogertophis Desert Ratsnakes Dowling and Price, 1988    
Bogertophis rosaliae Baja California Ratsnake (Mocquard, 1899)    
         
Chionactis Shovel-nosed Snakes Cope, 1860    
Chionactis occipitalis Western Shovel-nosed Snake (Hallowell, 1854)    
  Chionactis occipitalis annulata Colorado Desert Shovel-nosed Snake (Baird, 1859 “1858”)    
  Chionactis occipitalis occipitalis Mohave Shovel-nosed Snake (Stickel, 1941)    
  Chionactis occipitalis talpina Nevada Shovel-nosed Snake (Hallowell, 1854)    
         
Coluber N. American Racers, Coachwhips, Whipsnakes Linnaeus, 1758 Masticophis  
Coluber constrictor North American Racer Linnaeus, 1758    
  Coluber constrictor mormon Western Yellow-bellied Racer Baird and Girard, 1852 Columber mormon  
Coluber flagellum Coachwhip Shaw, 1802 Masticophis flagellum  
  Coluber flagellum piceus Red Racer (Cope, 1892) Masticophis flagellum piceus
Red Coachwhip
 
  Coluber flagellum ruddocki San Joaquin Coachwhip (Brattstrom and Warren, 1953) Masticophis flagellum ruddocki Endemic
Coluber fuliginosus Baja California Coachwhip (Cope, 1895) Masticophis fuliginosus  
Coluber lateralis Striped Racer (Hallowell, 1853) Masticophis lateralis  
  Coluber lateralis euryxanthus Alameda Striped Racer (Riemer, 1954) Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus Endemic
  Coluber lateralis lateralis California Striped Racer (Hallowell, 1853) Masticophis lateralis lateralis  
Coluber taeniatus Striped Whipsnake (Hallowell, 1852) Masticophis taeniatus  
  Coluber taeniatus taeniatus Desert Striped Whipsnake (Hallowell, 1852) Masticophis taeniatus taeniatus  
         
Contia Sharp-tailed Snakes Baird and Girard, 1853    
Contia longicauda Forest Sharp-tailed Snake Feldman and Hoyer, 2010 formerly Contia tenuis  
Contia tenuis Sharp-tailed Snake (Baird and Girard, 1852)    
         
Diadophis Ring-necked Snakes Baird and Girard, 1853    
Diadophis punctatus Ring-necked Snake (Linnaeus, 1766)    
  Diadophis punctatus amabilis Pacific Ring-necked Snake Baird and Girard, 1853   Endemic
  Diadophis punctatus modestus San Bernardino Ring-necked Snake Bocourt, 1886   Endemic
  Diadophis punctatus occidentalis Northwestern Ring-necked Snake Blanchard, 1923    
  Diadophis punctatus pulchellus Coral-bellied Ring-necked Snake Baird and Girard, 1853   Endemic
  Diadophis punctatus regalis Regal Ring-necked Snake Baird and Girard, 1853    
  Diadophis punctatus similis San Diego Ring-necked Snake Blanchard, 1923    
  Diadophis punctatus vandenburghi Monterey Ring-necked Snake Blanchard, 1923   Endemic
         
Hypsiglena North American Nightsnakes Cope, 1860    
Hypsiglena chlorophaea Desert Nightsnake Cope, 1860 Hypsiglena torquata  
  Hypsiglena chlorophaea deserticola Northern Desert Nightsnake (Tanner, 1944) Hypsiglena torquata deserticola  
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha Coast Nightsnake Cope, 1860    
  Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha klauberi San Diego Nightsnake Tanner, 1944 Hypsiglena torquata nuchalata  
  Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha nuchalata California Nightsnake (Tanner, 1943) Hypsiglena torquata nuchalata Endemic
         
Lampropeltis Kingsnakes and Milksnakes  Fitzinger, 1843    
Lampropeltis californiae California Kingsnake (Blainville, 1835) Lampropeltis californiae  
Lampropeltis zonata California Mountain Kingsnake (Lockington ex Blainville, 1876)
 
5 California subspecies have been recognized. They are listed here as pattern classes.      
   Lampropeltis zonata multicincta
Sierra Mountain Kingsnake (Lockington ex Blainville, 1876)    
   Lampropeltis zonata multifasciata
Coast Mountain Kingsnake (Lockington ex Blainville, 1876)    
   Lampropeltis zonata parvirubra
San Bernardino Mountain Kingsnake (Lockington ex Blainville, 1876)    
   Lampropeltis zonata pulchra
San Diego Mountain Kingsnake (Lockington ex Blainville, 1876)    
   Lampropeltis zonata zonata
St. Helena Mountain Kingsnake (Lockington ex Blainville, 1876)    
         
Phyllorhynchus Leaf-nosed Snakes Stejneger, 1890    
Phyllorhynchus decurtatus Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake (Cope, 1868)    
         
Pituophis Bullsnakes, Pinesnakes, & Gopher Snakes Holbrook, 1842    
Pituophis catenifer Gopher Snake (Blainville, 1835)    
  Pituophis catenifer affinis Sonoran Gopher Snake (Hallowell, 1852)    
  Pituophis catenifer annectens San Diego Gopher Snake Baird and Girard, 1853    
  Pituophis catenifer catenifer Pacific Gopher Snake (Blainville, 1835)    
  Pituophis catenifer deserticola Great Basin Gopher Snake Stejneger, 1893    
  Pituophis catenifer pumilis Santa Cruz Island Gopher Snake Klauber, 1946   Endemic
         
Rhinocheilus Long-nosed Snakes Baird and Girard, 1853    
Rhinocheilus lecontei Long-nosed Snake Baird and Girard, 1853    
         
Salvadora Patch-nosed Snakes Baird and Girard, 1853    
Salvadora hexalepis Western Patch-nosed Snake (Cope, 1866)    
  Salvadora hexalepis hexalepis Desert Patch-nosed Snake (Cope, 1866)    
  Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis Mohave Patch-nosed Snake Bogert, 1945    
  Salvadora hexalepis virgultea Coast Patch-nosed Snake Bogert, 1935    
         
Sonora North American Groundsnakes Baird and Girard, 1853    
Sonora semiannulata Western Groundsnake Baird and Girard, 1853    
  Sonora semiannulata semiannulata Variable Groundsnake Baird and Girard, 1853    
         
Tantilla Black-headed, Crowned, & Flat-headed Snakes Baird and Girard, 1853    
Tantilla hobartsmithi Smith's Black-headed Snake Taylor, 1937    
Tantilla planiceps Western Black-headed Snake (Blainville, 1835)    
         
Thamnophis North American Gartersnakes Fitzinger, 1843    
Thamnophis atratus Aquatic Gartersnake (Kennicott, 1860)    
  Thamnophis atratus atratus Santa Cruz Gartersnake (Kennicott, 1860)   Endemic
  Thamnophis atratus hydrophilus Oregon Gartersnake Fitch, 1936    
  Thamnophis atratus zaxanthus Diablo Range Gartersnake Boundy, 1999   Endemic
Thamnophis couchii Sierra Gartersnake (Kennicott, 1859)    
Thamnophis elegans Western Terrestrial Gartersnake (Baird and Girard, 1853)    
  Thamnophis elegans elegans Mountain Gartersnake (Baird and Girard, 1853)    
  Thamnophis elegans terrestris Coast Gartersnake Fox, 1951    
  Thamnophis elegans vagrans Wandering Gartersnake (Baird and Girard, 1853)    
Thamnophis gigas Giant Gartersnake Fitch, 1940   Endemic
Thamnophis hammondii Two-striped Gartersnake (Kennicott, 1860 )    
Thamnophis marcianus Checkered Gartersnake (Baird and Girard, 1853)    
  Thamnophis marcianus marcianus Marcy's Checkered Gartersnake (Baird and Girard, 1853)    
Thamnophis ordinoides Northwestern Gartersnake (Baird and Girard, 1852)    
Thamnophis sirtalis Common Gartersnake (Linnaeus, 1758)    
  Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi Valley Gartersnake Fox, 1951    
  Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis California Red-sided Gartersnake (Blainville, 1835)   Endemic
  Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia San Francisco Gartersnake (Cope, 1875)   Endemic
         
Trimorphodon Lyresnakes Cope, 1861    
  Trimorphodon lambda Sonoran Lyresnake Cope, 1886    
  Trimorphodon lyrophanes California Lyresnake (Cope, 1860)    
         
Hydrophiidae Sea Snakes and Allies Hydrophiidae Fitzinger, 1843    
         
Pelamis Yellow-bellied Seas Snakes Daudin, 1803    
Pelamis platura Yellow-bellied Sea Snake (Linnaeus, 1766)    
         
Leptotyphlopidae Threadsnakes Stejneger, 1891 Blind Snakes  
         
Rena Threadsnakes      
Rena humilis Western Threadsnake   Western Blind Snake  
  Rena humilis cahuilae Desert Threadsnake Klauber, 1931 Desert Blind Snake  
  Rena humilis humilis Southwestern Threadsnake (Baird and Girard, 1853) Southwestern Blind Snake  
         
Viperidae Vipers Oppel, 1811 Crotalidae - Pitvipers  
         
Crotalus Rattlesnakes Linnaeus, 1758    
Crotalus atrox Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake Baird and Girard, 1853    
Crotalus cerastes Sidewinder Hallowell, 1854    
  Crotalus cerastes cerastes Mohave Desert Sidewinder Hallowell, 1854    
  Crotalus cerastes laterorepens Colorado Desert Sidewinder Klauber, 1944    
Crotalus mitchellii Speckled Rattlesnake (Cope, 1861)    
  Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake (Cope, 1867 “1866”)    
Crotalus oreganus Western Rattlesnake Holbrook, 1840    
  Crotalus oreganus helleri Southern Pacific Rattlesnake Meek, 1905 Crotalus helleri  
  Crotalus oreganus lutosus Great Basin Rattlesnake Klauber, 1930 Crotalus lutosus  
  Crotalus oreganus oreganus Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Holbrook, 1840 Crotalus oreganus  
  Crotalus ruber Red Diamond Rattlesnake Cope, 1892    
Crotalus scutulatus Mojave Rattlesnake (Kennicott, 1861)    
  Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus Northern Mohave Rattlesnake (Kennicott, 1861)    
Crotalus stephensi Panamint Rattlesnake Klauber, 1930    
         
         
Alien Species
         
Colubridae Harmless Egg-Laying Snakes Oppel, 1811 Colubrids  
         
Nerodia North American Watersnakes Baird and Girard, 1853    
Nerodia fasciata Southern Watersnake (Linnaeus, 1766)    
  Nerodia fasciata pictiventris  (Alien Species) Florida Watersnake (Cope, 1895)    
Nerodia sipedon  (Alien Species) Northern Watersnake (Linnaeus, 1758)    
         
Typhlopidae Blindsnakes Merrem, 1820    
         
Ramphotyphlops Australasian Blindsnakes Fitzinger, 1843    
Ramphotyphlops braminus  (Alien Species) Brahminy Blindsnake (Daudin, 1803) Island Blind Snake
Flower Pot Snake
 
 
 

Common Name        
         
Boas        
Northern Three-lined Boa        
Rosy Boa        
Northern Rubber Boa        
Southern Rubber Boa        
         
Harmless Egg-Laying Snakes        
Smith's Black-headed Snake        
Western Black-headed Snake        
Blindsnakes/Threadsnakes        
Desert Threadsnake (Blindsnake)        
Southwestern Threadsnake (Blindsnake)        
Coachwhips (Racers)        
Baja California Coachwhip        
Red Coachwhip        
San Joaquin Coachwhip        
Gartersnakes (Watersnakes)        
Santa Cruz Gartersnake        
Oregon Gartersnake        
Diablo Range Gartersnake        
Sierra Garter Snake        
Mountain Gartersnake        
Coast Gartersnake        
Wandering Gartersnake        
Giant Gartersnake        
Two-striped Gartersnake        
Marcy's Checkered Gartersnake        
Northwestern Gartersnake        
Valley Gartersnake        
California Red-sided Gartersnake        
San Francisco Gartersnake        
Glossy Snakes        
Mohave Glossy Snake        
Desert Glossy Snake        
California Glossy Snake        
Gopher Snakes (aka Bull Snakes)        
Sonoran Gopher Snake        
San Diego Gopher Snake        
Pacific Gopher Snake        
Great Basin Gopher Snake        
Santa Cruz Island Gopher Snake        
Groundsnakes        
Variable Groundsnake        
Kingsnakes        
California Kingsnake        
California Mountain Kingsnake        
Leaf-nosed Snakes        
Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake        
Long-nosed Snakes        
Western Long-nosed Snake        
Lyresnakes        
Sonoran Lyresnake        
California Lyresnake        
Nightsnakes        
California Nightsnake        
Desert Nightsnake        
San Diego Nightsnake        
Patch-nosed Snakes        
Desert Patch-nosed Snake        
Mohave Patch-nosed Snake        
Coast Patch-nosed Snake        
Racers and Whipsnakes        
Alameda Striped Racer        
California Striped Racer        
Desert Striped Whipsnake        
Western Yellow-bellied Racer        
Ratsnakes        
Baja California Ratsnake        
Ring-necked Snakes        
Pacific Ring-necked Snake        
San Bernardino Ring-necked Snake        
Northwestern Ring-necked Snake        
Coral-bellied Ring-necked Snake        
Regal Ring-necked Snake        
San Diego Ring-necked Snake        
Monterey Ring-necked Snake        
Sharp-tailed Snakes        
Forest Sharp-tailed Snake        
Sharp-tailed Snake        
Shovel-nosed Snakes        
Colorado Desert Shovel-nosed Snake        
Mohave Shovel-nosed Snake        
Nevada Shovel-nosed Snake        
         
Rattlesnakes        
Colorado Desert Sidewinder        
Great Basin Rattlesnake        
Mohave Desert Sidewinder        
Northern Mohave Rattlesnake        
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake        
Panamint Rattlesnake        
Red Diamond Rattlesnake        
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake        
Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake        
Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake        
         
Sea Snakes        
Yellow-bellied Sea Snake        
         
Alien Species        
Brahminy Blindsnake   (Alien Species)        
Southern Watersnake  (Alien Species)        
Northern Watersnake  (Alien Species)        



       


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