A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

California Snakes

This is a complete llst of snakes that occur naturally in California, including non-native 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 scientific names list.

Follow the order, family, and genus links to go to a page with information about them. Follow species and subspecies name links to see a page for each type of snake, with pictures of the snakes and their habitat, short videos if available, range maps, and a full description.

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

More Lists and Information Abouit California Snakes

Scientific Name

Common Name Original Description Alternate Name CA Endemic
Order Squamata Scaled Reptiles (Snakes) Oppel, 1811    
Boidae Boas Gray, 1825    
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 Rosy Boa Stejneger, 1889 Northern Three-lined Boa
Lichanura trivirgata
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 annulata Resplendent Desert Shovel-nosed Snake (Baird, 1859 “1858”) Formerly Chionactis occipitalis  
  Chionactis annulata annulata Colorado Desert Shovel-nosed Snake (Baird, 1859 “1858”) Sonora occipitalis
Chonactis occipitalis annulata -
Colorado Desert Shovel-nosed Snake
Chionactis occipitalis Mohave Shovel-nosed Snake (Hallowell, 1854) Sonora occipitalis
Chionactis occipitalis occipitalis -
Mohave Shovel-nosed Snake
Chionactis occipitalis talpina -
Nevada Shovel-nosed Snake
Coluber North 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 Common 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 vandenburgii 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 /
H. ochrorhynchus klauberi
  Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha nuchalata California Nightsnake (Tanner, 1943) Hypsiglena torquata nuchalata /
H. ochrorhynchus nuchalata
Lampropeltis Kingsnakes and Milksnakes  Fitzinger, 1843    
Lampropeltis californiae California Kingsnake (Blainville, 1835) Lampropeltis getula californiae  
Lampropeltis multifasciata Coast Mountain Kingsnake Bocourt (1882)    
Lampropeltis zonata California Mountain Kingsnake (Lockington ex Blainville, 1876)
Phyllorhynchus Leaf-nosed Snakes Stejneger, 1890    
Phyllorhynchus decurtatus Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake (Cope, 1868)    
Pituophis Bullsnakes, Pinesnakes, & Gophersnakes Holbrook, 1842    
Pituophis catenifer Gopher Snake (Blainville, 1835)    
  Pituophis catenifer affinis Sonoran Gophersnake (Hallowell, 1852)    
  Pituophis catenifer annectens San Diego Gophersnake Baird and Girard, 1853    
  Pituophis catenifer catenifer Pacific Gophersnake (Blainville, 1835)    
  Pituophis catenifer deserticola Great Basin Gophersnake Stejneger, 1893    
  Pituophis catenifer pumilus Santa Cruz Island Gophersnake 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 Sonora semiannulata  
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) South Coast Gartersnake - Thamnophis ssp 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)    
Hydrophiinae Seasnakes and Allies Fitzinger, 1843 Sea Snakes  
Hydrophis Seasnakes Latreille ex Sonnini and Latreille, 1801 Pelamis  
Hydrophis platurus Yellow-bellied Seasnake (Linnaeus, 1766) Pelamis platurus  
Leptotyphlopidae Threadsnakes Stejneger, 1892 Blind Snakes  
Rena Threadsnakes Baird & Girard, 1853    
Rena humilis Western Threadsnake Baird & Girard, 1853 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 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 pyrrhus Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake (Cope, 1867 “1866”)    
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    
Non-Native Species  (More information about non-native reptiles and amphibians reported in California)
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 Florida Watersnake (Cope, 1895)    
Nerodia sipedon  Common Watersnake (Linnaeus, 1758)    
Typhlopidae Blindsnakes Merrem, 1820    
Indotyphlops South Asian Blindsnakes Hedges, Marion, Lipp, Marin, and Vidal, 2014    
Indotyphlops braminus Brahminy Blindsnake (Daudin, 1803) Ramphotyphlops braminus
Island Blind Snake
Flower Pot Snake

California Snakes Listed by Common Name

Rosy Boa        
Northern Rubber Boa        
Southern Rubber Boa        
Harmless Egg-Laying Snakes        
Smith's Black-headed Snake        
Western Black-headed Snake        
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 Gartersnake        
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        
Gophersnakes (aka Bullsnakes)        
Sonoran Gophersnake        
San Diego Gophersnake        
Pacific Gophersnake        
Great Basin Gophersnake        
Santa Cruz Island Gophersnake        
Variable Groundsnake        
California Kingsnake        
California Mountain Kingsnake        
Leaf-nosed Snakes        
Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake        
Long-nosed Snakes        
Western Long-nosed Snake        
Sonoran Lyresnake        
California Lyresnake        
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        
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        
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 Seasnake        
Non-native Species (More information about alien reptiles and amphibians reported in California)  
Brahminy Blindsnake        
Southern Watersnake        
Northern Watersnake        

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