CaliforniaHerps.com

A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California


New Additions in 2021





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observation link


These are some of the new pictures, sounds, and video that I have added to the site in 2021.
Most of these were generously contributed by photographers other than myself. I'm too lazy to list everything that I add myself. Pictures and video are listed under the month when I added them, not necessarily when they were taken or donated.

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 of the featured animal.
The most recent additions to the site are on top of the list found below.
A list of additions to the site in 2020 can be seen here.



October


I changed the name of the introduced hybrid whiptails to A. sonorae, following a 2018 study published in Herp Review that synonymized A. flagellicaudus with A. sonorae.

Marcus Rehrman contributed pictures of little pink neonate Northern Rubber Boas from Butte County.

Eric Quinn contributed a picture of a neonate Southern Pacific Rattlesnake with stripes instead of blotches found in Oceanside.

Ryan Sikola contributed a pic of a juvenile Great Basin Collared with open mouth.




September


Grigory Heaton contributed pictures of a Mojave Shovel-nosed Snake, a Two-striped Gartersnake, a Mountain Gartersnake eating a trout, a California Striped Racer, a Peninsula Leaf-toed Gecko, a Small-scaled Lizard, and a juvenile Baja California Collared Lizard.


Ryan Sikola contributed a nice series of pictures of a hatchling California Lyresnake from Inyo County and a Foothill Yellow-legged Frog from San Luis Obispo County.

Noah Morales contributed some pictures from Humboldt County - a Wandering Salamander on a building, a Southern Torrent Salamander, and a Shasta Alligator Lizard.

Caitlin Kupar contributed pictures of a Tulare County newt from the hybrid zone between the California Newt and the Sierra Newt that has all black eyes which is not at all normal.

Yuval Helfman contributed pictures of a California/Forest Alligator Lizard from Santa Clara County.

An anonymous contributor let me use a picture of an amazing number of juvenile newts that he found under a boat.

Amanda Law contributed a picture of bright albino hatchling Coast Range Fence Lizard from San Jose.

Isaac Chellman contributed pictures of a very strangely pigmented Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog and a Mountain Gartersnake eating a juvenile Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog.

Teejay ORear contributed pics of a nice tan-chartreuse Sierran Treefrog from the delta.

Jeffrey Harker contributed pics of a Northern Rubber Boa and a Mountain Gartersnake from northern Yosemite.

Ryan Aberg contributed pictures of two unusual leucistic Cascade Frog tadpoles.

Joel Germond contributed pictures of some California Red-legged Frogs from San Luis Obispo County.

Max Roberts contributed several pictures of Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog and habitat and Southern Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs and tadpoles from the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, including one being eaten by a Mountain Gartersnake.

Andrew de Koeyer contributed pictures of a very black female Yosemite Toad from a lake high in the Sierra Nevada in Mono County.

Ben DeDominic contributed pics of a Foothill Yellow-legged Frog from one of the few places they can be found in Marin County, and a California Toad.




August


Teeja ORear contributed a few pictures from the Humboldt County lost coast, including an unusual CA Red-sided Gartersnake with red stripes on the sides, an Oregon Gartersnake, and a pale Shasta Alligator Lizard.

Marcus Rehrman contributed a bunch of pictures of Giant Gartersnakes and habitat and a Pacific Gophersnake, all from Sacramento County.

Dave Feliz contributed pictures of Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamander larvae and transformed juveniles from his study area at the Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve and a nice picture of a roadrunner with a fresh-caught Great Basin Whiptail.

Brody Trent contributed several pics from Riverside County including some aberrant individuals - a hypomelanistic Common Chuckwalla and an anerythristic Mohave Shovel-nosed Snake - and some more normally-pigmented herps - Northern Desert Iguana, Colorado Desert Sidewinder, California Glossy Snake, Rosy Boa, California Kingsnake, and a tiny neonate Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake.

Kenny Paul contributed pics of a Desert Tortoise hatchling along with some nice shots of his children and granddaughter with herps.

Marcia Seyler and Jane Paulson contributed a picture of a beautiful abandoned Bearded Dragon that they found sitting on a trail in the middle of a park in San Mateo County.

Mardee contributed pictures of a couple of really interesting and possibly leucistic Inyo County Variable Groundsnakes with bright orange color on a light background.

Dan Boyd contributed some really interesting pictures of a female Northern Pacific Rattlesnake who had just given birth. You can see post-partum skin folds that make her look emaciated.

Joel Germond contributed a nice series of shots of a Coast Range Fence Lizard eating an adult antlion.




July



Dave D contributed a picture of a California Nightsnake from Fresno County. I have only a couple of pictures from the Sierra Nevada side of the valley.

Holly Lane contributed pictures of a nice Eiseni morph California Kingsnake she saw on the crawl in the Central Valley in Merced County.

Spencer Williams contributed pictures of Wintu Shasta Salamanders and their habitat, a Shasta Black Salamander, and some differently-colored Mount Lyell Salamanders.

Ryan Sikola contributed a picture of a Fairview Slender Salamander.

Grayson Sandy contributed pictures of an adult female Pond Turtle found crossing a road in the East Bay.

Gabriella Valdez contributed a picture of a Sierran Treefrog from Monterey County.

Wade Leschyn contributed pictures of a California Red-sided Gartersnake from Mendocino County

Yuvan Helfman contributed pictures of a Mohave Patch-nosed Snake, a Rubber Boa from the redwoods, bullfrogs from Santa Clara County, Terrestrial Gartersnakes, a Diablo Range Gartersnake, a Santa Cruz Gartersnake, and a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake and its habitat at sunset.

Zeev Nitzan Ginsburg contributed a bunch of pics - a Rosy Boa from the Mojave, adult and juvenile SW Speckled Rattlesnakes, a Western Red-tailed Skink from way out in the Kingston Mountains that looks a bit like a Skilton's, a melanistic Common Chuckwalla from a lava flow area, two Chuckwallas mating out in the open, an Island Fence Lizard, a very pale Mohave Fringe-toed Lizard, and a Western Fence Lizard from an isolated mountain range in the Mojave desert.

Michael Sutton contributed a picture of a juvenile Great Basin Whiptail he rescued from a pool where it walked on the ater for a while before sinking.




June


Ryan Sikola contributed a picture of a Coast Mountain Kingsnake in front of a nice central coast sunset.

Yuval Helfman contributed pictures of a California Whiptail and its habitat in Santa Clara County.

Christine Hsu and Don McKee contributed pictures of a Western Yellow-bellied Racer trying to eat an Aquatic Gartersnake on a grass lawn in Sonoma County.

Seth Erickson contributed pictures of a very cool aberrantly-pigment Painted Ensatina from Del Norte County.

William Mason contributed pictures and short video of a Southwestern Threadsnake at the mouth of an anthill and then burrowing into the nest.

Grigory Hinton contributed a picture of a California Kingsnake with a San Diego Alligator Lizard in its coils that he saw in San Luis Obispo County.

Richard Porter contributed some pictures of Sierra Nevada Ensatina, including one that is an intergrade with the Yellow-eyed subspecies.

Joe Culligan contributed a short video of a Brown Anole displaying his dewlap in the Del Sur neighborhood of San Diego.

Janet Ellis contributed pictures of two nesting turtles she photographed near a lake in Fremont - a Red-eared Slider, common throughout the state, and an alien that's much more rare in the state and rarely documented as established and breeding - a Snapping Turtle.

Scarlett Bettencourt contributed a picture of a Greater Brown Skink with a large bifurcated tail.

Mark Gary's monthly picture of a Contra Costa County California Tiger Salamander pond shows the extreme drought conditions in the S.F. Bay Area. The pond is almost completely dry and more than 50 endangered CTS larvae were found dead or dying in the thin puddle of water that remains.




May


Noah Morales contributed pictures of a Southern Leopard Frog from a population in the Central Valley that was formerly thought to be Northern Leopard Frogs. He also contributed a picture of an introduced from Mono County. Western Tiger Salamander.

Mark Gary contributed pictures of a Relictual Slender Salamander and its habitat on Mt. Breckenridge and a hatchling pond turtle with a Diablo Range Gartersnake nearby.

Paul Galvin contributed a great video of two male Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes wrestling for dominance during the May Breeding season in Orange County.

Jeff Harker contributed Will Cronan's picture of a Coast Patch-nosed Snake found in Santa Barbara County, a hard snake to find in any county.

Noah Morales contributed pictures of a Channel Islands Slender Salamander, a Clouded Salamander, and Kern Plateau Slender Salamanders and a very pale Mount Lyell Salamander from the east slopes of the Sierra Nevada in Inyo County.

Nathan Taxel contributed a picture of an alien hybrid whiptail from the Orange County population that he photographed in Irvine.

I have received another picture of a yellow Great Basin Fence Lizard for ID. I still don't know what causes the condition. This one was found in a yard in San Diego County by Rosanne.




April


Joel G. Germond sent a picture taken by Lillian Germond of mating Blainville's Horned Lizards with some bright yellow coloring.

Drew Arnett found a Rosy Boa eating a kangaroo rat at night and congributed a picture of it.

Ryan Sikola contributed pictures of a dark Northern Pacific Rattlesnake and a Monterey Ring-necked Snake from SLO County and a nice San Joaquin Coachwhip headshot.

Terry Goyan contributed lots of pictures - juvenile Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes from Marin County, and an adult from high in the Sierra Nevada that looks a lot like a Great Basin Rattlesnake, a Panamint Rattlesnake, a Great Basin Gophersnake, a Desert Tortoise, a neotenic Coastal Giant Salamander, a Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard, a Desert Spiny Lizard, a Chuckwalla, a Western Zebra-tailed Lizard, Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs in amplexus and one next to an egg mass.

Steven Elliott contributed pictures of two Red Racers, including one that was finishing swallowing a juvenile Southern Pacific Rattlesnake. He also sent in a picture of a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake from Tulare County that looks a bit like a Great Basin Rattlesnake.

Bradford R. Norman contributed the first picture of a Northwestern Gartersnake that I have so far from Humboldt County.

Max Roberts contributed pictures of another unusual partly-striped San Diego Gophersnake not far from the snake he found and contributed a picture of in March.

Rober Black contributed pictures of a very cool striped patternless Great Basin Gophersnake.

Greg Watson contributed a picture of a Long-nosed Snake trying to eat a Long-nosed Leopard Lizard.

Ryan Sikola contributed pictures of two adult Inyo Mountains Slender Salamanders and the first picture of a juvenile I've received.

A new paper has been published that confirms that there are 3 or 4 species of Ring-necked snakes in California. I've added explanations to my ring-necked snake pages (here's D. p. amabilis) but I have to wait until someone formally describes the new species and names them before I change the site to show them. Nevertheless, there are a few new snakes species in the state.





March


Andrew Borcher contributed pictures of a San Diegan Legless Lizard showing lots of blue irridescence on its body.

I've added a new alien gecko to the state list. It's been reported for a few years but it was officially documented in San Diego County this month - Hemidactylus mabouia, and a second location of Tarentola annularis has now been documented in San Juan Capistrano. Another alien gecko species recently established in the state, Cyrtopodion scabrum - Keeled Rock Gecko, has recently been reported to me. I'll add it to the list pending more research. For now it's on my list of unconfirmed aliens.

Adam G. Clause contributed a picture of a hatchling Chuckwalla that lacks the yellow coloring that seems to be present on most hatchlings.

The new herping regulations have been released. There are no significant changes from last year's regs.

Max Roberts contributed several great pictures of southern California herps - a greenish-brown Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, a light brown and pinkish California Kingsnake, a San Diego Gophersnake with an unusual pattern, a San Diego Alligator Lizard with golden coloring on the back and another one in the middle of shedding its skin, Baja California Treefrog eggs, and another Great Basin Fence Lizard with rusty coloring over its body. I've got a nice collection of these now, though it's still a mystery how it happens.

John Bailey contributed lots of great pictures of Red-eared Sliders and Northwestern Pond Turtles in a lake in El Dorado County.




February


Damon Tighe contributed pictures of a stunning California Slender Salamander that I think is an albino, or it could be leucistic, I'm checking on that, with a normally-pigmented one for comparison.

Ryan Sikola contributed a picture of a Desert Night Lizard from the small area in Santa Barbara County where they occur.

It's breeding season for California Newts in the SF Bay Area. Mark Gary contributed several pictures and short videos of newt aquatic breeding activity.

Robert Black and Alyssa-Worrell Black contributed pictures of Peninsula Leaf-toed Geckos and their habitat from a new native population they discovered in May 2018 in the Little San Bernardino Mountains that was recently written about in Herp Review. This is 12 miles farther north than they were previously known, and in an entirely new mountain range isolated by the Coachella Valley.

An anonymous user contributed some pictures of a very nice Pacific Gophersnake with orange blotches. Could be missing it's dark pigment, maybe.




January


There's a new kid in town. Elliot Jaramillo asked me to identify an unusual gecko he found in the desert near Death Valley. It turned out to be Cyrtopodion scabrum - Keeled Rock Gecko or Bow-footed Gecko, it goes by a lot of names. They have been established in Galveston, Phoenix and Las Vegas, and it looks like it is probably in California now. There's a record on iNaturalist of one found at Fort Irwin, too. We're thinking this one hitchhiked on trucks delivering goods from Las Vegas.

Noah Morales contributed much-needed pictures of a salamander species that was recently split from Hydromantes shastae - Shasta Salamander, that I previously had no pictures of on this site - Hydromantes wintu - Wintu Shasta Salamander.
He also contributed pictures of other salamanders: Hell Hollow Slender Salamander, Sierra Nevada Ensatina, Shasta Salamander, and Relictual Slender Salamander.

David Thompson contributed a picture of an unusually pale Sierra Nevada Ensatina.

Andre Giraldi contributed pics of a juvenile Wandering Salamander from Sonoma County and an aquatic gartersnake from the intergrade area in Marin County that looks more like the southern subspecies T. a. atratus.

Brian Nann contributed pictures of a Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake from the Colorado River and Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes, California Kingsnakes, and a San Diego Gophersnake from Orange County.

Sean Barefield contributed pics of Southern Desert Horned Lizards, a Mohave Sidewinder, a California Lyre Snake, and a Southwest Speckled Rattlesnake.

Ryan Sikola contributed some more pictures of the rare Lesser Slender Salamander, a Black-bellied Slender Salamander close-up, and a comparison shot of the faces of the two species that can be used to help identify them.

I have finished conforming the site with the most recent Endangered Animals and Special Animals lists published by the CDFW in November 2020 with only a few changes: The Mohave Desert Tortoise and the Leatherback Sea Turtle are now candidates for the California endangered species list, and the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog has been split into six clades, three of which are California State listed as endangered, and two are listed as threatened.

January is a slow month for California herps, so I'll point out something that have done every month for nearly seven years but never added to the new additions lists - Mark Gary has contributed this month's picture of a California Tiger Salamander pond he has been photographing every month since 2013. After the drought year of 2020, the pond finally filled and there was an abundance of tiger salamander eggs in mid December, but with little rain in the second half of the month, the pond has been reduced to a puddle and it appears that the eggs may have not survived. He also sent me two short videos of adult California Tiger Salamanders in the pond surfacing for air.



















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