A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

New Additions in 2021


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.


Steven Elliott contributed pictures of Red Racers, including one that was finishing swallowing a juvenile Southern Pacific 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.


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.


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.


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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