A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

New Additions in 2020


observation link

These are some of the new pictures, sounds, and video that I have added to the site in 2020.
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 2019 can be seen here.

November and December

Ryan Sikola contributed pictures of a San Simeon Slender Salamander from Monterey County with only one eye.

Stuart Young contributed a picture of a neonate Rosy Boa and a California Striped Racer from Baja.

Jeff & lynda Mintz contributed pictures of tree lizards from Barstow, where I didn't know they were found.

H. Stern contributed pictures of an extremeley red Northwestern Gartersnake.

California Giant Salamander larvae pics from Santa Cruz County from Kamil Szepanski.

More pictures of San Simeon Slender Salamanders from Monterey County from Ryan Sikola.

Stuart Young contributed more Baja pictures - a Small-scaled Lizard from Isla San Marcos and a San Diegan Tiger Whiptail from the Sierra Juarez Mountains.


Jeremiah Easter contributed a spooky picture just in time for Halloween of a juvenile Mediterranean Gecko photographed with a UV light that makes it look like something from a Tim Burton movie.

Ryan Sikola sent in some pictures of Rubber Boas, including a bubblegum pink baby, a San Simeon Slender Salamander from Monterey County, and an Arboreal Salamander missing an eye and part of its face. I'd hate to see what this badass did to the other guy.

Stuart Young contributed lots of pictures, most from the Baja California peninsula:
A Speckled Rattlesnake from California, two Speckled Rattlesnakes from Baja California, including a white one, a crazy-looking Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake, that almost has stripes, two Red Racers from Baja, and a juvenile San Lucan Speckled Rattlesnake. A Peninsula Banded Gecko with an unusual pattern from California and a bright yellow Peninsula Banded Gecko from Baja California. A Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, an amazingly yellow Baja California Gophersnake, a San Diego Gophersnake, a Two-striped Gartersnake, two Rosy Boas, a mid-Baja morph and a Mexican morph, a San Diego Nightsnake, and a Colorado Desert Sidewinder, all from the Baja California peninsula and islands.
A Couch's Spadefoot from Baja California Sur, San Lucan Banded Geckos from San Marcos Island, a Small-scaled (Black-tailed Brush) lizard from Baja California, a Red-backed Spiny Lizard from Baja California, two Granite Spiny Lizards from Baja north and south, A Desert Spiny Lizard from northern Baja, a Cedros Island Horned Lizard from Baja sur, and a pale gray San Diego Alligator Lizard from northern Baja.

Noah Morales contributed pictures of a Great Basin Gophersnake, including a great one of the snake in a defensive pose.


An anonymous contributor let me use pictures of a very warty California Newt she found in San Luis Obispo County.

Jonathan Young sent in Michael Riedel's pictures of a Sierran Treefrog found 40 feet up a cypress tree in the S. F. Presidio.

Brody Trent contributed pictures of a Desert Banded Gecko, a Red Racer, a Rocky Mountain Toad, and an anerythristic Mohave Shovel-nosed Snake.

Noah Morales contributed pictures of Sierra Alligator lizards, a Relictual Slender Salamander, and adult and juvenile Rubber Boas.

An anonymous contributor sent in a short video of two Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes doing a "combat dance."

Teejay O'Rear contributed pictures of Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs, a Sierra Newt, and a Forest Alligator Lizard.


Ken Harrington contributed pictures of lizards from his yard in Prescott, including some tame Hernandez's Short-horned Lizards, and a colorful little juvenile Arizona Alligator Lizard.

Mandy Murphy contributed a picture of a tiny juvenile Pacific Ring-necked Snake wrapped around a finger.

Xiaopei Gelb contributed pictures of a California Alligator Lizard with a very long unbroken tail.

Alice Castellanos photographed an unusually-colored gold Coast Range Fence Lizard last February and Michael Marchiano sent them to me this month. It's not the first one like it I've seen, but I haven't figured out what causes it.


Adam G. Clause contributed several pictures of lizards and a snake from Mono County, including a very pale Desert Night Lizard with orange coloring, a Southern Desert Horned Lizard with orange coloring, a Western Zebra-tailed Lizard, and a Desert Striped Whipsnake.

Joel Germond contributed a short video of two Coast Range Fence Lizards fighting over territory.

Perregrine Wolff contributed pictures of a partially-striped San Diego Gophersnake, something I hadn't seen before.

Mandy Murphy contributed pictures of snakes from a wilderness area in Alameda County - Western Black-headed Snake, adult and juvenile Western Yellow-bellied Racers, and a nice shot of a coiled up California Nightsnake.

Kenny Elliott contributed pictures of Red Diamond and Panamint rattlesnakes.

Jorah Wyer contributed pictures of a high-elevation Sierra Alligator Lizard with an unusually dark pattern.

Alexandra Hicks contributed several pictures of desert animals from San Bernardino County - Mohave Sidewinder, Southwest Speckled Rattlesnake, Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake, Chuckwalla, Yellow-backed Spiny Lizards, and a Long-nosed Leopard Lizard eating a Great Basin Whiptail.


Ryan Sikola contributed pictures of another unusual hybrid between a Two-striped Gartersnake and a Diablo Range Gartersnake, this time from San Luis Obispo County, along with pictures of a rare Diablo Range Gartersnake from the same area.

Mike Pecora contributed pictures of a Great Basin Collared Lizard from Kern County, a new county for this site and this species.

Kevin Hintsa contributed pictures of a huge Foothill Yellow-legged Frog.

Ryan Sikola contributed a picture of a Santa Lucia Mountains Slender Salamander.

Henry Hwang with Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting contributed pictures of a gravid Diamondback Terrapin attempting to dig a nest near a brackish salt marsh. This might indicate that Diamondback Terrapins are now established in California, but more terrapins need to be found to confirm that.

Ryan Sikola contributed pictures of several snakes from Santa Barbara County - a Coast Mountain Kingsnake, a Two-striped Gartersnake, a Valley Gartersnake, and a very unusual hybrid between a Two-striped Gartersnake and a Diablo Range Gartersnake.

Grayson Sandy contributed pictures of a piebald male Pond Turtle.

Morten of contributed more pictures from Baja California - a San Lucan Desert Iguana and its habitat.

Andre Giraldi sent me a link to his video of two Blainville's Horned Lizards in apparently violent courtship behavior. I haven't seen enough of this behavior to know exactly what is happening, but at first I thought it must be two males fighting because one of them has blood on the back of its neck. That might be a result of the blood-squirting defensive tactic.

Douglas S. Brown contributed pictures and a YouTube video link showing a Two-striped Gartersnake eating a California Toad.

John T. Snow contributed pictures of what I'm calling a Cape Threadsnake (Rena boettgeri) because I have only found the scientific name for this recently-elevated new species of threadsnake.

Kenny Elliott contributed pictures of snakes from black lava fields - a Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake, and a very unusual Mohave Shovel-nosed Snake, with no color.

Joel Germond contributed a picture of a Calfiornia Red-legged Frog from San Luis Obispo county.


Alison Davies contributed pictures of two Baja California Coachwhips she saw one day near the Mexican border in San Diego County.

Brian Hubbs, the greasiest herper alive today, contributed pictures of a crispy DOR San Francisco Gartersnake from Santa Cruz County, and a Common Gartersnake from near the coast in SLO County that doesn't really help me figure out the subspecies found along that part of the coast because it has traits of both subspecies.

Kenny Elliott contributed several rattlesnake pictures - a Mohave Sidewinder, a Colorado Desert Sidewinder, a "blue" Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake from Phoenix, and a white one from Yuma County.

Gary Cruz found a large Snapping Turtle in Alameda County and contributed some pictures.

An anonymous photographer contributed shots of a Coast Patch-nosed Snake from Orange County, a snake that's uncommon throughout Southern California.

Ryan Sikola contributed pictures of a melanistic Two-striped Gartersnake and a Greenhorn Mountains Slender Salamander.

Jim and David Conrath contributed a picture of a pale blue striped California Red-sided Gartersnake similar to those north of the SF Bay but from much farther south than I knew they occured - just north of San Juan Bautista, and not far from the Monterey Bay. It makes me wonder where else they could be.

Andrew Borcher contributed pictures of a Southwestern Pond Turtle, a Common Chuckwalla, mating Blainville's Horned Lizards, and a California Toad and a Western Spadefoot in amplexus.

Kimberly D'Amelio contributed pictures of a nice striped Pacific Gophersnake with a reddish tip on its tail that looks like a stinger.


Morten of contributed some great pictures from San Francisco and San Jose Islands in the Sea of Cortez in Baja California - Black-tailed Brush Lizards, Side-blotched Lizards, a Zebra-tailed Lizard, and two island endemics, Isla San Jose Whiptail, and Isla San Jose Western Whiptail, two new whiptails for this web site.

Gary Cline sent in a picture of a Diablo Range Gartersnake at the supposed edge of its range in Newman, San Joaquin County.

Mark Rothenay contributed a picture of a juvenile Southern Pacific Rattlesnake eating a Western Side-blotched Lizard.

John Hodgson contributed pictures of a Napa County Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, and a Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog that had been killed on a trail and dead for a while.

Eugene Sederholm contributed a picture of a very brilliantly-colored Shasta Alligator Lizard, with a bright yellow body and re-generated tail and a blue head.

David Van de Houten sent a link to a very cool video of a Woodland Alligator Lizard walking slowly and snake-like with its rear legs tucked up against its body.

Hugo Rojas contributed a picture of an Arboreal Salamander from a very underreported part of the state - the eastern Santa Monica Mountains. I checked the map on iNaturalist, and there is only one other report from anywhere in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Noah Morales contributed lots of pictures - a Western Yellow-bellied Racer, a Southwestern Pond Turtle and a Pacific Ring-necked Snake from Alameda County, a beauty of a Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake from the Coachella Valley, a Southern Sierra Legless Lizard, a Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake, and a Desert Banded Gecko, all from Inyo County.

Jeremiah Easter contributed pictures of a Variable Ground Snake and the newly-described Dixie Valley Toad both from Nevada.

Brody Trent let me use his pictures of a Sonoran Gophersnake found in Palm Desert, because I had none from the Coachella Valley.

Noah Correia contributed pictures of a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, two of which gave me an excuse to make an animated gif that shows the snake puffing itself up in size. Because on this rusty old web site it's still 1998.

Noah Morales contributed pictures of a Common Sharp-tailed Snake and an Arboreal Salamander from Stanislaus County, An adult Relictual Slender Salamander with several babies, and Arboreal Salamanders from Alameda and Calaveras County.

Andrew Borcher contributed a picture of a breeding male Western Spadefoot, showing its breeding dark throat patch, and a great video of a male calling in a creek at night. He also contributed several pictures of Arroyo Toads, including shots of amplexus and one enormously fat spadefoot, along with a short video of two calling males competing for a spot. He also contributed a grisly picture of a large American Bullfrog that was cut open to reveal that it had recently eaten a Two-striped Gartersnake and an Arroyo Toad, which was still alive, and an amazing video that shows the toad revived and hopping away in the creek.

Dave D. contributed a picture of a Smith's Black-headed Snake he found in the foothills of Fresno County.

Aaron Wells contributed a picture of a Coast Patch-nosed Snake found in the San Fernando Valley.

John Buckman contributed pictures of an African Clawed Frog and a black Southern Pacific Rattlesnake with a bit of blue coloring.

Kenny Elliott contributed a picture of a Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake from Riverside County. I haven't seen many pictures of this species from California.

Dorothy Yerxa contributed a picture of a very unusual Rough-skinned Newt with a gray ground color and black bumps on its skin.


Steven Krause contributed pictures of Forest Alligator Lizards from Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. The specimen from Del Norte County is much farther west than the species' range is typically shown.

Alissa Nolan got permission for me to use Bebe Maag's pictures of a brilliant yellow leucistic Rough-skinned Newt found in Santa Cruz County.

Mike & Jon Thiede contributed pictures of two hypomelanistic (bright orange) Common Sharp-tailed Snakes they found in Chico.

Spencer Riffle contributed lots of pictures of several Lesser Slender Salamanders, including comparison shots with a Black-bellied Slender Salamander, along with pictures of San Simeon Slender Salamanders, and several Coastal Giant Salamanders, including paedomorphic adults from high altitude lakes.

Maren Pedersen contributed pictures of one of the Red-bellied Newts that are found out of range in Santa Clara County.

Ryan Sikola contributed pictures of another Lesser Slender Salamander and a Santa Lucia Mountains Slender Salamander.

Wayne Crank Jr. is making me see red, with several pictures of Red Diamond Rattlesnakes, including a mating pair and one with a tail with more than the typical number of black bands. He also contributed pics of a very colorful male Granite Spiny Lizard, and a Monterey Ensatina.

Owen Holt contributed pictures of a rare find - a California Newt larva that spent the winter in its natal pond instead of transforming last summer.

Andre Giraldi contributed several pictures of herps from Marin County that I didn't have - California Newt, Rough-skinned Newt, neotenic California Siant Salamander, California Toad, Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes at a den site, a California Kingsnake, courting Ensatina, and a Yellow-eyed Ensatina from the intergrade area where they typically look like a blend of the two subspecies, and a juvenile Western Sagebrush Lizard from Mariposa County.

Joel Germond contributed pictures of Woodland Alligator Lizards and Skilton's Skinks and a black Coast Range Fence Lizard, all from San Luis Obispo County.

Patrick Briggs contributed pictures of a California Lyre Snake from the coastal part of San Diego County, along with a Red Racer and several San Diego Gophersnakes.

Noah Morales contributed pictures of a Lesser Slender Salamander from San Luis Obispo County.

I have updated the Herping Regulations page to show this year's fishing regulations information. The CDFW taxonomy has been changed again, but now it conforms mostly with this website and with most other standard names lists, with a few exceptions.


Ryan Sikola contributed more great slender salamander pictures: Lesser Slender Salamander, San Simeon Slender Salamander, and Santa Lucia Mountains Slender Salamander.

Yuval Helfman contributed a picture of a colorful male Western Side-blotched Lizard from Inyo County.

Dana Duncan sent me pictures of what I assume is a Great Basin Fence Lizard with rusty-orange coloration. I've seen other spiny lizards with similar coloring, but I don't know what causes it.

Julia Ggem sent in a picture of a Rubber Boa.

Joel Germond contributed a picture of a Valley Gartersnake from San Luis Obispo County.

Ryan Sikola contributed pictures of Kern Canyon Slender Salamanders, some oddly-pigmented Arboreal Salamanders found hiding together in San Luis Obispo County - one spotless, one leucistic, and a Coast Patch-nosed Snake all the way up in San Luis Obispo County.

Spencer Riffle contributed pictures of Arboreal Salamander adults and hatchlings from San Luis Obispo County.

Kevin Law contributed a picture and video of Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnakes in Orange County.

Noah Morales contributed pictures of a Desert Night Lizard from the northern part of their range in Central California.

An anonymous photographer contributed some pictures of a Sierran Trefrog using rainwater collected in old Native American bedrock mortars.

Ryan Sikola contributed pictures of a Common Sharp-tailed Snake from San Luis Obispo County and a Gregarious Slender Salamander with enough tail for two or three salamanders.


Bryce Anderson contributed some interesting rattlesnake pictures - a hypomelanistic Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, and one with unusual greenish coloring, and a Red Diamond Rattlesnake eating a young black-tailed Jackrabbit, which was documented in Herp Review as a new prey species for the snake.

Ryan Sikola contributed a picture of a pinkish Tehachapi Slender Salamander.

Noah Morales contributed pictures of a Temblor Legless Lizard with interesting peach coloration.

Andre Giraldi contributed pictures of a very pale Arboreal Salamander and a reference to a statement by Robert Stebbins in his first book on amphibians that Arboreal Salamanders are capable of changing color, which might be what has happened with this salamander.

Spencer Riffle contributed pictures of a San Simeon Slender Salamander, intergrade Oregon Enstinas, and Yellow-blotched Ensatinas.
Ivan Vershynin contributed pictures of a Variable Groundsnake from Baja California Sur. Brad Murakami contributed pictures from Baja California - Couch's Spadefoot, and Cape Giant Whiptail.

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