A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

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Patternless California Snakes

observation link


Look for a picture that is similar to the snake you want to identify. Read the brief description of behavior and habitat, and if it fits your snake, click on the link to continue your search.

Rubber Boas

Not Dangerous to Humans

Thick-bodied, slow-moving snakes mostly found underneath objects in moist areas and mountains,
or found active at night, often on roads. Able to tolerate colder temperatures than most snakes.

Unicolor Rosy Boa

Not Dangerous to Humans

Thick-bodied, slow-moving snake only found in coastal San Diego County.
This snake does have a trace of pattern, but can appear patternless.

Western Yellow-bellied Racer

Not Dangerous to Humans

Fast-moving snake found in the daytime usually in open or grassy areas. Can be grayish,
greenish, or brownish, sometimes with yellow apparent on the sides and belly.

Very small burrowing snakes usually found beneath surface objects in moist areas, occasionally on the surface at night.
Blackheaded Snakes

Not Dangerous to Humans
Sharp-tailed Snakes

Not Dangerous to Humans
Ringneck Snake

Not Dangerous to Humans
Black-headed snakes are uncommon, and found in the south, and up the Sierras and coast range up to the mid-part of the state. Sharp-tailed snakes are found along the coast ranges and the Sierras, but not in the southern part of the state.
Ringneck snakes are found throughout the state, except most of the deserts.
Threadsnakes (Blindsnake)

Not Dangerous to Humans
Threadsnakes are found only in the southern portion of the state.


  Two-striped Gartersnake

Not Dangerous to Humans
A gartersnake found along central coast and southern California. Stripes on the
sides may not be apparent on some snakes, making it appear patternless. Usually found near water.

  © Jason Jones  
  Baja Ratsnake

Not Dangerous to Humans
A Baja California snake, extremely rare in California.
Found only in the extreme southern desert along the Baja California border.

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