The species lists below include all of the reptiles in California broken down by protected status. Species with multiple designations are listed more than once, and will appear in each category that is suitable. However, species with multiple designations will have a “-” after the latin name and a series of letters that describes all of the designations. The “key” is as follows:

FE = Federal Endangered          FT = Federal Threatened

SE = State Endangered              ST = State Threatened

FP = Fully Protected                   SSC = California Species of Special Concern

Taxonomic References:

Federal Listed Reptiles

There are a total of 10 federally listed reptiles in California.

Federal Endangered Reptiles (4 species)

Federal Threatened Reptiles (6 species)

State Listed Reptiles

There are a total of 8 state listed reptiles in California. A total of 6 of those reptiles are also federally listed.

State Endangered Reptiles (3 species)

State Threatened Reptiles (5 species)

Fully Protected Reptiles

Species of Special Concern

A Species of Special Concern (SSC) is a species, subspecies, or distinct population of an animal* native to California that currently satisfies one or more of the following (not necessarily mutually exclusive) criteria**:

  • is extirpated from the State or, in the case of birds, is extirpated in its primary season or breeding role;
  • is listed as Federally-, but not State-, threatened or endangered; meets the State definition of threatened or endangered but has not formally been listed;
  • is experiencing, or formerly experienced, serious (noncyclical) population declines or range retractions (not reversed) that, if continued or resumed, could qualify it for State threatened or endangered status;
  • has naturally small populations exhibiting high susceptibility to risk from any factor(s), that if realized, could lead to declines that would qualify it for State threatened or endangered status.

*for the purposes of this discussion, “animal” means fish, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal

**criteria for fishes are similar except that Federally listed taxa are not defined as SSCs

A total of 23 reptiles in California are Species of Special Concern.

  • Sonoran mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense)
  • Western pond turtle (Emys marmorata)
  • San Diego banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus abbotti)
  • Cope’s leopard lizard (Gambelia copeii)
  • Coast horned lizard (Phrynosoma blainvillii)
  • Flat-tailed horned lizard (Phrynosoma mcallii)
  • Colorado Desert fringe-toed lizard (Uma notata)
  • Mojave fringe-toed lizard (Uma scoparia)
  • Sandstone night lizard (Xantusia gracilis)
  • Sierra night lizard (Xantusia sierrae)
  • Coastal whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris stejnegeri)
  • Panamint alligator lizard (Elgaria panamintina)
  • Black legless lizard (Anniella pulchra nigra)
  • Silvery legless lizard (Anniella pulchra pulchra)
  • Banded Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum cinctum)
  • California glossy snake (Arizona elegans occidentalis)
  • Baja California coachwhip (Coluber fuliginosus)
  • Regal ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus regalis)
  • San Joaquin coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum ruddocki)
  • Coast patch-nosed snake (Salvadora hexalepis virgultea)
  • Two-striped gartersnake (Thamnophis hammondii)
  • South coast gartersnake [coastal plain from Ventura Co. to San Diego Co. from sea level to about 850m] (Thamnophis sirtalis ssp)
  • Red-diamond rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber)

CDFW Watchlist Reptiles

  • Coronado skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus interparietalis)
  • Orange-throated whiptail (Aspidoscelis hyperythra)
  • Baja California rat snake (Bogertophis rosaliae)
  • California mountain kingsnake [San Bernardino population] (Lampropeltis zonata) (parvirubra)
  • California mountain kingsnake [San Diego population] (Lampropeltis zonata) (pulchra)
  • Santa Cruz  Island gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer pumilus)

All Reptiles of California

There are a total of 108 reptiles in California. In total, 14 of those were introduced (94 native), and 16 are extremely limited in distribution in California.

(Source: CDFW here)

I – species Introduced to California, non-native

* – extremely limited distribution in California

Turtles (Cryptodira)

  • Snapping Turtles (Chelydridae)
    • Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) I
  • Musk and Mud Turtles (Kinosternidae)
    • Sonora Mud Turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) *
  • Box and Basking Turtles (Emydidae)
    • Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata)
    • Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) I
    • Pond Slider (Trachemys scripta) I
  • Tortoises (Testudinidae)
    • Mohave Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)
  • Sea Turtles (Cheloniidae)
    • Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) *
    • Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) *
    • Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) *
    • Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) *
  • Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelyidae)
    • Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) *
  • Softshell Turtles (Trionychidae)
    • Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera) I

Lizards and Snakes (Squamata)

  • Geckos (Gekkonidae)
    • Moorish Wall Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) *,I
    • Ringed Wall Gecko (Tarentola annularis) *,I
    • Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) I
  • Leaf-toed Geckos (Phyllodactylidae)
    • Peninsula Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus nocticolus)
  • Eyelid Geckos (Eublepharidae)
    • Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus)
    • Switak’s Banded Gecko (Coleonyx switaki)
  • Night Lizards (Xantusiidae)
    • Island Night Lizard (Xantusia riversiana)
    • Desert Night Lizard (Xantusia vigilis)
    • Granite Night Lizard (Xantusia henshawi)
    • Sandstone Night Lizard (Xantusia gracilis) *
    • Sierra Night Lizard (Xantusia sierra) *
    • Wiggins’ Night Lizard (Xantusia wigginsi) *
  • Skinks (Scincidae)
    • Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus)
    • Gilbert’s Skink (Plestiodon gilberti)
  • Whiptails and Relatives (Teiidae)
    • Tiger Whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris
    • Orange-throated Whiptail Aspidoscelis hyperythra
  • Lacertid Lizards (Lacertidae)
    • Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis siculus) *,I
  • Alligator Lizards and Relatives (Anguidae)
    • Panamint Alligator Lizard (Elgaria panamintina)
    • Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata)
    • Northern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea)
  • Legless Lizards (Anniellidae)
    • California Legless Lizard (Anniella pulchra) (has been split into 2 species)
  • Gila Monsters (Helodermatidae)
    • Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)
  • Chameleons (Chamaeleonidae)
    • Jackson’s Chameleon (Chamaeleo jacksonii) *,I
  • Iguanids (Iguanidae)
    • Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
    • Common Chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater)
  • Collared and Leopard Lizards (Crotaphytidae)
    • Cope’s Leopard Lizard (Gambelia copeii)
    • Baja California Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus vestigium)
    • Long-nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)
    • Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia sila)
    • Great Basin Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus bicinctores)
  • Spiny Lizards (Phrynosomatidae)
    • Pygmy Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii)
    • Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos)
    • Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister)
    • Blainville’s Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma blainvillii)
    • Mearns’ Rock Lizard (Petrosaurus mearnsi)
    • Baja California Brush Lizard (Urosaurus nigricaudus)
    • Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)
    • Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
    • Flat-tailed Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma mcallii)
    • Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
    • Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)
    • Granite Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus orcutti)
    • Mohave Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma scoparia)
    • Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma inornata)
    • Colorado Desert Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma notata)
    • Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
    • Common Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
    • Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus uniformis)
  • Anoles (Dactyloidae)
    • Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) *,I
    • Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) *,I
  • Slender Blind Snakes (Leptotyphlopidae)
    • Western Threadsnake (Rena humilis)
  • Blindsnakes (Typhlopidae)
    • Brahminy Blindsnake (Ramphotyphlops braminus) I
  • Boas (Boidae)
    • Southern Rubber Boa (Charina umbratica)
    • Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae)
    • Northern Three-lined Boa (Lithanura orcutti)
  • Harmless Egg-laying Snakes (Colubridae)
    • California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae)
    • California Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata)
    • Long-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)
    • Western Groundsnake (Sonora semiannulata)
    • Western Shovel-nosed Snake (Chionactis occipitalis)
    • Western Black-headed Snake (Tantilla planiceps)
    • Sonoran Lyresnake (Trimorphodon lambda)
    • California Lyresnake (Trimorphodon lyrophanes)
    • Striped Whipsnake (Coluber taeniatus)
    • Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans)
    • Smith’s Black-headed Snake (Tantilla hobartsmithi)
    • Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake (Phyllorhynchus decurtatus)
    • Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer)
    • North American Racer (Coluber constrictor)
    • Coachwhip (Coluber flagellum)
    • Striped Racer (Coluber lateralis)
    • Baja California Ratsnake (Bogertophis rosaliae) *
    • Western Patch-nosed Snake (Salvadora hexalepis)
    • Baja California Coachwhip (Coluber fuliginosus)
  • Rear-fanged Snakes (Dipsadidae)
    • Desert Nightsnake (Hypsiglena chlorophaea)
    • Coast Nightsnake (Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha)
    • Common Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia tenuis)
    • Forest Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia longicauda)
    • Ring-necked Snake (Diadophis punctatus)
  • Harmless Live-bearing Snakes (Natricidae)
    • Common Gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
    • Terrestrial Gartersnake (Thamnophis elegans)
    • Southern Watersnake (Nerodia fasciata) I
    • Common Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon) I
    • Checkered Gartersnake (Thamnophis marcianus)
    • Northwestern Gartersnake (Thamnophis ordinoides)
    • Two-striped Gartersnake (Thamnophis hammondii)
    • Aquatic Gartersnake (Thamnophis atratus)
    • Giant Gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas)
    • Sierra Gartersnake (Thamnophis couchii)
  • Sea Snakes (Hydrophiidae)
    • Yellow-bellied Seasnake (Pelamis platura)
  • Pitvipers (Crotalidae)
    • Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus)
    • Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes)
    • Mohave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
    • Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii)
    • Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
    • Red Diamond Rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber)
    • Panamint Rattlesnake (Crotalus stephensi)