Third Eye - Herping California 2021  
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Drier than usual conditions (due to lack of Winter rain) made Bay Area herping on April 2-11 more challenging than in previous years.
Santa Cruz Mountains

Pacific Ringneck Snakes often twist their tails into a corkscrew as a defensive behavior.
Pacific Ringneck Snake

Jerusalem Crickets are distinct in appearance, with strong jaws to feed primarily on dead organic matter and highly adapted feet to burrow beneath moist soil.
Jerusalem Cricket

A male Western Skink. Males of some skink species in the United States get red-orange faces as they mature.
Western Skink

California Slender Salamanders have demonstrated an ability to survive in some urban and suburban environments - they mainly require a moist habitat with things to hide under.
California Slender Salamander

Field Chickweed is a spring-blooming matted or clumped perennial herb that pops up in a variety of open sunny habitats - I saw it in many places that I visited.
Field Chickweed

Western Fence Lizards were the most commonly encountered reptile on the trip.
Western Fence Lizards

I found this Santa Cruz Garter Snake basking at the edge of a waterway on Easter Sunday.
Santa Cruz Garter Snake

A patternless San Francisco Alligator Lizard - these lizards favor cooler, damper habitats than most lizards.
San Francisco Alligator Lizard

A Darkling Beetle doing a "headstand" which may serve as a warning to would-be attackers to leave it alone (some types can emit a bad smell).
Darkling Beetle

Pacific Ringneck Snake - Ringnecks enjoy coast to coast distribution across the United States, though they are absent from arid areas. They need some degree of moisture to find their favorite food items: worms, slugs and salamanders.
10 Pacific Ringneck Snake

Herp habitat - I found five species of snakes in this location.
Herp Habitat

The Sharp-tailed Snake is unique in many ways. It does not seem to have a close relationship with any other snake species. It is secretive and little is known about its lifestyle and habits. It also has a hard pointy tail.
Sharptail Snake

Western Fence Lizards are capable of changing color and are quite variable in appearance.
Western Fence Lizard

A light-colored Pacific Gopher Snake. This reptile can produce a loud hiss when agitated or fearful. This species will also inflate its body, flatten its head, and vigorously shake its tail, when threatened.
Pacific Gopher Snake

An especially dark California Red-sided Garter Snake.
California Red-sided Garter Snake

The Northern Pacific Rattlesnake is the most widely distributed venomous reptile in California; it is one of the nine subspecies of the western rattlesnake.
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

Pacific Gopher Snakes spend a fair amount of time underground and are valuable to man, as they are efficient predators of rodents.
Pacific Gopher Snake


Click here to see Part 2