Reptiles

Lizards

Shasta Alligator Lizard

Shasta Alligator Lizard

Shasta Alligator Lizard courtesy of Gary Nafis californiaherps.com

(Elgaria coerulea shastensis)
Unfortunately these lizards are favorite playthings for our cats, and they’re constantly bringing them into the house to play with. Most of them we find are either tailess, or are sporting a replacement tail.

Snakes

California Red-sided Gartersnake

Garter Snake

Garter Snake

Garter Snake

Garter Snake

(Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis) – We’ve seen garter snakes a few times. (spotted 6/28/2002)

Amphibians

Frogs

Northern Red-Legged Frog

Northern Red-legged Frog

Northern Red-legged Frog

(Rana aurora) – We don’t see these as often as the Pacific Tree Frogs, unless our cats point them out to us. The one in the photo was Galen’s frog, as he was the one who was interested in it and therefore caught my attention. Today, July 9th, 2019, our cat Darcy caught one. I was able to rescue it and take photos of it in order to identify the species. These frogs mate in winter, and we’ll usually notice them on wet winter nights hopping across Rose Ave in search of the perfect mate.

Pacific Tree Frog

Pacific Tree Frog

Pacific Tree Frog (green version)

Pacific Tree Frog (green/copper version)

Pacific Tree Frog (green/bronze version)

(Pseudacris regilla) – These are the most common frogs in our garden, and the ones that make a beautiful racket during the summer mating season. They’re small enough I often see them tucked inside the cannas or roses. Our pond is now host to a couple and it started off full of tadpoles, but now in early July we’re wondering if any are going to survive. I think the local bird population caught on and they’ve been disappearing rapidly. I guess that’s why they lay so many eggs.

Pacific Tree Frog in our pond

Pacific Tree Frog in our pond

Pacific Tree Frogs can slowly change their color to match their environment. Some like the one pictured on the left are bright green which matches the cannas. The ones in the pond have a mottled, coppery color that matches the floating plants pretty well, and we often see ones that are a combo of both styles like the one on the right. They always have the black stripe below the eyes though.

Compare the size of the adult in the pond to the baby below. Both are photographed on the floating heart leaves.

Baby Tree Frog

Baby Tree Frog

Starting in mid-July we are seeing baby frogs in our pond that have developed out of the tadpole stage. So some have made it, and there are still tadpoles of various stages to be seen in the pond. The baby frogs are actually smaller than the tadpoles, which is weird. They’re only about 12mm long once they lose their tales.

Salamanders

California Slender Salamander

California Slender Salamander

California Slender Salamander

California Slender Salamander

California Slender Salamander

(Batrachoseps attenuatus) – I’ve only come across one of these. (spotted 8/2/2016)

Rough-skinned Newt

Rough-skinned Newt

Rough-skinned Newt courtesy of Gary Nafis

(Taricha granulosa) – All newts are salamanders, but not all salamanders are newts. These are the most common salamanders we see in our yard, often they are spotted when I’m cleaning up around the yard, as they like to hide under wood piles, or black plastic put down for weed control. Their skin produces a toxin you really don’t want to ingest.