BFS Reptiles & Amphibians


Species listed. Species names are according to the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles’ SSAR North American Standard English Names Database. Below the main list is a list of species reported in the ‘Observed and Expected Fauna’ in the 1999 EIR but not confirmed by observation.

Photos. Links labeled ‘BFS’ Bernard Field Station photos. Photos on the BFS pages may be used for any personal or academic purposes as long as notification of use is sent to the BFS Director and the image is clearly credited with ©[Name of photographer]. For higher-resolution images, please contact the BFS Director. Note that no photos taken at the BFS may be used for commercial purposes without the express permission of the BFS Director.

‘CP’ links will return all photographs of the listed taxon in the CalPhotos Digital Library Project database. Note that you must check the stipulations with each photograph for permissible uses of the CalPhotos images.

Additional sources of information:

Common name Species name Photos* Conservation


San Diegan Legless Lizard Anniella stebbinsi BFS, CP SSC Previously reported as Anniella pulchra, but A. pulchra has been divided into 5 species on the basis of morphological and molecular evidence. The species at the BFS is A. stebbinsi.
San Diegan Tiger Whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris stejnegeri BFS, CP SSC Originally reported as Cnemidophorus tigris multiscutatus; however, in 2001 the coastal Southern California species was assigned to C. t. stejnegeri, and in 2003 the species was assigned to genus Aspidoscelis. The Field Station Manual reported the whiptail on the BFS as C. t. mundus (now A. t. munda), but this identification is almost certainly in error — see range map.
Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata BFS, CP Formerly known as Gerrhonotus multicarinatus
Mediterranean Gecko Hemidactylus turcicus BFS, CP
Blainville’s Horned Lizard Phrynosoma blainvillii CP SSC Phrynosoma blainvillii was until fairly recently considered a subspecies of Phrynosoma coronatum; however, in 2004 it was elevated to a separate species. Likely extirpated at the BFS; last confirmed sighting was in 2000.
Skilton’s Skink Plestiodon skiltonianus skiltonianus BFS, CP Formerly Eumeces skiltonianus skiltonianus; now assigned to genus Plestiodon.
Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis BFS, CP Reported in the 1999 EIR as Sceloporus occidentalis biseriatus, but the subspecies designation seems unlikely given its range.
Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana elegans BFS, CP Reported in the 1999 EIR as Uta stansburiana hesperis, but this subspecies is no longer recognized.


California Striped Racer Coluber lateralis lateralis BFS, CP Originally reported as Masticophis lateralis lateralis, but now considered to be in genus Coluber.
San Bernardino Ring-necked Snake Diadophis punctatus modestus CP
San Diego Night Snake Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha klauberi CP Originally reported as Hypsiglena torquata klauberi; assigned to H. ochrorhyncha supspecies klauberi in 2006.
California Kingsnake Lampropeltis californiae CP
San Diego Gophersnake Pituophis catenifer annectans BFS, CP Originally reported as Pituophis melanoleucus, but this species is now restricted to the related Pinesnakes found in the Eastern U.S.
Western Black-headed Snake Tantilla planiceps CP


Western Pond Turtle Actinemys pallida BFS, CP SSC Previously reported as Actinemys marmorata. Recent morphological and molecular analysis, however, has led to Western pond turtles being separated into two species – one northern (A. marmorata) and one southern (A. pallida). The local species is A. pallida, but since the turtles at the BFS came from more than one source, some may, in fact, be A. marmorata.
Red-eared Slider Trachemys scripta elegans BFS, CP Not native to California – introduced, especially in populated areas, primarily as a result of the release of pets by negligent owners.

Frogs & Toads:

Western Toad Anaxyrus boreas BFS, CP Previously reported as Bufo boreas halophilus. The genus Bufo was recently determined to be paraphyletic; North American toads are now placed in Anaxyrus. The subspecies pallida is no longer recognized.
American Bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus BFS, CP Exotic. Native to the Eastern U.S., L. catesbeianus has now been introduced into many places in the Western U.S., including California. Formerly Rana catesbeiana.
Baja California Treefrog Pseudacris hypochondriaca BFS Listed in the 1999 EIR as Hyla regilla; now placed in genus Pseudacris, and the Pseudacris in our area has been determined to be a distinct species from P. regilla.


Garden Slender Salamander Batrachoseps major major BFS, CP Listed in the 1999 EIR as Batrachoseps pacificus major; however, recent revision elevates this taxon to a species, B. major, with two subspecies.

Unconfirmed species reports:

The following species were listed in ‘Observed and Expected Fauna’ in the 1999 EIR, but have not been confirmed at the BFS.

Western Yellow-bellied Racer Coluber constrictor mormon
Red Racer Coluber flagellum piceus Originally reported as Masticophis flagellum piceus, but now assigned to genus Coluber.
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus helleri Rattlesnakes have been extirpated from the BFS. Listed in the EIR as Crotalus viridis helleri; now assigned to C. oreganus.
California Mountain Kingsnake Lampropeltis zonata Originally reported as Lampropeltis zonata pulchra, but subspecies of L. zonata are no longer recognized.
Southwestern Threadsnake Rena humilis humilis Formerly Leptotyphlops humilis humilis. Leptotyphlops is now restricted to old world species.
Coast Patch-nosed Snake Salvadora hexalepis virgultea
California Lyresnake Trimorphodon lyrophanes Formerly Trimorphodon biscutatus lyrophanes; now a separate species.
Arboreal Salamander Aneides lugubris
Black-bellied Slender Salamander Batrachoseps nigriventris
Monterey Ensatina Ensatina eschscholtzii eschscholtzii


Conservation Status:
SSC = Species of Special Concern according to California Department of Fish & Wildlife Special Animals List [pdf] – July 2020
Links to Photos and Descriptions:
BFS = Robert J. Bernard Biological Field Station. Some of the reptiles and amphibians were photographed at the BFS. Additional photographs taken elsewhere have been generously provided to the BFS by Claremont Colleges faculty, students, and staff, and additional photographers.
CP = CalPhotos, Digital Library Project, UC Berkeley. Clicking the CalPhotos link for a listing will return a display of all photos for that taxon. If you want to use any of these photos, be sure to check the guidelines for Using the Photos in CalPhotos
EIR = Envicom Corporation. 1999. Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Claremont Colleges North Campus Master Plan. March 1999.