Coast horned lizard (phrynosoma coronatum)
The coast horned lizard is 2.5-4.5 inches long from snout to vent. They are active during the day. They prefer warm weather and become inactive when the weather is extremely hot or cold. Its preferred food is harvester ants, which have been threatened by Argentine Ants, and invasive species. As a result, the Coast Horned Lizard has lost much of its food source and is listed as a "Species of Special Concern" by the California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They are most active between April and August, when the harvester ants are most active. These lizards are unique because they can shoot blood from their eyes as a defense mechanism to repel foxes and coyotes. It can be found between Baja California and Sacramento Valley.
REd diamond rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber)
The red diamond rattlesnake inhabits chaparral in the Peninsular Ranges of Southern California from Orange and Riverside Counties southward. It has a diamond pattern on its back and may be reddish or tan. They are primarily nocturnal and crepuscular during hotter days, but at more moderate temperatures, they can be active during daylight. They hibernate in cooler months. They are categorized as "Least Concern" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but the CA Dept. of Fish and Game categorizes it as a "Species of Special Concern", due to habitat loss in the coastal region. They are venomous and can be dangerous to humans. They generally try to avoid or move away from humans; people should not approach them under any circumstances. They may make a rattling sound to warn humans. If you hear the sound, stop moving and try to discern the location the sound is coming from and slowly move away from the said location. Watch your step when moving through the chaparral and walk slowly. A recording of a red diamond rattlesnake rattling can be found below.
northern rubber boa (Charina bottae)
The northern boa is 15-33 inches long. Colors may vary among individuals; however, the color on top is usually uniform and the snakes look rubbery. It is harmless to humans. They are nocturnal and crepuscular. They hunt small mammals, birds, and lizards. There are no conservation concerns regarding this species and as a result, it is of "Least Concern." They are found in northern California in ranges including the Monterey County north along the coast ranges into the Siskiyou Mountains and the northern Great Basin and south through the Sierra Nevada Mountains into the Tehachapi Mountains. They are also found in nearby states such as Oregon, Nevada, and Washington.
southern Rubber boa (Charina Umbratica)
Adult southern rubber boas grow to about two feet long. They are smaller than their northern counterparts. They are typically olive or pale yellow colored. They hunt small mammals. They are a threatened species according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, but are not listed as threatened on the federal list. They are usually shy, making them difficult to find. They are nocturnal and crepuscular, so they are usually not found during daytime. They are found in southern California in areas such as San Bernardino County. They are endemic to California.
alameda whipsnake (Macsticophus lateralis euryxanthus)
The Alameda Whipsnake is a threatened species. They are typically 3-4 feet long. They have two annual peaks in activity: March to mid-June and August to November. They breed during the first peak in activity and lay eggs. Hatchlings primarily come out during the latter peak. After November, the snakes hibernate until March. As a result, visitors should visit during one of the two peaks in activity. They come out during the day in order to absorb heat. They eat lizards and small rodents. It is endemic to California. It lives in a small area on the east side of the San Francisco Bay in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, and parts of San Joaquin and Santa Clara Counties.