& Rescue
Humboldt County Herpetological Society
Natives Index
The Humboldt County Herpetological Society invites you to explore our wonderful world of reptiles and amphibians.

We are a local non-profit community  hub for herp-related services and informational resources.  We  have a message
board used for herp-related inquiries and adoptions and rescue referrals, links to experienced local herp-keepers for pet
support, and a community outreach program where we bring the critters to the public!  We endorse responsible
herpetoculture and embrace all avenues that may further education and practices in conservation.  Our native species
index offers detailed information and/or pictures about local species.

As the society is still a work in progress, we ask that you please be patient while we find the time to write additional
pages for the site.  We are a but a small band of volunteers with big hearts, and much of our free time is spent caring for
our slippery, warty, leathery, scaly, or hard-shelled friends.  
Captive Herps
Photo Contributions
WHAT'S NEW for 2011???

HumboldtHerps is now 4 years old!  Currently, I am the only remaining member, but I have kept up with the
HCHS tradition of presenting herps at both the HSU Natural History Museum in Arcata and College of the
Redwoods' Science Night in So. Eureka.  HumboldtHerps continues to work with Vanessa Blot's
in these joint ventures and others (local schools, 4H gatherings, etc.).  Both organizations are also
working together with the
Sequoia Park Zoo to help kick-start its Citizen Science FrogWatch USA program.  If
you love and want to help out with real frog science, and you live locally, this volunteer endeavor is for you!  

HumboldtHerps continues to document reptile and amphibian sightings throughout NW California and abroad,
however in order to keep the website from slowing down, I will be publishing only those photographs which
cover events, new sightings, and unique views or new or unusual phenotypes of already pictured specimens.   
As time allows, I am also creating dot locality maps of various local species; these are a work in progress, but
I hope to post a few in the coming months.    

Please click
Herp News & Events for coming adventures and updated pics!  Here you can also explore
photographs of previous HCHS meetings and events.  Welcome and enjoy!

Steven Krause
Website-coordinator and Co-founder
February 2011
Welcome to HumboldtHerps!
Welcome to HumboldtHerps!
New to the
These Hypo Motley
Corn Snakes broke
through their shells
late July of 2008!
Look what's
for lunch!
This Coastal Giant
Salamander is
having a rather
sluggish time eating
a banana slug.  
(July 2008)
This Ensatina
(Ensatina eschscholtzi)
was found out and about  
on a misty winter morning
at Hiouchi Flat in Del Norte
County.  (Jan. 08, 2009)
Humboldt County Herpetological Society
Early riser!
CA Red-sided Garter
(Thamnophis s. infernalis)
This yearling was found
active in the woods during
a winter warm spell.
Ryan Slough area

Oregon Alligator Lizard
with ticks.

Ticks do not just feed on
mammals!  Tick nymphs,
including those of the
California Black-legged Tick,
which is a primary carrier of
Lyme disease, often start their
lives feeding on the blood of
lizards and snakes.  They may
be found embedded in the
nostrils, ear openings, and in
soft parts between scales.

An article posted April 29,
1998 in
The Berkleyan
pointed out that a protein in
the blood of the Western
Fence Lizard actually kills the
Lyme disease bacterium!
Alligator lizards may also have
the protein which kills the
Lyme spirochete.
Invasive Species
coming soon!

This CB East African Sand
Boa (
Eryx colubrinus)
shares a unique lineage with
California's own Rubber and
Rosy Boas via a common
ancestor that lived prior to
the geologic separation of
Africa and South America!

Black-throat Monitors are
awesome lizards that
can reach a length of six
feet. Consider your
personal space before you
decide to acquire one of
these animals; enclosure
size must address varanid
vitality, not just what is
considered to be basically
humane!.  Feeding and
handling of these animals
also requires special
attention, as aggressive
monitors can inflict serious
bites.  In an ideal
hospitable setting,
monitors may be tamed to
be leash friendly.  Always
weigh all the facts.  Getting
in over your head with a
pet isn't good for you or
your animal.

Photos by Aaron Houser
Spectacular infernalis!
This amazing specimen of a
California Red-sided Garter
Snake (
Thamnophis sirtalis
) was captured on

film by Alan Francis of in Pt.
Reyes.  Many of our
infernalis have
more subdued reds,
especially where
intergradation occurs with
T. s. fitchi.
These two
Ensatinas look as
though they are
kissing!  Probably
some nasolabial
grooves at work!
Ryan Slough area
(January 12, 2011)
The HCHS supports
citizen science and
Sequoia Park Zoo's
AZA promotion of
If you are interested in
monitoring local frog
song please contact
Humboldtherps or
contact the Sequoia
Park Zoo
  2011 Desert Herp Trip!  (March 25 - 30, 2011)    
 Most sightings (including tortoise burrows) have GPS coordinates;  Uta species' dot localities were not taken.
My good buddy Murphy and I decided to revisit the Pisgah Lava Beds area in San Bernardino
County again before we ventured southeast  to some Imperial  County rock-hounding sites.  Last
time we hit the desert was in May of 2009, and it was already miserably hot.  This time we came
just a bit too early.  The high desert at Pisgah was still chilly at night; that meant no scorpions to
find and no lizard activity until around noon!  Well, all except the Side-blotched Lizards - they're
out and about during warm spells all year 'round; they were everywhere.   At Pisgah we sighted
only one adult male Chuckwalla, puffed up all nice and snug in a lava tube, and one Great Basin
Whiptail.  The "black-top" or desert pavement at Pisgah however did yield some interesting small
pieces of picture jasper and agate.

We then headed to the Hauser Geode Beds area in NE Imperial County (right below the Riverside
County line.)   During our travels to the various digging beds we spotted Western Zebra-tails,
Desert Iguanas, Great Basin Whiptails, and quite a few Desert Tortoise dens.  

The whole three and a half days we were there we did not see a single tortoise, but alas, on our
drive out we spotted a grand beauty
crossing the road past mid-
morning.  It looked like it had just eaten some greens and was on its
way to shadier grounds.  The
weather was starting to get
hotter as we left.

      Desert Tortoise
                  (Gopherus agassizii)

Leaving the Hauser beds, we went south on Wiley Well Road, which turns into Milpitas Wash
 We spotted a Chuckwalla on the side of the road; this one was surprisingly easy to catch.
                       Our nearby destination was a wash where we had previously found some
                       psilomelane.  Here we spied another iguana.  We noticed how these vegetarians'
                                                               burrows were always located near creosote bushes, a major      
                                                                food source.                                

We then headed south on Ogilby Road to Indian Pass Road to look for petrified palm root.  No
palm root, but we did find some dumouritite and an strikingly colored male Side-blotched
the road turned into Gavilan Wash

Our last stops were at the ghost town of  
Hedges  at the Tumco gold mine area and Vitrefax Hill
near the American Girl Mine.

                                                  We did not see a single snake the entire trip!
Pisgah lava tube habitat         male Chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater)           (Uta s. elegans)             (Aspidoscelis t. tigris)
Hauser area black-top     juv. Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus d. dorsalis)       W. Zebra-tails [adult female-L] [juvenile-R]
      and washes                                   Potato Patch area                           
(Callisaurus draconoides rhodostictus)
Uta - gravid female            tarantula burrow           Desert Tortoise burrow          female             adult Desert Iguana
                                                                                                                         Zebra-tail            Straw Beds area
                                                                       "Rocky" & "Murphy"
                                 more habitat
                                                       Whiptails rarely hold still.  A gif was appropriate!

Milpitas Wash Road habitat
Water in the desert!

Chucky's missing some toes!                        adult Desert Iguana
Indian Pass habitat                awesome male Side-blotched Lizard!                    Ocotillo                Uta at dawn               
Tumco habitat                     chrysocolla               Great Basin Whiptail                      adult Desert Iguana
Colorado desert Sidewinder tracks                                                                     Vitrefax kyanite
Arboreal Salamander
(Aneides lugubris)
This j
uvenile was found
during a pit-stop at
Olompali State Historic
Park in Marin County.


Juvenile Pacific
Gopher Snake
Pituophis c. catenifer)
So. Fk. Salmon River
(SW Siskiyou County)
August 15, 2009

Valley Garter Snakes
Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi)
Crescent Beach
(Del Norte County)
July 26, 2010
"What is that under