Reptiles of the Mt. Washington Area

The eight (8) reptile species below have been documented as occurring within the Report Area. Taxonomy and nomenclature follow that used by iNaturalist. Images, where available, are by the author.

Ring-necked Snake (Diadophis punctatus)

San Bernardino Ring-necked Snake. Author’s home. August 2021.

Likely present, if sparingly, throughout the Report Area based on author’s own observations and iNaturalist records. Only definitively known to occur at Elyria Canyon. Perhaps less likely along the LA River.

Links: iNaturalist | California Herps

Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer)

Gopher Snake. Camarillo. May 2018.

Present throughout. Observed frequently by the author with many records on iNaturalist. Based on anecdotal observations by the author, has likely become more common in the Report Area during the last decade.

Links: iNaturalist | California Herps

Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata)

Southern Alligator Lizard. Author’s home. June 2013.

The second most commonly observed reptile in the Report Area (after Western Fence Lizard), though typically more reclusive except when basking. More likely to be found in areas with woodland and tall chaparral than entirely open areas. Directly observed by the author at Elyria Canyon and Rio de Los Angeles.

Links: iNaturalist | California Herps

Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)

Common Side-blotched Lizard. Mt. Washington. May 2020.

The author had assumed this species absent from Mt. Washington until two were observed in a rock outcrop on a grassy slope in the southern portion of the neighborhood during a run in 2020. Others have been observed in that area since. iNaturalist records are sparse. Likely uncommon.

Links: iNaturalist | California Herps

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Western Fence Lizard. Lake Hughes. April 2020.

The most common reptile throughout. Frequently observed in large numbers on warm, sunny days.

Links: iNaturalist | California Herps

Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus)

Uncommon. Two iNaturalist records from Glassell Park (none for Mt. Washington). The author’s wife photographed this species on their property adjacent to Elyria Canyon Park in 2017 or 2018. The author has not directly observed it.

Links: iNaturalist | California Herps

Pond Slider (Trachemys scripta) – Introduced

Pond (Red-eared) Slider. Descanso Gardens. May 2019.

This is almost certainly THE turtle you observed on the LA River. The native Southwestern Pond Turtle is proposed for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act and has not been recorded in the Report Area.

Links: iNaturalist | California Herps

San Diegan Legless Lizard (Anniella stebbinsi)

A reclusive species that is likely underreported. Only a handful of Mt. Washington records, with some recent.

Links: iNaturalist | California Herps

To get automatic updates when new content is posted please enter your email address and click the Subscribe button below.

Join 2,348 other subscribers

Create a website or blog at