California is a state located on the west coast of the United States. It is the most populous state in the US, and is known for its diverse landscape and Mediterranean climate. The state is home to many different types of wildlife, including a variety of snake species.
There are several species of red snakes found in California, including the California red-sided garter snake and the Western red-tailed boa. The California red-sided garter snake is a small, non-venomous snake that is native to California and is found throughout the state. It is a relatively common species, and is often found in wetland and riparian habitats. The Western red-tailed boa is a larger, non-venomous snake that is native to California and is found throughout the state. It is a relatively rare species, and is often found in mountainous and desert habitats.
We have top 10 listed Red Snakes in California.
Kingsnakes are a group of nonvenomous snakes that are found in the Americas. There are several species of kingsnakes, including the California kingsnake, which is native to the state of California in the United States. These snakes are known for their attractive patterns and coloration, and they are popular as pets.
Kingsnakes are generally small to medium-sized snakes, ranging in length from 2 to 5 feet. They have smooth scales and a shiny appearance. The coloration of kingsnakes is variable, but they are often patterned with bands or rings of black, white, and red.
To identify a kingsnake, look for the following characteristics:
- Smooth scales
- Bands or rings of color
- A shiny appearance
Kingsnakes are carnivorous and feed on a variety of prey, including rodents, lizards, and other small animals. In the wild, they are known to eat other snakes, including venomous species, which has earned them the nickname “kingsnake.” In captivity, they can be fed a diet of frozen mice or rats.
Kingsnakes are generally active during the day and are most often seen basking in the sun. They are generally docile and make good pets, but they should be handled with care as they can bite if they feel threatened.
The range of the California kingsnake includes much of the state of California, as well as parts of Nevada, Oregon, and Baja California in Mexico. These snakes can be found in a variety of habitats, including deserts, grasslands, and woodlands.
2. Red-Sided Garter Snake
Red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) are a subspecies of garter snake found in Canada and the United States. They are named for the red stripes on the sides of their bodies. These snakes are typically between two and three feet long, and are generally slender with a triangular head.
Red-sided garter snakes are generally brown or olive in color, with three yellow stripes running the length of their bodies. The middle stripe is bordered by the red stripes, which are found on the sides of the snake. These red stripes are most visible on the snake’s lower half, and can be faint or very bright depending on the individual.
To identify a red-sided garter snake, look for the following characteristics:
- Three yellow stripes running the length of the body
- Red stripes on the sides of the body, most visible on the lower half
- A triangular head
- A slender body that is generally brown or olive in color
Red-sided garter snakes are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and marshes. They are active during the day and are often seen basking in the sun.
In terms of diet, red-sided garter snakes are carnivorous and feed on a variety of small prey, including worms, slugs, and insects.
Red-sided garter snakes are native to much of Canada and the United States, including parts of California. They are common in the central and western regions of the state, and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and marshes.
3. Red Diamond Rattlesnake
The Red Diamond Rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber) is a venomous snake species that is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. It is a medium-sized snake, typically growing to be about 3-4 feet in length, and is characterized by its distinctive reddish-brown coloration and the presence of a rattle at the end of its tail.
In terms of appearance, the Red Diamond Rattlesnake has a triangular-shaped head and a slender body. Its scales are usually a reddish-brown color, although they can range from a pale pink to a dark brown. The snake has distinctive dark diamond-shaped markings on its back, which give it its common name.
To identify a Red Diamond Rattlesnake, you should look for the following characteristics:
- A triangular-shaped head
- Reddish-brown coloration with dark diamond-shaped markings
- A rattle at the end of the tail
- A slender body
In terms of diet, the Red Diamond Rattlesnake feeds primarily on small mammals, such as rats, mice, and rabbits. It is a carnivorous snake, and it uses its venom to kill and digest its prey.
In terms of habitat and range, the Red Diamond Rattlesnake is found in a variety of habitats, including deserts, grasslands, and wooded areas. It is native to the southwestern United States, including parts of California, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as parts of Mexico.
In terms of habits, the Red Diamond Rattlesnake is a nocturnal animal, meaning that it is most active at night. It is a solitary animal, and it is generally non-aggressive unless provoked. If threatened, the snake will use its rattle to warn off potential predators, and if that doesn’t work, it may bite in self-defense.
4. Gopher Snake
Gopher snakes, also known as bull snakes, are a non-venomous species of snake native to North America. They are named for their habit of preying on gophers, and are often mistaken for rattlesnakes due to their similar coloring and the fact that they can vibrate their tails in dry grass to mimic the sound of a rattlesnake.
Appearance: Gopher snakes are typically yellow, tan, or light brown in color, with large, dark brown or black splotches running down their backs. They can grow to be quite large, with some individuals reaching lengths of up to 8 feet.
How to identify: In addition to their coloring and size, gopher snakes can be distinguished by their broad, triangular head and smooth, shiny scales. They also have a distinctive “spade-shaped” mark on the underside of their tail, which can be used to distinguish them from other species of snake.
Food or Diet: Gopher snakes are carnivorous, and primarily prey on small rodents such as gophers, rats, and mice. They may also occasionally eat birds and lizards.
Habits: Gopher snakes are typically active during the day, and are most often found in open, grassy areas such as prairies, fields, and pastures. They are excellent climbers and are often found in trees and bushes.
Range in California: Gopher snakes can be found throughout much of California, including the Central Valley, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the coastal ranges. They are most commonly found in the dry, grassy areas of the state.
5. Glossy Snake
The glossy snake (Arizona elegans) is a species of nonvenomous snake found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. It is a small snake, typically growing to be only about 20-30 inches in length.
In terms of appearance, the glossy snake has a shiny, iridescent appearance, giving it its common name. Its coloration can vary, but it is usually brown, black, or olive in color with a white or cream-colored underside. It has a long, slender body and a pointed head.
To identify a glossy snake, look for the following characteristics:
- Iridescent, shiny appearance
- Small size (20-30 inches in length)
- Long, slender body
- Pointed head
- Brown, black, or olive coloration with a white or cream-colored underside
The glossy snake’s diet consists mainly of small mammals, such as mice, rats, and voles. It may also eat insects and lizards.
In terms of habits, the glossy snake is nocturnal, meaning it is active at night. During the day, it can be found hiding in burrows or under rocks. It is generally a non-aggressive snake and will try to escape if confronted by a predator or human.
The glossy snake is found in the southwestern United States, including parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. It is commonly found in desert and grassland habitats.
6. Western Blind Snake
Western blind snakes, also known as western worm snakes, are small, nonvenomous snakes found in parts of the western United States and northern Mexico. They are burrowing snakes, often found in areas with sandy or loamy soils.
In terms of appearance, western blind snakes are typically brown or black in color, with smooth scales and a pointed snout. They have tiny eyes, hence their common name “blind snake.” They can grow to be about 8-10 inches in length.
To identify a western blind snake, look for the following characteristics:
- Smooth scales
- Pointed snout
- Tiny eyes
- Brown or black coloration
- Length of 8-10 inches
Western blind snakes have a diet that consists primarily of insects and their larvae. They are known to feed on ants, termites, and beetles, among other insects.
In terms of habits, western blind snakes are nocturnal and are often found underground or under leaf litter. They are nonvenomous and are not known to be aggressive towards humans.
Western blind snakes are found in parts of California, as well as other states in the western United States and northern Mexico. They are often found in sandy or loamy soils and are generally associated with dry, arid environments.
7. California Night Snake
The California night snake (Hypsiglena torquata) is a small, non-venomous snake found in California and parts of Nevada, Utah, and Arizona in the United States. It is a nocturnal species and is rarely seen during the day.
Appearance: The California night snake has a slender body and grows to an average length of about 20 inches. It has smooth, shiny scales and a triangular head. It is generally a uniform brown or gray color, although some individuals may have lighter or darker markings.
How to identify: In addition to its nocturnal habits and slender build, the California night snake can be identified by its small size and smooth scales. It also has a distinctive heat-sensing organ on the top of its head, called a loreal pit, which is used to locate prey.
Food or diet: The California night snake feeds on small mammals, lizards, and insects. It uses its heat-sensing organ to locate prey and constricts it with its body to kill it before swallowing it whole.
Habits: As its name suggests, the California night snake is active at night and is generally found in rocky or brushy areas. It is a terrestrial species and is often found hiding under rocks or in small burrows. It is a non-venomous species and poses no threat to humans.
8. Desert Rosy Boa
The Desert Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata gracia) is a subspecies of the Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata), a small, non-venomous snake found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. These snakes are often found in desert and arid environments, and are well-adapted to living in these dry, hot conditions.
Desert Rosy Boas are small snakes, typically reaching a length of 2-3 feet as adults. They have a slender, elongated body and a small, pointed head. Their scales are smooth and their coloration is variable, but they are generally a pale pink, rosy, or orange color with three dark stripes running down the length of their body. These stripes are often broken or interrupted, creating a pattern of blotches or spots.
To identify a Desert Rosy Boa, look for the following characteristics:
- Small size (2-3 feet in length)
- Slender, elongated body
- Smooth scales
- Pale pink, rosy, or orange coloration with dark stripes or blotches
In terms of diet, Desert Rosy Boas are carnivorous and feed primarily on rodents. They are ambush predators and will often lie in wait for their prey to pass by, striking quickly to capture and constrict it.
In terms of habitat and behavior, Desert Rosy Boas are generally nocturnal and are most active at night. They are often found in rocky or sandy areas, where they can hide among the rocks or burrow underground to escape the heat of the day. During the winter months, they may become more active during the day to take advantage of the warmer temperatures.
Desert Rosy Boas are found throughout much of California, including the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. They are also found in other parts of the southwestern United States and Mexico. They are generally not aggressive and will usually try to avoid confrontation with humans, but if they are threatened or handled roughly, they may bite as a means of defense.
9. Sharp-Tailed Snake
The Sharp-Tailed Snake (Contia tenuis) is a small, slender snake that is native to western North America. It is typically found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and chaparral.
In terms of appearance, the Sharp-Tailed Snake is usually about 8-12 inches in length and has a very slender body with a sharply pointed tail. Its coloration can vary, but it is often brown, gray, or greenish with darker spots or blotches.
To identify a Sharp-Tailed Snake, look for the following characteristics:
- Slender body
- Sharply pointed tail
- Dark spots or blotches on a brown, gray, or greenish body
The Sharp-Tailed Snake feeds primarily on small insects, such as ants and beetles. It may also consume other small invertebrates, such as spiders and centipedes.
In terms of habits, the Sharp-Tailed Snake is a nocturnal species that is most active at night. It is generally a secretive and reclusive snake, and is not often seen by humans.
The Sharp-Tailed Snake is found in a variety of habitats throughout California, including forests, grasslands, and chaparral. It is widely distributed throughout the state, but is more common in certain areas, such as the coastal ranges and the Sierra Nevada.
10. Coast Gartersnake
Coast garter snakes (Thamnophis elegans terrestris) are a subspecies of garter snake that are native to California. They are small to medium-sized snakes, typically reaching lengths of around 2 to 3 feet. They have a slender body and are usually black, brown, or olive in color, with three yellow or cream-colored stripes running the length of their body.
Coast garter snakes can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and coastal areas. They are often found near water sources, such as streams, ponds, and marshes.
To identify a coast garter snake, look for the characteristic yellow or cream-colored stripes running down its body. You may also notice a distinctive black or brown stripe running down the center of its back.
Coast garter snakes are carnivorous and feed on a variety of prey, including worms, slugs, snails, and small rodents. They are active during the day and can often be found basking in the sun or hunting for food.
In California, coast garter snakes are found along the coastal regions of the state, from San Francisco Bay south to the border with Mexico. They are common throughout much of their range and are not considered threatened or endangered.