Of the 14 snakes found in the Santa Monica Mountains, only one, the southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis), is venomous. Common snakes include the gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer), California kingsnake (Lampropeltus getulus), mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltus zonata), California striped racer (Masticophis lateralis), red coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum), two-striped garter snake (Thamnophis hammondii), blackhead snake (Tantilla planiceps), ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus), and the yellowbelly racer (Coluber constrictor). Other less common species include the blind snake (Leptotyphlops humilis), coast patch-nosed snake (Salvadora hexalepis), night snake (Hypsiglena torquata), and the lyre snake (Trimorphodon biscutatus).
Click here to download a checklist of the reptiles and amphibians of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
Did You Know?
Four state parks were the triumph of a grassroots movement to protect open spaces minutes from Los Angeles in the 1950s & 60s. Three women, Sue Nelson, Jill Swift, and Margo Feuer further galvanized the movement that helped make Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area a reality in 1978.