April 5, 2012: Bay Area- San Mateo County Herping
A nice sunny day in San Mateo County resulted in some great finds today. First thing found today was a lovely male Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae). One of only two United States native boids (the second being the Rosy Boa), the rubber boa is a secretive, yet very interesting and docile species found in the Bay Area.
After a few Coast Gartersnakes and Rattlers (not photographed), I turned up plenty of Pacific Ringnecked Snakes (Diadophis punctatus amabilis). A small, docile snake, this species is rear-fanged (mildly venomous) and feeds on slugs, worms, as well as other snakes. Bright orange belly.
Pacific Gopher Snakes are some of the largest native Bay Area snakes, reaching lengths up to 5 feet long. Pictured is a yearling.
I was most excited to close out the day with a Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia tenuis). A tiny snake, these little ground dwellers feed on slugs and other inverts. Haven’t seen one in two years!