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Cold-blooded vertebrates, reptiles have hard scales. Reptiles are divided into three groups: crocodiles, turtles, and lepidosaurs, which include snakes and lizards. Some lepidosaurs give birth to live young but many reptiles lay eggs.

Image for Charina bottae

Northern Rubber Boa

Charina bottae


photo credit: Darian Santner

Rubber boas do not tolerate heat well and are usually found in cold forests. Young are born pink and gradually develop their brown adult color. Some Indigenous hunters would wear their rubber boa tails as charms, thinking it would protect them from bears.
Image for Thamnophis ordinoides

Northwestern Garter Snake

Thamnophis ordinoides


photo credit: Darian Santner

The Northwestern garter snake is most often found along the edges of woodlands, under thick vegetation, or in moist leaf litter where they can find their favorite foods of slugs and earthworms. People often call them red racers or yellow racers, depending on their color pattern. However, they are not racers at all.
Image for Diadophis punctatus

Northwestern Ring-Necked Snake

Diadophis punctatus


photo credit: Michael O’Loughlin

Northwestern ring-necked snakes are usually found under rocks, wood, and bark. When disturbed, they coil their tail like a corkscrew, exposing a bright orange or red underside. They eat small amphibians, worms, slugs, and insects.
Image for Pituophis catenifer

Pacific Gopher Snake

Pituophis catenifer


photo credit: Michael O’Loughlin

The Pacific gopher snake is often mistaken for a rattlesnake. When it feels threatened, it will coil up, vibrate its tail, hiss and strike at the intruder. However, it is not venomous. It is a constrictor and great to have around for rodent control.
Image for Thamnophis sirtalis

Red-Spotted Garter Snake

Thamnophis sirtalis


photo credit: Darian Santner

The red-spotted garter snake, along with most snakes in Oregon, is considered ‘beneficial’ because of its diet. They will eat slugs, grubs, mice, voles, earthworms, rats, frogs, and tadpoles, and generally anything they can overwhelm.
Image for Chrysemys picta

Western Painted Turtle

Chrysemys picta


photo credit: Darian Santner

The Western painted turtle is an aquatic turtle with orange or yellow stripes on its neck, legs, and tail. It is found in ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams. They can hold their breath a long time. Most painted turtles hibernate on the bottom of ponds and lakes.

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