The only venomous snakes in California are the rattlesnakes and there are eight species:(Pictures provided by California Reptiles and Amphibians at www.californiaherps.com)
- Broad, triangular head with a noticeable “neck” behind the head.
- Vertical pupils (non-poisonous snakes have round pupils) though hopefully one would not be close enough to evaluate this.
- The Crotalines are also called “pit vipers” because they have heat-sensing “pits” on t heir faces between the eye and nostril. The pits help them locate prey.