Trimorphodon lyrophanes California Lyresnake
Some other names for this species:
Baja California Lyresnake
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County, CaliforniaJuly 3, 2006
California Lyresnake (Trimorphodon lyrophanes) California Lyresnake (Trimorphodon lyrophanes)
This was my final treat on a night of road-cruising for nocturnal reptiles. Earlier I had seen a Desert Glossy Snake, two Red Diamond Rattlesnakes, a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, and a Desert Banded Gecko. I was driving through one promising area a final time when I spotted this large slender snake at the side of the road.

Lyresnakes are mildly venomous to humans, but they don't cause much trouble. For one thing, they are nocturnal and secretive, and so rarely seen by people who aren't out looking for them. But also, in the words of Philip R. Brown (author of A Field Guide to Snakes of California), lyresnakes would need "to chew for a considerable period to work the venom into a wound, and most people will not permit a snake to continue biting them for an extended period."

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County, CaliforniaJune 20, 2012
California Lyresnake (Trimorphodon lyrophanes) California Lyresnake (Trimorphodon lyrophanes)
Lyre snakes are almost always found near rocks and boulders, as this one is trying to demonstrate.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County, CaliforniaJune 21, 2012
California Lyresnake (Trimorphodon lyrophanes)
My what big eyes you have, grandma!
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County, CaliforniaMay 13, 2013
California Lyresnake (Trimorphodon lyrophanes) California Lyresnake (Trimorphodon lyrophanes)
This is only the fourth wild lyresnake I've seen. All of them have been on the same road, in the same one or two mile stretch.
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