Content tagged with "Reptiles and Amphibians"

Image of a green treefrog

Green Treefrog

Hyla cinerea
The bright green treefrog hides perfectly among cattail leaves, where it hides until evening. Then it begins hunting for insects.

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Image of a grotto salamander

Grotto Salamander

Eurycea spelaea
Many people know Missouri as “the cave state,” and the grotto salamander is Missouri’s only species of blind salamander. A true troglobite, it lives in total darkness and has small eyes that are completely or partially covered by their pink or beige skin.

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hellbender, a large brown salamander resting in gravelly streambed


Cryptobranchus alleganiensis
You might think they’re ugly by human standards, but these giant amphibians are a unique part of our wildlife heritage; they direly need help, or they might become extinct within twenty years.

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Image of an illinois chorus frog

Illinois Chorus Frog

Pseudacris illinoensis
With its stout body and thick forearms, the rare Illinois chorus frog may at first appear more like a toad. It lives in open, sandy areas that were formerly sand prairie grasslands and wetlands of southeastern Missouri.

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Image of a lined snake

Lined Snake

Tropidoclonion lineatum
This small, secretive snake looks similar to a garter snake. It is mainly brown to grayish brown, with three lighter-colored stripes down the length of its body and a distinctive double row of half-moon-shaped markings along the belly.

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little brown skink

Little Brown Skink (Ground Skink)

Scincella lateralis
Aptly named, these ground-dwellers have dark brown or black stripes and speckling along their sides. Hiking along a forest trail, you may hear these small lizards scurrying through dead leaves, but you seldom see them.

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Marbled Salamander

Ambystoma opacum
Unlike many of its close relatives, this salamander breeds in the autumn instead of early spring, and on land instead of in water. Females lay their eggs near a pond, curl protectively around them, then wait until rains make the pond water high enough to cover the eggs.

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Image of a massasauga

Massasauga (Massasauga Rattlesnake; Eastern Massasauga)

Sistrurus catenatus
This shy, reclusive, nonaggressive rattlesnake used to live in floodplain wetlands of the Mississippi, Missouri and Grand rivers, but as those wetlands have been drained and destroyed, the massasauga has disappeared with them. Now it is an endangered species.

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midland brownsnake

Midland Brownsnake (Midland Brown Snake)

Storeria dekayi wrightorum
This small, secretive species prefers moist environments. Its color ranges from gray to brown to reddish brown, and there is usually a tan stripe running down the back, bordered by two rows of small brown spots. The top of the head is usually dark.

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midland smooth softshell

Midland Smooth Softshell

Apalone mutica mutica
The midland smooth softshell is a rather plain-looking softshell turtle, with a smooth, rather featureless olive-gray or brown shell, and a light stripe bordered by black extending backward from each eye.

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