Content tagged with "Reptiles and Amphibians"

Image of a great plains toad

Great Plains Toad

Anaxyrus cognatus
Unlike other true toads in Missouri, the Great Plains toad has a raised hump (called a “boss”) between the eyes. Look for it along the Missouri River floodplain, from the Iowa border to about Hermann.

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Image of a green frog

Green Frog

Lithobates clamitans (formerly Rana clamitans)
The green frog looks similar to a bullfrog but is smaller and has a ridge of skin along the sides of the back that is not found on bullfrogs. It is a game animal in Missouri.

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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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Photo of a long-tailed salamander on a rotten log.

Long-Tailed Salamander

Eurycea longicauda longicauda
The long-tailed salamander and closely related dark-sided salamander are agile and can escape predators by using their tails for quick jumps. They live in the southern and eastern parts of Missouri.

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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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