The Mississippi green watersnake is a medium-sized, heavy-bodied, dark-colored semiaquatic snake that was once somewhat common in southeastern Missouri. The back is dark greenish brown, and the belly is dark gray with numerous yellow half-circles.
Although well equipped for an aquatic existence, the Mississippi mud turtle spends as much time wandering about on land as it does in water. Look for it in the Mississippi Lowlands of Missouri’s Bootheel.
The northern cricket frog is a nonclimbing member of the treefrog family. It lacks the adhesive toe pads associated with treefrogs. The subspecies formerly called Blanchard’s cricket frog is no longer recognized.
The northern diamond-backed watersnake is our largest watersnake. It has diamond-shaped light markings along the back. Absent from the Ozarks but common in the southeastern corner and over northern and western Missouri, it doesn’t occur in our extreme northern counties.
The northern map turtle is a small- to medium-sized aquatic species with a low ridge along the center of the upper shell. A small yellow spot is present behind each eye. It occurs mainly in the Ozarks and the upper Mississippi River in northeastern Missouri.
The northern red-bellied snake is of our smallest snakes. It is generally gray brown or reddish brown on top, bright red or orange below. This harmless species is sometimes mistaken for a young copperhead and needlessly killed.
This long, slender snake is common in the Ozarks. It is light green above with a white or yellowish belly, and the scales on the back have small ridges or keels that feel rough to the touch. Its beautiful green color helps this mild-mannered insectivore blend in with the trees that are its home.
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