Content tagged with "Reptiles and Amphibians"

Northern Scarletsnake (Northern Scarlet Snake)

Cemophora coccinea copei
One of Missouri's most brilliantly colored snakes is extremely rare to find. It is similar in pattern and color to the more common red milksnake but has a red or orange snout and a spotless, white belly.

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Image of a northern watersnake

Northern Watersnake (Northern Water Snake)

Nerodia sipedon sipedon
The northern watersnake is gray to reddish brown with dark brown crossbands. The belly is cream-colored with black and reddish half-moon markings. This is Missouri’s most common watersnake.

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Orange-Striped Ribbonsnake (Western Ribbon Snake)

Thamnophis proximus proximus
Our subspecies of western ribbonsnake is named for the attractive orange (or yellowish) stripes running the length of its body. A member of the gartersnake group, this species is found statewide, but seldom far from water.

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ornate box turtle

Ornate Box Turtle

Terrapene ornata ornata
This box turtle usually has four hind toes. Its high-domed shell is usually smooth on top, lacks a ridge, and is brown with yellow lines. Look for it in grassy habitats.

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Image of an osage copperhead

Osage Copperhead

Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster
Copperheads are pit vipers, with an opening on each side of the head and (in daylight) eyes with catlike, vertical pupils (our nonvenomous snakes have round pupils).

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Ouachita Map Turtle

Graptemys ouachitensis ouachitensis
The Ouachita map turtle is a small- to medium-sized semiaquatic species with a prominent ridge down the center of the upper shell and bright yellow lines on the head and limbs. A large yellow marking behind each eye extends, narrowing, on top of the head. It occurs in southern and southwestern Missouri.

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Image of a pickerel frog

Pickerel Frog

Lithobates palustris (formerly Rana palustris)
The pickerel frog is medium-sized, with square or rectangular spots in two parallel rows down the back. There is a wide ridge of skin along each side of the back. It is absent from the northwestern third of Missouri.

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Plains Gartersnake (Plains Garter Snake)

Thamnophis radix
An attractive, medium-sized snake of wet meadows and marshes, the plains gartersnake spends warm summer days basking in the sun or searching for food. Winters are spent underground, probably in abandoned rodent tunnels.

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Image of a plains hog-nosed snake

Plains Hog-Nosed Snake

Heterodon nasicus nasicus
The plains hog-nosed snake differs from the eastern hog-nosed snake by having a sharply upturned snout and black pigment on the underside of the tail. This species has always been quite rare in Missouri and has not been seen for many years; it has probably been extirpated.

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Image of a plains leopard frog

Plains Leopard Frog

Lithobates blairi (formerly Rana blairi)
A medium-sized spotted frog, the plains leopard frog is found in pastures, prairies, and marshes. The ridge of skin along each side of the back is broken, and the small posterior section is raised toward the back. It is not present in the Ozarks.

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