Content tagged with "Reptiles and Amphibians"

Image of a northern map turtle

Northern Map Turtle (Common Map Turtle)

Graptemys geographica
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.

Read more

Image of a northern prairie skink

Northern Prairie Skink

Plestiodon septentrionalis septentrionalis
There are two subspecies of prairie skinks in Missouri, and they look quite similar. In general, they both have longer tails than all other Missouri skinks. In Missouri, these lizards are rare.

Read more

Photo of a northern red-bellied snake on a rock.

Northern Red-Bellied Snake

Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata
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.

Read more

northern rough greensnake

Northern Rough Greensnake (Northern Rough Green Snake)

Opheodrys aestivus aestivus
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.

Read more

Photo of a northern scarletsnake on a rock surface in Georgia.

Northern Scarletsnake (Northern Scarlet Snake)

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

Read more

Photo of a northern watersnake rearing back in grass on land.

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Photo of an ornate box turtle walking.

Ornate Box Turtle

Terrapene ornata ornata
The ornate 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.

Read more

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).

Read more

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.

Read more