Content tagged with "Reptiles and Amphibians"

Photo of a southern red-backed salamander on an oak leaf.

Southern Red-Backed Salamander

Plethodon serratus
The southern red-backed salamander is small, dark, and slender, with a distinct, narrow, red or orange mid-dorsal stripe with saw-toothed edges. It hides under rocks, mosses, and rotten logs in Ozark forests.

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Image of a speckled kingsnake

Speckled Kingsnake (Speckled King Snake)

Lampropeltis getula holbrooki
This handsome snake is generally black, but a white or yellow spot in the center of most of the scales makes it look speckled. The belly is yellowish with some irregular black markings. Like the rest of our kingsnakes, this species vibrates its tail when alarmed.

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Image of a spotted salamander

Spotted Salamander

Ambystoma maculatum
A dancing salamander? Hundreds of them all at once? In the water? That’s how spotted salamanders create their next generation, in only a few springtime evenings each year.

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Spring Peeper

Spring Peeper

Pseudacris crucifer
The voices of spring peepers are a true announcement that winter is ending. These small, slender frogs can be several overall colors, but seeing an X on the back is a good way to ensure your identification.

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Photo of a Texas horned lizard camouflaged against a tan, gravelly substrate.

Texas Horned Lizard

Phrynosoma cornutum
The Texas horned lizard is rare in Missouri but once lived in several southwestern counties. Its name comes from the large, hornlike scales along the back of the head.

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Photo of a three-toed amphiuma in an aquarium.

Three-Toed Amphiuma

Amphiuma tridactylum
The three-toed amphiuma is an eel-like, completely aquatic salamander. It has very small fore- and hind limbs, each with three very small toes. In Missouri it’s found only in the Bootheel region.

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Three-toed box turtle

Three-Toed Box Turtle

Terrapene carolina triunguis
This box turtle usually has three hind toes. Its high-domed shell usually has a top ridge and is olive or brown with faint yellow or orange lines. Look for it in woodland habitats.

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Image of a timber rattlesnake

Timber Rattlesnake

Crotalus horridus
Missouri’s largest venomous snake is dangerously venomous, but there are few cases of rattlesnake bites in our state. It frequents rough country, is mostly nocturnal in summer and few Missourians ever encounter it.

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Image of an upland chorus frog

Upland Chorus Frog

Pseudacris feriarum
Earlier considered a subspecies of western chorus frog, the upland chorus frog is now recognized as a separate species. In Missouri, it’s only found in the Mississippi Lowlands of the Bootheel.

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Image of a variable groundsnake

Variable Groundsnake (Variable Ground Snake)

Sonora semiannulata semiannulata
The variable groundsnake is a small species with smooth, shiny scales and highly variable coloration. In Missouri, it is restricted to open, rocky hillsides of the southwestern corner of the state.

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