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.
This glossy “black snake” is one of Missouri’s largest and most familiar snakes. Its size and often deep-black color makes it seem imposing, but it is as harmless to humans as it is bad news for rodents!
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.
The western chicken turtle is a small-to medium-sized turtle with an oval shell and extremely long neck. It is endangered in Missouri, occurring only in the Mississippi Lowlands in the extreme southeastern part of the state.
Many people mistakenly believe that any snake seen in or near the water is this venomous “water moccasin.” But there are seven species of nonvenomous, semi-aquatic snakes found in Missouri. Harmless watersnakes vastly outnumber the much-feared cottonmouths. All are protected by law.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.