Content tagged with "Reptiles and Amphibians"

Western Chicken Turtle

Deirochelys reticularia miaria
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.

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Image of a western cottonmouth

Western Cottonmouth

Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma
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.

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Image of a western foxsnake

Western Foxsnake (Western Fox Snake)

Pantherophis vulpinus
The western foxsnake is a moderately large snake with distinct brown blotches. In Missouri, it now rare and is found only in far eastern, northeastern, and northwestern sections.

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Photo of researcher holding a gilled siren

Western Lesser Siren

Siren intermedia nettingi
The western lesser siren is an eel-like, aquatic salamander with external gills, small eyes, small forelimbs with four toes, and no hind limbs. In Missouri, it’s found mostly in the Bootheel and northward near the Mississippi River.

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Image of a western mudsnake

Western Mudsnake (Western Mud Snake)

Farancia abacura reinwardtii
This harmless swamp dweller is sometimes called the “hoop snake” or the “stinging snake” based on misinformation and imaginative folklore. In the case of this snake, it turns out that fact is more interesting than fiction.

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Image of a western narrow-mouthed toad

Western Narrow-Mouthed Toad (Great Plains Narrow-Mouthed Toad)

Gastrophryne olivacea
The western narrow-mouthed toad has a plump body, small pointed head, and a fold of skin behind the eyes. This species is typically uniform in color, ranging from tan to gray or olive green, and it has a white belly.

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painted turtle

Western Painted Turtle

Chrysemys picta bellii
The western painted turtle is a small semiaquatic turtle. It has a smooth upper shell with a red-orange outer edge. The lower shell is red-orange with a prominent pattern of brown markings. It is found nearly everywhere in the state except the southeast region.

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Image of a western pygmy rattlesnake

Western Pygmy Rattlesnake

Sistrurus miliarius streckeri
The western pygmy rattlesnake is small and colorful, with a slender tail and tiny rattle. The sound of the vibrating rattle is a faint buzz that is like the sound of a grasshopper. It’s found in some Missouri counties bordering with Arkansas and in the eastern Missouri Ozarks.

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Photo of a western ratsnake curled up in grasses under a fence.

Western Ratsnake (Black Rat Snake)

Pantherophis obsoletus
The western blacksnake, a glossy “black snake,” is one of Missouri’s largest and most familiar snakes. Its size and dark color makes it seem imposing, but it is as harmless to humans as it is bad news for rodents!

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Western Slender Glass Lizard

Ophisaurus attenuatus attenuatus
The western slender glass lizard is often called “glass snake” because it is long, slender, and legless, and its tail breaks off easily. However, glass lizards are true lizards, with eyelids and ear openings; snakes have neither of these characteristics.

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