Content tagged with "Reptiles and Amphibians"

Ozark Zigzag Salamander

Plethodon angusticlavius
The Ozark zigzag salamander is small, slender, and dark, with a narrow, somewhat lobed dorsal stripe that can be yellow, orange, or red. This woodland species lives in Missouri’s southwestern counties along the Arkansas border.

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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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Photo of a plains gartersnake taken in Lakewood, Colorado.

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 rare in Missouri and has probably been extirpated.

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Photo of a plains leopard frog in grass.

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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Image of a plains spadefoot

Plains Spadefoot

Spea bombifrons
The plains spadefoot is a stout, toadlike amphibian with large, protruding eyes, vertically elliptical pupils, short legs, and large feet. There is a raised area between the eyes. It occurs in counties along the Missouri River.

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prairie kingsnake

Prairie Kingsnake (Prairie King Snake)

Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster
The prairie kingsnake is fairly common over most of the state. The overall color is tan, brownish-gray, or greenish-gray. Numerous dark blotches down the back and sides are brown, reddish, or greenish brown. It lives in prairies and open woods and on rocky, wooded hillsides.

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prairie lizard

Prairie Lizard (Northern Fence Lizard)

Sceloporus consobrinus
The small, gray to brown, rough-scaled prairie lizard is common in open forests. It often lives around country homes and rock gardens and on stacks of firewood and split rail fences.

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Image of a massasauga

Prairie Massasauga (Massasauga Rattlesnake)

Sistrurus tergeminus tergeminus
This shy, reclusive, nonaggressive rattlesnake used to live in floodplain wetlands of the Mississippi, Missouri and Grand rivers, but as those wetlands have been drained and destroyed, the massasauga has disappeared with them. Now it is an endangered species.

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Image of a prairie ring-necked snake

Prairie Ring-Necked Snake

Diadophis punctatus arnyi
Prairie ring-necked snakes are easily recognizable by their small size, uniform dark color on the back, bright yellow-orange belly, and distinct yellow ring around the neck.

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