Field Guide

Reptiles and Amphibians

Showing 1 - 4 of 4 results
Media
Photo of an eastern yellow-bellied racer.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Coluber constrictor flaviventris (eastern yellow-bellied racer) and Coluber constrictor priapus (southern black racer)
Description
The eastern yellow-bellied racer is uniformly tan, brown, olive, blue, gray, or nearly black on top, with a yellow, cream, or light blue-gray belly. It occurs nearly statewide. The southern black racer subspecies also lives in the southeastern half of the state.
Media
Image of a western foxsnake
Species Types
Scientific Name
Pantherophis ramspotti
Description
The western foxsnake is a moderately large snake with distinct brown blotches. In Missouri, it is rare and found only in our far northwestern counties.
Media
Image of a timber rattlesnake
Species Types
Scientific Name
Crotalus horridus
Description
Missouri’s largest venomous snake, the timber rattlesnake, 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.
Media
Diamond-Backed Watersnake
Species Types
Scientific Name
Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer
Description
The northern diamond-backed watersnake is our largest watersnake. It has numerous diamond-shaped light markings along the back. It occurs in the Bootheel and north along the Mississippi River, and in much of northern and western Missouri. It doesn’t occur in the Ozarks or in much of central-eastern Missouri.
See Also

About Reptiles and Amphibians in Missouri

Missouri’s herptiles comprise 43 amphibians and 75 reptiles. Amphibians, including salamanders, toads, and frogs, are vertebrate animals that spend at least part of their life cycle in water. They usually have moist skin, lack scales or claws, and are ectothermal (cold-blooded), so they do not produce their own body heat the way birds and mammals do. Reptiles, including turtles, lizards, and snakes, are also vertebrates, and most are ectothermal, but unlike amphibians, reptiles have dry skin with scales, the ones with legs have claws, and they do not have to live part of their lives in water.