Reptiles and Amphibians
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.
Plestiodon anthracinus pluvialis
The southern coal skink is secretive and few people know about it. This lizard has a wide, coal-black line along its sides. During the breeding season males have an orange head.
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.