Field Guide

Reptiles and Amphibians

Showing 1 - 5 of 5 results
Media
Image of a spotted salamander
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ambystoma maculatum
Description
The spotted salamander is one of Missouri's six species of mole salamanders. It is slate black with two irregular rows of rounded yellow spots from the head onto the tail. It occurs in forests in the southern two-thirds of the state.
Media
Photo of a Frank Nelson Mole salamander in its natural habitat.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ambystoma talpoideum
Description
The mole salamander is broad-headed, dull gray or brown, with a small body and tail and large limbs. It is spends almost all its time below ground. In Missouri, it is restricted to the lowlands of our southeastern counties.
Media
Photo of a southern red-backed salamander on an oak leaf.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Plethodon serratus
Description
The southern red-backed salamander is small and slender, with a distinct, narrow, red or orange mid-dorsal stripe with saw-toothed edges. It hides under rocks, mosses, and rotten logs in Ozark forests.
Media
A black salamander with dark silver bands on its tail walks on a concrete pad.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ambystoma opacum
Description
The marbled salamander is a small, stout salamander with silvery, white, or gray saddle-shaped markings on its body from head to tail. They occur in the southeastern half of the state and are seldom encountered except during the autumn breeding season.
Media
Photo of a western slimy salamander
Species Types
Scientific Name
Plethodon albagula
Description
The western slimy salamander is a black to blue-black salamander irregularly marked with silvery flecks. It occurs in the Ozark Highlands and the Lincoln Hills north of the Missouri River. True to its name, it secretes a thick substance that sticks to skin like glue.
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.