Field Guide

Reptiles and Amphibians

Showing 1 - 5 of 5 results
Media
hellbender, a large brown salamander resting in gravelly streambed
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis
Description
The eastern hellbender is a large, entirely aquatic salamander with a wide, flat head, small, lidless eyes, and soft folds of skin on the sides. In Missouri, it occurs in the northern Ozark highlands in spring-fed rivers that drain north into the Missouri and Meramec river drainages.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Necturus maculosus
Description
Mudpuppies are aquatic, with plumelike external gills throughout their entire lives. They’re found in the southern half and along the eastern edge of Missouri.
Media
Ozark Hellbender
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi
Description
The eastern hellbender is a large, entirely aquatic salamander with a wide, flat head, small, lidless eyes, and soft folds of skin on the sides. In Missouri, it occurs only in the southern Ozark highlands in spring-fed sections of the Black River system and North Fork of the White River system.
Media
Photo of a small-mouthed salamander.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ambystoma texanum
Description
The small-mouthed salamander is a medium-sized, black or dark brown salamander with a small head and mouth. In Missouri, it’s found nearly statewide — but not in the Ozarks.
Media
Photo of researcher holding a gilled siren
Species Types
Scientific Name
Siren intermedia nettingi
Description
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.
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.