Field Guide

Reptiles and Amphibians

Showing 1 - 10 of 13 results
Media
Black snake with orange and yellow stripes crossing a gravel road.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Thamnophis proximus proximus
Description
The orange-striped ribbonsnake is a type of gartersnake named for the attractive orange or yellow stripes running the length of its body, alternating with wide black stripes. It is found statewide, but seldom far from water.
Media
Three-toed box turtle
Species Types
Scientific Name
Terrapene carolina triunguis
Description
The three-toed box turtle usually has three hind toes. Its high-domed shell usually has a top ridge and is olive or brown with faint yellow or orange lines. Look for it in woodland habitats.
Media
Image of a northern crawfish frog
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lithobates areolatus circulosus
Description
A very secretive species, the northern crawfish frog spends most of its time hidden burrows, typically those made by crayfish. It is restricted to native prairie or former prairie areas and is a species of conservation concern in Missouri.
Media
Image of an american toad
Species Types
Scientific Name
Anaxyrus americanus (formerly Bufo americanus)
Description
American toads are well-known and occur statewide. Missouri has two subspecies: the eastern American toad in the northern half, and the dwarf American toad in the southern half.
Media
Image of an eastern spadefoot
Species Types
Scientific Name
Scaphiopus holbrookii
Description
The eastern spadefoot is a stout, toadlike amphibian with large, protruding eyes, vertically oval pupils, short legs, and large feet. In Missouri, it occurs in eastern counties along the Mississippi River and in the Bootheel.
Media
Image of a great plains toad
Species Types
Scientific Name
Anaxyrus cognatus
Description
Unlike other true toads in Missouri, the Great Plains toad has a raised hump between the eyes on the snout. Look for it along the Missouri River floodplain, from the Iowa border to about Hermann.
Media
Image of fowler's toad
Species Types
Scientific Name
Anaxyrus fowleri
Description
Fowler's toad is the common toad of gravel and sand bars along our many Ozark streams and rivers. It is also the most common toad in the Bootheel lowlands.
Media
Photo of a Rocky Mountain toad in lawn grass.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Anaxyrus woodhousii woodhousii
Description
The Rocky Mountain toad has a number of irregular dark brown or black spots on the back and a white belly. It occurs in the Missouri River floodplain, mostly from the central to the far northwestern parts of the state.
Media
Image of a plains spadefoot
Species Types
Scientific Name
Spea bombifrons
Description
The plains spadefoot is a stout, toadlike amphibian with large, protruding eyes, vertically oval pupils, short legs, and large feet. There is a raised area between the eyes. It occurs in counties along the Missouri River.
Media
Blanchard's Cricket Frog
Species Types
Scientific Name
Acris blanchardi (formerly Acris crepitans blanchardi)
Description
Blanchard's cricket frog is a nonclimbing member of the treefrog family. It lacks the adhesive toe pads associated with treefrogs. It occurs statewide. The call is a metallic “gick, gick, gick.”
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.