Field Guide

Reptiles and Amphibians

Showing 1 - 7 of 7 results
Media
Eastern gartersnake
Species Types
Scientific Name
Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis (eastern gartersnake) and T. s. parietalis (red-sided gartersnake)
Description
The eastern gartersnake and red-sided gartersnake are Missouri's most common gartersnakes. The color is variable, but there are normally three yellowish stripes, one down the back and one on each side. There are narrow black bars between the scales along the upper lip.
Media
Image of an american toad
Species Types
Scientific Name
Anaxyrus americanus americanus (eastern American toad) and A. americanus charlesmithi (dwarf American toad)
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 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
Mississippi mud turtle resting on damp stream bank
Species Types
Scientific Name
Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis
Description
Although well equipped for an aquatic existence, the Mississippi mud turtle spends as much time wandering about on land as it does in water. Look for it in the Mississippi Lowlands of Missouri’s Bootheel.
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 green frog
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lithobates clamitans (formerly Rana clamitans)
Description
The green frog looks similar to a bullfrog but is smaller and has a ridge of skin along the sides of the back that is not found on bullfrogs. It is a game animal in 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.