Herpetology/Herpetology List

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These pages contain information on each of the taxa listed on the Herpetology identification list. The most recent list will always be available in the official rules manual. Individual states may also have a Herpetology list that differs from the national list. If applicable, it should be found on the state's website prior to the state tournament.

For more information on the Herpetology Entry template, see Template:Herpetology Entry/doc. Currently, this only contains identification tips for some of the specimens.

Crocodilians and Turtles

For more information, see Herpetology/Crocodilians and Turtles.

Class Reptilia

Crocodylia – crocodiles and alligators
  • Crocodylidae - crocodiles : skinny mouth, fourth tooth out, longer vertical scutes sticking out from the tail; babies can be mistaken for gharials because teeth look like a zipper
  • Alligatoridaealligators and caiman : wider mouth, overbite, wide head: their gums are obvious because they’re usually a bright white/yellow contrasted against dark skin

Testudines (Chelonia) - turtles

  • Chelydridae - snapping turtles : structured shell (only two species; learn them!), highly hooked upper jaw, long tail, spines on forearms, wrinkled skin connecting limbs to body
  • Kinosternidae - musk and mud turtles : triangular head coming to a point at the front/top, egg-shaped or strongly keeled shell, barbels from mouth, distinctly patterned head, extremely long neck; beware of the star tortoise (it’s not in this family, but shows up when you search on google)
  • Emydidae - box, pond and marsh turtles
    • Terrapene - box turtles : scaled front legs, curved shell with hinged plastron to close snugly, highly domed carapace, slightly hooked upper jaw, sometimes black pupil on bright iris
    • Actinemyswestern pond turtles : head with speckled white, dark broad shell, long tail, very often on logs
    • Malaclemys - diamondback terrapins : skin has black markings on a white background, totally white lips, rounded bumpy shell
    • Graptemys - map turtles : stripes along legs, pattern of stripes on the head (good for identifying species!), shell is strongly serrated, tips of ridges sometimes darken
    • Trachemys - sliders : red neck stripe (automatic ID), yellow/orange markings on black shell, saw tooth edge at rear of shell, black rings underneath the shell’s border
    • Chrysemys - painted turtles : distinctive plastron, shell is extremely shiny and dark with red streaks, white dots on head
    • Pseudemyscooters and redbellies : difficult to ID; heavily webbed back feet, whitish markings on the skin, flat and round shell with extended lip around the edge
    • Clemmysspotted turtle : bright yellow spots on black carapace, if no spots, black shell with some neon orange extending from the skin inside the shell
    • Glyptemyswood turtle and bog turtle : very structured shell, wood has black head and bright orange underside; bog has spots on side of neck
    • Deirochelyschicken turtle : pale yellow netlike pattern, long neck, black stripes on seat of pants, extremely solid colors, paddle feet
    • EmydoideaBlanding’s turtle : bright yellow throat and chin, highly domed carapace
  • Testudinidae - tortoises : no hinge on plastron, elephant-like hind legs, long front limbs, unwebbed feet
  • Cheloniidae - sea turtles : flippers instead of front legs, heart/oval shaped shell, heads vary in color
  • Trionychidaesoft shelled turtles : webbed feet, three claws, mud/sand colored shell, long snout

Lizards

For more information, see Herpetology/Lizards.

Class Reptilia

SUBORDER LACERTILA OR SAURIA - LIZARDS

  • Gekkonidae – gecko lizards
  • Polychridae – anoles
    • Anolis - anoles
    • Iguanidae – iguanids
    • Iguana – green iguana
    • Dipsosaurus – desert iguana
    • Sauromalus – chuckwalla
  • Crotaphytidae – Collared lizards
  • Phrynosomatidae – earless, spiny, tree, side-blotched and horned lizards
    • Sceloporus – spiny lizards
    • Cophosaurus & Holbrookia – earless lizards
    • Uma – fringe toed lizards
    • Urosaurus & Uta – tree and side blotched lizards
    • Phrynosoma – horned lizards
  • Lacertidae – wall lizards
  • Teiidae – whiptails
    • Cnemidophorus – racerunners and whiptails
  • Scincidae – skinks
    • Eumeces – skinks
  • Anguidae – glass lizards and alligator lizard
    • Ophisaurus – glass lizards
    • Gerrhonotus – alligator lizard
  • Helodermatidae – gila monster


Snakes

For more information, see Herpetology/Snakes.

Class Reptilia

SUBORDER SERPENTES (Ophidia) - SNAKES

  • Leptotyphlopidae – blind snakes
  • Boidae
    • Charina – rubber boa and rosy boa
  • Colubridae – typically harmless snakes
    • Nerodia – water snakes and salt marsh snakes
    • Storeria – brown snakes and redbelly snakes
    • Thamnophis – garter, ribbon, lined snakes
    • Heterodon – hog-nosed snakes
    • Diadophis – ringneck snakes
    • Coluber – racers
    • Masticophis – coachwhips and whipsnakes
    • Opheodrys – green snakes
    • Elaphe – rat snakes
    • Pituophis – pine, bull and gopher snakes
    • Lampropeltis – king and milk snakes
    • Tantilla – crowned and blackhead snakes
  • Elapidae – coral snakes
  • Hydrophiidae – sea snakes
  • Viperidae – (subfamily viperinae) pit vipers
    • Agkistrodon – copperhead and cottonmouths
    • Sistrurus –massasaugas and pigmy rattlesnakes
    • Crotalus – rattlesnakes


Salamanders

For more information, see Herpetology/Salamanders.

Class Amphibia

Caudata (Urodela) - salamanders
  • Cryptobranchidae – hellbenders
  • Dicamptodontidae – giant salamanders
  • Proteidae – mudpuppies and water dogs
  • Rhyacotritonidae – torrent or seep salamanders
  • Amphiumidae – amphiumas
  • Sirenidae – sirens
  • Ambystomatidae – mole salamanders
  • Salamandridae – newts
  • Plethodontidae – lungless salamanders
    • Desmognathus – dusky salamanders & kin
    • Plethodon – woodland salamanders & kin
    • Ensatina - ensatina
    • Aneides – green/climbing salamanders
    • Batrachoseps – slender salamanders
    • Hydromantes – web-toed salamanders
    • Hemidactylium – four-toed salamanders
    • Gyrinophilus – spring salamander
    • Pseudotriton – red and mud salamanders
    • Eurycea – brook salamanders
    • Typhlomolge – Texas and Blanco blind salamanders


Frogs and Toads

For more information, see Herpetology/Frogs and Toads.

Class Amphibia

Anura (Salientia) – frogs and toads
  • Scaphiopodidae – spadefoot toads
    • Scaphiopus - spadefoot toads
  • Bufonidae – true toads
    • Anaxyrus – American toad & oak toad
  • Hylidae – treefrogs
    • Hyla - gray treefrog & green treefrog
    • Pseudacris – western chorus frog, ornate chorus frog & spring peeper
    • Acris – cricket frogs
  • Ranidae – true frogs
    • Lithobates – bullfrog, green frog, northern leopard frog & wood frog
  • Microhylidae – narrow-mouthed toads
    • Gastrophryne – narrow-mouthed toads