Reptiles & Amphibians

Find information about a variety of reptiles and amphibians found in Massachusetts.

Frog © Michael Onyon
© Michael Onyon

Although amphibians and reptiles, two ancient groups of vertebrates (animals with backbones), may seem to resemble each other, they differ in a number of important features of physiology, development, and life cycle. Learn More

Pickerel frog, Lithobates palustris
Pickerel frog (Lithobates palustris)

The Herpetological Atlas Project was a seven-year effort, running from 1992 through 1998, to document the distribution of amphibians and reptiles in Massachusetts. Learn More

Eastern newt at Graves Farm © A.C. Brown
Eastern newt at Graves Farm © A.C. Brown

Salamanders are amphibians and there are four different families of species in Massachusetts including: newts, mudpuppies, and lungless salamanders. One of our most common species, the spotted salamander, belongs to the fourth family, the mole salamanders. Learn More

Vernal pool at Lincoln Woods Wildlife Sanctuary

Vernal pools provide seasonal habitat for amphibian and invertebrate species with life cycles that have adapted to these rich temporary habitats. Learn More

American bullfrog © Joy Marzolf
American bullfrog © Joy Marzolf

Frogs are a familiar part of the wildlife of Massachusetts, and they’re found all across the state. Because of their diverse habitat needs and sensitive skin, these amphibians are good indicators of the health of our environment. Learn More

Rat snake © Joy Marzolf, Mass Audubon
Rat snake © Joy Marzolf, Mass Audubon

Snakes are reptiles, like turtles and lizards. Early snakes first appeared during the time of the dinosaurs, and they now live on every continent except Antarctica.Though snakes often get a bad rap, the vast majority of species aren’t venomous. They also provide a valuable service by eating potential pests, like mice and slugs. Learn More 

bog turtle © USFWS
bog turtle © USFWS

Turtles are reptiles, like snakes and lizards, but they’re more ancient than either of those groups. The first turtles appeared over 200 million years ago. Although many turtle species live in the water, all must breathe air and lay eggs on land. Learn More