Natural Heritage of Indiana

Reptiles and Amphibians in Indiana

Turtles, Frogs, Lizards, Snakes, and more!



Content adapted with permission from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, a partner in the Natural Heritage of Indiana project. More information from the Division of Fish and Wildlife can be found here.



Long ago, fish had begun to adapt themselves to life out of water, and as they took advantage of shallow tide pools filled with food, they eventually evolved into the first animals with a backbone: Amphibians. These pioneers scurried about, hunting insects, and other small creatures that were quickly following the spread of plants across the landscape, and reptiles followed.

The amount of habitat available for amphibians and reptiles in Indiana has decreased over the last century. In fact, scientists believe that approximately 88 percent of Indiana’s natural wetlands are gone. It is known that many species of reptiles and amphibians depend on wetlands for all or a portion of their life cycle.

Indiana's Native Reptiles and Amphibians

Italics indicate that the species is endangered in the state of Indiana.

Frogs and toads

  • American toad (Bufo americanus)
  • Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
  • Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)
  • Crawfish frog (Rana areolata)
  • Cricket frog (Acris crepitans)
  • Eastern gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor)
  • Eastern spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii)
  • Fowler’s toad (Bufo fowleri)
  • Green frog (Rana clamitans)
  • Green treefrog (Hyla cinerea)
  • Northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens)
  • Pickerel frog (Rana palustris)
  • Plains leopard frog (Rana blairi)
  • Southern leopard frog (Rana utricularia)
  • Spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
  • Western chorus frog (Pseudacris triseriata)
  • Wood frog (Rana sylvatica)

Salamanders, newts and sirens

  • Blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale)
  • Cave salamander (Eurycea lucifuga)
  • Common mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)
  • Eastern newt(Notophthalmus viridescens)
  • Eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum)
  • Four-toed salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)
  • Green salamander (Aneides aeneus)
  • Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis)
  • Jefferson salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum)
  • Lesser siren (Siren intermedia)
  • Longtailed salamander (Eurycea longicauda)
  • Marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum)
  • Northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)
  • Northern redback salamander (Plethodon cinereus)
  • Northern slimy salamander (Plethodon glutinosus)
  • Northern zigzag salamander (Plethodon dorsalis)
  • Red salamander (Pseudotriton ruber)
  • Smallmouth salamander (Ambystoma texanum)
  • Southern ravine salamander (Plethodon richmondi)
  • Southern two-lined salamander (Eurycea cirrigera)
  • Spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)
  • Streamside salamander (Ambystoma barbouri)

Lizards and skinks

  • Broadhead skink (Eumeces laticeps)
  • Eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)
  • Five-lined skink (Eumeces fasciatus)
  • Ground skink (Scincella lateralis)
  • Six-lined racerunner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus)
  • Slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus) 


  • Black kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula nigra)
  • Brown snake (Storeria dekayi)
  • Bull snake (Pituophis catenifer sayi)
  • Butler’s garter snake (Thamnophis butleri)
  • Common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
  • Copperbelly water snake (Nerodia erythrogaster) 1
  • Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
  • Diamondback water snake (Nerodia rhombifer)
  • Easern worm snake (Carphophis amoenus)
  • Eastern hognose snake (Heterodon platirhinos)
  • Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) 2
  • Eastern milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum)
  • Eastern ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus)
  • Kirtland’s snake (Clonophis kirtlandii)
  • Midland (black) rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta obsolete)
  • Mud snake (Farancia abacura)
  • Northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon)
  • Northern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
  • Plains garter snake (Thamnophis radix)
  • Prairie kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster)
  • Queen snake (Regina septemvittata)
  • Racer (Coluber constrictor)
  • Red milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila)
  • Redbelly snake (Storeria occipitomaculata)
  • Ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus)
  • Rough green snake (Opheodrys aestivus)
  • Scarlet snake (Cemophora coccinea)
  • Smooth earthsnake (Virginia valeriae)
  • Smooth green snake (Opheodrys vernalis)
  • Southeastern crowned snake (Tantilla coronata)
  • Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)
  • Western fox snake (Elaphe vulpina vulpina)
  • Western rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta spiloides)
  • Western ribbon snake (Thamnophis proximus)


  • Alligator snapping turtle (Macroclemys temmincki)
  • Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)
  • Common map turtle (Graptemys geographica)
  • Common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus)
  • Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina)
  • Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina)
  • Eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum)
  • False map turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica)
  • Heiroglyphic river cooter (Pseudemys concinna)
  • Midland painted turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata)
  • Ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata)
  • Ouachita map turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis)
  • Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
  • Smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica)
  • Spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera)
  • Spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata)
  • Western painted turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii)

See also, Reptiles of Indiana.

See also, Amphibians of Indiana.

Check out the Indiana State Museum's exhibit "Footprints" ISMWhat was the area like 10,000 to 11,000 years ago? Where did the big animals go? And what can we learn from our impact on the past that will make us better stewards of our environmental future?

With Footprints: Balancing Nature's Diversity, presented by Central Indiana Land Trust, the Indiana State Museum will trace our state's natural history from the Ice Age to today and beyond, considering how humans and environmental changes have affected ecological diversity and the world we live in. Drawing from the museum's collections, the exhibit answers questions about Indiana's past, shows the animals' overwhelming size and number, and suggests what it might have been like to walk among them.
Explore the online exhibit »

Our Hoosier State Beneath Us: Newspaper articles about a variety of topics related to Indiana's Natural Heritage Our Hoosier State Beneath UsThis series of 155 brief illustrated articles is part of a set of about 250 such articles produced by the Indiana Geological Survey between 1974 and 1984. The articles were distributed to and printed by newspapers all over Indiana. The topics range from coal to paleontology to people to geology. There is even a keyword search tool and a full table of contents. Browse Articles »

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