Everglades National Park

Reptiles and Amphibians
A gator in Everglades National Park.
A gator in Everglades National Park. (Photodisc/Getty)

A visit to Everglades National Park would not be complete without seeing an alligator. This large reptile is indeed the symbol of the Everglades. However, 50 other species of reptiles are found in the park, including 27 kinds of snakes and 16 species of turtles in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats.

Much less visible are the 15 species of amphibians in the park that are more often heard than seen. They range from the smallest frog in North America, the Little Grass frog (Pseudacris ocularis), to the common Pig frog (Rena grylio). Many are nocturnal with breeding choruses audible from March to October.

This list represents species known to occur within the boundary of the park or immediate area.

Reptiles

American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)
Endangered species, rare in marine and estuarine areas. Occasionally seen in mangrove swamps and creeks of Florida Bay.

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
Common in freshwater marshes. Often enters brackish water. Regularly seen at Anhinga Trail and Shark Valley. No longer considered a threatened species in Florida.

Caiman (Caiman crocodilus)
Introduced species from tropical America recorded at Anhinga Trail.

Florida Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentine)
Uncommon in freshwater marshes and dry prairies. Scarcity in sightings may be due to nocturnal habits. Large specimens are rare.

Striped Mud Turtle (Kinosternon baurii)
Common in freshwater marshes, sloughs, ponds, and solution holes. Occasionally seen in hardwood hammocks. Common at Royal Palm, the "type locality" for a nominal subspecies.

Florida Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum)
Rare in the park, this subspecies (K. s. steindachneri) is also found in the Florida Keys and in the Big Cypress.

Stinkpot (Sternotherus ordoratus)
Uncommon. Occurs in freshwater marshes and solution holes. Rarely ventures from the water.

Florida Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)
Common in pinelands and hardwood hammocks. Occasionally occurs in freshwater marshes. Fire-scarred and three-legged specimens are not uncommon.

Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)
Common in esturine areas of mangroves. Can be seen basking in Ten Thousand Islands and Cape Sable. Common on some Florida Bay Keys.

Peninsula Cooter (Pseudemys floridana)
Found in same habitat as the Florida Redbelly, although less common. Often seen at Shark Valley. Subspecies is P. f. peninsularis.

Florida Redbelly Turtle (Pseudemys nelsoni)
Common in freshwater marshes, ponds, and solution holes. Sometimes hybridizes with Peninsula Cooter (P. floridana).

Florida Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia)
Uncommon in freshwater marshes and ponds. Infrequently seen at Anhinga Trail and Shark Valley.

Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
Locally common on Middle and East Cape Sable. Specimens occasionally found on Long Pine Key.

Atlantic Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea)
Endangered species. Largest marine turtle has been recorded once in park waters.

Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Endangered species present in marine areas of the park. No known nesting records in the park.

Atlantic Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata)
Endangered species uncommon in marine areas of the park. No known nesting records for the park. Nesting record from Biscayne Bay in 1982.

Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Threatened species common in marine areas of the park. Nocturnal nesting occurs during the summer on Cape Sable and Keys in Florida Bay.

Atlantic Ridley (Lepidochelys kempi)
Endangered species. Rare in marine areas. Described as common in the 1940s, with its optimum habitat being Florida Bay.

Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox)
Common in freshwater marshes and ponds. Occasionally enters brackish waters. Often seen at Anhinga Trail and Shark Valley.

Indopacific Gecko (Hemidactylus garnotii)
Exotic species native to southern Asia. Locally common in developed sites around Flamingo. Record from Cape Sable. Nocturnal.

Florida Reef Gecko (Sphaerodactylus notatus)
Only gecko native to Florida. Locally common in hammocks and pinelands. Found in leaf litter and under small rocks. Smallest lizard in North America.

Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)
Locally common in hardwood hammocks, freshwater marshes, pinelands, and developed sites. Appears to have been replaced by the exotic Brown Anole (A. sagrai) in some areas.

Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei)
Exotic, native to Cuba. One of the most successful reptiles in South Florida. Common in developed sites. Locally common in some hardwood hammocks and pinelands.

Knight Anole (Anolis equestris)
Large, arboreal lizard introduced from Cuba and reported around developed areas in Flamingo.

Common Iguana (Iguana iguana)
Exotic species from Central and South America. Not known to be established or breeding in the park.

Southeastern Five-Lined Skink (Eumeces inexpectatus)
Common lizard in wooded habitats, wetlands, and developed sites. Often seen along park trails.

Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis)
Locally common in hardwood hammocks and pinelands. Found under leaf litter, rocks, and logs.

Eastern Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis)
Uncommon. Occasionally found in freshwater marshes, pinelands, and hardwood hammocks.

Island Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus compressus)
Common in seasonally inundated freshwater marshes and pinelands. Seen along roads boarding these habitats during high water and following fires.

Boa Constrictor (Constrictor constrictor)
Introduced snake from tropical America has been taken in the park several times. Not known to be established.

Florida Green Water Snake (Nerodia floridana)
Common in freshwater marshes and ponds. Most frequently seen along northern border of park and Tamiami Trail.

Brown Water Snake (Nerodia taxispilota)
Common in freshwater marshes and ponds. Most frequently seen snake along the Anhinga Trail.

Florida Water Snake (Nerodia fasciata)
This subspecies (N. f. pictiventris) is common in freshwater marshes and ponds. Abundant in canals at Shark Valley, especially during low water.

Mangrove Salt Marsh Snake (Nerodia clarkii)
This subspecies (N. c. compressicauda) is locally common in mangrove swamps and salt marshes. Nocturnal. Occasionally interbreeds with Florida Water Snake.

South Florida Swamp Snake (Seminatrix pygaea)
Locally common in freshwater marshes. Associated with hydrophytic vegetation. Commonly found along the Tamiami Trail on rainy nights.

Florida Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi)
Uncommon in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and freshwater marshes.

Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
Common in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and dry prairies.

Peninsula Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus)
Common in freshwater marshes and bordering habitats. Commonly seen in low bushes over water.

Striped Crayfish Snake (Regina alleni)
Locally common in freshwater marshes. Associated with aquatic plants along the Tamiami Trail. Considered the most aquatic snake in Florida.

Eastern Hog nose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos)
Rare. One park specimen known from Cape Sable. Specimens known from Homestead and Big Cypress.

Southern Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus)
Commonly found in pinelands and hardwood hammocks under logs.

Eastern Mud Snake (Farancia abacura)
Common in freshwater marshes and ponds. Nocturnal, aquatic.

Eastern Racer (Coluber constrictor)
Most abundant terrestrial snake in the park. Found in all habitats. Diurnal. Frequently seen racing across roads. Subspecies is C. c. paludicola.

Eastern Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Rare. Usually associated with pinelands. More common north of the park in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus)
Common snake in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and bordering freshwater marshes.

Eastern Indigo (Drymarchon corais)
Threatened species, found in all habitats of the park. Largest snake in North America.

Corn Snake (Elaphe guttata)
Common in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and developed sites. Nocturnal, seen in bushes and trees.

Everglades Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta
Found in freshwater marshes, pinelands, and hardwood hammocks. Sometimes seen climbing trees to reach bird nests. Subspecies is E. o. rossalleni.

Yellow Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta)
Recognized subspecies (E. o. quadrivitatta) is uncommon in the park. Intergrades of Yellow Rat and Everglades Rat Snake are known from the park.

Florida Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getulus)
Uncommon in freshwater marshes, hardwood hammocks, and pinelands.

Scarlet Kingsnake (Lampropeltis triangulum)
Uncommon in hardwood hammocks, pinelands, and coastal prairies. Coral snake (Micrurus fulvius) mimic.

Florida Scarlet Snake (Cemophora coccinea)
Uncommon. Semifossorial, found in hardwood hammocks and pinelands under leaf litter, logs, and rocks. Coral snake mimic.

Eastern Coral Snake (Micrurus fulvius)
Common in hardwood hammocks and pinelands under leaf litter, rocks, and logs. HIGHLY VENOMOUS.

Florida Cottonmouth (Aghistrodon piscivorus)
Common in freshwater marshes, ponds, and mangroves. VENOMOUS.

Dusky pigmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius)
Common in freshwater marshes. Sometimes seen in bushes and trees during high water. Subspecies is S. m. barbouri. VENOMOUS.

Eastern Diamondback (Crotalus adamanteus)
Locally common in hardwood hammocks, pinelands, and coastal prairies. VENOMOUS.

Amphibians

Two-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma means)
Common but rarely seen. Nocturnal salamander of freshwater marshes. Commonly associated with water hyacinths on the Tamiami Trail.

Greater Siren (Siren lacertina)
Common in shallow freshwater marshes and ponds. Nocturnal, rarely seen. Associated with hydrophytic plants.

Everglades Dwarf Siren (Psendobranchus striatus)
This subspecies (P. s. belli) is known only from the Everglades. Locally common in freshwater marshes among dead vegetation.

Peninsula Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)
Locally common in freshwater marshes and solution holes. Probably neotenic in Everglades. Subspecies is N. v. piaropicola.

Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiophus holbrookii)
Status unknown. Reported from Royal Palm. Nocturnal, appearing after heavy rains.

Greenhouse Frog (Eleuthrodactylus planirostris)
Exotic species from Cuba. Locally common in hardwood hammocks and pinelands. Found under logs and leaf litter. Nocturnal.

Southern Toad (Bufo terrestris)
Common in hardwood hammocks, pinelands, and seasonally inundated freshwater marshes and mangrove areas.

Oak Toad (Bufo quercicus)
Common in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and seasonally inundated freshwater marshes. Often active during the day. Large choruses may be heard along roads in the summer.

Florida Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus)
Common in all freshwater habitats. Locally common in temporary ponds and solution holes of pinelands and hardwood hammocks. Often calls during the day after rains.

Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea)
Common in freshwater marshes. Also found in hardwood hammocks and occasionally in the pinelands. Breeding choruses, May through October.

Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella)
Common in all freshwater habitats. Also found in hardwood hammocks and pinelands. Breeding choruses, March to August.

Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis)
Introduced frog native to Cuba and Cayman Islands. Locally common at developed sites (Main Visitor Center, Royal Palm, Pine Island). Also has invaded hammocks and pinelands surrounding these sites. Breeding call, March through October.

Little Grass Frog (Pseudacris ocularis)
Smallest frog in North America. Common in freshwater marshes. Clings to grass and sedges a few feet above the ground. Mostly nocturnal. Breeding choruses heard throughout the summer.

Florida Chorus Frog (Pseudacris nigrita)
Locally common around solution holes in freshwater marshes. Most abundant in ecotone between marsh and pineland. Calling at night from January through September around Royal Palm, the type of locality for the Florida subspecies (P. n. verrucosa).

Eastern Narrow-Mouth Toad (Gastrophyne carolinesis)
Common in all moist habitats were it is found under logs and litter layer in hardwood hammocks. Nocturnal, sometimes active during the day following a rain. Call may be heard around Royal Palm.

Pig Frog (Rana grylio)
Common in freshwater marshes. Grunt-like call heard night and day, year-round at Royal Palm and Shark Valley.

Southern Leopard Frog (Rana utricularia)
Common in all freshwater habitats and in solution holes in hardwood hammocks. Also occurs in brackish water. Abundant, often seen at Shark Valley and Anhinga Trail.



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