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.
Endangered species, rare in marine and estuarine areas. Occasionally seen in mangrove swamps and creeks of Florida Bay.
Common in freshwater marshes. Often enters brackish water. Regularly seen at Anhinga Trail and Shark Valley. No longer considered a threatened species in Florida.
Introduced species from tropical America recorded at Anhinga Trail.
Florida Snapping Turtle
Uncommon in freshwater marshes and dry prairies. Scarcity in sightings may be due to nocturnal habits. Large specimens are rare.
Striped Mud Turtle
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
Rare in the park, this subspecies (K. s. steindachneri) is also found in the Florida Keys and in the Big Cypress.
Uncommon. Occurs in freshwater marshes and solution holes. Rarely ventures from the water.
Florida Box Turtle
Common in pinelands and hardwood hammocks. Occasionally occurs in freshwater marshes. Fire-scarred and three-legged specimens are not uncommon.
Common in esturine areas of mangroves. Can be seen basking in Ten Thousand Islands and Cape Sable. Common on some Florida Bay Keys.
Found in same habitat as the Florida Redbelly, although less common. Often seen at Shark Valley. Subspecies is P. f. peninsularis.
Florida Redbelly Turtle
Common in freshwater marshes, ponds, and solution holes. Sometimes hybridizes with Peninsula Cooter (P. floridana).
Florida Chicken Turtle
Uncommon in freshwater marshes and ponds. Infrequently seen at Anhinga Trail and Shark Valley.
Locally common on Middle and East Cape Sable. Specimens occasionally found on Long Pine Key.
Endangered species. Largest marine turtle has been recorded once in park waters.
Endangered species present in marine areas of the park. No known nesting records in the park.
Endangered species uncommon in marine areas of the park. No known nesting records for the park. Nesting record from Biscayne Bay in 1982.
Threatened species common in marine areas of the park. Nocturnal nesting occurs during the summer on Cape Sable and Keys in Florida Bay.
Endangered species. Rare in marine areas. Described as common in the 1940s, with its optimum habitat being Florida Bay.
Common in freshwater marshes and ponds. Occasionally enters brackish waters. Often seen at Anhinga Trail and Shark Valley.
Exotic species native to southern Asia. Locally common in developed sites around Flamingo. Record from Cape Sable. Nocturnal.
Florida Reef Gecko
Only gecko native to Florida. Locally common in hammocks and pinelands. Found in leaf litter and under small rocks. Smallest lizard in North America.
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.
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.
Large, arboreal lizard introduced from Cuba and reported around developed areas in Flamingo.
Exotic species from Central and South America. Not known to be established or breeding in the park.
Southeastern Five-Lined Skink
Common lizard in wooded habitats, wetlands, and developed sites. Often seen along park trails.
Locally common in hardwood hammocks and pinelands. Found under leaf litter, rocks, and logs.
Eastern Glass Lizard
Uncommon. Occasionally found in freshwater marshes, pinelands, and hardwood hammocks.
Island Glass Lizard
Common in seasonally inundated freshwater marshes and pinelands. Seen along roads boarding these habitats during high water and following fires.
Introduced snake from tropical America has been taken in the park several times. Not known to be established.
Florida Green Water Snake
Common in freshwater marshes and ponds. Most frequently seen along northern border of park and Tamiami Trail.
Brown Water Snake
Common in freshwater marshes and ponds. Most frequently seen snake along the Anhinga Trail.
Florida Water Snake
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
Locally common in freshwater marshes. Associated with hydrophytic vegetation. Commonly found along the Tamiami Trail on rainy nights.
Florida Brown Snake
Uncommon in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and freshwater marshes.
Eastern Garter Snake
Common in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and dry prairies.
Peninsula Ribbon Snake
Common in freshwater marshes and bordering habitats. Commonly seen in low bushes over water.
Striped Crayfish Snake
Locally common in freshwater marshes. Associated with aquatic plants along the Tamiami Trail. Considered the most aquatic snake in Florida.
Eastern Hog nose Snake
Rare. One park specimen known from Cape Sable. Specimens known from Homestead and Big Cypress.
Southern Ringneck Snake
Commonly found in pinelands and hardwood hammocks under logs.
Eastern Mud Snake
Common in freshwater marshes and ponds. Nocturnal, aquatic.
Most abundant terrestrial snake in the park. Found in all habitats. Diurnal. Frequently seen racing across roads. Subspecies is C. c. paludicola.
Rare. Usually associated with pinelands. More common north of the park in the Big Cypress National Preserve.
Rough Green Snake
Common snake in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and bordering freshwater marshes.
Threatened species, found in all habitats of the park. Largest snake in North America.
Common in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and developed sites. Nocturnal, seen in bushes and trees.
Everglades Rat Snake
Found in freshwater marshes, pinelands, and hardwood hammocks. Sometimes seen climbing trees to reach bird nests. Subspecies is E. o. rossalleni.
Yellow Rat Snake
Recognized subspecies (E. o. quadrivitatta) is uncommon in the park. Intergrades of Yellow Rat and Everglades Rat Snake are known from the park.
Uncommon in freshwater marshes, hardwood hammocks, and pinelands.
Uncommon in hardwood hammocks, pinelands, and coastal prairies. Coral snake (Micrurus fulvius) mimic.
Florida Scarlet Snake
Uncommon. Semifossorial, found in hardwood hammocks and pinelands under leaf litter, logs, and rocks. Coral snake mimic.
Eastern Coral Snake
Common in hardwood hammocks and pinelands under leaf litter, rocks, and logs. HIGHLY VENOMOUS.
Common in freshwater marshes, ponds, and mangroves. VENOMOUS.
Dusky pigmy rattlesnake
Common in freshwater marshes. Sometimes seen in bushes and trees during high water. Subspecies is S. m. barbouri. VENOMOUS.
Locally common in hardwood hammocks, pinelands, and coastal prairies. VENOMOUS.
Common but rarely seen. Nocturnal salamander of freshwater marshes. Commonly associated with water hyacinths on the Tamiami Trail.
Common in shallow freshwater marshes and ponds. Nocturnal, rarely seen. Associated with hydrophytic plants.
Everglades Dwarf Siren
This subspecies (P. s. belli) is known only from the Everglades. Locally common in freshwater marshes among dead vegetation.
Locally common in freshwater marshes and solution holes. Probably neotenic in Everglades. Subspecies is N. v. piaropicola.
Eastern Spadefoot Toad
Status unknown. Reported from Royal Palm. Nocturnal, appearing after heavy rains.
Exotic species from Cuba. Locally common in hardwood hammocks and pinelands. Found under logs and leaf litter. Nocturnal.
Common in hardwood hammocks, pinelands, and seasonally inundated freshwater marshes and mangrove areas.
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
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.
Common in freshwater marshes. Also found in hardwood hammocks and occasionally in the pinelands. Breeding choruses, May through October.
Common in all freshwater habitats. Also found in hardwood hammocks and pinelands. Breeding choruses, March to August.
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
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
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
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.
Common in freshwater marshes. Grunt-like call heard night and day, year-round at Royal Palm and Shark Valley.
Southern Leopard Frog
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.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication