Amphibians & Reptiles of Massachusetts
There are 45 native species of amphibians and reptiles that occur in Massachusetts. Included are ten frogs, eleven salamanders, ten turtles and fourteen snakes. The salamanders include a confusing mix of species and hybrids collectively known as the Jefferson complex. Although some researchers and field guide authors have recognized four species in this complex we recognized only two: the Jefferson salamander and blue-spotted salamander. Jefferson salamanders occur in western Massachusetts and blue-spotted salamanders are found in eastern and central parts of the state. Their ranges come into close proximity (and may overlap to some degree) in the Connecticut River Valley. Because even experts are unable to distinguish between these two species in the field we have treated them as a single taxonomic entity: the Jefferson/blue-spotted salamander.
In addition to the 45 species discussed above there are four species of sea turtles that live in the ocean off the Massachusetts coast. Although sea turtles occasionally wash up on the coast and a handful of records were submitted to the Herp Atlas we did not create distribution maps for these species. Although non-native species such as the red-eared slider have also been documented in Massachusetts we did not generate distribution maps for species that are not native to the Commonwealth.
For distribution maps, natural history information and photographs for the 45 species covered by this project, click on the species names below.