University of Massachusetts Amherst

Massachusetts North American Amphibian Program

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.

Frogs & Toads Salamanders Snakes Turtles
American Bullfrog Eastern Red-backed Salamander Common Ribbonsnake Blanding's Turtle
American Toad Four-toed Salamander Copperhead Bog Turtle
Eastern Spadefoot Jefferson/Blue-spotted Salamander Eastern Gartersnake Diamond-backed Terrapin
Fowler's Toad Marbled Salamander Eastern Hog-nose Snake Eastern Box Turtle
Gray Treefrog Mudpuppy Eastern Milk Snake Eastern Musk Turtle
Green Frog Northern Dusky Salamander Eastern Ratsnake Northern Red-bellied Cooter
Northern Leopard Frog Northern Spring Salamander Eastern Worm Snake Painted Turtle
Pickerel Frog Northern Two-lined Salamander Northern Black Racer Snapping Turtle
Spring Peeper Red-spotted Newt Northern Brownsnake Spotted Turtle
Wood Frog Spotted Salamander Northern Red-bellied Snake Wood Turtle
    Northern Ring-necked Snake  
    Northern Watersnake  
    Smooth Greensnake  
    Timber Rattlesnake  



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