Reptile & Amphibian Inventory

Reptile and Amphibian Inventory

To know your reptile & amphibian friends, here are 3 indispensible for knowing which reptiles and amphibians are living in the habitat that you are creating. The management techniques will ensure you maintain a healthy, happy population.

Reptiles

Some Interesting Reptile Facts:

  • Non-venomous snakes have a pointed tail!!
  • Snakes do not have eyelids or ear openings
  • Wisconsin snakes are usually active between April and October
  • Shedding is triggered by growth and scale wear. Their vision is impaired while shedding and can be more irritable during this process.
  • Their tongue is their primary means of locating food
  • All snakes are carnivores
  • After feeding, snakes will “yawn;’ this realigns their jawbones.
  • Loss of prairie habitat makes maintaining and growing snake populations difficult

Reptiles at Driftless Prairies:

Brown Snake or DeKay’s Snake — Storeria dekayi
Bullsnake — Pituophis melanoleucus
Common Garter Snake — Thamnophis sirtalis
Eastern Plains Garter Snake — Thamnophis radix
Western Fox Snake — Elaphe vulpine
Milk snakeLampropeltis triangulum

Amphibians

 

Pickerel frog, rana palustris

Some interesting amphibian facts:

  • Wisconsin has 12 frog species; all are mostly nocturnal
  • Amphibians shed their skin periodically. It is based on season, climate, and food supply. Many eat their shed skins for their nutrients.
  • To avoid predation, their best defense is to remain undetected.
  • Toads emit a burning sensation and puff up their bodies, making it difficult to swallow.
  • They overwinter by producing a glycol-like fluid that allows their body fluid to freeze but not the cells.
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation is the cause for population declines.
  • Frogs and salamanders are indicators of environmental conditions because their skins are vulnerable to pollutants.
  • Amphibs offer a number of benefits, from high-quality food for other “critters” to skin secretions that are used for medicinal purposes.

Eastern American Toad —Bufo americanus
Eastern Gray Treefrog — Hyla versicolor
Green Frog — Rana Clamitans melanota
Northern Spring Peeper — Pseudacris crucifer
Pickerel Frog – Rana palustris
Western Chorus Frog — Pseudacris triseriata