Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region


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Amphibians & Reptiles


Salamanders - Long, slender bodies and small limbs make these animals resemble the more well known lizards. These amphibians are often overlooked by the casual observer since most are voiceless and nocturnal and can only be found by looking under rocks, logs, leaf litter, etc.

The following salamanders can be found on the refuge:

Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia) Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma opacum)
Greater Siren (Siren lacertina) Mole Salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum)
Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) Southern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus auriculatus)
Two-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma means) Dwarf Salamander (Eurycea quadridigitata)
Mabee's Salamander (Ambystoma mabeei) Slimy Salamander (Plethodon glutinosus)
Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) Many-lined Salamander (Stereochilus marginatus)


Frogs and Toads - Adult frogs and toads are easily recognized with their tailless stocky bodies, broad heads, large eyes, well-developed forelimbs, large hind legs, and unique vocalizations. The eggs of most of these amphibians hatch into aquatic forms called tadpoles, which, in turn, change into the adult forms.

The following frogs and toads can be found on the refuge:

Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphoiopus holbrooki) Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans)
Oak Toad (Bufo quercicus) Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus)
Southern Toad (Bufo terrestris) Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)
Fowler's Toad (Bufo woodhousei) Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea)
Eastern Narrowmouth Toad (Gastrophrynecarolinensis) Spring Peeper (Hyla crucifer)
Pine Woods Treefrog (Hyla femoralis) Barking Treefrog (Hyla gratiosa)
Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella) Little Grass Frog (Limnaoedus ocularis)
Brimley's Chorus Frog (Pseudacris brimleyi) Southern Chorus Frog (Pseudacris nigrita)
Ornate Chorus Frog (Pseudacris ornata) Crawfish Frog (Rana areolata)
Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) Green Frog (Rana clamitans)
Pig Frog (Rana grylio) Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala)
Carpenter Frog (Rana Virgatipes)  



American Alligator (alligator mississippiensis) - Large, armored "lizard-like" bodies make these aquatic carnivores easy to identify as they lie about basking in the sun or gliding through the water with nose and eyes protruding.

Turtles - A hard, protective shell, four limbs, a tail and a horny beak make these popular reptiles easy to identify as they lie basking on logs or as they stick their noses out of the water for a breath of air.

The following turtles can be found on the refuge:

Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) Eastern Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum)
Eastern Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) River Cooter (Chrysemys concinna)
Florida Cooter (Chrysemys floridana) Yellow-bellied Slider (Chrysemys scripta)
Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia)
Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) Spiny Softshell (Trionyx spiniferus)


Lizards - Dry scaly skin, clawed feet and external ear openings separate the reptiles from their amphibian counterparts, teh salamanders. A few lizards are legless and are easily confused with snakes until you notice their ear openings and moveable eyelids. The long slender tails of most lizards are easily broken, but they quickly grow another (regeneration).

The following lizards are found on the refuge:

Carolina Anole (Anolis carolinensis) Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis)
Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) Six-lined Racerunner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus)
Five-lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus) Slender Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus)
Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Eumeces inexpectatus) Eastern Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis)
Broadhead Skink (Eumeces laticeps)  


Snakes - Long scaly bodies without limbs, external ear openings or eyelids distinguish these unpopular, but extremely necessary, reptiles. All snakes are carnivorous and swallow their prey whole, without chewing. Some snakes swallow live organisms, some wrap their bodies around their prey and suffocate it, and others inject venom into their prey to immobilize it.

The following snakes are found on the refuge (venomous species are marked with an asterisk*.):

Worm Snake (Carphophis amoenus) Pine Snake (Pituophis melanoleucus)
Scarlet Snake (Cemophora coccinea) Glossy Crayfish Snake (Regina rigida)
Black Racer (Coluber constrictor) Black Swamp Snake (Seminatrix pygaea)
Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus) Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi)
Corn Snake (Elaphe guttata) Redbelly Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata)
Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta) Southeastern Crowned Snake (Tantilla coronata)
Mud Snake (Farancia abacura) Eastern Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus)
Rainbow Snake (Farancia erytrogramma) Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos) Rough Earth Snake (Virginia valeriae)
Southern Hognose Snake (Heterodon simus) Smooth Earth Snake (Virginia valeriae)
Mole Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster) *Eastern Coral Snake (Micrurus fulvius)
Eastern Kingsnake (Lampropetis getulus) *Copperhead (Aghistrodon contortriz)
Scarlet Kingsnake (Lampropeltis triangulum) *Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Eastern Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) *Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)
Redbelly Water Snake (Nerodia erythrogaster) *Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)
Banded Water Snake (Nerodia taxispilota) *Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius)
Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus)  

Last updated: October 22, 2013