Reptiles and Amphibians

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Slimy or scaly we have them both at Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge! Look below to learn about some of our resident reptiles and amphibians.

  • Cope's Gray Tree Frog

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    Featured on our home page, this amazing amphibian can climb up trees, shrubs, walls, and you may even see one climbing up a window at your house! They have this ability because of the rough, sticky pads on the ends of their toes. While they are called "gray", they can have spots of various shades of green. 

    Learn about the sounds of this frog and others.

  • Ringneck Snake

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    This small gray/black snake is all dressed up wearing a yellow ring around its neck. This snake is small reaching lengths of only 5-15 inches, and is not known for biting. However, it does release a smelly odor, called a musk, when scared. They like to feed on worms, slugs, and small amphibians.  

  • Cottonmouth

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    Also known as the water moccasin, this venomous snake is usually found on or around water. During the spring and fall they can be found on dryer uplands as they migrate for hibernation in the winter. This species gets its name from its cotton white mouth that it holds open when it feels threatened. 

  • Spotted Salamander

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    While this amphibian is large, reaching lengths of 7 inches, and has bright orange/yellow spots on it's gray/dark brown back, it's not so easy find! This species is very secretive hiding in dark moist places during the day and only coming out at night. When hunting at night, they prey on large insects and tadpoles.

  • Northern Water Snake

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    This water-loving snake can somewhat resemble a copperhead, but the crossbands wider in the middle than on the outside. This is exactly opposite of the copperhead. You might see them feed on fish, toads, frogs, and even leeches.

  • Northern Crawfish Frog

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    While their population numbers have been decreasing, in Kentucky, this species occurs in the western portion of the state and can be found on parts of the refuge. It spends most of the year living in and around crawfish burrows. They will make the journey to shallow ponds for about 2 weeks each March for breeding. During this time the male advertisement call can be heard, it is a low snore.

  • Eastern Milk Snake

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    These snakes are often confused with baby copperheads, but they are non-venomous and reach an average length of 2 feet as adults. Often found in barns and the belief they were drinking milk from cows, earned them the name "milk snake". However, snakes can not digest milk and milk snakes prefer insects, small reptiles, and small mammals.

  • Kentucky Snakes

    This book from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is an excellent guide to help you learn more about our snake species.

    Kentucky Snakes