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Herpetofaunal Biogeography of the Ouachita Region

  The diversity of herpetofauna (amphibians & reptiles) of the Ouachita region is quite interesting and unique.  The geological history, climate and weather, along with it's location (primarily as part of the Southeast, but with influences from the Southwest and Great Plains) provides for a wide biogeographical mix of species.  Also, because the region developed differently geologically than the larger ecoregions around it, allowed for endemic species to evolve.    

 More materials and information to come!

Amphibians & Reptiles
of Lake Ouachita (Garland & Montgomery Counties), Arkansas

  Amphibians & reptiles are some of the most interesting and important animals in Arkansas.  They play vital roles in ecosystems & consume many insects, and harmful crop pests & rodents.  These unique animals have been part of the natural history of the State for thousands of years, but many species are now disappearing from the landscape of Arkansas.

Helpful Reminders: It is important to know that all native animals and plants are protected on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers & U.S. Forest Service public lands in the Lake Ouachita region.  Additionally, a number of rare and endangered species occur in the area.  Observe and appreciate animals from a distance, but please do not harass or try to capture them.  Trying to capture or feed wildlife can be harmful to both you and the animal.  Many animals lose their fear of humans when people feed them, which can lead to dangerous encounters.  Safely observing or photographing animals ensures their survival.  Public lands are some of the few remaining relatively undisturbed areas in Arkansas that provide habitat and homes for many species.  For more information, visit our website below.  Please do your part to preserve and protect the awesome, natural biodiversity of Arkansas!


1) Northern Scarlet (Cemophora coccinea copei)
2) Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus)
3) Great Plains Rat (Elaphe guttata emoryi)
4) Black Rat (Elaphe o. obsoleta)
5) Speckled King (Lampropeltis getula holbrooki)
6) Red Milk (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila)
7) Prairie King (Lampropeltis c. calligaster)
8) Eastern Coachwhip (Masticophis f. flagellum)
9) Rough Green (Opheodrys aestivus)
10) Flathead (Tantilla gracilis)

11) Western Worm (Carphophis vermis)
12) Mississippi Ringneck (Diadophis punctatus stictogenys)

?13) Mississippi Green Water (Nerodia cyclopion)
14) Diamondback Water (Nerodia rhombifer)
15) Yellowbelly Water (Nerodia erthrogaster flavigaster)
16) Midland Water (Nerodia sipedon pleuralis)
17) Broad-banded Water (Nerodia fasciata confluens)
18) Graham’s Crayfish (Regina grahamii)
?19) Gulf Glossy Crayfish (Regina rigida sinicola)
20) Queen (Regina septemvittata)
21) Midland Brown (Storeria dekayi wrightorum)
22) Northern Redbelly (Storeria o. occipitomaculata)
23) Eastern Garter (Thamnophis s. sirtalis)
24) Western Ribbon (Thamnophis p. proximus)
25) Western Smooth Earth (Virginia valeriae elegans)
26) Rough Earth snake (Virginia striatula)

27) Western Mud (Farancia abacura reinwardtii)
28) Eastern Hognose (Heterodon platirhinos)

Crotalidae (Pit-Vipers):
29) Southern Copperhead (Agkistrodon c. contortrix)
30) Western Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorous leaucostoma)
?31) Western Diamondback rattler (Crotalus atrox)
32) Timber rattler (Crotalus horridus)
33) Western Pygmy rattler (Sistrurus miliarius streckeri)

Anguidae (Legless Lizards)
1) Eastern Slender Glass (Ophisaurus attenuatus longicaudus)

Crotaphytidae (Collared & Leopard Lizards)
?2) Eastern Collard (Crotaphytus c. collaris)

Phrynosomatidae (Sand, Horned & Spiny Lizards)

3) Northern Fence (Sceloporus undulates hyacinthinus)

Polychrotidae (Anoles)
4) Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Scincidae (Skinks)
5) Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis)
6) Five-lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus)
7) Broad-headed Skink (Eumeces laticeps)
8) Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Eumeces inexpectatus)
9) Coal Skink (Eumeces anthracinus)

Teiidae (Whiptails)
10) Prairie Racerunner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus viridis)


Chelydridae (Snapping turtles)
1) Common Snapping (Chelydra s. serpentina)
2) Alligator Snapping (Macrochelys temmincki)

Emydidae (Water & Box turtles)
3) Three-toed Box (Terrapene carolina triunguis)
4) Ornate Box (Terrapene o. ornata)
5) Common Map (Graptemys geographica)
6) Mississippi Map (Graptemys kohni)
7) Ouachita Map (Graptemys pseudogeographica ouachitensis
8) Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
9) Missouri Cooter (Pseudemys concinna metteri)
10) Southern Painted (Chrysemys picta dorsalis)
11) Western Chicken (Deirochelys reticularia miaria)

Kinosternidae (Mud & Musk turtles)
12) Stinkpot (Sternotherus odoratus)
13) Razorback Musk (Sternotherus carinatus)
14) Mississippi Mud (Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis)

Trionychidae (Softshell turtles)
15) Midland Smooth Softshell (Apalone m. mutica)
16) Western Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera hartwegi)

Crocodylia/Alligators & Crocodiles:

?1) American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Anura/Frogs & Toads:

Bufonidae (True Toads)
1) Dwarf t. (Bufo americanus charlesmithi)
2) Fowler’s t. (Bufo woodhousei fowleri)

Hylidae (Treefrogs)

3) Blanchard’s Cricket f. (Acris crepitans blanchardi)
?4) Bird-voiced tf (Hyla avivoca)
5) Green tf (Hyla cinerea)
6) Cope’s Gray tf (Hyla chrysoscelis)
7) N. Spring Peeper (Pseudacris c. crucifer)
8) Cajun Chorus f. (Pseudacris fouquettei)

Microhylidae (Narrowmouth Toads)
9) E. Narrowmouth t. (Gastrophryne carolinensis)

Pelobatidae (Spadefoot Toads)
10) Hurter’s Spadefoot t. (Scaphiopus holbrooki hurterii)

Ranidae (True Frogs)
?11) N. Crawfish f. (Rana aerolata circulosa)
12) Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
13) Bronze f. (Rana c. clamitans)
14) Pickerel f. (Rana palustris)
15) S. Leopard f. (Rana utricularia)


Ambystomatidae (Mole Salamanders)
1) Ringed (Ambystoma annulatum)
2) Spotted (Ambystoma maculatum)
3) Marbled (Ambystoma opacum)
4) Mole (Ambystoma talpoideum)
5) Smallmouth (Ambystoma texanum)

?6) Three-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma tridactylum)

Plethodontidae (Lungless Salamanders)
7) Ouachita Dusky (Desmognathus brimleyorum)
8) Many-ribbed (Eurycea multiplicata)
9) Dwarf (Eurycea quadridigitata)
10) Four-toed (Hemidactylium scutatum)
11) Caddo Mountain (Plethodon caddoensis)
12) Western Slimy (Plethodon albagula)
13) Southern Redback (Plethodon serratus)

14) Red River Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus louisianensis)

15) Central Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens louisianensis)

16) Western Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia nettingi)
(Above) Aquatic salamanders of Lake Ouachita.

Aquatic salamanders are some of the most unique and interesting species in the Southeast & Arkansas.  These odd looking salamanders are aquatic permanent larvae that have lost the ability to transform into adults.  They possess external gills or gill slits and are often stream-lined or adapted for an aquatic life.  Many people may mistake them for freshwater eels.  They are carnivorous and consume live prey & reach a size of 4-42+ inches.  At least four species are found in Arkansas, with three occurring in the Lake Ouachita region.

Snakes – 33     Alligators – 1
Turtles – 16     Frogs & Toads – 15
Lizards – 10     Salamanders – 16
Total species - 91

Pg. 9: A Photographic Atlas of the Herpetofauna of the Ouachita Region