Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana


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2015 Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana (PDF)

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Class Amphibia

Order Anura (Frogs and Toads)

Order Caudata (Salamanders)

Class Reptilia

Order Crocodilia (Alligators and Crocodiles)

Order Squamata: Suborder Lacertilia (Lizards)

Order Squamata: Suborder Serpentes (Snakes)

Order Testudines (Turtles)


*All scientific and standard English names in these lists are the names recognized by Crother (2012) for the full species. For subspecies information, click on the individual links to the species of interest. For example, in Louisiana, we have the Eastern American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus americanus). However, on the lists as well as the names on the parish record maps there will be just American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus).

Crother (2008) states that it is difficult to discern what subspecies to place our introduced Brown Anole, Anolis sagrei, as there is evidence of multiple introductions from Cuba and perhaps the Bahamas. I have chosen to not assign a subspecies until there is further clarification.

Although some sources may include the Texas Horned Lizard, Phrynosoma cornutum, in the native fauna of Louisiana, I have chosen not to do so here. Due to the popularity of the species in the pet trade, it is frequently released well outside its native range, especially in large urban areas, and is likely the explanation behind the Louisiana records (Dundee and Rossman 1989). If an established population is found within the state, I will then include the species in this checklist like I have other introduced species.

Dundee and Rossman (1989) included the Alabama Map Turtle (Graptemys pulchra) as native to Louisiana in the eastern Florida Parishes. However, recent research has shown that the formerly reported range reflects a complex of several species largely confined to distinct river catchments (Moulis 2009). The Alabama Map Turtle is thus no longer recognized as native to Louisiana, and is confined to Alabama and extreme northwestern Georgia.

The Pascagoula Map Turtle (Graptemys gibbonsi) was formerly recognized as occurring within the Pearl River drainage basin of Louisiana. However, Ennen et al. (2010) concluded based on genetic and morphological evidence that this form was different enough from the populations in the Pascagoula River drainage basin of Mississippi to warrant its own species. Thus, the new name they proposed was the Pearl River Map Turtle, Graptemys pearlensis. Therefore, this new species is recognized as native to the state and the Pascagoula Map Turtle is no longer recognized as being a resident of Louisiana.

Literature Cited

Crother, B.I. 2012. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles
          of North America North of Mexico, pp. 1-101. SSAR Herpetological Circular 39.

Dundee, H.A., and D.A. Rossman. 1989. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana.
          Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge.

Ennen, J.R., J.E. Lovich, B.R. Kreiser, W. Selman, and C.P. Qualls. 2010. Genetic and
          morphological variation between populations of the Pascagoula Map Turtle (Graptemys
          gibbonsi
) in the Pearl and Pascagoula Rivers with a description of a new species. 
          Chelonian Conservation and Biology 9:98-113.

Moulis, R.A. 2008. Alabama Map Turtle, Graptemys pulchra. Pp. 48-484.In: Jensen, J.B., C. 
          D. Camp, W. Gibbons, and M.J. Elliott (eds.). Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia. 
          University of Georgia Press, Athens.

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