Learn more about Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota.

MHS is committed to the study and conservation of Minnesota’s 50 species of amphibians and reptiles. We regularly fund grants in herpetological conservation and research conducted in Minnesota and beyond. MHS also conducts field surveys throughout the state.

MHS is also active in many aspects of herpetological education. We developed and implemented educator workshops to help prepare classroom teachers and naturalists to use reptiles and amphibians in the classroom by providing training and materials, beginning with four “Tips and Tools for Teaching About Reptiles and Amphibians” workshops in 2001. Find out more information about HandsOn events here.

Learn more about Minnesota’s reptiles and amphibians by clicking on the following links:

Having a problem with snakes?
Here is a guide to dealing with snakes in your home or yard from the Minnesota DNR.
Click here for the MHS pamphlet on how to identify venomous snakes in MN.

There’s a turtle crossing the road. What do I do?
Here is some useful information about protecting turtles on roads and in your garden.
Click here for the MHS pamphlet to learn how you can help a turtle.

For more information on Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Species:
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Rare Species Guide
Click here for the pamphlet created by MHS’s Jeff LeClere.

For the most up-to-date list of Minnesota’s endangered, threatened, and special concern species visit the MNDNR’s Endangered Species page.

  • Frogs & Toads

    Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris blanchardi)

    Snakes

    Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus)

  • Snakes

    Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)

    Western (Black) Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

    Turtles

    Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)

    Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta)

  • Salamanders

    Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)

    Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)

    Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)

    Frogs and Toads

    Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus [Bufo] cognatus)

    Lizards

    Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)

    Snakes

    Bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer)

    Lined Snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum)

    North American Racer (Coluber constrictor)

    Plains Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon nasicus)

    Turtles

    Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica)

  • Schoolchildren in Henderson, Minnesota made national news in 1995 when they discovered a pond full of deformed frogs. And that was just the beginning.

    Journalist William Souder follows this story in his book, u201cA Plague of Frogs: The Horrifying True Storyu201d. Souder tells this tale better than anyone and his book is a great overview if youu2019re interested in Minnesotau2019s deformed frogs.

    Additional information on malformed frogs and declining amphibian populations can be found on the following link:

    Minnesota Pollution Control Agency u2013 Deformed Frogs in Minnesota. This site details the work (or lack thereof) that the MPCA is doing with frog malformations.


    The Ney Farm in Henderson, Minnesota


    Albino Leopard Frog from Minnesota (Rana pipiens)

  • For more information about reptiles and amphibians in Minnesota and the Midwest check out the following books, papers, and tapes:

    Breckenridge, W.J. 1944. Reptiles and Amphibians of Minnesota. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 202 pp.

    Coffin, B.A. and L.A. Pfannmuller, ed. 1989. Minnesotau2019s Endangered Flora and Fauna. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul, Minnesota. 473 pp.

    Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 450 pp.

    Harding, J. 1997. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. 378 pp.

    Karns, D.R. 1986. Field Herpetology: Methods for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota. Bell Museum of Natural History, Occasional Paper No. 18:1-88.
    If the above link does not work, you can also click here to download: How to Field Herp

    Oldfield, B. and J.J. Moriarty. 1994. Amphibians and Reptiles Native to Minnesota. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 237 pp.

    Tekiela, S. 2003. Reptiles and Amphibians of Minnesota Field Guide and CD. Adventure Publications, Cambridge. 140 pp. CD: 81 Tracks.

    Vogt, R.C. 1981. Natural History of Amphibians and Reptiles of Wisconsin. Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee. 205 pp.

    The Calls of Minnesotau2019s Frogs and Toads: Reference and Training by Minnesota Frog Watch. A Thousand Friends of Frogs, Hamline University Graduate School of Education, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104-1284.

More information can be found on the Links page, where there is an entire section dedicated to the reptiles and amphibians located in Minnesota.