List of reptiles of Texas

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This is a list of Texas reptiles, including all snakes, lizards, crocodilians, and turtles native to the state of Texas.

Snake wiggling animal without legs

Snakes are elongated, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes. Like all other squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales. Many species of snakes have skulls with several more joints than their lizard ancestors, enabling them to swallow prey much larger than their heads with their highly mobile jaws. To accommodate their narrow bodies, snakes' paired organs appear one in front of the other instead of side by side, and most have only one functional lung. Some species retain a pelvic girdle with a pair of vestigial claws on either side of the cloaca. Lizards have evolved elongate bodies without limbs or with greatly reduced limbs about twenty-five times independently via convergent evolution, leading to many lineages of legless lizards. Legless lizards resemble snakes, but several common groups of legless lizards have eyelids and external ears, which snakes lack, although this rule is not universal.

Lizard suborder of reptiles

Lizards are a widespread group of squamate reptiles, with over 6,000 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica, as well as most oceanic island chains. The group is paraphyletic as it excludes the snakes and Amphisbaenia; some lizards are more closely related to these two excluded groups than they are to other lizards. Lizards range in size from chameleons and geckos a few centimeters long to the 3 meter long Komodo dragon.

Turtle order of reptiles

Turtles are diapsids of the order Testudines characterized by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs and acting as a shield. "Turtle" may refer to the order as a whole or to fresh-water and sea-dwelling testudines. The order Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct species. The earliest known members of this group date from 220 million years ago, making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups and a more ancient group than snakes or crocodilians. Of the 356 known species alive today, some are highly endangered.


The state of Texas has a large variety of habitats, from swamps, coastal marshes and pine forests in the east, rocky hills and limestone karst in the center, desert in the south and west, mountains in the far west, and grassland prairie in the north. This vast contrast in biomes makes Texas home to an extremely wide variety of herpetofauna. Its central position in the United States means that species found primarily in either the western or eastern reaches of the country often have their ranges meeting in the state. Its proximity to Mexico is such that many species found there and into Central America range as far north as Texas. The abundance of reptiles makes the state a prime area for research, and most species found in Texas have been well studied.

Swamp A forested wetland

A swamp is a wetland that is forested. Many swamps occur along large rivers where they are critically dependent upon natural water level fluctuations. Other swamps occur on the shores of large lakes. Some swamps have hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodic inundation or soil saturation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp forests and "transitional" or shrub swamps. In the boreal regions of Canada, the word swamp is colloquially used for what is more correctly termed a bog, fen, or muskeg. The water of a swamp may be fresh water, brackish water or seawater. Some of the world's largest swamps are found along major rivers such as the Amazon, the Mississippi, and the Congo.

Marsh A wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species

A marsh is a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species. Marshes can often be found at the edges of lakes and streams, where they form a transition between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They are often dominated by grasses, rushes or reeds. If woody plants are present they tend to be low-growing shrubs. This form of vegetation is what differentiates marshes from other types of wetland such as swamps, which are dominated by trees, and mires, which are wetlands that have accumulated deposits of acidic peat.

Forest dense collection of trees covering a relatively large area

A forest is a large area dominated by trees. Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function. According to the widely used Food and Agriculture Organization definition, forests covered 4 billion hectares (9.9×109 acres) (15 million square miles) or approximately 30 percent of the world's land area in 2006.

Texas state law protects several reptile species; threatened species denoted as (T) and endangered species denoted as (E). The moderate climate of Texas has also led to some species being introduced to the state and establishing a permanent population, denoted as (I).

Threatened species

Threatened species are any species which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future. Species that are threatened are sometimes characterised by the population dynamics measure of critical depensation, a mathematical measure of biomass related to population growth rate. This quantitative metric is one method of evaluating the degree of endangerment.

Endangered species Species of organisms facing a very high risk of extinction

An endangered species is a species which has been categorized as very likely to become extinct. Endangered (EN), as categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, is the second most severe conservation status for wild populations in the IUCN's schema after Critically Endangered (CR).


American alligator Gatrhole.jpg
American alligator

Family Alligatoridae

Alligator Genus of large reptiles

An alligator is a crocodilian in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. The two living species are the American alligator and the Chinese alligator. Additionally, several extinct species of alligator are known from fossil remains. Alligators first appeared during the Oligocene epoch about 37 million years ago.


Texas alligator lizard Gerrhonotus infernalis.jpg
Texas alligator lizard

Alligator lizards

Family Anguidae (anguid lizards)

<i>Gerrhonotus</i> genus of reptiles

Gerrhonotus is a genus of anguid lizards that are commonly referred to as alligator lizards, due to a vague resemblance to the alligator. Along with glass lizards (Ophisaurus) and many other lizards, alligator lizards have the ability to regrow their tail.


Green anole Carolina Anole.jpg
Green anole

Family Dactyloidae (anoles)

<i>Anolis</i> genus of reptiles

Anolis is a genus of anoles, iguanian lizards in the family Dactyloidae, native to the Americas. With more than 425 species, it represents the world's most species-rich amniote tetrapod genus, although it has been proposed that many of these should be moved to other genera, in which case only about 45 Anolis species remain. Previously, it was classified under the family Polychrotidae that contained all the anoles as well as Polychrus, but recent studies place it under Dactyloidae.

Collared lizards

Common collared lizard Collared lizard in Zion National Park.jpg
Common collared lizard

Family Crotaphytidae (collared and leopard lizards)


Texas Banded Gecko Coleonyx brevis.jpg
Texas Banded Gecko

Family Gekkonidae (geckos)


Family Iguanidae (iguanas)

Legless lizards

Western slender glass lizard Slender glass lizard.jpg
Western slender glass lizard

Spiny and horned lizards

roundtail horned lizard Phrynosoma modestum2.jpg
roundtail horned lizard
Texas spiny lizard Sceloporus olivaceus.jpg
Texas spiny lizard
Texas tree lizard Urosaurus ornatus.jpg
Texas tree lizard

Family Phrynosomatidae (sand, horned, and spiny lizards)


Ground skink Scincella lateralis.jpg
Ground skink

Family Scincidae (skinks)


Trans-Pecos striped whiptail Cnemidophorus inornatus heptagrammus.jpg
Trans-Pecos striped whiptail
Desert grassland whiptail Cnemidophorus uniparens (Buffalo Zoo).jpg
Desert grassland whiptail

Family Teiidae (Whiptails)


Plains blind snake Leptotyphlops dulcis.jpg
Plains blind snake

Blind Snakes

Family Leptotyphlopidae


Eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris.jpg
Eastern yellowbelly racer
Regal ringneck snake Diadophis punctatus.jpg
Regal ringneck snake
Texas indigo snake Drymarchon corais erebennus.jpg
Texas indigo snake
Texas rat snake Pantherophis obsoletus lindheimeri.jpg
Texas rat snake
Eastern hognose snake Heterodon platirhinos2.jpg
Eastern hognose snake
Texas night snake Hypsiglena torquata jani.jpg
Texas night snake
Grey-banded kingsnake Lampropeltis alterna.jpg
Grey-banded kingsnake
Mexican milk snake Lampropeltis triangulum annulata.jpg
Mexican milk snake
Western coachwhip Masticophis flagellum.jpg
Western coachwhip
Diamondback water snake Nerodia rhombifer.jpg
Diamondback water snake
Texas long-nosed snake Rhinocheilus lecontei tessellatus.jpg
Texas long-nosed snake
Texas brown snake Storeria dekayi texana.jpg
Texas brown snake
Red-stripe ribbon snake Thamnophis proximus rubrilineatus.jpg
Red-stripe ribbon snake
Texas garter snake Thamnophis sirtalis annectens.jpg
Texas garter snake
Texas lyre snake Trimorphodon biscutatus vilkinsonii.jpg
Texas lyre snake

Family Colubridae


Texas coral snake Micrurus tener.jpg
Texas coral snake

Family Elapidae


Western cottonmouth Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma.jpg
Western cottonmouth
Canebrake rattlesnake Crotalus horridus atricaudatus2.jpg
Canebrake rattlesnake

Family Viperidae (vipers)


Hawksbill turtle Hawksbill turtle doeppne-081.jpg
Hawksbill turtle
Leatherback sea turtle LeatherbackTurtle.jpg
Leatherback sea turtle

Marine turtles

Family Cheloniidae (marine turtles)

Family Dermochelidae (leatherback sea turtles)

Mud and musk turtles

Common musk turtle Sternotherus odoratus.jpg
Common musk turtle

Family Kinosternidae (mud and musk turtles)

Pond and box turtles

Chicken turtle Deirochelys reticularia.jpg
Chicken turtle
Diamondback terrapin Malaclemys terrapin.jpg
Diamondback terrapin
Texas river cooter Pseudemys texana.jpg
Texas river cooter
Ornate & Desert box turtle Ornate and desert.jpg
Ornate & Desert box turtle

Family Emydidae (water and box turtles)

Snapping turtles

Alligator snapping turtle Alligator Snapping Turtle.jpg
Alligator snapping turtle

Family Chelydridae (snapping turtles)

Softshell turtles

Spiny softshell turtle Apalone spinifera.jpg
Spiny softshell turtle

Family Trionychidae (softshell turtles)


Texas Tortoise Gopherus berlandieri.jpg
Texas Tortoise

Family Testudinidae (gopher tortoises)

See also

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