These are the species of reptile and amphibian known to occur and breed in the state of Vermont. Click on a species name to reach its own page, with information about that species, including photos and range maps. Click here for a quick photo reference to help you identify these species, then click on the individual photos or links to see additional identification, photos, and natural history information for each species.
Accepted Name, State Rank, and State Status,
as of January 2018
|Spiny Softshell||Apalone spinifera||S1||T||High|
|Snapping Turtle||Chelydra serpentina||S5|
|Painted Turtle||Chrysemys picta||S5|
|Spotted Turtle||Clemmys guttata||S1||E||High|
|Wood Turtle||Glyptemys insculpta1||S3||SC||High|
|Northern Map Turtle||Graptemys geographica||S3||SC|
|Eastern Musk Turtle||Sternotherus odoratus||S2||SC||Medium|
Lizards and Snakes
|Common Five-lined Skink||Plestiodon fasciatus||S1||E||High|
|North American Racer||Coluber constrictor||S1||T||High|
|Timber Rattlesnake||Crotalus horridus||S1||E||High|
|Ring-necked Snake||Diadophis punctatus||S4 12|
|Eastern Milksnake (a.k.a. Spotted Adder)||Lampropeltis triangulum||S514|
|Common Watersnake||Nerodia sipedon||S3||Medium|
|Smooth Greensnake||Opheodrys vernalis||S3||Medium|
|Eastern Ratsnake||Pantherophis alleghaniensis2||S2||T||High|
|DeKay’s Brownsnake||Storeria dekayi||S4||Medium|
|Red-bellied Snake||Storeria occipitomaculata||S5|
|Eastern Ribbonsnake||Thamnophis saurita15||S2||SC||High|
|Common Gartersnake||Thamnophis sirtalis||S5|
|Jefferson Salamander||Ambystoma jeffersonianum||S2||SC||High|
|Blue-spotted Salamander||Ambystoma laterale||S3||SC||Medium|
|Jefferson x Blue-spotted Complex (PNG) (PDF) (maps only)||Ambystoma jeffersonianum x laterale complex|
|Spotted Salamander||Ambystoma maculatum||S5||Medium|
|Northern Dusky Salamander||Desmognathus fuscus||S5|
|Northern Two-lined Salamander||Eurycea bislineata||S5|
|Spring Salamander||Gyrinophilus porphyriticus||S4|
|Four-toed Salamander||Hemidactylium scutatum||S2||SC||Medium|
|Eastern Newt||Notophthalmus viridescens||S5|
|Eastern Red-backed Salamander
Frogs (including Toads)
|American Toad||Anaxyrus americanus3||S5|
|Fowler’s Toad||Anaxyrus fowleri4||S1||E13||High|
|Gray Treefrog||Hyla versicolor||S5|
|American Bullfrog||Lithobates catesbeianus6||S5|
|Green Frog||Lithobates clamitans7||S5|
|Pickerel Frog||Lithobates palustris||S5|
|Northern Leopard Frog||Lithobates pipiens9||S4|
|Mink Frog||Lithobates septentrionalis10||S3|
|Wood Frog||Lithobates sylvaticus11||S5|
|Spring Peeper||Pseudacris crucifer||S5|
|Boreal Chorus Frog||Pseudacris maculata5||S1||E||High|
1 Glyptemys insculpta used to be called Clemmys insculpta.
2 Pantherophis alleghaniensis was Elaphe alleghaniensis until 2008. Before changing to Elaphe alleghaniensis, its name was Elaphe obsoleta.
3 Bufo americanus was changed to Anaxyrus americanus in 2008.
4 Bufo americanus was changed to Anaxyrus fowleri in 2008.
5 Pseudacris triseriata (Western Chorus Frog) was determined to be Pseudacris maculata (Boreal Chorus Frog) in 2007.
6-11 All the Vermont species listed in the Rana genus were reclassified into the Lithobates genus in 2008. Rana sylvatica became Lithobates sylvaticus.
12 The Ring-necked Snake’s state rank was changed from S3 to S4 in December 2013.
13 Fowler’s Toad was listed as Endangered in 2015.
14 Milksnake was renamed Eastern Milksnake in 2017.
15 The spelling of sauritus was corrected to saurita in 2017.
Crother, B. I. (ed.). 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, With Comments Regarding Confidence In Our Understanding, Eighth Edition. SSAR Herpetological Circular 43:1-102.
The species listed below have never been confirmed as native or established in Vermont. They are listed as unconfirmed species because although we have received reports from Vermont and populations exist very close to our borders, there is not enough information to confirm their identification or location, or existing reports may be of escaped or released pets or accidentally transported animals.
|Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander||Desmognathus ochrophaeus|
|One specimen of a juvenile from central Vermont may be of this species. Otherwise, the distribution of this species is believed to have an eastern boundary of the Hudson River and Lake Champlain. No populations have been located.|
|Northern Slimy Salamander||Plethodon glutinosus|
|Specimens labeled from Caledonia Country in Vermont at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have long been questioned. They are believed to be mislabeled. No populations have been located.|
|Marbled Salamander||Ambystoma opacum|
|One historic photo of this species is labeled “Vermont” and an historic field record from Fair Haven is from a credible source. A population of this species may eventually be located in southern Vermont, most likely along the Connecticut River drainage. No populations have been located.|
|Eastern Box Turtle||Terrapene carolina|
|The occasional reports of single adult animals are assumed to be released pets. Reports near the southern Connecticut River Valley could possibly be native turtles. No populations are known.|
|Blanding’s Turtle||Emydoidea blandingii|
|Widely disjunct populations of this species suggest that populations could potentially exist in Vermont. One well-documented record could be a released pet. No populations have been located.|
|Pond Slider||Trachemys scripta|
|Occasional scattered reports of this species are assumed to be released pets. With climate change, there is the possibility of this species becoming established and breeding in Vermont. Potentially invasive if established.|
|Eastern Hog-Nosed Snake||Heterodon platirhinos|
|Two well-documented records of this species in Vernon suggest local populations, but those reports were both of hatchling snakes found close to each other during the same week. One possible explanation is that a clutch of eggs was transported to Vermont by accident. Populations are very close (~15 miles) to the Massachusetts and New York border, so a native population may certainly be confirmed in Vermont one day.|
Explanation of Legal Status & Information Ranks
As per the Vermont Endangered Species Law
- E: Endangered—in immediate danger of becoming extirpated in the states
- T: Threatened—high possibility of becoming endangered in the near future
Not established by law
- PE: Proposed for endangered.
- PT: Proposed for threatened.
- SC: Special Concern: rare; status should be watched.
- SGCN: Species designated as having the Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in Vermont’s Wildlife Action Plan. Listed as either high or medium priority conservation for funding through the State Wildlife Grants Program.
State Ranks of Plants, Animals, and Natural Communities
State ranks are assigned by the Wildlife Diversity Program (in the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife) based on the best available information. They are not established by law. Ranks are reviewed annually.
At very high risk due to extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer populations or occurrences in the state), very steep declines, or other factors.
At high risk due to very restricted range, very few populations (often 20 or fewer), steep declines, or other factors.
At moderate risk due to restricted range, relatively few populations, or occurrences (often 80 or fewer), recent and widespread declines, or other factors.
Locally common or widely scattered to uncommon: not rare.
Common: widespread and abundant.
- SA: Accidental in the state.
- SE: An exotic established in the state.
- SH: Known from historical records only.
- SR: Reported from the state, but without persuasive documentation.
- SRF: Reported in error, but this error persisted in the literature.
- SP: Possible in the state but no reported or documented records.
- SSYN: No longer considered a taxon in the state.
- SZ: Not of practical conservation concern because there are no definable occurrences.
- SX: Extirpated from the state.
- SU: Status uncertain.
- ?: Denotes provisional rank.