Natural History of Vertebrates Lab
Emporia State University


Taxonomy and nomenclature follows Kansas Herpetofaunal Atlas (2018).

You will be responsible for the classification from kingdom to species, its common name, and its general distribution in Kansas (part of the state). Plus you must spell all names or categories correctly.

Kingdom Animalia
   Phylum Chordata
      Subphylum Vertebrata
         Class Reptilia
            Order Testudines
               Family Chelydridae
                  Chelydra serpentina  (snapping turtle)
                  Macrochelys temminckii  (alligator snapping turtle) special concern
               Family Kinosternidae
                  Sternotherus odoratus  (eastern musk turtle)
                  Kinosternon flavescens  (yellow mud turtle)
               Family Emydidae
                  Chrysemys picta  (painted turtle)
                  Graptemys geographica  (northern map turtle)threatened
                  Graptemys pseudogeographica  (false map turtle)
                  Trachemys scripta  (pond slider)
                  Terrapene carolina  (eastern box turtle)
                  Terrapene ornata  (ornate box turtle)
               Family Trionychidae
                  Apalone mutica  (smooth softshell)
                  Apalone spinifera  (spiny softshell)
            Order Squamata
               Suborder Lacertilia
                  Family Crotaphytidae
                     Crotaphytus collaris  (eastern collared lizard)
                  Family Phrynosomatidae
                     Sceloporus consobrinus  (prairie lizard)
                     Phrynosoma cornutum  (Texas horned lizard)
                  Family Scincidae
                     Scincella lateralis  (little brown skink)
                     Plestiodon anthracinus  (coal skink)
                     Plestiodon fasciatus  (common five-lined skink)
                     Plestiodon laticeps  (broad-headed skink)T
                     Plestiodon obsoletus  (Great Plains skink)
                     Plestiodon septentrionalis  (prairie skink)
                  Family Teiidae
                     Aspidoscelis sexlineatus  (six-lined racerunner)
                  Family Anguidae
                     Ophisaurus attenuatus (slender glass lizard)
               Suborder Serpentes
                  Family Dipsadidae
                     Carphophis vermis  (western wormsnake)
                     Diadophis punctatus  (ring-necked snake)
                     Hypsiglena jani  (Chihuahuan night snake)threatened
                  Family Colubridae
                     Arizona elegans  (glossy snake)special concern
                     Coluber constrictor  (North American racer)
                     Pantherophis emoryi  (Great Plains ratsnake)
                     Pantherophis obsoletus  (western ratsnake)
                     Lampropeltis calligaster  (prairie kingsnake)
                     Lampropeltis holbrooki  (speckled kingsnake)
                     Lampropeltis triangulum  ( eastern milksnake)
                     Opheodrys aestivus  (rough greensnake)
                     Tantilla gracilis  (flat-headed snake)
                  Family Natricidae
                     Nerodia rhombifer  (diamond-backed watersnake)
                     Nerodia sipedon  (common watersnake)
                     Thamnophis radix  (plains gartersnake)
                     Virginia valeriae  (smooth earthsnake) special concern
                  Family Crotalidae
                     Agkistrodon contortrix  (copperhead)
                     Crotalus horridus  (timber rattlesnake) special concern
                     Crotalus viridis  (prairie rattlesnake)
                     Sistrurus tergeminus  (western massasauga)


CHELYDRIDAE--thin connection between carapace and plastron; tail long, more than half the length of the carapace

KINOSTERNIDAE--plastron composed of 10 or 11 plates; connection between plastron and carapace contacts only the third pair of plates in the plastron

EMYDIDAE--plastron composed of 12 plates; connection between plastron and carapace contacts the third and fourth pairs of plates in the plastron

TRIONYCHIDAE--carapace soft and leathery; snout flexible and pointed

CROTAPHYTIDAE--one or two black bands across neck

PHRYNOSOMATIDAE--around the middle of the body, the ventral scales are much larger than dorsal or lateral scales

SCINCIDAE--around the middle of the body, the ventral scales are the same size as the dorsal or lateral scales

TEIIDAE--elongate with tail length more than twice the snout-vent length; granular dorsal scales and large transverse belly scales in 8 rows

ANGUIDAE--body without four limbs; external ear opening; eyelids

DIPSADIDAE--small snakes; smooth scales; rear-fanged

COLUBRIDAE--larger snakes; scales variable; lay eggs

NATRICIDAE--generally strongly keeled scales; bears live young

CROTALIDAE--sensory pit on each side of head between the eye and the nasal opening; anal scale undivided

Provide comments to Dwight Moore at
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