Reptile Types

Florida worm lizard (Copyright: Siar Anthranir) Amphisbaenians
Amphisbaenians have a worm-like appearance.
Alligator (Mosesso, NBII Digital Image Library) Crocodilians
Crocodilians are large reptiles with powerful limbs and tails.
Western fence lizard (Mosesso, NBII Digital Image Library) Lizards
Lizards are the largest and most diverse group of reptiles.
Eastern ribbon snake (Mosesso, NBII Digital Image Library) Snakes
Snakes are limbless and eat prey whole.
Tuatara (Copyright Dr. Paddy Ryan) Tuatara
Tuatara have a lizard-like appearance.
Wood turtle (Mosesso, NBII Digital Image Library) Turtles
Turtles have a shell, lack teeth, and lay eggs for reproduction.

Photo Credits: Amphisbaenians - Copyright Siar Anthranir (Siar Anthranir Photography Catalog); Crocodilians, Lizards, Snakes, Turtles - John J. Mosesso (NBII Digital Image Library); Tuatara - Copyright Dr. Paddy Ryan (Ryan Photographic)

Common Questions

You can find answers below to common questions about the site and about the science.


I am a student working on a biological research project. Can you answer some questions for me?

We suggest you first conduct a literature search on the topic. If you are unable to find your answers, we will try to provide further assistance.


Do some reptiles have salmonella?

Salmonella can be found in some reptiles. Visit the Center for Disease Control to learn about diseases from reptiles. For more information from wildlife disease experts about reptile illnesses, visit the NBII Wildlife Disease Information Web site.


How can I find the scientific names of reptiles?

For the scientific names of reptiles and other animals, plants, fungi, and microbes, visit the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).


What reptiles are endangered?

All seven marine turtle species are either threatened or endangered. Other reptiles, such as the American crocodile, gopher tortoise, and desert tortoise, are imperiled as well. Visit the NBII Threatened and Endangered Species Web site to learn more about reptiles that are threatened or endangered.


How do I report sightings of invasive reptiles like the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis)?

Brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) sightings in North America or on islands thought to lack snake species should be reported to a wildlife agency such as the USGS Fort Collins Science Center, the North American Brown Tree Snake Control Team, or in Hawaii, the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Take part in the National Early Detection and Rapid Response effort by reporting invasive species sightings. Visit the NBII Invasive Species Web site to learn more about invasive species in the United States and Canada.


Are there established protocols for monitoring reptiles for research purposes?

The National Resources Monitoring Partnership (NRMP) is a collaboration between state, Canadian provincial, and federal natural resource management agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and academic institutions to share protocols being used to govern monitoring projects. Visit NRMP to find reptile protocols being used for research and reptile monitoring projects happening across the land.


What should I do if I'm bitten by a snake?

Medical concerns about snake bites should be directed to health resources such as the National Institute of Health's MedlinePlus, which may also provide instructions for the best way to respond to and avoid snake bites.

Library of Images From the Environment

Texas banded gecko (Celeonyx brevis)
Texas banded gecko (Coleonyx brevis) [Photo: Yuri Huta, Copyright: Finding Species]

For images of reptiles and other wildlife, visit the NBII Library of Images From the Environment.

The NBII Program is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
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