Reptiles and Amphibians of New York

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These little animals are generally adapted for land, with dry scaly skin and amniotic eggs, although some turtles and snakes spend a lot of their time under water.

Snakes of NYSnakes

Cold-blooded legless reptiles of the order Squamata. They are found all over upstate NY. Snakes can live on land and can also survive for short periods in water. All snakes are carnivorous. There are venomous species in NY State, but they are rare. 

Turtles of NYTurtles

Cold-blooded reptiles of the order Testudine. Characterized primarily by their bony protective shells. Only aquatic species are found in upstate NY (no tortoises). Some species are common in wetlands throughout the state. Due to their generally low-tolerance for pollution, some species are now endangered. 

Lizards of NYLizards

Cold-blooded reptiles of the order Squamata. Although some lizards have no arms and legs and look like a snake, they are not to be found in this area. It is safe to assume, if it has legs and scales, it is a lizard, not a snake. If it lacks scales, check the Salamander section.


These little animals are generally tied to water, especially to reproduce, and have slimy skin they can breathe through.

Frogs and toadsFrogs & Toads

Belonging to the order Anura, from the Greek meaning “no tail.” Characterized by their long folded hind legs, webbed digits and protruding eyes. Tied to water for reproduction.

Salamanders and NewtsSalamanders & Newts

Amphibians of the order Urodelia. Characterized by slender, moist and scale-less bodies, small limbs and long tails. Primarily tied to water or damp areas. Newts are a more primitive form of salamanders.

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