List of reptiles of Massachusetts

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This is a list of Massachusetts reptiles. It includes all reptiles currently found in Massachusetts. It does not include species found only in captivity. Some species are identified as indicated below:

  • (I) = Introduced population established solely as result of direct or indirect human intervention; synonymous with non-native and non-indigenous.
  • (A) = Accidental occurrence based on one or a few records, and unlikely to occur regularly.
  • (SC) = Endangered, Threatened, Special concern Rare or endangered in a state or country.
  • (EX) = Extirpated No evidence of breeding population in a particular area, but is found elsewhere.

Squamata[edit]

Common Garter Snake
  • Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix (SC) (Found in Hampden county and Norfolk county) - At present, only found in Hampden and Norfolk counties. Endangered and extremely rare in Massachusetts due to habitat lose.


  • Black racer (Statewide except Nantucket county) - Common throughout most of the state except the islands. Adults may look like Juvenile Rat snakes.



  • Eastern worm snake Carphophis ameonus amoenus (SC) (Hampden and Hampshire counties) - Rare in Massachusetts. Found only in the Connecticut river valley of Hampden and Hampshire counties. Threatened in Massachusetts due to habitat lose and elusivness since it is often found underground. Listed as threatened.


  • Ring-necked snake Diadophis punctatus (Statewide) - Found throughout the state, including the islands. Common but seldom seen.



  • Milk snake Lampropeltis triangulum (Statewide) - Common throughout the state. Although it may resemble Copperheads and Timber rattlesnakes, it's non-venomous.



  • Smooth green snake Opheodrys vernalis (Statewide) - Common and abundant throughout the state, including the islands. Its numbers however are decreasing in southern New England and it is seldom seen.


  • Western rat snake Pantherophis obsoletus (SC) (Reported from Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties) - Commonly called the Eastern rat snake. Listed as endangered due to limited habitat and the fact New England is its northernmost limit of its range. Largest snake native to Massachusetts, with specimens at 7 ft and 7 ft 9 inches. The largest on record in the state was 8 ft 4 inches.


  • DeKay's brown snake Storeria dekayi (Statewide except Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket) - Common and abundant throughout most of the state except the islands.


  • Brahminy blind snake Ramphotyphlops braminus - Introduced. Now found only in Boston. May occur in Springfield.


  • Northern redbelly snake Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata (Statewide except Nantucket county) - Common throughout most of the state.


  • Northern ribbon snake Thamnophis sauritus septentrionalis (Statewide) - Common and abundant throughout the state. It is smaller than the Garter snake, and has longer, slender stripes on its back, as well as a longer tail.


  • Common Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis (Statewide) - Common and abundant throughout the state. It is the best known snake in the state. Larger and thicker than the ribbon snake with wider, shorter stripes.


Turtles[edit]

Painted Turtle
  • Loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta (SC) (Southeastern Massachusetts) - Reported from coastal southeastern Massachusetts. One record in Essex County (2008). Listed as threatened.


  • Green sea turtle Chelonia mydas (SC) (Uncommon vagrant from southern waters) - Vagrants are reported from Dukes (Martha's Vineyard), Nantucket and Cape Cod waters. Threatened in Massachusetts.


  • Common snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina (Statewide) - Common throughout the state. Found in Bogs and marshes.


  • Painted turtle Chrysemys picta (Statewide) - Found throughout the state. Most commonly found in wetland.


  • Spotted turtle Clemmys guttata (Statewide except Northern Berkshire county and possibly Suffolk county) - Scattered throughout the state, with most found in wetland. The largest and healthiest population is in Nantucket.


  • Leatherback sea turtle Dermochelys coriacea (SC) (Southeastern Massachusetts) - Found in coastal areas around Southeastern Massachusetts. Older records from Suffolk and Essex counties. Listed as endangered.


  • Blanding's turtle Emydoidea blandingii (SC) (Scattered across the state) - Found in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Bristol, Worcester, and Plymouth counties. Older records from Franklin county. Listed as threatened.


  • Hawksbill sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata (A)(SC) (Vagrants in southern waters) - Rare vagrants in southern waters. Reported from Cape Cod waters in 1909, 1968, and 1989.


  • Wood turtle Glyptemys insculpta (SC) (Found in most of the state) - Found statewide north and west of Plymouth and Bristol counties. Reports from Cape Cod are possibly released specimens. Listed as special concern.


  • Bog turtle Glyptemys muhlenbergii (SC) (Found in Berkshire county) - Rare in Massachusetts. A small turtle, and often found in bogs and marshes. Reported only in Berkshire County. Listed as endangered due to habitat lose.


  • Kemp's ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys kempii (SC) (Found in southern waters) - Reported in coastal Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod.


  • Diamondback terrapin Malaclemys terrapin (SC) (Coastal Southeastern Massachusetts) - Found in coastal Plymouth, Barnstable, and Bristol counties. Listed as threatened.


  • Northern red-bellied cooter Pseudemys rubriventris (SC) (Plymouth county) - Found only in coastal Plymouth county. Listed as endangered.


  • Eastern musk turtle Sternotherus odoratus (Statewide except Nantucket) - Common and abundant throughout most of the state. Found in bogs, marshes, and wetland.


  • Eastern box turtle Terrapene carolina carolina (SC) (Nearly statewide) - Listed as special concern due to habitat lose and creation of roads.


  • Red-eared slider Trachemys scripta elegans (I) (Status unknown) - Introduced. Status unknown or uncertain in the state.


Lizards[edit]

  • Common Five-lined Skink (EX?) (Historical range was spotty) - Historical range in 1900's was Western, Central, and scattered population were found in Bristol county. However, the areas where these lizards where found shows the habitat was unusual for it, and the reports are puzzling. No evidence in the state shows there is a breeding population. It is listed as species of special concern in Vermont and New York, and listed as threatened in Connecticut.

References[edit]