Wikipedia:WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles

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WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles


This WikiProject aims to expand and organise Wikipedia's collection of entries about Amphibians and Reptiles, both living and extinct.


This WikiProject is an offshoot of WikiProject Tree of Life

WikiProject Science
WikiProject Biology
WikiProject Tree of Life
WikiProject Animals
WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles

Descendant WikiProjects[edit]

Related WikiProjects[edit]

It is worth keeping an eye on several Wikiprojects that overlap with this one or that have made significant progress towards completion, including WikiProject Birds, WikiProject Ecoregions, WikiProject Conservation worldwide and WikiProject Marine life.

Associated portal[edit]

The Amphibians and Reptiles Portal (P:AAR) is the associated portal of WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles. Feel free to update the article and picture of the month.

Criteria for inclusion[edit]

At what level is it worth having a separate Wikipedia article for a particular amphibian or reptile? Any level you like! If we write individual articles for all the species, we will be at it for a long time! The simplest (and probably best) rule is to have no rule: if you have the time and energy to write up some particularly obscure subspecies that most people have never even heard of, go for it!

As a general guideline though, combine several species or subspecies into a single article when there isn't enough text to make more than short, unsatisfying stubs otherwise. If the article grows large enough to deserve splitting, that can always be done later.


Amphibian and reptile articles can be on any level that makes sense in context. Most will be about particular taxa. For example:

In many cases, it makes sense to combine several taxonomic levels in a single article. For example, the subfamily Rheobatrachinae contains only one genus, Rheobatrachus. All rheobatrachids are gastric-brooding frogs, so the one article covers both subfamily and genus levels.

Conversely, sometimes it is better to cover only a part of a taxon: Corroboree frog deals with two different (but related) species and ignores the other species in the genus Pseudophryne.

Some of the larger taxons, such as frogs, must be broken down into smaller articles to reduce article size. For example, with frog, the biology related sections remain in the article, and the popular culture section and list of families within that order are split into the Frogs in popular culture and List of Anuran families articles. A paragraph with a link to the separate article should be left within the main article (e.g. Frog#Taxonomy).

It may be useful to start with a high-level article, such as a family article, and then split off genus and/or species articles as the material builds.

Create links to articles on the levels immediately higher and lower. An article on a family such as true toads should link back to frogs, and down to the genus articles.

Article contents[edit]

The following items are desirable for articles of all levels, although the detail will vary depending on several factors. These items do not need to be separated into distinct sections; text should flow in continuous prose so far as possible. The order this information is included is also relatively unimportant, although the order listed is generally preferred.

  • Taxonomy (classification) - who discovered it? what's it related to? how does it fit into the tree of life? how many subspecies are there?
  • Description (physical, behavioral characteristics) - what makes this (group of) critter(s) different from its close relatives?
  • Distribution and habitat - where does it live? How broadly does it roam? Map images help.
  • Cultural, religious, economic, etc. importance - what impact has it had on humans? Include use for experimental purposes that do not relate to other headings.

Names and titles[edit]

This project follows guidelines discussed at WikiProject Tree of Life/article titles and Naming conventions (fauna).


Certain choices have been made to follow specific taxonomies for the different groups of articles that fall under this WikiProject. Excluding our three descendant WikiProjects, the following sources are used as our primary taxonomic references:

Taxonomy in Wikipedia is in many places out of sync with the ASW one. List showing discrepancies is available here: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles/Amphibian taxonomy.

In cases where a taxonomy has been selected, articles for newly described taxa that are not (yet) included in these taxonomies may still be added, but those articles describing the parent taxon should not be changed to suggest their inclusion. This rule does not apply if no taxonomy has been selected.

Cladograms can be requested for creation here: Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of Life/Cladogram requests.

Use a taxobox[edit]

New Caledonian crested gecko
Rhacodactylus ciliatus.jpg
Crested gecko, Rhacodactylus ciliatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Rhacodactylus
Species: R. ciliatus
Binomial name
Rhacodactylus ciliatus

In general, amphibian and reptile entries should have a taxobox, a feature we inherited from the Tree of Life WikiProject. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of Life/taxobox usage for guidelines on how to use a taxobox. Using an automatic taxobox/speciesbox simplifies future maintenance as a taxon will automatically inherit its parent taxon's parents — see Template:Automatic taxobox/doc and Template:Speciesbox.


Please help find images for Category:Amphibian and reptile articles needing images and also remove those from list that now have a picture.

Please use and help maintain collections of photographs and other images such as:

Note that Wikimedia Commons is the recommended repository for uploading images: ( Media related to Crocodilia at Wikimedia Commons)


Task list and progress[edit]

As organized by WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles, the current tasks are:

  1. Create article for each Order and Family
  2. Ensure all Family articles are taxonomically consistent
    1. Ensure all articles between Order and Family rank are taxonomically consistent
  3. Create article for each Genus
    1. Ensure all articles between Family and Genus rank are taxonomically consistent
  4. Create articles for all Species
    1. Create links for all species articles on appropriate articles
    2. Create lists of uncreated articles to add to category pages:
      1. List of amphibians
      2. List of reptiles
      3. Prehistoric amphibian
  5. Create articles for aspects of amphibian and reptile biology, such as snake scales and vocal sac.
  6. Copyedit current article text to coincide with Wikipedia:Naming conventions (fauna) (e.g., convert "Coral Snake" to "coral snake").
  7. For articles with {{AARTalk}} templates, rank and assess articles that have not been given a rating or an importance rating (see Category:Unassessed_amphibian_and_reptile_articles).
  8. Find images for Category:Amphibian and reptile articles needing photos
view edit discusshistorywatch


If you wish to be involved in this project, please add your name to the list below (using {{User}}), as well as what your interest or expertise here might be. Please keep the list in alphabetical order.

You may place {{User WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles}}, {{User WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles2}}, {{User WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles3}}, or {{User WPAAR}} on your user page to display one of the following userboxes:

Participant Userboxes[edit]

Please feel free to add these userboxes to your user page, signifying your participation in the project.

Code Result
{{User WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles}}
{{User WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles2}}
{{User WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles3}}

Paleontological references[edit]

Phylogeny and taxonomy of some fossil groups is not known or is uncertain; relationships of living species to each other and fossil species is also not fully known. Join the discussion for other possibilities.

The following is suggested as primary references (feel free to add more!)

Print - Primary References[edit]

  • Benton, M. J. (2004), Vertebrate Paleontology, 3rd ed. Blackwell Science Ltd, or 2nd ed. 2000. This is a widely used and respected work, which has superseded but not replaced Carroll 1988. The classification presented in this book, although not perfect, is a good compromise that combines the Linnean and Cladistic approaches. For more on this book see Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Carroll, R. L. (1988), Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution, WH Freeman & Co. At the back of this book is a very useful appendix that lists every veretebrate genus classified according to family, order, etc. This is the most recent Linnean classification of living and extinct vertebrates, and Dr Carroll's book is in any case and excellent textbook, although too detailed and technical for trhe beginner
  • Handbook of Paleoherpetology, a multi-authored series of important volumes, each on a particular group. Some are rather dated, others are more current. The main page is here. For a classification, click on the title/group you are interested in, that brings up some info about that volume with a picture of the cover. There will generally be a little button on the lower part of the page which says "more". Click on that for the table of contents. The table of contents includes the taxonomy of the group in question.
  • Ruta, M, MI Coates & DLJ Quicke (2003), Early tetrapod relationships revisited. Biol. Rev. 78: 251-345. pdf - includes a number of cladograms on early Tetrapods
  • Rubidge, B.S. & Sidor, C.A. 2001, Evolutionary patterns among Permo-Triassic therapsids. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 32: 449-480. pdf - includes large Therapsid cladogram and very good overview of Therapsid clades
  • any articles or papers in peer-reviewed journals

Online - Primary References[edit]

  • Tree of Life describes the early amniote clades; follow the links back to tetrapods, or forward to more recent or derived groups. The Tree of Life project is peer-reviewed and so can be considered authoritative. Note that this phylogeny differs in places from Benton's.
  • any online (html or pdf) articles or papers that have also appeared in peer-reviewed print journals

Print - Secondary References[edit]

The following books can also be used, but they are not as detailed or authoritative as the Primary references textbooks. Note: these books are not peer-reviewed, so they can only be used as basic introductory material

  • Patricia Vickers-Rich and Thomas H. Rich, The Great Russian Dinosaurs, Gunter Graphics, 1993, Pg 37.
  • Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Creatures Edited by ingrid Cranfield 2000 Salamander books ltd
  • Barry Cox, R.J.G.Savage, Brian Gardiner, Dougal Dixon, 1988 Illustrated Collins/McMillian/whatever Encyclopaedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals (this book has been variously published so the name of the title may differ - a higherly recommended for a basic intro, although there are still a few mistakes - e.g. still presents Teratosaurus as a dinosaur!))

Internet - Secondary References[edit]

  • Palaeos - includes detailed technical information on many tetrapod groups, also some overviews, and lists references
  • Terrestrial Vertebrate Groups - Mikko's Phylogeny - a giant cladogram made up of thousands of linked webpages. Includes references, but does not specify which parts of the cladogram on each page were based on which references
  • UCMP Berkely - description on different groups of prehistoric organisms - gives a good basic intro, but does not cover sub-groups in detail

Phylogenetic references[edit]

Phylogeny and taxonomy of some fossil groups is not known or is uncertain; relationships of living species to each other and fossil species is also not fully known. Join the discussion for other possibilities. The following is suggested as primary references (feel free to add more!)

Internet - Secondary References[edit]

Downloadable Research Articles of Use[edit]

Project templates and categories[edit]


Place {{AARTalk}} at the top of an article's talk page. This will allow for assessment and make editors aware of the project.


  • {{Anura}} - Placing this template on a page creates a box with list of names of anuran families. This template has been used in Frog and the wikipages on anuran families.
  • {{Snake families}} - Placing this template on a page creates a box with list of names of snake families. This template is meant to be used in Snake and the wikipages on snake families.
  • {{Crocodilia}} - creates a navbox with a list of crocodilian taxa.
  • {{Crocs}} - Placing this template on a page creates a navbox with crocodilian-related topics.
  • {{Varanoidea}} - Placing this template creates a navbox with a list of the members of this superfamily. Meant for use on Helodermatid and Varanid articles.
  • {{Iguanidae}} - Placing this template creates a navbox with a list of the members of this family. Meant for use on Iguana, Ctenosaura, Cyclura, and Sauromalus articles.
  • {{Caudata}} - creates a navbox with a list of caudate taxa. Meant for use with salamander articles.
  • {{Cordylidae}} - creates a navbox for cordylid lizards.


See also: Category:Animal stubs


Click the "►" below to see all subcategories:
Click the "►" below to see all subcategories:

Do not categorise in more than one level of taxa. For example, do not categorise an article in both Category:Frogs and Category:Litoria. Only categorise in the lowest taxa with a category, in this case Category:Litoria.


Sample articles/lists[edit]

Some article under this WikiProject have been recognised for their excellence by the Wikipedia community as featured articles, and may serve as good models.

Featured articles[edit]

Featured lists[edit]

Former featured lists[edit]

Good articles[edit]

Other articles are listed as good articles, and may need some more work to reach featured status:

Some articles specially created under auspices of the WikiProject are:

Article alerts[edit]

Featured article candidates

Requested moves


Image Name Description
Amphibian Barnstar The Amphibian Barnstar The Amphibian Barnstar may be awarded to an editor in recognition of his or her knowledge and exceptional contributions to Wikipedia's articles on Amphibians .
Image Name Description
Reptile Barnstar The Reptile Barnstar The Reptile Barnstar may be awarded to an editor in recognition of his or her knowledge and exceptional contributions to Wikipedia's articles on Reptiles .