Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.

Florida Nature: Endangered Reptiles
Reptiles have six endangered species, eleven threatened species and seven species of special concern for a total of  twenty  four reptiles on our list. Reptiles have been around for 300 million years, and during the age of the dinosaurs, they ruled the Earth. Some 6,500 species of reptiles still thrive today. Crocodiles, snakes, lizards, and turtles are all reptiles. Most reptiles live on land, and most lay eggs. They are vertebrates, and, unlike any other animals, are covered in scales. They are cold-blooded, and regulate their body temperature by seeking or avoiding the sun's heat. The most well know endangered reptile in the state of Florida is the American Alligator, followed by the gopher tortoise, and the various sea turtles. Our chart below shows the common name of the reptile, followed by its scientific name. Each Florida reptile is then classified as either endangered, threatened or a species of special concern (SSC). The number after the classification refers to the reason it is classified as a species of special concern. The description of each number value can be found here. Click on the common name of the reptile for a brief description and photograph of each endangered reptile. For further information on Florida, you may want to purchase a book from our Florida Nature Library.

Common Name Scientific Name Standing
American Alligator Rana capito SSC (1,2)
American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus Endangered
Key Ringneck Snake Diadophis punctatus acricus Threatened
Eastern Indigo Snake Drymarchon corais couperi Threatened
Red Rat Snake Elaphe guttata SSC (1)
Atlantic Salt Marsh Water Snake Nerodia clarkii taeniata Threatened
Florida Pine Snake Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus SSC (2)
Short Tailed Snake Stilosoma extenuatum Threatened
Florida Brown Snake Storeria dekayi victa Threatened
Rim Rock Crown Snake Tantilla oolitica Threatened
Florida Ribbon Snake Thamnophis sauritus sackeni Threatened
Bluetail Mole Skink Eumeces egregius lividus SSC (1)
Sand Skink Neoseps reynoldsi Threatened
Florida Key Mole Skink Eumeces egregius egregius SSC (1)
Gopher Tortoise Gopherus polyphemus Threatened
Barbours Map Turtle Graptemys barbouri SSC (1,2)
Alligator Snapping Turtle Macroclemys temminckii SSC (1)
Striped Mud Turtle Kinosternon baurii Endangered
Suwannee Cooter Pseudemys concinna suwanniensis SSC (1,2)
Loggerhead Sea Turtle Caretta caretta Threatened
Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas Endangered
Leatherback Sea Turtle Dermochelys coriacea Endangered
Hawksbill Sea Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata Endangered
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Lepidochelys kempii Endangered

Interesting Reptile Facts-There are more than 8,000 species of reptiles on the planet, and the live on every continent except Antarctica ."Cold-blooded" is not the best way to describe reptiles- they get their body heat from external sources. Reptiles cannot regulate their body temperature internally as humans do. Reptiles are among the longest-lived species on the planet. For example, large tortoises such as the Aldabra tortoise can live for more than 150 years. Alligators can live nearly 70 years. Ball pythons, a popular type of pet snake, can live up to 40 years  

Most of the world's snakes (nearly two-thirds) are non-venomous. Only about 500 snake species are venomous, and of those only 30 - 40 are considered harmful to humans. In other words, less than 2 percent of all snakes are considered harmful to humans. The opposite is true in Australia. There are actually more venomous snakes in Australia than non-venomous snakes. The inland taipan is one of the most popular of these venomous Australian snakes. Australia is the only continent where venomous snakes outnumber non-venomous snakes. It is a fact that more Americans die each year from bee stings than from snake bites. Certain types of snakes can go months without eating. This is especially true of the big constrictors, such as the Anaconda and the reticulated python. Snakes eat large meals (relative to their body size), and they have much slower metabolisms than we humans have.
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