Green vine with no thorns or pricks. Leaves un-lobed and shiny. Fruits are black to dark blue in color and fleshy
Short tree. leaves entire and smooth. veins are very deep and fruits range from red to black and fleshy.
Very tall tree. Leaves pinnately odd. Fruit is a nut with a soft husk surrounding it green in color until it is dried then turns brown.
Small single trunk tree with tear drop leaves. Red fruits in clusters and white flowers in the spring. Bark small scale like.
Tall tree with needle like leaves. Redish tint bark. Knees coming out of the water. Fruits have fleshy skin around it but still has a naked seed.
Small single trunk tree. Leaves tear shaped and fruit red in color. Bark is light in color and smooth. Fruits are in clusters.
Short shrub. Grows in a big group of the same shrubs. Fruits are red and the leaves are tear shaped. Hollow stem.
Tall single trunk tree. Leaves heart shaped. Fruit a long think legume like pod that opens to release seeds. Bark hard and ridged.
Short single truck tree. Has fruit (legumes) all over the branches. Flowers in spring and normally pink in color. Bark is flaky and dark color. Leaves heart shaped.
Tall single trunk tree. Leaves odd pinnately compound. Fruit are a large nut with a fleshy husk with a brown corrugated nut. Bark light in color and hard.
Small single trunk tree. Leaves vary can be 3, 2, or even un-lobed and very colorful in fall. Stem if broken has a smell to it like fruit loops.
Small young tree double serrated leaves. Has thin pair of corky wings on each side of the branchlets.
Short single trunk tree. Fruits red in color in a cluster at the end of the branch. Also has leaf wing axis this is a key feature to tell it apart from other sumacs.
Very tall tree. Single trunk park hard and light in color and looks like alligator skin. Fruits globose with many capsules and internal spikes.
Large tree approx 30 feet tall. Bark near crown peeling revealing white trunk. Leaves large, simple with lobing. Fruit a globose multiple of achenes.
While visiting Iceland we had the opportunity to see some of the beautiful Icelandic Horses.
captured in house
A Gray Treefrog.
I think this is a defensive "look-big" posture, possibly due to me bothering it to take this picture.
A Southern Leopard Frog.
A Spring Peeper.
Peepers can be identified by the cross-shaped pattern on the back.
Ah, the American Toad.
The Black Ratsnake.
This individual was caught "red-handed" in the nest box of a wood duck.
A Pygmy Rattlesnake.
Notice the reduced rattle at the tip of the tail.
The Northern Watersnake.
This snake is commonly misidentified as a Cottonmouth, but is not venomous. (Although their musk is rather potent.)
An Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer.
The beautiful Copperhead.
These snakes are so cryptic with a forest-floor background, I've been looking right at one without seeing it before (until it moved). Simply incredible.
Say hello to the Missouri state amphibian.
A juvenile of the Central Newt. Also called an eft.
Unlike most other salamanders, newts have a triphasic life cycle. This is the second stage. After metamorphosis the efts leave the pond and stay in the woods while they grow, later returning to the ponds to complete the transition into their adult phase.
They are brightly colored as a "warning sign" to predators that they are toxic.
A Marbled Salamander.
These salamanders display a rather stunning silver-on-black saddle-like pattern on their backs.
One of two fall-breeding Ambystoma in MO.
The Ringed Salamander.
This is an Ozark endemic. You can tell this is a male because of the swollen cloaca. (This guy was photographed in the fall.)
One of two fall-breeding Ambystoma in MO.
This snake is largely arboreal, spending most of it's time in the trees. The long and slender body form helps it wind from branch to branch without falling.
A Slender Glass Lizard.
Often mistaken for a snake, these are actually lizards that have secondarily lost their legs (well, I guess snakes did too).
If you compare the face of this lizard to another lizard versus a snake, the difference is very noticeable.
They get their name "Glass Lizard" because they can, and will, break their tails off at the slightest stress, like they're "made of glass."
Common Five-lined Skink.
This lizard is incredible common in MO, although most people identify with the juvenile form more than this adult.
A juvenile Common Five-lined Skink.
What most people call Blue-tailed Lizards. Only the juveniles have the blue tail and bright lines on the body. These colors are thought to distract predators, drawing them to the tail (which can be regenerated) instead of the main body.
These lizards, as their name implies, are incredibly swift.
The only Whiptail native to MO.
Formerly S. undulatus (Eastern Fence Lizard), this has been reclassified as the Prairie Lizard.
Very common in southern MO. Only the males gain the bright blue coloration on their underbelly during the mating season.
The creatively-named Little Brown Skink.
Also called a Ground Skink.
Just a little-ol' Cricket Frog.
These are incredibly common across most of MO. The display a wide variation in coloration. This individual has a very nice red dorsal patch and striping on the hind legs.
Formerly A. crepitans.
A Ring-necked Snake.
These little snakes have a very colorful ventral patterning, meant to deter predators (or photographers).
This salamander gets its name, not because it's particularly slimy, but because, when attacked, it readily secretes a "slimy" substance to repel predators.
The Ozark Zigzag Salamander.
An Ozark endemic, this species is only found in a small area in SW Missouri, NW Arkansas, and NE Oklahoma.
These little guys are very similar in appearance to the Southern Red-backed Salamander!
A Flat-headed Snake.
These small snakes are commonly found across the Ozarks under rocks in glades, where their flat heads help to wedge themselves into tight spaces.
This little snake may have received its name because: 1) it lives under ground, like a worm; 2) it looks similar to a large worm; or 3) worms make up part of its diet. Pick which one you like best!
Hello! A Yellow-bellied Waternake.
Although the species name, erythrogaster, means "red-bellied", the Missouri subspecies is actually N. erythrogaster flavigaster. That clears up the confusion, right?
This snake often is confused with the closely-related Rough Earthsnake - the primary difference being the keeling of their scales.
Kingsnakes get the name "king" because they prey on other snakes. Kingsnakes are able to tolerate being envenomated by other snakes (such as the Copperhead) and emerge no worse for the wear!
Formerly L. getula.
This small woodland snake can be identified by the dark markings around its eyes.
Very similar to the Red-bellied Snake.
These snakes are salamander specialists. They feed primarily on aquatic sirens and amphiuma. As such, they are found in swamps and sloughs and spend much of their time in the water.