Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlas

Digital 2010 Edition

This digital version of the atlas provides online the maps that comprise our most recent printed version. Each map shows where in Vermont a given species has been reported, how recently, and what kind of information has been reported. The atlas was updated in 2010, and is free to view or download. Feel free to print, distribute, or copy any of these maps, providing you give credit for it. The atlas was compiled by Jim Andrews, with cartography by Kiley Briggs. Technical assistance was provided by Cynthia Brown, and web site updates by Kirsten Talmage.

This atlas is not designed to impress you with how much we know about the distribution of Vermont herps, but rather with how easily you can help. We hope that it will motivate some of you to contribute new or more up-to-date records of Vermont's reptiles and amphibians. We still have gaps in our knowledge of the distribution of many species within Vermont and would very much appreciate any assistance you could give us in closing those gaps.

These maps show that we are missing records of even common species from many Vermont towns. We welcome your reports on all species, including common ones such as Snapping Turtles and Milksnakes. As you would expect, we have even larger gaps in our knowledge of the rarer species.

If you know of other individuals or organizations who might be interested in contributing records or who should know about this project, let us know.

Survey Effort and the Updated Atlas

Since the Preliminary Atlas was produced in 1995, we have had roughly 400-500 contributors per year (527 in 2010) contribute over 67,000 new records. We now have over 73,000 reports in our database. Of these records, roughly 58,000 are amphibians and 15,000 are reptiles. The distribution patterns of our reptiles and amphibians are becoming clear. This makes it much easier to spot and target the remaining gaps in our reports. An empty space within a distribution map is just waiting to be filled in by you.

Take a careful look at the individual maps of species records. We suspect that many of you will find that you are aware of species that are not reported from your area. Hopefully once you know how valuable your field sightings are, you will take a few minutes to fill out a report form (or send an e-mail) the next time you find a reptile or amphibian. Feel free to use this reference map of Vermont Town and County names.

If you prefer to print a copy, we offer these maps as PDF files also. All links will appear in this frame, unless you right-click on them and choose a new window or new tab:

Survey Effort Map (2012) 595 KB PNG 678 KB PDF
New Species Recorded by Township (2011) 345 KB PNG 632 KB PDF
Vermont Towns and Counties small: 77 KB JPG
large: 248 KB JPG
north: 112 KB JPG
south: 89 KB JPG
north: 346 KB PDF
south: 308 KB PDF

Species Maps

The links in the table below provide access to information pages for each species and to the associated maps showing their distribution in Vermont. PNG images (for quick viewing) and PDF versions (for better printing) are available. If you don’t already have Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF files, you can download it for free from Adobe.

Feel free to print, distribute, or copy any of the maps, providing you give credit for them.

Reptiles Reptilia (Class)
The species name link opens an information page; PNG links will open an image (about 200 KB), and a PDF link will open (or offer to download, depending on your browser settings) a 1 or 2 MB file.
Turtles Testudines (Order)
Spiny Softshell (PNG) (PDF) Apalone spinifera
Snapping Turtle (PNG) (PDF) Chelydra serpentina
Painted Turtle (PNG) (PDF) Chrysemys picta
Spotted Turtle (PNG) (PDF) Clemmys guttata
Wood Turtle (PNG) (PDF) Glyptemys insculpta1
Northern Map Turtle (PNG) (PDF) Graptemys geographica
Eastern Musk Turtle (PNG) (PDF) Sternotherus odoratus
Eastern Box Turtle (hypothetical) (PNG) (PDF) Terrapene carolina
Lizards and Snakes Squamata (Order)
Lizards Lacertilia (Suborder)
Common Five-lined Skink (PNG) (PDF) Plestiodon fasciatus
Snakes Serpentes (Suborder)
North American Racer (PNG) (PDF) Coluber constrictor
Timber Rattlesnake (PNG) (PDF) Crotalus horridus
Ring-necked Snake (PNG) (PDF) Diadophis punctatus
Milksnake (PNG) (PDF) Lampropeltis triangulum
Northern Watersnake (PNG) (PDF) Nerodia sipedon
Smooth Greensnake (PNG) (PDF) Opheodrys vernalis
Eastern Ratsnake (PNG) (PDF) Pantherophis alleghaniensis2
DeKay's Brownsnake (PNG) (PDF) Storeria dekayi
Red-bellied Snake (PNG) (PDF) Storeria occipitomaculata
Eastern Ribbonsnake (PNG) (PDF) Thamnophis sauritus
Common Gartersnake (PNG) (PDF) Thamnophis sirtalis


Amphibia (Class)

Salamanders Caudata (Order)
Jefferson Salamander (PNG) (PDF) Ambystoma jeffersonianum
Blue-spotted Salamander (PNG) (PDF) Ambystoma laterale
Jefferson x Blue-spotted Complex (PNG) (PDF) (maps only) Ambystoma jeffersonianum x laterale complex
Spotted Salamander (PNG) (PDF) Ambystoma maculatum
Northern Dusky Salamander (PNG) (PDF) Desmognathus fuscus
Northern Two-lined Salamander (PNG) (PDF) Eurycea bislineata
Spring Salamander (PNG) (PDF) Gyrinophilus porphyriticus
Four-toed Salamander (PNG) (PDF) Hemidactylium scutatum
Mudpuppy (PNG) (PDF) Necturus maculosus
Eastern Newt (PNG) (PDF) Notophthalmus viridescens
Eastern Red-backed Salamander (PNG) (PDF) Plethodon cinereus
Frogs (including Toads) Anura (Order)
American Toad (PNG) (PDF) Anaxyrus americanus3
Fowler’s Toad (PNG) (PDF) Anaxyrus fowleri4
Gray Treefrog (PNG) (PDF) Hyla versicolor
American Bullfrog (PNG) (PDF) Lithobates catesbeianus6
Green Frog (PNG) (PDF) Lithobates clamitans7
Pickerel Frog (PNG) (PDF) Lithobates palustris8
Northern Leopard Frog (PNG) (PDF) Lithobates pipiens9
Mink Frog (PNG) (PDF) Lithobates septentrionalis10
Wood Frog (PNG) (PDF) Lithobates sylvaticus11
Spring Peeper (PNG) (PDF) Pseudacris crucifer
Boreal Chorus Frog (PNG) (PDF) Pseudacris maculata5

1 Glyptemys insculpta used to be called Clemmys insculpta.
2 Pantherophis alleghaniensis was Elaphe alleghaniensis until 2008. Before changing to Elaphe alleghaniensis, its name was Elaphe obsoleta.
3 Bufo americanus was changed to Anaxyrus americanus in 2008.
4 Bufo americanus was changed to Anaxyrus fowleri in 2008.
5 Psuedacris maculata (Boreal Chorus Frog) was determined to be Psueudacris triseriata (Western Chorus Frog) in 2007.
6-11 All the Vermont species listed in the Rana genus were reclassified into the Lithobates genus in 2008. Rana sylvatica became Lithobates sylvaticus.

Unanswered Questions

We'd like to know more. You can help. We've posted some of our questions below; you may have more you'd like to share, or records you'd like to contribute.

We still cannot be confident that our total Vermont reptile and amphibian species list is accurate. The relocation of the Boreal Chorus Frog in Alburg in 1998 put the number of species at 40, but it may not be long before the first population of Marbled Salamanders or Blanding’s Turtles is documented in this state. We are also watching the Box Turtle records; it may not be long before this species is changed from a hypothetical to a known breeding population.

Curious as to what species we're most curious about right now?

Check out our lists of Most Wanted and Rarest
or Common Species that Need Documentation

We would like to be able to generate a complete and accurate species list for every town in Vermont and we continue to work toward that goal. But whether or not a species has been previously reported from a given town, I urge people to report a species the first time they see it. This is in part because we are interested in gathering newer or better-documented reports even from towns that have been well surveyed. Old reports will eventually become historic reports. Consequently, they need to be updated. If you have not reported a given species from a site for over ten years, and it is still there, please update the record. If you did not photograph it last time, you could try to photograph it this time.

Rare species (state ranks S1-S3, see tables) should be reported every time they are seen. As you would expect, we have the largest gaps in our knowledge of these species.

The Fowler's Toad is one of the amphibians we know very little about. Though we have scattered individual or old reports from a few towns, we currently know of only one population of this species. Most Vermonters are unaware that we have two species of toads in our state.

The Spotted Turtle (a diminutive species with yellow spots on its shell) is listed as an endangered reptile in Vermont. Only one population of this species is currently known. Is it really absent from most of Vermont or have some scattered populations been overlooked?

Any large black snake is an important record, whatever species it may be. It could be an Eastern Ratsnake (currently known only from west central Vermont), an North American Racer (only seven snakes known), the black phase of a Timber Rattlesnake (only two known denning areas remaining) or an adult Northern Watersnake (scattered reports).

Many other questions remain unanswered. Does the Spiny Softshell (turtle) ever travel south of the Lake Champlain Bridge? Did the Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander make it across the Hudson River drainage and Lake Champlain into Vermont? Is the Common Five-lined Skink found anywhere other than in West Haven or Benson? What's really going on with the hypothetical species?

In addition to questions about the distribution of the rarer species listed above, we still have unanswered questions about the distribution of the more common species. Is the Milksnake really missing from Essex and Orleans Counties? Is the Northern Leopard Frog really missing from Bennington and Windham Counties?

We are also very interested in gathering natural history observations, such as the first or last date of calling for frogs, the first sightings of snakes or turtles in the spring, when and where you see turtles laying their eggs, salamanders crossing the roads, snakes denning, or salamanders breeding.

These are just a few examples of the many things we would like to know more about. If you are interested in looking for amphibians and reptiles, we have some Basic Search Tips for these animals.