Reptile Identification

To identify a reptile, start with the images below. If you don't see what you're looking for, proceed to the Identification Key below the images and choose the option that best describes the juvenile or adult reptile in question. Note that juvenile reptiles typically appear as scaled-down versions of the adults.

Mountain Short-horned Lizard

photo: ACA, Kris Kendell

Western Painted Turtle

photo: ACA, Kris Kendell

Wandering Garter Snake

photo: ACA, Kris Kendell

Plains Garter Snake

photo: ACA, Kris Kendell

Red-sided Garter Snake

photo: ACA, Kris Kendell

Plains Hog-nosed Snake

photo: Gerald Romanchuk

Yellow-bellied Racer

photo: Kyle J. Welsh

Prairie Rattlesnake

photo: ACA, Kris Kendell

Bullsnake

photo: Gerald Romanchuk


Identification Key

Identify a reptile by answering key questions about its features. Follow the instructions at the end of your chosen option and move to the next selection. Continue to select the best option that describes your reptile until you arrive at a species name. Be sure to read both options to see which fits best. If the resulting identification fails to make sense, don't give up, go back to the beginning of the key and try other options.

To confirm the identification, compare your observation with the photographs, range maps, and other information in the resulting species profile you arrive at. Keep in mind that range maps are often general in nature and species may occur outside, or sporadically within, the areas shown.