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Eastern Hognose Snake. Green Tree Frog. Herpetofauna: Season by Season. Compiled by the Davidson College Herpetology Laboratory. Photos by J.D. Willson, K Cecala, M.E. Dorcas, Pierson Hill, A. Heupel, Eric Stein, Wayne Van Devender, Tom Luhring, John White.

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herpetofauna season by season

Eastern Hognose Snake

Green Tree Frog

Herpetofauna: Season by Season

Compiled by the Davidson College Herpetology Laboratory

Photos by J.D. Willson, K Cecala, M.E. Dorcas, Pierson Hill, A. Heupel, Eric Stein, Wayne Van Devender, Tom Luhring, John White

what do amphibians and reptiles do during the winter
What do amphibians and reptiles do during the winter?
  • Some Hibernate
    • Spend part of the cold season in an inactive state
  • Who Hibernates?
    • Snakes
    • Turtles
    • Frogs
    • Salamanders

Common Garter Snake

Eastern Box Turtle

why hibernate
Why hibernate?
  • Protection from cold
  • Less food resources
  • Low energy requirements


Worm Snake

Eastern Mud Turtle

where do they hibernate
Where do they hibernate?
  • Frogs: Bottom of ponds, under leaves, burrow under ground
  • Snakes: Alone or in groups
    • Use holes, burrows, termite mounds, cracks in rock walls, etc.
  • Turtles: Burrow into dirt or mud
  • Salamanders: Under logs, leaves or in burrows

Ringneck Snakes

Marbled Salamander

but some species are active in winter
But some species are active in winter
  • Frogs can be winter breeders
    • Spring Peeper
      • Call on warmer, wetter nights and during the day starting in January
  • Stream Salamanders can be active
    • Water temps can be warmer than air
    • Dusky Salamander
      • Very common and can be found year round

Spring Peeper calling

Dusky Salamander

spring means breeding season
Spring means breeding season!

Southern Leopard Frog Egg Mass

  • Many Frogs breed
    • Pickerel Frog, Southern Leopard Frog, Green Tree Frog etc.
  • Salamanders breed
  • Reptiles come out of hibernation and breed

Glossy Crayfish Snake

Southern Leopard Frog

bull frog
Bull Frog
  • Common in ponds and lakes
  • Males call after heavy rains
  • Largest frog in the NC Piedmont area
  • What do they eat?
life cycle of a frog
Life cycle of a frog

Upland Chorus Frog

Egg Mass

Pine Woods Tree Frog Tadpole

Cricket Frog calling

Cricket Frog

River Frog Metamorph

spotted salamanders
Spotted Salamanders
  • Wetland salamanders
    • Breed in temporary ponds and wetlands
  • Warm early spring rains bring many salamanders to the ponds
  • Lay 200 eggs!
eastern hognose snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
  • Mate in Spring
  • Lays 5-500 eggs in June or July
  • Eggs hatch in 2 months and look just like smaller adults
  • Hognose Snakes have the upturned nose to dig for their favorite food… toads!
many reptiles and amphibians are active in the summer
Many reptiles and amphibians are active in the summer!
  • Summer is the warmest season
  • Sun provides warmth
  • Other animals provide food
  • Some frogs are still breeding
    • Bullfrogs, Spadefoot toads, Grey Tree Frogs
  • Reptiles are most active

Spadefoot Toads

Grey Tree Frog

Eastern King Snake

worm snake
Worm Snake
  • Very common and abundant
  • Lays eggs in early summer
  • Hatch in late summer
  • Usually found when digging or under logs or mulch
black rat snake
Black Rat Snake
  • One of the BIGGEST snakes in the U.S.
    • Largest are over 8 feet
  • Live near humans
    • Non-venomous and non-threatening
  • Active during the day
  • Eat rats, birds, and squirrels
  • How do they kill and eat their prey?
    • Squeeze prey to death by constricting it and then swallow it whole
box turtle
Box Turtle
  • Common residents of the woods in the Southeastern U.S.
  • Males have red eyes, females have brown eyes
  • Eat a variety of plants and animals
  • Live for a very long time – for 50 years or more!

Box turtles

in fall some salamanders breed
In fall some salamanders breed
  • Marbled Salamanders
    • Females lay eggs in areas that become puddles when it rains
    • Guard eggs until they get covered by water and hatch
    • Give juvenile salamanders a head start on growing so they can be bigger than other salamanders in the spring!

Marbled Salamanders

snakes are most abundant in the fall
Snakes are most abundant in the fall!
  • Snakes are more common in the fall than in any other season
  • Most snakes are born between July and September
  • Many baby snakes are around and going to find their first meals
  • Adults move around looking for good places to hibernate

Juvenile Black Rat Snake

Ringneck Snake

the year ends and starts over again
The year ends… and starts over again
  • In the fall many amphibians and reptiles find their homes to hibernate for the winter.
  • And then the whole process starts over again!

Smooth Earth Snake

Fowler’s Toad

Green Anole

any questions
Any Questions?

Spring Salamander