Discover Maryland's Herps


Welcome to the wonderfully weird and winning world of amphibians and reptiles that make their home in Maryland!

Collectively called herps (from herpetology , the study of amphibians and reptiles), these animals were once labeled “cold-blooded” unlike birds and mammals that were “warm-blooded”. Today biologists know that herps use environmental temperatures to regulate their body temperatures in a process called ectothermy and the term “cold-blooded” is inaccurate.

Though they share ectothermy, amphibians and reptiles are more different than they are alike. Broadly speaking, amphibians have soft skin easily penetrated by water; they lay their eggs in water or damp places to keep them moist. Reptiles have dry, scaly skin impervious to water; their eggs have a shell that holds moisture for the developing young.

If you've found a herp and aren't sure what group it belongs to, click on the silhouette below to link to the field guide for that group.

Amphibian groups in Maryland are salamanders, newts, frogs, and toads.

Salamander Shape

Frog Shape 

Toad Shape 

Salamanders & Newts



Maryland reptiles groups include turtles, snakes, and lizards.

Turtle Shape 

Snake Shape 

Lizard Shape 

Turtles & Tortoises