The Missouri Herpetological Association held its fifth annual spring field trip on the weekend of 7 – 9 May 2010 at Sam A. Baker State Park, Wayne County, Missouri.

Seven members, representing four different institutions, caught or observed more than 216 individual reptiles and amphibians, representing a total of 30 species. Most collecting activity occurred on Sat 8 May 2010, but a few individual animals were caught on Friday. The entire weekend was characterized by cool evening temperatures and unseasonably cool, but mostly sunny, daytime conditions. Habitats searched included woodlands, glades, streams, ponds, rivers, and roads.

A few species (including the Northern Red-bellied Snake and the Red-eared Slider) were new for the park. The total species list along with numbers of individuals can be seen below. The counts for a few species of anurans were augmented with calling individuals or larvae. The counts below that are designated with a plus (+) symbol are minimum estimates of the number of individuals observed for those species.

Species Common Name Number Photos
Notophthalmus viridescens Central Newt 1 No photo from this location
Hemidactylium scutatum Four-toed Salamander 3 No photo from this location
Plethodon albagula Western Slimy Salamander 2 Photo Photo
Plethodon serratus Southern Red-backed Salamander 7 Photo Photo
Anaxyrus americanus American Toad 64+ Photo Photo
Anaxyrus fowleri Fowler’s Toad 2 Photo
Hyla chrysoscelis Cope’s Gray Treefrog 1 No photo from this location
Acris crepitans Northern Cricket Frog 19+ Photo
Pseudacris crucifer Spring Peeper 4 Photo
Lithobates catesbeianus Bullfrog 37+ No photo from this location
Lithobates clamitans Green Frog 3 Photo Photo
Lithobates sphenocephalus Southern Leopard Frog 13+ Photo Photo Photo
Sceloporus consobrinus Prairie Lizard 17+ Photo Photo
Plestiodon fasciatus Common Five-lined Skink 2 Photo
Plestiodon laticeps Broad-headed Skink 1 No photo from this location
Scincella lateralis Little Brown Skink 6+ No photo from this location
Aspidoscelis sexlineata Six-lined Racerunner 1 No photo from this location
Carphophis vermis Western Wormsnake 7 Photo
Coluber constrictor North American Racer 3 Photo
Diadophis punctatus Ring-necked Snake 2 No photo from this location
Nerodia sipedon Northern Watersnake 1 No photo from this location
Storeria occipitomaculata Northern Red-bellied Snake 1 Photo
Thamnophis sirtalis Common Gartersnake 1 Photo
Crotalus horridus Timber Rattlesnake 1 Photo Photo Photo Photo
Chelydra serpentina Eastern Snapping Turtle 1 Photo
Graptemys geographica Northern Map Turtle 1 No photo from this location
Pseudemys concinna River Cooter 6+ No photo from this location
Terrapene carolina Three-toed Box Turtle 5 Photo Photo Photo
Trachemys scripta Red-eared Slider 3+ No photo from this location
Apalone spinifera Spiny Softshell 1 No photo from this location

The MHA would like to thank the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for providing permission to use state park property for the field trip. Special appreciation is extended to Tim Turpin for his hospitality and for leading the group on Saturday.

Group Photograph

Spring 2010 Field Trip Group Photograph

First row: Kevin Narum (MDC), Michelle Bowe (MSU), Tim Turpin (DNR), Amber Edwards.
Second row: Brian Edmond (MSU), Vanessa Shotwell, Richard Daniel (UMC).
Key: DNR=Missouri Department of Natural Resources, MDC=Missouri Department of Conservation, MSU=Missouri State University, UMC=University of Missouri at Columbia.

Other Photographs

Original Announcement

The Missouri Herpetological Association will hold the 2010 Spring Field Trip Saturday 8 May 2010. This year, we will conduct a herpetofaunal survey of Sam A. Baker State Park, northwest of Greenville in Wayne County, Missouri. The organized count will be conducted between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. We will assemble at Visitor Center (see map). The event is open to the public and free of charge.

Baker State Park covers approximately 5,300 acres within the Saint Francois Mountains. The Saint Francois Mountains are among the oldest ranges found within the United States. The park includes Mudlick Mountain at 1,313 feet and portions of two major streams, Saint Francois River and Big Creek. Baker State Park consists primarily of Ozark forestland with rhyolite glades, ponds, ephemeral and permanent streams. We will conduct a survey of both terrestrial and aquatic habitats.

Additional information, including maps and directions, is available on the park home page ( We have reserved the group campsite at Sam A. Baker State Park on Friday and Saturday nights (April 24-25) for the field trip. A nominal fee of $2/person/night will be charged for the use of the site. The group site is located just north of Campground #1 near the southern park entrance on Highway 143. The group site has a separate access drive from Highway 143 just north of the Campground #1. MHA signs will be posted to mark the entrance. Individual campsites and rustic cabins are also available within the park. A map of the park is available on-line. Overnight campers should bring food and drink for their own meals.

Trained herpetologists will lead groups of participants, verify identification and locality of the amphibians and reptiles collected, obtain photo documentation, and maintain species counts. After verification, most animals will be released at the site of capture. Only individuals with valid state collecting and research permits may retain selected specimens for research or display at accredited institutions.

Individuals of all ages are welcome to participate; however, adults should accompany young children. A hike of up to five miles through steep, rocky terrain may be required to conduct a portion of the survey. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and are advised to wear long pants and stout boots while in the field. Water, leather gloves, hat, sunscreen, and insect repellant are also recommended. Individuals should provide their own lunches. Participants with digital cameras and GPS units are encouraged to bring them to help document the survey. Results of the field trip will be posted on the MHA website ( and published in the 2010 MHA newsletter.