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Identification of Reptiles and Amphibians found in the UK

Species Identification

A guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians found in the UK (Reptile and Amphibian Identification)

In the United Kingdom we have 12 naturally occuring or native species, 6 amphibians and 6 reptiles. Evidence is mounting that a 13th species, the Pool Frog, was once a native of Norfolk.

There are a number of introduced species, naturalised in the wider countryside. Some introduced species may pose a threat to native wildlife, these are listed separately.

Use these pages to identify a lizard, snake, toad, frog or newt seen in the wild or to learn more about the herpetofauna of the British Isles.

Species native to the United Kingdom
Introduced or alien species
Alien species that present a threat to wildlife

 

Species native to the United Kingdom

Introduced or alien species
Alien species that present a threat to wildlife
Back to top of page

Native Amphibians

Newts (Urodeles) Frogs and Toads (Anurans)
palmate newt
Palmate Newt
(Lissotriton [formerly Triturus] helveticus)




common or smooth newt
Smooth or Common Newt
(Lissotriton [formerly Triturus] vulgaris)



great crested newt GCN
Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus)*

 







Picture aside courtesy and copyright of
The Herpetological Conservation Trust
and its successors


See also the Pool Frog entry under Alien Amphibians below.


common frog
Common Frog (Rana temporaria)





common toad
Common Toad (Bufo bufo)




natterjack toad
Natterjack toad

(Epidalea [formerly Bufo] calamita)
*

Our native Pool Frog
British Pool Frog
(Pelophylax [
formerly Rana] lessonae)
*

Native Reptiles

Snakes (Serpentes) Lizards (Sauria)
grass snake
Grass Snake (Natrix natrix)




adder
Adder or Viper (Vipera berus)




smooth snake
Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca)
*
common or viviparous lizard
Common or Viviparous Lizard

(Zootoca [
formerly Lacerta] vivipara)



slow-worm
Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis)




sand lizard
Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis)
*

(Endangered Species)*

 

 

 

Introduced or alien species

Species native to the United Kingdom
Alien species that present a threat to wildlife
Back to top of page

The following species are not indigenous to the UK but have now become established in some areas.

Alien Amphibians

  Newts (Urodeles)    Frogs and Toads (Anurans)
Alpine Newt (Triturus alpestris) Green or water Frogs
Marsh Frog (Rana ridibunda)
Pool Frog (Rana lessonae)
Edible Frog (Rana esculenta)


Fire-bellied Toads (Bombina) species
Midwife Toad (Alytes obstetricans)
Clawed Toad (Xenopus laevis)
European Tree Frog (Hyla arborea)

Alien Reptiles

  Snakes (Serpentes)   Lizards (Sauria)
Aesculapian Snake ( Elaphe longissima ) Wall Lizard ( Podarcis muralis )
Green Lizard ( Lacerta viridis ) or ( L.bilineata )

 

 

 

Alien species that present a threat to wildlife

Species native to the United Kingdom
Introduced or alien species
Back to top of page

The following species are not indigenous to the UK and are a serious threat to our native species.

Alien Amphibians that pose a threat

  Urodeles - Newts   Anurans - Frogs and Toads
Italian Crested Newt (Triturus carnifex) American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

Alien Reptiles that pose a threat

  Chelonia - Terrapins
Red-eared Terrapin (Trachemys scripta)

 

Reference:

The British Amphibians and Reptiles Malcolm Smith, The New Naturalist Series, Collins 1969
Amphibians and Reptiles of Surrey Julia Wychereley and Richard Anstis, The Surrey Wildlife Atlas Project, Surrey Wildlife Trust, 2001
ISBN 0 9526065 6 9
The Common Toad Fred Slater, Shire Natural History, 1992
ISBN 0 7478 0161 4
Reptiles and Amphibians in Britain Deryk Frazer, Collins New Naturalist Series, 1989 reprint
ISBN 1 870630 04 1
Newts of the British Isles Patrick J Wisniewski, Shire Natural History, 1989
ISBN0 7478 0029 4
Amphibians and Reptiles A Natural History of the British Herpetofauna Trevor J.C. Beebee & Richard A. Griffiths, 2000
ISBN 000 220083 X (Hardback)
ISBN 000 220084 8 (Paperback)
A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain and Europe E. Nicholas Arnold, Second edition 2002
ISBN 0 00 219964 5

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Tony Phelps, Alan Hyde, Fred Holmes, Dean Savill, Pat O'Reilly, Paolo Mazzei, Mike Hatch and Michael Klimpke, Surrey Wildlife Trust for permissions to reproduce images. Richard Griffiths for amendments and permission to use images. David Bird for distribution and habitat of the Smooth Snake, additions, corrections and permission to use images. Mervyn J Cottenden for his continuing support.

© all images on this site are copyright. Please obtain the original copyright holders permission before reproducing images
no part of this work may be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission of the author

Paper copies of the identification pages may be reproduced and distributed for conservation, education and personal use only
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