Among the 46 species of reptiles in the park are the Gray-banded Kingsnake, an endangered species in New Mexico, and two state-threatened species: the Rio Grande Cooter (a turtle) and the Mottled Rock Rattlesnake. Though rare in the state, the Mottled Rock Rattlesnake is the most common snake seen in the park.
Rattlesnakes are far less common in the park than lizards. Most often seen are the several species of Whiptail Lizards, Spiny Lizards, and Horned Lizards. There are also two species of skinks and one gecko. Among the non-venomous snakes are the Chihuahuan Hook-nosed Snake, Trans-Pecos Ratsnake, and Mountain Patch-nosed Snake.
The park also provides habitat for four species of turtles, one of which-the Ornate Box Turtle-is not aquatic.
Herpetofauna Checklist [347k PDF]
Did You Know?
Jim White is the cowboy credited with being the premier explorer of Carlsbad Cavern. He began to explore the cave as a teenager in 1898, using a handmade wire ladder to decend 60 feet into the cave. For more than a decade, he couldn't convince many locals that there was much to Carlsbad Cavern.