• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Reptiles

Turtles

Common Name Scientific Name Remarks
Common Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina Common, found along streams in park
Western Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta Common in suitable habitat, Smooth shell; shallow water, soft muddy bottoms
 

Snakes

Common Name Scientific Name Remarks
Red-Sided Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis

Fairly common, red or orange bars on side; often found near water

Wandering Garter Snake Thamnophis elegans Abundant, found near water, may wander into dry areas
Western Plains Garter Snake Thamnophis radix Rare, found near prairie ponds
Black Hills Red-bellied Snake Storeria occipitomaculata Rare, small secretive snake, found in wooded areas
Plains Western Hognose Snake Heterodon nasicus Rare, sharply upturned snout; prefers dry sandy areas
Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer Coluber constrictor Common, olive green; active through the day
Bullsnake

Pituophis melanoleucus

Abundant, large yellowish snake with dorsal blotches
Pale Milk Snake Lampropeltis triangulum Rare, black, orange, and gray snake with light snout
Smooth Green Snake

Opheodrys vernalis

Rare, gentle, bright green snake, largely terrestrial

Prairie Rattlesnake Crotalus viridis

Abundant, venomous; frequently found in rocky areas, ledges and prairie dog towns

 

Lizards

Lizards may occur in the park since their known geographic ranges include this area. However, there have been no recorded observations.

Did You Know?

fire on the prairie

Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.