Reptile List

Canebrake rattlesnake coiled up and hiding
Canebrake rattlesnake

National Park Service


Reptiles are a significant component of the native biodiversity in virtually every natural terrestrial and freshwater habitat in the southeastern United States. Despite being often overlooked, reptiles are vital components of southeastern ecosystems. They can serve important roles as both predators and prey, forming critical trophic links in many ecosystems, and can serve as indicators of environmental integrity. Comprehensive accounts of regional species composition and richness are fundamental to initiating meaningful monitoring or research programs applicable to conservation issues.

Up to 60 species of reptiles could possibly occur on the Outer Banks. According to investigations of reptile occurrences on the Outer Banks (Tuberville et al. 2005, Gaul and Mitchell 2007), 59 species of reptiles have been documented in Dare County, North Carolina since 1588. Of these, 32 species of reptiles have been documented at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Observed In Park Scientific Name Common Name


Yes Alligator mississippiensis American alligator


Yes Chelydra serpentina Common snapping turtle
Chrysemys picta Eastern painted turtle
Yes Clemmys guttata Spotted turtle
Deirochelys reticularia Eastern chicken turtle
Yes Kinosternon subrubrum Eastern mud turtle
Yes Malaclemys terrapin Diamondback terrapin
Pseudemys concinna Eastern river cooter
Pseudemys floridana Florida cooter
Yes Pseudemys rubriventris Red-bellied turtle
Sternotherus odoratus Common musk turtle
Yes Terrapene carolina Eastern box turtle
Yes Trachemys scripta Yellow-bellied slider

Sea Turtles

Yes Caretta caretta Loggerhead sea turtle
Yes Chelonia mydas Green sea turtle
Yes Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback sea turtle
Yes Lepidochelys kempii Kemp's ridley


Yes Anolis carolinensis Green anole
Yes Cnemidophorus sexlineatus Six-lined racerunner
Eumeces fasciatus Five-lined skink
Yes Eumeces inexpectatus Southeastern five-lined skink
Yes Eumeces laticeps Broadhead skink
Ophisaurus attenuatus Slender glass lizard
Ophisaurus mimicus Mimic glass lizard
Yes Ophisaurus ventralis Eastern glass lizard
Sceloporus undulatus Fence lizard
Yes Scincella lateralis Ground skink


Agkistrodon contortrix Copperhead
Yes Agkistrodon piscivorus Cottonmouth
Carphophis amoenus Worm snake
Cemophora coccinea Scarlet snake
Yes Coluber constrictor Black racer
Yes Crotalus horridus Canebrake rattlesnake
Yes Diadophis punctatus Ringneck snake
Yes Elaphe guttata Corn snake
Elaphe obsoleta Rat snake
Farancia abacura Mud snake
Yes Farancia erytrogramma Rainbow snake
Yes Heterodon platirhinos Eastern hognose snake
Heterodon simus Southern hognose snake
Lampropeltis calligaster Mole kingsnake
Lampropeltis getula Eastern kingsnake
Yes Lampropeltis triangulum Scarlet kingsnake or milksnake
Masticophis flagellum Coachwhip
Nerodia erythrogaster Plainbelly water snake
Yes Nerodia fasciata Banded water snake
Yes Nerodia sipedon Northern banded water snake
Yes Nerodia taxispilota Brown water snake
Yes Opheodrys aestivus Rough green snake
Regina rigida Glossy crayfish snake
Rhadinaea flavilata Pine woods snake
Seminatrix pygaea Black swamp snake
Sistrurus miliarius Pigmy rattlesnake
Yes Storeria dekayi Brown snake
Storeria occipitomaculata Redbelly snake
Tantilla coronata Southeastern crowned snake
Yes Thamnophis sauritus Ribbon snake
Thamnophis sirtalis Garter snake
Virginia striatula Rough earth snake


  • Gaul, R.W. and J.C. Mitchell. 2007. The herpetofauna of Dare County, North Carolina: History, natural history, and biogeography. Journal of the North Carolina Academy of Science. 123(2): 65-109.
  • Tuberville, T.D., J.D. Willson, M.E. Dorcas, and J.W. Gibbons. 2005. Herpetofaunal species richness of Southeastern National Parks. Southeastern Naturalist. 4(3): 537-569.

Several turtles in and near a pond
Turtles in and around the pond near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

National Park Service

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Mailing Address:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954


(252) 475-9000
For general information or inquiries, please contact us via this phone number.

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