Reptiles

Western diamondback rattlesnake
The Western diamondback rattlesnake calls the dunes and grasslands of Padre Island National Seashore home.

Photo by Kyle Christensen

The following reptiles have been documented at Padre Island National Seashore. The common and scientific names have been given for each.

Snakes

Western Coachwhip - Masticophis flagellum testaceus

Mexican Milk Snake - Lampropeltis triangulum annulata

Gulf Coast Ribbon Snake - Thamnophis proximus orarius

Marcy's Checkered Garter Snake - Thamnophis marcianus

Diamondback Water Snake - Nerodia rhombifera

Texas Glossy Snake - Arizona elegans arenicola

Eastern Hognose Snake - Heterodon platirhinos

Racer - Coluber constrictor

Flat Head Snake - Tantilla gracilis

Bullsnake - Pituophis catenifer sayi

Texas Patch Nose Snake - Salvadora rahamiae lineata

Ground Snake - Sonora semiannulata

Gulf Salt Marsh Snake - Nerodia clarkii clarkii

Texas Rat Snake - Elaphe obsoleta lindheimerii

Great Plains Rat Snake - Elaphe guttata emoryi

Rough Earth Snake - Virginia striatula

Marsh Brown Snake - Storeria dekayi limnetes

Texas Brown Snake - Storeria dekayi texana

Desert Kingsnake - Lampropeltis getula splendida

Texas Indigo Snake - Drymarchon Corais erebennus

Texas Blind Snake - Leptotyphlops dulcis

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox

Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus

Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsi

Texas Coral Snake - Micrurus tener

 
Western slender glass lizard
The Western slender glass lizard can sometimes be seen during the day foraging in the dunes and in animal burrows.

Photo by Kyle Christensen

Lizards

Keeled Earless Lizard -Holbrookia propinqua

Western Slender Grass Lizard -Ophisaurus attenuatus

Six-lined Racerunner -Cnemidophorus sexlineatus

Great Plains Skink -Eumeces obsoletus

Texas Spotted Whiptail -Cnemidophorus gularis

Spot-tailed Earless Lizard -Holbrookia laceretus

Mediterranean Gecko - Hemidactylus tursicus

Green Anole - Anolis carolinensis

Ground Skink - Scincella lateralis

Texas Horned Lizard -Phrynosoma cornutum

Rosebelly Lizard -Sceloporus variabilis marmoratus

Texas Spiny Lizard -Sceloprus olivaceus


Alligator

American Alligator - Alligator mississippiensis

 
Kemp's ridley sea turtle
Rehabilitated male Kemp's ridley sea turtle being released at Malaquite Beach.

NPS Photo

Sea Turtles

Leatherback sea turtle - Dermochelys coriacea

Green sea turtle - Chelonia mydas

Kemp's Ridley sea turtle - Lepidochelys kempii

Hawksbill sea turtle - Eretmochelys imbricata

Loggerhead sea turtle - Caretta caretta

All five of the sea turtle species found in the Gulf of Mexico find something they need at the park and in its adjacent waters. Kemp's ridley sea turtles nest here more than at any other location in the U.S. Juvenile green sea turtleslive in the waters here year-round, and adults nest on Padre Island in low numbers.Loggerhead sea turtles also nest in the park in low numbers and forage off shore. Leatherback sea turtles travel through the Gulf and historically nested here. Hawksbill sea turtles also travel through the area, finding food and rest along the way. All of these species are federally listed as either endangered or threatened. Padre Island National Seashore is the only location in Texas where nests from all five of these species have been found.

Our Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery, the only division of its kind in the National Park Service, works to monitor and protect these animals. In spring and summer, nesting turtles are protected, examined, and tagged. A few are tracked using satellite telemetry. Nests are moved to protected areas and monitored until they hatch. When possible the public is invited to watch newly hatched sea turtles make their way to the Gulf. Thousands of visitors and numerous media attend these public hatchling releases each year.

In winter, turtles that become cold stunned are rescued, rehabilitated by partners, and then released back into the Gulf. When possible, the public is invited to watch these cold stunned turtles get released.Stranded turtles found at any time of year, alive or dead, are rescued, examined, or collected. Other research projects are conducted periodically to learn more about how to help these rare and amazing reptiles.

Padre Island National Seashore and the National Park Service have been part of the story of the Kemp's ridley since the 1970s. The work conducted by the Seashore, led by Dr. Donna Shaver, is an important part of global efforts to save sea turtles. This work could not be accomplished without the help of many partners, volunteers, and communities. Find out how you can help save sea turtles and join us in ensuring these majestic creatures are around for future visitors to see.



 
Red-eared slider on the road
Red-eared slider

NPS Photo

Terrestrial Turtles

Red-eared Slider - Trachemys scripta elegans

Yellow Mud Turtle - Kinosternon flavescens

Texas Tortoise - Gopherus berlandieri

Common Snapping Turtle - Chelydra serpentina

Ornate Box Turtle - Terrapene ornata

Texas Diamondback Terrapin - Malaclemys terrapin littoralis

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 181300
Corpus Christi, TX 78480

Phone:

(361) 949-8068
This is the primary phone number for the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore.

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