Date of this Version
Thirteen species of amphibians and 47 species of reptiles presently are known from Nebraska, including one species of lizard here reported for the first time. Although Nebraska has no obvious geographic barriers within its borders, most species (50) have range limits within the state. Fourteen species have essentially statewide distributions and 12 others occur widely over eastern Nebraska. With the exceptions of the two species of leopard frogs (one found over the northern half of Nebraska and the other over the southern half) and eight species of reptiles whose distributions are strongly influenced by the Sand Hills, the remaining species of the herpetofauna have distributions that only encroach on Nebraska's borders. Three species of western reptiles are found in the Nebraska Panhandle. Three species of southern Plains snakes occur in the southwestern corner of the state. One amphibian and three reptilian species, widespread in Kansas, occur along the southern fringe of Nebraska. The eastern influence is even greater in that 14 species occur only along the eastern border or have restricted distributions in southeastern Nebraska. The most poorly collected parts of the state are in eastern Nebraska, especially the northeastern quarter of the state. Limited evidence suggests that several species of reptiles have become much rarer or have experienced restrictions of distributions over the past 20 to 30 years.