State Reptiles
State Reptiles

US Official State Reptiles Designations

Official State Reptiles

Oklahoma was the first state to name an official reptile, the common collared lizard, in 1969. Only two states followed in the 1970s, but the ensuing decades saw nominations at a rate of almost one per year. State birds are more common, with all fifty states naming one, and they were adopted earlier, with the first one selected in 1927.

Before their formal designation as state reptiles, Florida's alligator, Maryland's terrapin, and Texas's horned lizard were all mascots of a major in-state university. West Virginia's timber rattlesnake was an early American flag element dating back to 1775.

Because of their cold-blooded nature, reptiles are more common in warmer climates, and nineteen of the twenty-six state reptiles represent southern states. Six states chose a species named after the state. A turtle was chosen by more than half of the states. In all, the most frequently chosen species, with four states naming it, is the painted turtle. One state reptile, the Alabama red-bellied turtle is legally designated as an endangered species in the United States, and several others, also turtles, are threatened at some lesser level.

Find images, descriptions, taxonomic hierarchy, and a history of the state Reptiles. Lists their basic characteristics, including adoption date, picture, state code, description, characteristics, range and habitat, habits, life cycle, status, and taxonomic hierarchy.

Official State Reptile Designations

State Symbols

Reptiles - Species - Designation - Adopted

Alabama Red-bellied turtle
(Pseudemys alabamensis)
Alabama State Reptile - 1990
Alaska NA
Arizona Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake
(Crotalus willardi)
Arizona State Reptile - 1986
Arkansas NA
California Desert Tortoise
(Gopherus agassizi)
California State Reptile - 1972
California Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle
(Dermochelys coriacea)
California State Marine Reptile - 2012
Colorado Western Painted Turtle
(Chrysemys Picta Bellii )
Colorado State Reptile - 2008
Connecticut NA
Delaware NA
Florida American Alligator
(Alligator mississippiensis)
Florida State Reptile - 1987
Florida Gopher Tortoise
(Gopherus polyphemus)
Florida State Tortoise - 2008
Florida Loggerhead turtle
(Caretta caretta)
Florida State Salt Water Reptile - 2008
Georgia Gopher Tortoise
(Gopherus polyphemus)
Official Georgia state reptile- 1989
Hawaii NA
Idaho NA
Illinois Painted Turtle
(Chrysemys picta)
Illinois Official state reptile - 2005
Indiana NA
Iowa NA
Kansas Ornate box turtle
(Terrapene ornata)
Kansas State Reptile - 1986
Kentucky NA
Louisiana Alligator
(Alligator mississippiensis)
Louisiana State Reptile - 1983
Maine NA
Maryland Diamondback terrapin
(Malaclemys terrapin)
Maryland State Reptile and official mascot of the State's flagship university at College Park - 1994
Massachusetts  Garter Snake
(Thamnophis (whole genus))
Massachusetts State Reptile- 2007
Michigan Painted Turtle
(Chrysemys picta)
Michigan State Reptile - 1995
Minnesota NA
Mississippi American alligator
(Alligator mississippiensis)
Mississippi State Reptile - 2005
Missouri Three-toed Box Turtle
(Terrapene carolina
subspecies triunguis)
Missouri State Reptile - 2007
Montana NA
Nebraska NA
Nevada Desert tortoise
(Gopherus agassizii)
Nevada State Reptile - 1989
New Hampshire NA
New Jersey NA
New Mexico New Mexico whiptail lizard
(Cnemidophorus neomexicanus)
New Mexico State Reptile - 2003
New York Common snapping turtle
(Chelydra serpentina)
New York State Reptile - 1979
North Carolina Eastern box turtle
(Terrapene carolina subspecies carolina)
North Carolina State Reptile- 1979
North Dakota NA
Ohio Black racer snake
(Coluber constrictor subspecies constrictor)
Ohio State Reptile - 1995
Oklahoma Collared lizard
(Crotaphytus collaris)
Oklahoma State Reptile - 1969
Oregon NA
Pennsylvania NA
Rhode Isalnd NA
South Carolina Loggerhead turtle
(Caretta caretta)
South Carolina State Reptile - 1988
South Dakota NA
Tennessee Eastern box turtle
(Terrapene carolina subspecies carolina)
Tennessee State Reptile - 1995
Texas Horned lizard
(Phrynosoma cornutum)
Texas State Reptile - 1993
Texas Kemp's ridley sea turtle
(Lepidochelys kempii)
Texas State Sea Turtle - 2013
Utah NA
Vermont Painted turtle
(Chrysemys picta)
Vermont State Reptile - 1994
Virginia NA
Washington NA
West Virginia Timber rattlesnake
(Crotalus horridus)
West Virginia State Reptile - 2008
Wisconsin NA
Wyoming Horned toad
(Phrynosoma (whole genus))
Wyoming State Reptile - 1993
State Reptiles
State Reptiles
Twenty-six U.S. states have named an official state reptile.