Reptiles & Amphibians

 

 

Total species recorded on Dundreggan: 5

Reptiles:
Squamata
Amphibians:
Anura Caudata
 
 
 
 
 

 


Reptiles are cold-blooded animals that breathe air. The young develop inside eggs which, in some species, hatch within the body of the female. The group includes crocodiles, turtles, snakes and lizards.

Order: Squamata

This is the only Order of reptiles found in the UK. It comprises three native species of lizards and three species of snakes as well as a few non-native species. They are distinguished by having scaly skin.

Anguis fragilis

Anguidae

There is only one member of this Family native to the UK, which, although looking like a snake, is actually a lizard whose legs have been lost through evolution.

Common Name

Slow worm

Scientific Name

Anguis fragilis

 

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Vipera berus

Viperidae

This is a Family of venomous snakes with one native UK member. The venom is injected through hollow fangs which fold back against the roof of the mouth when not in use.

The adder is most often seen basking in warm weather and its camouflage means that it can often be disturbed and this is when most conflict with people occurs. Its bite is rarely fatal. They have a varied diet including small mammals, amphibians, birds and even slowworms.

Common Name

Adder

Scientific Name

Vipera berus

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Amphibians are cold-blooded animals with moist, soft skin which can absorb oxygen from water. They can also breathe air through their lungs. They spend a lot of time on land but always breed in water; all of the British species lay eggs from which tadpoles emerge which metamorphose into miniature versions of the adults. The UK is home to seven species of native amphibians and a similar number of non-native ones.

Order: Anura

This Order comprises the frogs and toads. There is no precise taxonomic difference between frogs and toads, but members of this order which are aquatic or semi-aquatic with smooth, moist skins and which hop to move are generally described as frogs, whereas those which are terrestrial with dry, warty skins and which walk or crawl are generally described as toads.

Bufo bufo

Bufonidae

There are two native UK species in this Family, commonly known as toads. They both lay their eggs in long strings in water from which emerge black tadpoles.

Common Name

Common toad

Scientific Name

Bufo bufo

 

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Rana temporaria

Ranidae

This Family contains two UK native species: the Common frog and the pool frog which has been recently reintroduced to a site in England having been presumed extinct in the wild in 1995. They lay their eggs in clumps, the familiar frogspawn, which produces brown tadpoles.

Common Name

Common frog

Scientific Name

Rana temporaria

 

 

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Order: Caudata

Salamanders and newts form this Order. They are distinguished from all other amphibians by having a tail in all life stages: larvae, juveniles and adults. They also have four legs, which are roughly equal in length, set at right angles to their body, and teeth on both jaws. Some of them can also regenerate lost limbs and body parts, an adaption known as autotomy. This is helpful as it allows them to escape a predator or repair themselves after being attacked.

 

Lissotriton helveticus

Salamandridae (Newts)

Three species of newts are native to the UK - the smooth, palmate and great crested. They have long bodies and tails and can be mistaken for lizards when on land, although newts have smooth, velvety skin. They lay fertilised eggs singly on plant leaves which are often then folded over to provide extra protection.

Common Name

Palmate newt

Scientific Name

Lissotriton helveticus

 

 

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