Favorite herp you've found in the wild

I don’t really have a single favorite herp that I’ve found, so I’ll split it into categories. Most beautiful herp, eastern milksnake. Most enjoyable snake, black racer/black rat snake(all I could see was the tail, so not sure which it was). Most enjoyable catch, western fence lizard, due to them being very difficult to catch because of how fast they are. Favorite other, common snapping turtle. If I really had to choose one though, I’d probably have to say the fence lizard. It was a lot of fun to catch.

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My favorite would have to be the legless lizard they are so cool (and also weird).

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That freshly hatched Texas spiny, I’ve never seen a juvenile that small before

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what kind of legless lizard was it?

Texas Indigo is hands down my favorite followed closely by the Texas tortoise. Very cool to see both in the wild and be able to interact with them.


An eastern legless lizard I believe.

I’ve found a garter, a softshell turtle, house geckos, anoles, a rat snake, several earth snakes and ground skinks and just yesterday a Texas spiny lizard; I can’t pick which ones my fav. :sweat_smile:


Found so many cool ones over the years.

Black racers, Eastern king snakes, gray rat snakes, timber rattlers, and snapping turtles are all frequently seen neighbors on the farm. Gray tree frogs come up on the porch to hunt bugs at the lights in the spring. They hang out on the windows going “errrp” all night.

I’ve seen Fer de Lance and boas in Central America, laid down on a bushmaster by accident once on a night patrol, scared us both!

Caught many a fence lizard and 5 lined skink with my daughter. We would keep them for a day or two so she could watch them and then set them loose after we fed them. I think that’s why she likes the geckos and lizards more than snakes now!

Horny toad lizards and desert rattlers out west.

I found an Eastern coral snake once while hiking the AT, so tiny and cute!

But I honestly think my favorite to find are the little red salamanders that are pretty common down here in the south. They’re not too hard to find, but for some reason it always seems so neat to see one.

So odd to me, when city friends say “wow, how did you find that stuff?” They’re everywhere, if you just look. There was a brown anole that ran across the doorway to the hotel in Chattanooga we stayed at for the last expo, I think I was the only one who saw it, sad…


When I was in HS, I worked at a Boy Scout camp in CT for the summers. One of my jobs was to catch any of the copperheads that seemed to be relatively common and would show up in the campsites. I’d keep them in an 8’ display enclosure and release them come August. One summer, we had a dozen in there. Beautiful snakes, never got old.

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On a trip to the everglades I saw an alligator. Other than that not much, I haven’t been on enough herp trips as I’d like.


I got to see a huge crocodile quite close on one of the safaris I went on in South Africa when I lived there. We were very lucky and there was a spot above it where we could safely look down on it below us.

When I was quite young and lived in Moscow (USSR at the time), we went on a field trip somewhere, and there was a grassy area with tons of super small frogs. I have no idea what they were, but it’s a fond memory.

I’ve also had the luck to spot salamanders, newts, box turtles, and some other things over the years. But I’d have to say that my fave was probably the times I’ve found ring-neck snakes. I just love those guys, I have since I first got to hold one when I was in 5th or 6th grade at ‘Outdoor Lab Camp’ (at least I think that was what it was called) in northern Virginia.

Edit: I forgot maybe the funniest experience I’ve had!

One time, when my family was driving down near the Cape of Good Hope, there was a tortoise in the middle of the road. So, I got out, picked it up, it peed on me- way more pee than I thought a tortoise would have available, and I set it carefully on the other side of the road, in the direction it had been walking.

Well, after an hour or so, we ended up driving back up the same road. And there was the same tortoise, in the same place, back in the middle of the road! So, I get out, pick it up, and it peed on me again!! Nevertheless, I set it back on the side of the road. Honestly I wasn’t too irritated because it was totally hilarious!

Oh plus I forgot that I got to see a puff adder (briefly, in South Africa), but they are dangerous enough that none of us got out of the vehicle to investigate.


Oh, man, I LOVE ringnecks! I used to keep them for the Summer and let them go in the Fall. (My folks wouldn’t allow herps IN the house.) I’d have a little menagerie in the garage/deck. Ringnecks were a top favorite.


I’d definitely keep some captive bred ringnecks!


I was considering keeping ringneck snakes for a while. It’s kind of been on the back burner but I might start looking back into that.