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Marine Biological Laboratory 

Sept. 22, 1950 

M S4605 
Accession No. 

Dr. Ernest C. Driver 
C'^^^ ^y Smith ColJ.ege 

I'« ort^mpt on , L'a s s . 

7) ^^ 


A Guide to the Identification of the Common Land and 

Fresh'water Animals of the United States, 

with special reference to the area east of the Rockies 


Ernest C. Driner, Ph.D. 
Professor of Zoology- 
Smith Colleee 

With drawings by Olive Driver 

Copyright 1942, 1950 
by Ernest C. Driver, Northampton, Mass. 

All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, 

must not be reproduced in any form without 

written permission of the author. 

Printed in U.S.A. 


The Kraushar Press 

Northampton, Mass. 



The purpose of this book is to provide the reader with a practical key 
to the identification of land and fresh-water animals. We hope that it will 
unlock the door to the great number of more technical or more detailed 
treatises and thereby carry the inquiring student over the first and often most 
difficult hurdle on the road to a knowledge of animals. Because the literature 
of animal taxonomy is often not readily available and only too often not 
readily comprehended by the general student of animal life, the idea has 
become popular that only an expert can be expected to identify animals. 
This unfortunate attitude has discouraged many a promising beginner from 
attempting field work. We do not for one moment deny that the final verifica' 
tion, in case of rare or peculiar animals or in scientific studies, should be made 
by an authority on each group. We do feel, however, that the more common 
animals can be identified with reasonable accuracy by any interested person 
who is willing to follow up the use of keys, such as are given here, with a care 
ful checking of the descriptions given in the references listed. The present 
work is designed not to replace, but rather to serve as an introduction to, the 
painstaking and detailed works of our zoologists. 

The type of key used is one that we have found, after much experimenta- 
tion with students and long-suffering friends, to be the easiest to operate, 
especially if one is holding a squirming animal in one hand meanwhile. 
Wherever possible external and readily visible identification characters have 
been used. For the finer details of classification a complete study of the 
animal — external and internal anatomy and even physiology — is necessary, 
but this book is intended for the use of those who are not yet expert zoologists. 
It is also intended to serve as a field manual, where dissection facilities are 
seldom available. Line drawings are included as the simplest way of picturing 
the terms and characters used in the keys and to give the amateur an idea 
of the likenesses and diversity to be found in each group. 

Not every species, or even every genus, can be included within the limits 
of this book. The rarer forms not included will usually key to the most 
nearly related of the included forms, and consultation of the literature will 
usually clear up the difficulty. For groups about which a great deal of in- 
formation is readily available, such as the birds and insects, only general 
treatments have been considered necessary. Some groups, such as the Ostracods 
and the smaller water Turbellaria, which are minute or require the knowledge 
or dissection of certain parts beyond the skill of the amateur, are carried only 
to the group or to the most common families or genera. 


Names of classes, orders and other large taxonomic groups have not 
been used in most cases in the keys, where animals are keyed to genus and 
species. Zoologists are not in perfect agreement as to the application of these 
terms, since the rules of the International Committee on Zoological Nomen' 
clature cover only family, genus and species. Also we feel that the main 
outlines of taxonomy and the complicated foundations of anatomy and physi' 
ology upon which they rest can best be learned from standard zoological 
textbooks and are likely to be confusing if inserted in the keys, especially since 
a number of the animals included do not possess all the characters regarded 
as typical for the groups in which they are placed. To acquaint the student 
with the general form of such grouping, to make the reference books more 
easily consulted, and to give him some preliminary benefits of the use of the 
larger groups in grasping the idea of relationships, we have given, at the end 
of the discussion in each chapter, an annotated outline of the general scheme 
of classification of the group. The more readily observed characters which, 
taken in combination, distinguish the native forms in these large groups, have 
been listed. Wherever feasible, family names have been included in the keys. 

Many scientific names have been changed within the last quarter century, 
due in part to our better knowledge of animal relationships and in part to 
the researches among the long ignored or overlooked writings of early American 
naturalists, who now receive long delayed credit for the application of many 
scientific names. We have endeavored, in most cases, to use as first choice the 
scientific names given in a recent check list for each group. In cases where 
another name is still in general use it is given as second choice, except where 
otherwise noted, and also the synonym or synonyms are given that are most 
likely to have been used as the scientific name or names in the available 

A complete list of the publications consulted in compiling these keys 
would double the size of the book, so we must limit ourselves to a general 
grateful acknowledgement to all who have worked on the classification of 
American animals, with a special vote of thanks to those whose careful and 
critical studies in the compilation of check lists award credit where it is due 
and help to stabilize the use of scientific names. We are also greatly indebted 
to museums, friends and collectors who have made it possible for us in a great 
many cases to check the keys with actual specimens, either living or preserved. 

We fully realize that some errors may have crept into this book, but we 
trust that the good outweighs the bad and that our efforts may be of some 
aid in bringing about a greater knowledge, and consequently a greater ap- 
preciation, of our wild animal life. 





Protozoa .... 


Moss-like and Jelly-like Animals 


Rotifers and Gastrotricha 


Worm-like and Leech 

like Animals 











Frogs and Toads 


































The average course in general Zoology uses marine animals for many of 
its type forms, so that the student gets the impression that only at the sea' 
shore can one study animal life in any abundance. As a matter of fact, the 
land and fresh-water animals include members of all the major groups or 
phyla of animals except the Brachiopods, Ctenophores and Echinoderms, which 
are exclusively marine. Brachiopods and Echinoderms are abundant in the 
limestone regions of our country as fossil remains, indicating that these areas 
were formerly ocean floors. Since the majority of our population lives away 
from the coast most of the time, some knowledge of and interest in inland 
animals seem highly desirable. 

From ancient times man has been interested in naming animals. Aristotle, 
who lived about 350 B. C, appears to have known about five hundred animals 
by name. Linnaeus, who started our present system of nomenclature and 
who, living from 1707 to 1778, had the advantage of receiving many speci' 
mens from America, recorded the names of over five thousand. Today we 
recognize several hundred thousand species of animals, and more are continually 
being named. 

Various systems of nomenclature have been proposed at different times, 
but a modification of that proposed by Linnaeus, being most flexible and 
adaptable to our modern ideas of the relationship of all living things, has been 
universally adopted. We now divide the animals into large groups called 
Phyla. Each Phylum is, in turn, divided into Classes, each Class into Orders, 
each Order into Families, each Family into Genera, and each Genus into 
Species. Linnaeus' great inspiration was to use the Latinized name of genus 
and species as the general scientific name of each animal, thus enabling the 
scientist to learn one name instead of a different common name in each 
language for each animal. So now to American, Russian and Japanese alike 
the name of man is Homo sap:ens, the dog Cams famiharis, and so on. Thi.= 
scientific name was intended to be a description in itself, the name of the 
genus being a noun and the name of the soecies usually an adjective. 

The student of Taxonomy or Classification is at first likely to be puzzled 
by the lack of agreement among different writers as to the major groupings. 
The early scheme of classification was merely to establish a convenient catalogue 
for ready reference. The modern idea is that the system of classification 
should also express the degrees of relationship existing between the various 
animals. Scientists, like laymen, often disagree as to the interpretation of 
evidence and therefore do not wholly agree on taxonomic groupings. 

In order to keep the system of definite scientific names workable, the 
International Zoological Congress has established (1889 to the present) a set 
of rules governing the names of species, genera and families of animals. Any 
question concerning the proper use of these names is referred to a committee 
of this Congress. The most important rule established by the code is the sO' 
called Law of Priority. The animal names used in the tenth edition of 
Linnaeus' Systema J\laturae (1758) are accepted as the starting point. Any 
animal not therein described is called by the name first applied to it since, 
provided the describer followed the Linnaean system and published the name 
and description in an acceptable manner. Unfortunately many of the early 
scientists did not have access to the publications of others and some of them 
made their descriptions quite vague, so that frequently several names have 
been applied to the same animal. In that case the first scientific name properly 
given is accepted as the true scientific name, the later ones being called 

A few other rules should be kept in mind. The name of the genus is 
always capitalized. In animal names, although not in plant names, the name 
of the species should never be capitalized. A name once used as the generic 
name of an animal must never be used for any other animal. The latter 
regulation does not apply to the names of species. 

In order to enable one to refer to the original description and to check 
on errors, the name of the describer (called the author) is frequently written 
after the scientific name without intervening punctuation, as Homo sapiens 
Linnaeus. If for any reason it has been necessary to change the generic name, 
the name of the author of the species is bracketed. Thus the clam originally 
described as Unio ovata Say is now known as Lampsilis ovata (Say). Oc' 
casionally one finds three names instead of two, as Microtus montanus ar-izoneri' 
Sis Bailey. This means that the species has been further subdivided into sub' 
species, one of which, arizonensis, was first properly named and described by 

Identification is not always easy. Our divisions into phyla, classes and 
orders are arbitrary and each group includes a number of animals that do not 
possess all the structures regarded as characteristic of that group. Among 
the microscopic organisms there are several, such as Euglena and Volvox, that 
cannot be definitely assigned to the animal or to the plant kingdom. Many 
colonial protozoans can be told only with difficulty from higher forms, the 
usual distinction being that in the protozoan colony there is no specialization 
among the somatic or body cells, such specialization being the rule in the bodies 
of the higher animals. In our pond life the small annelid worms and the larvae 
of insects look much alike, the presence of distinct mouth parts and of a definite 
head usually distinguishing the latter. Even some vertebrates may be con' 
fused with invertebrates at first sight. Some of the degenerate, burrowing 

snakes and lizards have a strong superficial resemblance to earthworms. One 
may judge of the confusion that exists, even in the vertebrates, when he finds 
that one salamander is commonly called the Congo Snake and another the 
Mud Eel, and that one of the legless li2;ards is known as the Glass Snake while 
another lizard masquerades as an amphibian under the names of Horned Frog 
and Horned Toad. The keys accompanying this chapter are designed to 
direct the student to succeeding chapters for further identification. The 
associated plates illustrate forms that are not readily distinguished or assigned 
to their proper groupings. 

In the keys two alternatives, definitely contrasting, are ofFered at once, 
so that the characters can be quickly weighed one against the other and the 
decision made without any turning of pages. At the end of the choice taken 
is given the number of the next set of alternatives to be considered, and so 
on, until, instead of a number, there appears the scientific name of an animal. 
The fact of individual variation must be kept in mind in any attempt at 
identification. Between such extremes as albinism and melanism, giantism 
and dwarfism, there is a wide range. The keys must naturally be based on 
normal, adult, average or typical specimens. Whenever possible, therefore, 
several animals of the kind to be identified should be examined or, if only 
one specimen is available, the possibility of its being somewhat abnormal or 
immature should be considered. 

Following each key is a list of references, one or more of which the reader 
should then consult in order to verify his identification. This list does not 
begin to include all the works upon the group but merely those that the 
author believes will be most useful in aiding in the verification of the name. 
Check lists of the various groups of animals known to occur within the local 
area are often available from state or city museums, state natural history 
surveys or state academies of science. If these cannot be obtained, there are 
still several invaluable periodicals where such lists, at least of the vertebrates, 
are often published. Chief among these are Copeia for fishes, amphibians 
and reptiles, The Au\ and The Auduhon Magazine (formerly Bird-Lore) for 
birds and The Journal of Mammalogy for mammals. These lists are very 
useful in indicating which animals may be expected in a given locality and 
should be consulted wherever it is possible. 

Protozoans, rotifers, small crustaceans and other minute, free-floating, 
aquatic forms constitute a group of organisms known as plan\ton. For identi- 
fication of these and other minute creatures, a microscope is necessary. Since 
both size and motion appear greatly magnified under the microscope, some 
method of slowing down the living animals while they are being examined 
is desirable. A very weak solution of glycerine in water may be substituted 
for the drop of plain water in which the creatures are ordinarily mounted 
for examination. Much use should be made of lighting adjustments. For 






example, when the microscope mirror is adjusted for full brightness and the 
diaphragm is wide open, such transparent creatures as Amoeba can scarcely 
be distinguished, but with the light much decreased they show plainly. 
Frequently an additional view, helpful in showing the type of motion, may 
be obtained by cutting off all light from below and viewing the animals by 
light thrown directly on them from above. Very weak solutions of iodine 
or India ink often make locomotive structures of minute organisms more clearly 
visible under the microscope. 

Collecting methods vary with the season and the kinds of animals sought. 
For collecting plankton and small aquatic organisms in general, a plankton 
net is the best piece of equipment. This consists of a cone of silk about 
two feet long, with the large, open end supported by a wire hoop to which 
a cord bridle is attached, and with the small opening in the apex of the cone 
fitted with a small vial, usually of about an eight dram si2;e. In use, ten feet 
or more of attached cord are unwound, a little water dipped into the net to 
give it weight, and the net swung out as far as possible into the pond, the 
cord being allowed to slide freely through the fingers until the end is reached. 
The net is then pulled slowly but steadily back to the operator and held 
upright until the water has drained out through the silk, leaving the small 
organisms concentrated in the vial, from which they can be poured into a 
larger receiving bottle. The commercial plankton nets are made of silk 
bolting cloth, various sizes of mesh being available. Although such nets are 
essential for scientific investigation, the average collector will find a home' 
made one of ordinary silk much more economical and quite efficient. A swivel 
such as fishermen use on bait-casting lines may be attached near the bridle 
to add to the smoothness of operation. 

Other minute organisms that cannot ordinarily be collected with the 
plankton net may be obtained by gathering up with a pipette some of the 
brown ooze that often covers the beds of ponds and slow streams. Scrapings 
from submerged rocks and the under sides of water lily pads are often full 
of interesting organisms. Bird baths in which the water is kept constant 
often reveal a surprising fauna and flora, some introduced as windblown dust 
and some brought in on the feet of birds. 

Larger organisms can be collected with the aid of small, hand, kitchen 
strainers, which can be obtained with fine or coarse meshes. If the animals are 
desired in larger quantities, they can be collected from the ponds quite easily 
with the aid of a bucket. If the collector will wade into a bed of submerged 
vegetation and grab up a mass of it, transferring it to the bucket witkmt 
lifting it from the water any more than is necessary, he can then swirl it 
around, washer-woman fashion, and throw it aside, usually leaving a host of 
insect larvae, small crustaceans, snails and other animals at the bottom of the 
bucket. This method usually gives better results than the use of the common 



Still another method, if space and neighbors permit, is to bring in a 
large mass of vegetation, gathered without disturbing it much, and put it into 
a container with just enough water to cover it. In a day or so the vegeta' 
tion will start to decay and the animal population will seek the surface in 
search of oxygen. Hydra may often be collected by the hundred by this 

For larger aquatic animals the dip-net, seine and all the apparatus of 
the fisherman may be used. Sections of minnow seine make excellent material 
for constructing dip-nets. This material may be purchased by the yard. A 
one-man seine from two to three feet long and one and one-half to two feet 
high has the advantage of being small enough so that the operator can take 
a pole in each hand and push the net before him through the water. For 
fresh-water clams, a rake or a modification of the commercial "crowfoot" may 
be used to advantage. Some form of dredge may be used for bottom fauna, 
if the collecting is done from a boat. Before resorting to seines or traps, one 
should consult the game laws carefully, as some states have rigid restrictions. 

The smaller land animals are usually to be found in moist or sheltered 
locations, such as in woodlands under fallen logs or loose bark. Snails, insects 
and many other invertebrates are often collected most easily after a rain. 
Then the snails leave their hiding places and insects are less likely to seek 
safety in flight. For ecological studies dealing especially with terrestrial insects, 
the piece of collecting equipment most frequently used is the sweep net, a 
fine, light-weight net designed for use among bushes, grass and other low 

Most of the vertebrate animals are either naturally crepuscular or noctur- 
nal, or else have had such habits forced upon them by man. Years ago market 
hunters rcaliAcd this and resorted to jack-lighting or hunting the animals wdth 
the aid of artificial light, finding that even the large game animals are then 
much less timid than by day. Fortunately the tendency today is to give 
an animal a fair chance, and such means of hunting are outlawed, but the 
student of animal life may well adopt this method for less destructive pur- 
poses. Many fish, most amphibians, and many reptiles and mammals are 
active and may be watched after dark, showing little of their daytime timidity. 
Several naturalists have taken advantage of nocturnal habits to obtain unusual 
flashlight photographs of our wild animals. 

For a closer study and appreciation of the lives of the small animals, 
the maintaining of aquaria and terraria is recommended. For an aquarium 
a glass container or even a water-tight wooden bucket or tub may be used. 
A metal tank is likely to give off injurious materials to the water, unless 
thoroughly seasoned. The shape of the container should be such that there is 
plenty of water surface exposed to the air for the absorption of oxygen. This 
requirement rules out the fish globes of past popularity. If a choice is pos- 


sible, the aquarium should be such that it will contain a rectangular volume 
of water as high as wide and twice as long. For a permanent set-up an inch 
or more of good garden soil should be tamped firmly into the bottom and 
covered with an inch-deep layer of sand that has been washed in several 
changes of water until it is free from sediment. Then a sheet of paper may 
be laid on the sand, the water slowly added, and the paper removed. This 
method of adding water serves to keep the sand and soil from being disturbed. 
Filtered pond water is best, if available. City water that contains chlorine 
should be avoided, if possible, or at least allowed to stand in the open for 
several days before it is used. Plants may next be set out. Elodea is excellent, 
if kept trimmed. ValUsnena, the Ribbon Grass, is also very good. Then, 
most important of all, the planted aquarium should be allowed to stand for 
several days before any animals are introduced. If the plants start to grow 
and the water remains clear, all is well. If not, the water should be gently 
siphoned off and more added. Animals should not be crowded. If too many 
are introduced, they damage each other and the plants, and the water becomes 
cloudy. Food not cleaned up within an hour should be removed. If the 
aquarium is set up properly and attains a balanced condition, it should remain 
clear and never need changing. Enough water should be added from time to 
time to make up for that lost through evaporation. If the water becomes 
green, it is receiving too much light, and unicellular green algae are develop- 
ing. These algae do not harm the animal inhabitants of the aquarium, but 
do reduce the visibility. To correct this condition the light should be reduced 
and a small clam put in for a week or two to filter out and eat the algae. 

The terrarium is for land animals or those that spend most of their time 
on the banks of ponds or streams. Turtles, frogs, some salamanders, lizards 
and small snakes do well in terraria. A large, old aquarium, discarded because 
of leaks or cracked glass, can often be utilized in this fashion. A shallow 
dish of water is set within, and the rest of the floor covered with liverworts 
or moss. A glass cover, slightly raised by toothpicks or matches, should be 
used. Such a greenhouse will flourish for months with little attention except 
that necessary for its animal occupants, although an occasional "lawn mowing" 
with a pair of shears may be necessary. 

A combination of aquarium and terrarium is possible in a long con- 
tainer. One end can be raised so that a "shore line" occurs in the middle of 
the tank, and a little sphagnum or water-moss put along this edge. Cray 
fishes, hellgrammites, turtles, most salamanders and many other creatures 
thrive in such an environment. Small worms, snails, and Drosophih. or fruit 
flies and other insects make acceptable food for most of these animals. Such a 
terrarium should also be kept covered. 

For larger animals, particularly birds and mammals, various types of 
cages are available. A caged animal should always be given plenty of room 





and an opportunity for exercise. The small roadside cages used for foxes, 
bears and other animals displayed for advertising purposes are pitifully in' 
adequate and should be condemned. 

All those interested in wild animals should consider it their duty to do 
all that they can to protect and conserve them. Unfortunately most of the 
zoological training given in our schools and colleges has been directed almost 
entirely along the lines of preparation for medical work and very little towards 
appreciation of living animals. Lack of time and equipment has generally 
prevented field trips and the maintenance of living animals other than experi' 
mental rats and guinea-pigs. Our libraries contain many books describing 
the details of dissection and minute anatomy, but few concerning the life 
histories and habits of our wild animals. After all, it is life itself in which 
we are primarily interested. Too often we fi-nd ourselves in the position of 
the child who has taken his mechanical toy apart to see what makes it work. 
We can describe in great detail the structure of the song bird, its trachea, 
its syrinx or voice box and all its internal structure, but we are as far from 
explaining its song as ever. This is not a condemnation of the work done, 
but rather a call to additional study before it is too late and many of these 
animals have gone from the earth forever. It is urged that field excursions 
be regarded more as observation trips than as collecting trips, that the live 
animal be considered more valuable than its preserved skin or carcass, 
and that any unusual animal should not be feared because it is unknown 
or shot as a trophy because of its rarity, but regarded as presenting an op' 
portunity to study another manifestation of that peculiar something we 
call life. 

The hunter and trapper have received more than their share of blame 
for the decrease in number and species of our wild animals. By far the 
greatest factor in the decline has been the destruction of breeding grounds. 
All over the country lakes and marshes have been drained, rivers dammed 
and polluted, streams straightened, forests and groves destroyed, and land 
useless for agriculture used for grazing until all vegetation is destroyed. 
Coming down to details within the control of the individual, thickets have 
been reduced to hedges, hedges replaced by wire fences, hollow tree limbs so 
sought by birds, squirrels, bats and other animals as homes or refuges filled 
with cement or removed, tangles of sprouts around the bases of lilac and 
syringa bushes carefully trimmed, snakes "killed on sight "because we don't 
like them", frogs and toads and their eggs promptly removed from ponds in 
garden and park. 

Another less powerful but never-the-less important factor in reducing 
our wild life has been the over-protection of a few animals and the ill-advised 
introduction of foreign forms. Even in this day of enlightenment many people 
still seem to retain the ancient Egyptian reverence for the cat, allowing it 


to reproduce as fast as it can and then abandoning the kittens hy the roadside 
to die a miserable death or to revert to a semi-wild condition at the expense 
of native birds and mammals. Where there are summer cottages these semi' 
wild cats are common, the kittens having been brought in as pets at the 
beginning of the vacation season and abandoned at its close. So serious is this 
condition that at least one state has passed a law making it a punishable of' 
fense to abandon a cat. 

Another marked case of over-protection is that of the house wren. Fully 
ninety per cent of the bird boxes put up are designed for or used by wrens. 
This innocent'looking little bird forestalls competition by visiting the nests 
of other birds within a wide area and puncturing their eggs. The house 
sparrow receives the blame but, even if this action of the wren had not been 
repeatedly observed and reported in bird magazines, an inspection of the 
punctures and of the beaks of wren and sparrow would exonerate the latter 
of that particular crime. 

The house sparrow and the starling are both examples of unfortunate 
introductions that have increased the competition for our native birds. The 
carp is another exotic of doubtful value, unless the introducers anticipated 
the extreme pollution of our rivers to the point where only an extremely 
hardy fish could survive. 

Our National Parks have set excellent examples of what can be done 
to protect and tame our wild animals, but these parks should not be their 
only refuge. It is perhaps encouraging to note that almost all our errors in 
deahng with wild life have been due to ignorance rather than to willful action. 
It is sincerely hoped that interest in and know-ledge of animals will steadily 
increase, and that sensible conservation measures, well supported by an informed 
public, may be generally adopted. 




One-celled or with somatic cells all of the same type grouped into 


Usually colonial; body wall with a simple or complex arrangement 
of canals between a central or gastral cavity and the outside; two 
cellular body layers present, with a middle, undifferentiated layer 
containing skeletal fibers or spicules 



& ASTR OT R \ C H A 



MOSS-\->*<-E OR 

^^^'^Ll^\^^X>^ V.ORM-t»KE AND LEECH-L»KE 





Individual or colonial forms; two cellular body layers present; radially 

symmetrical; digestive tract sac-like; usually with tentacles; with 

stinging cells or ncmatocysts 

Bilaterally symmetrical, dorso'ventrally flattened, unsegmented worms; 

no coclom; digestive tract sac-like; wuth cilia 

Cylindrical, unsegmented worms; without cilia 

Usually with a ciliated disc anteriorly; with mastax or internal jaws; 

with coelom 

Colonial; with tentacles on a ridge around the mouth; digestive tract 

U-shaped; with coelom 

Segmented worms; with setae in the body wall or with a sucking 

disc on the posterior end of the body; with coelom 

Body soft, unsegmented; usually with a shell: sometimes with 


Body segmented; usually w'lth a chitinous exoskeleton; appendages 

paired, jointed 
Invertebrates of uncertain position 


Unsegmented; with a long, eversible proboscis; digestive tract tubular; 

no coelom (Often grouped with Phylum Platyhelmmthes) 


Unsegmented; somewhat flattened dorso-ventrally; ciliated below; 

digestive tract tubular; with coelom (Often paired with the Rotatoria. 

under Phylum Trochelmmthes) 


With fused segments; appendages paired, unsegmented; (Grouped 

with Phylum Arthropoda in this book) 

Possessing, at some stage in development, a notochord or backbone,, 

pharyngeal gills or lungs, and a dorsal, tubular nervous system 


Mouth round, without jaws; no bones; no paired appendages^ 



(MAC-NH F 1 E D •> 




With paired fins; with or without scales; one occipital condyle; 


Usually with one or two pairs of limbs; without scales; with 

two occipital condyles; cold-blooded 

With or without limbs; with scales; with one occipital condyle; 

Class AVES 

Fore limbs modified to form wings; with feathers; with one 

occipital condyle; warm-blooded 

With one or two pairs of limbs; with hair; with mammae; 

with two occipital condyles; warm-blooded 


1. One-celled or acellular animals, either separate or grouped together in 

colonies; no specialization of body cells of colonial forms, which are 
usually spherical, disc-shaped or grouped at the end of a stem 
Protozoa (Chapter 2) 
Body made up of a number of cells, with some of the body cells differing 
from others; usually with internal organs visible inside the body 
wall 2. 

2. Animal partially or wholly enclosed within a shell 3. 
No shell; animal sometimes living in a tube 4. 

3. Body soft, without legs 

Molluscs (Chapter 6) 
With paired appendages, which may be completely withdrawn within 
the shell, in some forms 

Arthropods (Chapter 7) 

4. With paired appendages 

Arthropods (Chapter 7) 
No paired appendages; sometimes with setae or tufts of bristles along 
the sides 5. 

5. Body segmented (segments sometimes evident only on the under side) 

Body unsegmented 8. 

6. With a definite head, often darker than the body, and usually with 

external biting or sucking mouth parts 

Arthropods, Insect Larvae (Chapter 7) 
Not so 7. 













7. Body soft and transparent, with a pair of jaws working within the body; 

usually but not always with one or more rings of cilia on the front 
end; sometimes colonial 

Rotifers (Chapter 4) 
Body worm-like; without visible internal jaws; with or without bristles 
along the sides of the body 

Worm-hT^e or Leech'li\e Animals, Annelids (Chapter 5) 

8. With a ring of tentacles 

Moss'li\e or ]elly'li\e Animals (Chapter 3) 
No tentacles, but often with bristles or cilia 9. 

9. With tufts of bristles or cilia or with one or more rings of cilia in the 

area of the mouth; sometimes colonial 

Rotifers and Gastrotricha (Chapter 4) 
Not so 

Worm-IiT^e and Leech'li\e Animals (other than Annelids) 



L With legs 2. 

No legs; sometimes with setae or tufts of bristles along the sides 8. 

2. With fur, hair or feathers 3. 
No fur, hair or feathers 4. 

3. With hair or fur; with two pairs of legs, or sometimes with the fore 

limbs modified to form wings 
Mammals (Chapter 15) 
With feathers; with one pair of legs and one pair of wings 
Birds (Chapter 14) 

4. Animals without a backbone; usually with more than two pairs of legs; 

almost always with antennae or with external biting or sucking mouth 
appendages; often with wings 
Arthropods (Chapter 7) 
With a backbone; with one or two pairs of legs; no external biting or 
sucking mouth appendages; skin usually slimy or with scales 5. 

5. With the skin slimy, unsealed; no external ear openings 6. 
With a scaled skin or with external ear openings 7. 

6. Body usually slender and with a tail; young are usually with gills 

Salamanders (Chapter 9) 
Body fat, without a tail in the adult, except in the male of one species; 
the young or tadpoles have tails, very fat bodies, and no or one or two 
pairs of legs each 

Frogs and Toads (Chapter 10) 

7. With a leathery or horny shell 

Turtles (Chapter 13) 
No shell 

Lizards (Chapter 11) 






8. Soft-bodied animals enclosed or partially enclosed in a shell 
MoUns\s (Chapter 6) 
Not so 9. 

9. Colonial animals, usually appearing moss-like or jelly-like 
MosS'li\e and JeUy'li\e Animals (Chapter 3) 
Single individuals 10. 

10. With fins or with a wide fold of skin forming a fin-like tail 11, 
Without fins or a fin-like tail 12. 

11. No gill openings on sides of head; head and body so closely joined as to 

be oval; no side fins 

Frog and Toad Larvae, Tadpoles (Chapter 10) 
With one or more gill openings present on each side of the head; body 
lengthened; side fins present in most cases 

Fishes and Lampreys (Chapter 8) 

12. With definite scales or plates on top of the head and usually on the body 

Sna\es and Legless Lizards (Chapter 12) 
No scales 13. 

13. Body segmented (segments sometimes evident only on the under side) 14. 
Body unsegmented 15. 

14. With a definite head, often darker than the body; usually with external 

biting or sucking mouth appendages 

Arthropods, Insect Larvae (Chapter 7) 
Head not readily distinguishable; no such mouth appendages (except in 
one large semi-marine worm) 

Worm'li\e and Leech'li\e Animals, Annelids (Chapter 5) 

15. Without tentacles; no breathing pore on the side 

Worm-hl^e and Leech'li\e Animals {other than Annelids) 
(Chapter 5) 
With tentacles; with or without a breathing pore on the side 16. 

16. With a ring of tentacles around the body; no breathing pore; found in 


Moss4i\e and Jelly 4i\e Animals, Coelenterates (Chapter 3) 
With two pairs of tentacles on the head and a breathing pore on one 
side; found in moist places on land, not in water 

Molluscs, Slugs (Chapter 6) 


1. Bones overlapping and covered with striations radiating from the center 

of each bone 
Bones more or less dovetailed or with sutures (junctions) not evident 2. 

2. Two occipital condyles (knobs on either side of the large opening on 

back of skull, for attachment of the first segment of the backbone) 3. 
One occipital condyle, usually below the large rear opening 6. 


3. Skull high — height at least half the width; with a bony palate before 

and partly underlying the floor of the brain case 

Mammals (See chapter 15) 
Skull flat — height not more than onc'fifth of the width; with a bottle 
or dagger'shaped bone forming a large part of the under side 

Amphibia 4. 

4. With a gap between the end of the upper jaw and side of cranium, or 

with a short row of teeth in the center front of a complete row on 

upper jaw; processes on which the lower jaw is hung slanting forward 


With a bar joining the end of the upper jaw to the side of the cranium; 

processes on which the lower jaw is hung slanting backward 5. 

5. With teeth on the upper jaw 

Frogs and Spadefoot Toads 
No teeth on the upper jaw 

6. Brain case almost spherical, the bones fused together so that their sutures 

are not visible; orbits (eyc'sockets) very large, about one-third of the 
total length of skull; jaws elongated to form a beak 
Brain case flattened or angular; sutures usually visible; orbits seldom 
more than one-fifth of the total length of skull; jaws not beak-like, or 
else with a sharp ridge on back of skull 7. 

7. No evidences of teeth; bones of skull, except lower jaw, apparently all 

joined immovably together; with a sharp central crest on back of top 
of head 

Teeth present; no prominent crest on back of skull 8. 

8. Skull long, wide and flat; bones solidly joined; teeth peg-like, set in 


Skull not especially long, wide and flat; bones suspending the lower jaw 
somewhat movable or hinged to others; teeth needle-like, fused to the 
top of the inner edge of jaw bone 9. 

9. Bones of brain case solidly joined, but almost all others hinged; usually 

with two rows of upper teeth, the inner row as long and well dc 
veloped as the outer row 

Bones suspending lower jaw hinged, but the others fixed in position; a 
small opening usually present in the top center of the brain case 




Abbot, C. G. (editor) and others. 1930. Smithsonian Scientific Series. 
Several volumes. Smithsonian Institution Series, Inc. New York. 

Harmer, S. F. and Shipley, A. E. (editors) and others. 1901. The Cambridge 
Natural History. Several volumes. Macmillan and Co. London and 
New York. 

Hausman, L. A. 1950. Beginner's Guide to Fresh-water Life. G. P. Put' 
nam's Sons. New York. 

Hornaday, W. T. 1904. The American Natural History. Charles Scrib- 
ner's Sons. New York. 

Huxley, J. S. (editor) and others. 1933. A Selection of Articles from the 
New 14th Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. One volume on 
Fishes, Insects and Reptiles. One volume on Birds and Mammals. En- 
cyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. New York. 

Jordan, D. S. 1929. Manual of the Vertebrate Animals of the Northeastern 
United States. World Book Co. Yonkers-on-Hudson, New York. 

Moore, C. B. 1937. The Book of Wild Pets. G. P. Putnam's Sons. New 

Morgan, A. H. 1930. Field Book of Ponds and Streams. G. P. Putnam's 
Sons. New York. 

Morgan, A. H. 1939. Field Book of Animals in Winter. G. P. Putnam's 
Sons. New York. 

Needham, J. G. (chairman) and others. 1937. Culture Methods for In- 
vertebrate Animals. Comstock Publishing Co. Ithaca. 

Needham, J. G. and Needham, P. R. 1930. A Guide to the Study of 
Fresh-water Biology. Comstock Publishing Co. Ithaca. 

Palmer, E. L. 1949. The Fieldbook of Natural History. McGraw-Hill. 
New York. 

Pratt, H. S. 1935. A Manual of the Common Invertebrate Animals. P. 
Blakiston's Son and Co. Philadelphia. 

Pratt, H. S. 1935. A Manual of Land and Fresh Water Vertebrate Ani- 
mals of the United States. P. Blakiston's Son and Co. Philadelphia. 

Pycraft, W. P. (editor) and others. 1931. The Standard Natural History. 
Frederick Warne and Co., Ltd. London and New York. 

Stokes, A. C. 1918. Aquatic Microscopy for Beginners. John Wiley and 
Sons. New York. 

Ward, H. B. and Whipple, G. C. 1918. Fresh-water Biology. John Wiley 
and Sons. New York. 



Chapter 2 

Protozoa abound in practically every situation where life is possible but, 
on account of their minute size, they seldom come to our attention. Only the 
largest of them are visible without the aid of a lens. Consequently they lived 
almost unnoticed until about 1675, when the early microscopists made for 
themselves tiny glass drops which served them as lenses, fixed these in ad' 
justable frames, and sought to examine every minute object available. Since 
then many arguments have followed as to the structure of these little animals. 
Some investigators have described vital organs within these Protozoa while 
others, finding no cell walls within the animals, object to the terms used for 
the multicellular forms. Some scientists regard the Protozoa as the simplest 
forms of animal life and so place them as the first and "lowest" group of 
animals. Other scientists, marvelling at the many functions performed by 
the tiny creatures and the specialization they show, contend that instead of 
corresponding to one of the body cells of the other animals, as the term "uni' 
cellular" implies, we should rather regard a protozoan as corresponding to 
the whole of a higher animal, but without the subdivision into cells, and 
therefore apply the term "acellular", meaning without cells. Along the same 
lines there is a tendency to regard the group of Protozoa not as one of the 
twelve or more phyla but as a major division of the animal kingdom, parallel 
to all the other animals, which are then called Metazoa. 

Few of the common Protozoa attain enough size to attract one's atten' 
tion, except under the microscope. The largest of the celebrated amoebas, 
when extended, may reach a diameter of one one-hundredth of an inch. 
Spirostomum, which at certain seasons is extremely abundant in garden lily 
ponds, is a giant among the common Protozoa, as it reaches a length of one' 
tenth of an inch. Parameaum, the form most studied in biological classes, 
is among the larger Protozoa, but it is still so small that eighty-five of them, 
lined up head to tail like circus elephants, would just reach across the narrow 
side of a postage stamp, while, if placed side by side, it would take about three 
hundred and forty to extend from one side of the stamp to the other. 

Protozoa are classified according to their methods of locomotion. The 
Amoeha group, the Rhizopoda or Sarcodma, have the most changeable shape, 
usually being spherical when at rest but extending long projections, pseudo' 
podia or false feet, when crawling or floating. Some of them, like Arcella, 
secrete vase-like outer covers or shells. Some, like Difflugia, go still further 
and accumulate sand grains or other foreign particles to supplement these shells. 
The animals of this group are most common in the layers of ooze or mud on 
the bottom of quiet ponds or swamps. 


Another group, the Ciliata or Infusoria, of which Paramecium may be 
regarded as typical, have a fairly constant body shape and propel themselves 
by means of countless hair-like extensions of protoplasm called ''cilia", from 
the Latin word for eyelash. These cilia, unlike pseudopodia, are always 
extended and serve as oars to row the animal through the water. Although 
the details of the arrangement of the cilia are hard to make out, yet, as a general 
rule, if the animal moves at a fairly even gait, it is probable that the cilia are 
almost all of the same length, while, if the gait is jerky and irregular, the cilia 
are usually of unequal length or unevenly distributed over the body. 

A third group, the Fhgellata or Mastigophora, meaning the "whip- 
bearers", have a few, long, protoplasmic processes or flagella, instead of many 
short cilia. Euglena, the green organism that is on the border line between 
plant and animal, is a common example, and so is the less common but ex- 
tremely beautiful colonial form, Volvox. 

Another group, often classed as a subdivision of the Ciliata, is the Sue 
toria. This group includes several odd Protozoa, most of which might be 
confused with ciliates in their early stages and with flagellates in their more 
mature form. Their protoplasmic extensions from the body are neither 
cilia nor flagella, however, but sucking tubes, which enable them to prey on 
other Protozoa. 

These generally accepted groups are not absolutely definite, for some 
intermediate forms occur. Some amoeba-like animals pass through a flagellate 
stage and some of the flagellates will move, especially when in the limiting 
confines of a drop of water on a microscope slide, with an amoeboid motion. 

Many Protozoa use these characteristic structures for the intake of food 
as well as for locomotion. Thus the pseudopodia or false feet of the rhizopods 
flow around and incorporate particles of food into the bodily substance; some 
of the cilia of the ciliates often serve to direct food into the mouth; the flagella 
of flagellates may also be used to direct food toward the mouth area. The 
stationary Suctona absorb nutriment through their sucking tubes. There is 
some debate whether such border animals as Euglena take food as do other 
flagellates or whether they synthesize food, as do plants, by means of the chro- 
matophores that give them their green coloring. Probably they do both. Proto- 
zoa feed on plant or animal material, either living or dead. Many of them eat 
bacteria. Some of the larger forms are able to prey upon their fellow Protozoa 
or other microscopic animals. 

The adaptation of Protozoa to environment is best demonstrated by their 
means of enduring hard times. Most Protozoa, when drought or other 
hazards threaten, eliminate all surplus moisture, thicken the outer coat, and 
enter into a resting condition known as encystment. The animal, now re' 
ferred to as a cyst, can endure drying, freezing, or almost any other natural 
condition. Paramecium, for example, has a cyst stage in which it almost 


exactly resembles an angular grain of sand and may be blown as a particle 
of dust to a point far from its original home. Many of the Protozoa profit 
by this so'called resting period to divide their living substance into two, four, 
eight, or even more equal portions, so that, when danger is past and the en' 
vironment is once more suitable for life, the wall of the cyst breaks and not 
one but a group of Protozoa is released. Under favorable conditions most 
Protozoa reproduce by dividing into two approximately equal portions, which 
soon round out to be complete animals, each capable of growing and repeating 
this process of fission. Thus the number increases in geometrical progression, 
the population doubling with each generation. It is sometimes said that the 
protozoan is potentially immortal, since the parent becomes its two offspring — 
and so on, indefinitely. Some ciliates at intervals each temporarily unite 
with another for exchange of nuclear material — a procedure known as con' 
jugation — before fission is resumed. At times in some Protozoa another 
method of reproduction occurs. One individual may divide into a number of 
small units, and another one of the same species into a few large units. Neither 
a large nor a small unit can develop further by itself, but must fuse with one 
of the other type. The large ones are called macrogametes and are regarded 
as female, the small ones or microgametes as male, and so appears the be- 
ginning of sexual reproduction. Isogametes or gametes of equal size are 
produced by some species. Many of the invertebrates retain the habit of 
asexual reproduction, but the sexual method, with its possibilities of new com- 
binations of parental characters, becomes increasingly more important in the 
higher forms. 



Protozoa large enough to be seen with an ordinary compound microscope 
may be found in almost any body of standing water. Many forms also occur 
in soil, but are less easily observed. Even garden bird'baths often prove to 
be good collecting spots, as many forms may be carried on the feet of birds. 
The scum on the surface of still ponds swarms with Protozoa and other minute 
animal and plant organisms. The ooze on the bottom of such ponds is also 
well supplied with microscopic fauna and flora. 

As in all kinds of hunting, the protozoologist must be somewhat of an 
ecologist for successful collecting. Almost all Protozoa profit by the presence 
of enough vegetation to slow down the surface currents and to keep up the 
oxygen supply. If one is seeking the free-swimming ciliates or flagellates, he 
will find many kinds at or near the surface of the water or among strands of 
filamentous algae. Some attach themselves to leaves of submerged plants. 
Often what appears superficially to be a coat of fine mold or "fur" on such 
leaves will be revealed by the microscope to be a host of the bell animalcules, 


Vorticella, or the trumpet animalcules, Stentor, or similar forms. Small snail 
shells often carry such a collection, usually all of one species. Even such 
rapidly moving animals as the crayfishes and scuds furnish temporary or 
permanent caravans for Proto-oa. Hydras very often carry one or more kinds 
of ciliated, commensal Protozoa. The amoeboid forms are more likely to be 
found on the bottom oo;c or on the under sides of old water-lily leaves. Since 
they can survive more acid conditions than can most of the flagellates and 
ciliates, they can often be most easily collected in boggy or marshy ponds and 
cat-tail swamps. 

A good method of collecting is to dip a jar into the water and push into 
it some of the water plants, dead and alive, without first lifting them from 
the water. Another method is to use a fairly large container and "wash" 
several handfuls of water plants in it. Many of the minute animals can thus 
be washed off and concentrated, most of the weed being discarded. For the 
larger forms a plankton net may be used, or pond water poured through a 
piece of silk and the "strainings" washed otf into the collecting bottle. Special- 
ized equipment, such as the plankton pump, is available for qualitative and 
quantitative studies. 

Collections should be made at different hours of the day, and in both 
sunny and shaded places, as each species has its optimum of temperature and 
light, and a continuous movement takes place as the different forms seek the 
optimum conditions. Those with chlorophyll usually prefer the sunny areas, 
v.-hile those not green or brown avoid bright illumination. 
Care and study 

Material brought in from the field should be placed in shallow dishes in 
a fairly well lighted and cool place not in direct sunlight. Some green water 
plant will aid in maintaining favorable conditions but care should be taken 
to avoid a surplus which will rot and spoil the whole collection. If any water 
is added, it should not be chlorinated tap water or freshly distilled water, 
which is usually acid. For any aquatic animals from Protozoa to fish, it is 
usually advisable to "temper" the extra w-ater by allowing it to stand for 
several hours in an open, non-metallic container near the aquarium or culture 
to which it is to be added. Large containers make fatal fluctuations in tempera- 
ture less likely but. w^here temperature is fairly constant and it is desired 
to keep several collections separate, finger bowls or jelly glasses serve well and 
are inexpensive. Crustaceans and insect larvae should be removed, if the 
Protozoa are to survive. 

Examinations should be made at intervals over a considerable period of 
time, for a succession of forms may appear, especially if the cultures are 
large. At first only a few ciliate or flagellate forms may be found, but two or 
three days later another batch of entirely different flagellates or ciliates may 
appear in the same container, and after a week or two, when a succession of 


these has died out, amoeboid forms may become numerous for several days. 
Finally some of the smaller meta^oans, such as rotifers and annelids, displace 

If observation of these animals under the microscope is difficult on 
account of their extreme activity, there are several methods of slowing them 
down. A small drop of sugar syrup, of glycerine, alcohol, or of one per cent 
solution of formaldehyde placed against the edge of the cover glass under 
which the animals are imprisoned will gradually seep in and slow up their 
activity. If cilia and flagella are hard to see, after all possible adjustments 
of the microscope mirror and diaphragm, a very little weak iodine solution 
may be allowed to work in under the cover slip and, if used in moderation, 
will not kill the animals until sufficient time has elapsed for close observation. 

Many kinds of Protozoa can be grown readily in cultures. Although 
it takes great care and skill to grow only one kind of Protozoa and maintain 
them as a pure culture, the beginner will find it relatively easy to establish and 
maintain mixed cultures. Many and detailed are the directions given in 
scientific reports, but the root of the matter is that bacteria are necessary for 
food for many Protozoa, and the larger Protozoa often feed on their smaller 
relatives, so that any mixture which will develop a growth of bacteria is 
likely to support Protozoa. The early microscopists noted the appearance of 
small animals in infusions of hay, bread, and even red pepper, and called 
these animals Infusoria, a term now reserved for one group of Protozoa. 

Just as each kind of Protozoa has an optimum temperature and light 
exposure, so each has an optimum of food concentration and an optimum of 
acidity or alkalinity. These optima account for the succession one finds in 
ponds and cultures. Unless these optima are known, it is advisable that 
several cultures, differing in kind and concentration of food, be tried. The 
materials most commonly used for cultures are timothy hay, wheat and rice. 
These are boiled for a few minutes and then put in pond water at about the 
proportions of three inches of hay stem and three grains of wheat or rice to 
100 cubic centimeters of water. After three or four days a bacterial scum 
may be seen on the surface and, if no Protozoa are present, some should be 
introduced. These proportions are about right for Paramecium. Amoeba 
requires a much lower concentration, Euglena a higher concentration. Rice 
appears to be somewhat better than wheat for the chlorophyll-bearing Protozoa. 
These cultures are usually at their best when from two to four weeks old. 
New cultures may be made at intervals, or old ones rejuvenated by adding 
small amounts of bread or dried lettuce. These suggestions are given for 
the interested amateur. For serious work, regular bacteriological techniques 
are followed, often to the point of raising cultures of particular kinds of bac' 
teria for food. For detailed information the reader is referred to the papers 
and books on culture methods listed in the bibliography. 



Class MASTIGOPHORA (or Flagellata) 

Usually with one or more flagella; with one kind of nucleus 

Usually with chromatophores; with one to four flagella 

Minute yellowish or brownish, discoid forms with one or two 
flagella; many of them able to form pseudopodia; they sometimes 
lose flagella and form aggregations or colonies (palmella stage) 
Common genera — Synura Uroglena 


Body covered by pellicle and therefore of constant form; palmella 
stage not common; with one or two flagella; with one or two 
elongated brown, red or blue-green chromatophores 
Common genus — Chilomonas 

With one or two flagella (seldom four or more) ; usually with 
many green chromatophores; usually with a cellulose body 

Common genera — Chlamydomonas Pandorma 

Volvox Eudorina 

Gonium Pleodorina 


Body usually elongate; usually one, sometimes two or three 
flagella; chromatophores, when present, green; nucleus usually 
large and distinct 
Common genera — Euglena Astasia 

Phacus Peranema 

Trachelomonas Heteronema 


Body with transverse and longitudinal grooves; usually with a 
transverse and a longitudinal flagellum; chromatophores brown 
Common genera — Pendinium 

A few free-living and many parasitic forms, some of great economic 
importance; no chromatophores; with one to many flagella; para' 
basal body and thread near nucleus 

With flagella and pseudopodia 
Common genus — Mastigamoeba 



No pseudopodia; with one or two flagella 
Common genera — Codos^ga Stylohryon 

Poteriodendron Monas 

Dendrovionas Anthophysa 

(Common parasitic genera — Trypanosoma 


Minute forms with three to eight or more flagella; mostly para- 

(Common parasitic genus — Giardia) 

With numerous flagella; parasitic in insects 

Class SARCODINA (or Rhizopoda) 

Forming pseudopodia; no pellicle, hut often with internal or external 
skeletal structures 

Pseudopodia temporary, without axial rods 

Pseudopodia thread-like, branching or joining one another 
Common genus — Vampyrella 
Order MYCETOZOA Slmie Molds 

Large multinucleate mass produced by fusion of several myx' 
amoebae; occurring on decaying plant material; formerly con- 
sidered to be closely related to the fungi 

No pellicle or test 
Common genera — Amoeba 

Body covered by a simple shell, usually with one opening through 

which the pseudopodia protrude 

Common genera — Arcella Amphitrema 

Hyalosphema Pseudodijflugia 

Difflugia Euglypha 

Centropyxis Cyphoderia 

Cucurhitella Trinema 

Pontigulasia Assulma 

Phryganella J^lehela 

Heleopera ^uadrulella 


Large marine forms, usually with perforated, calcareous tests 



Pseudopodia formed by fine, semi-permanent rods with cytoplas- 
mic cover 

Without internal capsule 

Common genera — Actinophrys Acanthocystis 

Actinosphaerium Clathrulina 


Body with a perforated internal capsule; marine 


Parasitic; mature animal without locomotor apparatus 

Class CILIATA (or Infusoria) 

Possessing cilia or cirri (fused cilia) ; usually with macro- and micrO' 



Cilia uniformly distributed over entire body surface; no adoral 

zone of membranellae 

Common genera — Spathidium J^assida 

Didmium Chdodonella 

Coleps Pciramecium 

Prorodon Colpoda 

Lacrymaria Frontonia 

Trachelophyllum Colpidium 

Amphileptus Urocentrum 

Ddeptus CycUdnim 


Adoral zone of membranellae windmg clockwise; peristome not 
extending beyond body surface 

Common genera — Bursaria Oxytricha 

Metopus Uroleptus 

Spirostomum Urostyla 

Bkpharisma Kerona 

Stentor Stylonychia 

Halteria Euplotes 


Adoral zone winding clockwise; peristome extending beyond 
body in funnel -shape; usually attached to aquatic animals 
Common genus — Spirochona 

Adoral zone winding counter-clockwise; with an enlarged, disC' 
like, ciliated anterior region 


Common genera - — - Epistylis "Vaginicola 

Vorticdla Cothurnia 

Carchesium Trichodirm 

Zoothamnium Platycola 

Mature animals with no locomotor structures; with suctorial and with 
piercing tentacles 

Common genera — Dendrosoma Sphaerophrya 

Dendrocometes Acxneta 

Podophrya Solenophrya 


1. Body with no fixed form or covered by a thin shell, moving with a slow, 

flowing motion rather than a rapid, swimming motion; hair'like struC' 
tures, if present, in the form of stiff, ray-like projections — Rhizopods 2. 
Body with a fixed although often a very flexible form, usually swimming 
rapidly by means of a few long or many short, flexible or vibratile, 
hair-like structures, but sometimes attached or with tentacles 25. 

2. Body not surrounded by a definite shell 3. 
Body almost or entirely surrounded by a shell 9. 

3. Animal moving by means of broad or finger-like protoplasmic extensions 

or pseudopodia 4. 

Animal with hair-like rays 6. 

4. Body orange or red; pseudopodia often anastomosing; with fine, pin- 

shaped rays, which are often unobserved 
Vampyrella Cienkowski 
Body almost colorless; no hair-like rays 5. 

5. With a few very broad pseudopodia from one side of the body; containing 

many nuclei and symbiotic bacteria; found in sphagnum bogs 

Pelomyxa Greeif 
With many finger-like pseudopodia over body; seldom more than one 
nucleus; no symbiotic bacteria 

Amoeba Ehrenberg 

(Chaos Linn.) 

6. Body orange or red; with pin-like rays and with broad pseudopodia 

Vampyrella Cienkowski 
Body almost colorless; with long spines or with long ray-like pseudopodia, 
or both 7. 

7. With an external envelope with long spiny rays, some of which are forked 

at the end, in addition to hair-like pseudopodia 
AcanthocysUs Carter 
No external envelope with spiny rays; with long, hair-like, unforked 


Dl r F L U Cr I A 


8. With two body layers noticeable; rays larger towards the body, tapering 


Actinosphaerium Stein 
Body appearing to be a mass of bubbles; rays entirely hair'like 
Actinophrys Ehrenberg 

9. Pseudopodia hair'like, often branching 10. 
Pseudopodia broad or finger'like 15. 

10. Shell with the opening at one side of the end 11. 
Shell symmetrical 12. 

11. With a narow neck curved to one side, bearing the mouth; shell chitin- 

ous, with small plates 

Cyphodena Schlumberger 
End of shell bearing the mouth oblique; shell with siliceous plates 
Trinema Dujardin 

12. Shell spherical, with many small, windowlike apertures from which the 

rays protrude; usually on the end of a stem 
Clathrulina Cienkowski 
Shell inverted cup' or vase-shaped, with one opening from which the 
rays protrude ; no stem 13. 

13. Shell with attached sand grains and similar material 

Pseudodifflugia Schlumberger 
Shell with definite plates 14. 

14. Opening of shell with prominent sawtooth edges; shell usually with 


Euglypha Dujardin 
Opening of shell with minute serrations; no spines 
Assulina Ehrenberg 

15. Shell discoidal or hemispherical, often resembling a doughnut when seen 

from above; color often brown 16. 

Shell usually bottle- or flask-shaped; colored or not 18. 

16. Shell smooth, without sand grains or foreign material 

Arcella Ehrenberg 
Shell coated with sand or foreign material 17. 

17. Shell hemispherical, with a large opening in the middle of the flat side 

Phryganella Penard 
Shell discoidal, compressed laterally, with the opening on one side^ 

Centropyxis Stein 

18. Shell transparent, without sand grains and not divided into plates 

Hyalosphenia Stein 
Shell with plates or with attached sand grains or similar material 19. 

19. Shell coated with sand grains or similar material 20. 
Shell composed of chitinous plates 23. 

20. Shell not constricted by an internal granular collar; shell usually pear- 

shaped 21. 

Opening of shell constricted by an internal granular collar; shell usually 

elliptical 22, 

21. With opening at one end only 

Difflugia Leclerc 
With openings at both ends 

Amphitrema Archer 


22. Shell with a short neck 

Cucurhitella Penard 
Shell with a long neck 

Ponugulasia Rhumbler 

23. Plates squarish 

^uadrulella Cockerell 
{^uadruh Schuhe) 
Plates rounded or irregular 24. 

24. Shell pear-shaped; animal not brightly colored 

'Hehela Leidy 
Shell spherical or ovoid; animal green, yellow or red 
Heleopera Leidy 

25. With several thickened tentacles used for food-gathering but not for 

locomotion — Suctoria 26. 

With a few long or many short, flexible or vibratile, hair-like processes 

(shown by the movement of the surrounding water, even when they 

are not visible) 31. 

26. Tentacles much branched, flexible but not contractile 

Dendrocometes Stein 
Tentacles contractile, not branched 27. 

27. Body with a semi-transparent sheath or lorica, which is usually sac-like, 

cubical or triangular 28. 

No lorica; animal colonial, plant-like, or else almost spherical, with or 

without a stalk 29. 

28. Lorica cubical, sac-like 

Solenophrya Claparede & Lachmann 
Lorica an inverted triangle, with a short stalk; tentacles extending from 
the two upper corners 

Aaneta Ehrenberg 

29. A colonial, plant-like form, with tentacles at the ends of the branches 

Dendrosoma Ehrenberg 
Animal almost spherical, with or without a stalk 30. 

30. At the end of a thin stalk 

Podophrya Ehrenberg 
No stalk 

Sphaerophrya Claparede & Lachmann 

31. With a few (usually one to ten) long, vibratile, hair-like structures 

(flagella), often difficult to see but indicated by the water currents; 
in colonial forms, each individual of the colony may have one or more 
flagella — Flagellates 32. 

With many, short, vibratile, hair-like structures (cilia) over or around 
the body — Ciliates 55. 

32. Body colored wholly or in part; chromatophores (color bodies) usually 

present (usually brown, yellow or green) 33. 

Body not colored or only slightly brownish 46. 






& O N I U M 


C E R A T 1 Un 




33. In colonies 34. 
Single individuals 41, 

34. Colonies plant'like, branching; each animal of colony enclosed in a trans- 

parent sheath or lorica 

Dinohryon Ehrenberg 
Colonies plate-like or spherical 35. 

35. Colony plate-like; flagella on one side only 

Gonium Miiller 
Colony almost or quite spherical; flagella not limited to one side 36. 

36. Cells of the colony reaching to the center 37. 
Cells of the colony distributed around the surface of a sphere 38. 

37. With many cells loosely joined, with no common envelope 

Synura Ehrenberg 
With sixteen to thirty-two cells enclosed within a common envelope 
Payidorina Bory 

38. Individuals very numerous, pear-shaped, each usually with two yellow 


Uroglenu Ehrenberg 
Individuals spherical, each with many green chromatophores 39. 

39. With all cells of the colony of uniform size 

Eudorma Ehrenberg 
With many small vegetative and large reproductive cells present 40. 

40. With the small, vegetative cells at one end of the colony and the large, 

reproductive cells at the other 
Pleodorina Shaw 
With the large and small cells mixed 
Volvox Linn. 

41. With a membrane of distinct plates covering the animal 42. 
No plates 43. 

42. Body ovate 

Peridimum Ehrenberg 
With long, horn-like processes on the plates 
Ceratium Schrank 

43. Body with one large green chromatophore 

Chlaynydomonas Ehrenberg 
Body almost uniformly colored brown or green 44. 

44. Body encased in a thick sheath and only slightly flexible: color brown 

Trachelomonas Ehrenberg 
Body flexible, not encased in a thick sheath; color green 45. 

45. Body globular to cylindrical, widest in the middle, not flattened 

Euglena Ehrenberg 
Body flattened, widest at the front end 
Phacus Nitzsch 


46. Forming colonies, usually plant'like, branching 47. 
Living singly 50. 

47. Animals in a dense cluster, usually at the end of a stem 48. 
With one animal at the end of each branch 49. 

48. Each animal with a sheath, the collar-like part of which extends beyond 

the animal a distance equal to the body length; stem slender 
Codosiga Kent 
Animals without collars; colony with or without a stout stem 
Anthophysa Bory 

49. Stem branching repeatedly, each time into two, with animals at the tips 

of the branches 

Dendromonas Stein 
Stems springing from the cup-like sheath of the animal next below 
Poteriodendron Stein 
(Stylohryon de Fromentel) 

50. Body shape changing very little; with two or three flagella 51. 
Body very flexible, varying in shape from oval to elongate; one or two 

flagella 52. 

51. Body spherical to ovate; with one long flagellum and one or two short 


Monas Ehrenberg 
Body elongate, with the anterior end truncated or indented; with two 
nearly equal flagella 

Chilomonas Ehrenberg 

52. Shape very changeable, often putting out pseudopodia, like an amoeba 

Mastigamoeha Schulze 
Body very flexible, but not putting out pseudopodia 53. 

53. With two unequal flagella, one directed forwards and one trailing; 

body usually widest in the middle 
Heteronema Dujardin 
With one long or with one long and one very short flagellum, directed 
forwards; body very changeable, but in motion usually getting wider 
towards the rear 54. 

54. Posterior end flattened or truncated when animal is in motion 

Peranema Dujardin 
Posterior end more or less rounded or tapering 
Astasia Dujardin 

55. Colonial or permanently attached animals 56. 
Single, free-swimming individuals 63. 

56. Animal almost surrounded by a transparent or granular sheath; with 

or without a short stem 57. 

No such sheath; with a long stem 60. 

57. Animal trumpet-shaped; with long cilia around the mouth region and 

short cilia over the body 
Stentor Oken 
Animal vase -shaped; with cilia around the mouth region but not on 
the body 58. 




AST A S \ A 







ON H \ D R A 



58. Sheath with a short stem 

Cothurma Ehrenberg 
No definite stem 59. 

59. Upright, attached at base 

Vagmicola Lamarck 
Recumbent, attached along side 
Platycola Kent 

60. Stem spirally coiled, unbranched 

Vorticella Linn. 
Stem branched, with several animals in groups at the ends 61. 

6L Animals, but not the main stem, contractile 

Epistyhs Ehrenberg 
Both stem and animals contractile 62. 

62. Branches of the stem contracting independently of each other 

Carchesium Ehrenberg 
Branches all contracting together 
Zoothammum Bory 

63. With one or two rings of long cilia 64. 
Cilia not arranged in rings, except sometimes to encircle the mouth 

region 67. 

64. Animal drum- or barrel-shaped, with a posterior ring of cilia; usually 

living on Hydra, amphibians, etc. 
Trichodma Ehrenberg 
Animal cocoon- or thimble-shaped, with one or two rings of cilia around 
the body; usually free-swimming 65. 

65. With a tail-like process 

Urocentrum Nitzsch 
No tail-like process 66. 

66. Body spherical, with a belt of very long cilia around the middle; moving 

by jerks 

Halteria Dujardin 
Body thimble-shaped, with the flat end bearing a knob-like projection on 
which is the mouth; with two belts of cilia 
Didinium Stein 

67. With a shell of small, regularly arranged plates 

Coleps Nitzsch 
No shell 68. 

68. With one to five long bristles or spines on rear of animal 69. 
Not so 7L 

69. With cilia all over the body; usually with one to several posterior bristles 

Cvclidnirn Miiller 
No cilia on the dorsal surface; usually with three to five terminal 

bristles 70. 

70. Body elongated; usually with three posterior bristles 

Stylonychia Ehrenberg 
Body oval; about five posterior bristles 
Euplotes Ehrenberg 
7L Body trumpet- or bag-shaped, with a row of cilia around the funnel- 
shaped mouth area 72. 
Not so 73. 


72. Body trumpet-shaped 

Stentor Oken 
Body bag'Or purse-shaped 
Bursaria Miiller 

73. With a narrow, neck-Hke or tail-Hke extension at one end of the body 74. 
Not so 78. 

74. Posterior narrowed into a tail-hke region 

Uroleptus Ehrenberg 
Anterior narrowed into a neck-Hke region 75. 

75. Neck short 76. 
Neck long 77. 

76. Neck extensile 

Trachelophyllum Claparede and Lachmann 
Neck not extensile 

Amphileptus Ehrenberg 

77. Body flat, ribbon-like 

Dileptus Dujardin 
Body long-ovate, not flattened 
Lacrymaria Ehrenberg 

78. Body, when extended, long and slender, worm-like 

Spirostomum Ehrenberg 
Body not worm-like, not usually capable of great extension 79. 

79. With cilia on the ventral side; no cilia on the dorsal surface, but some- 

times with a few bristles dorsally; usually swimming or moving with 

one surface uppermost 80. 

With cilia all over the body; usually swimming with a revolving or 

spiral motion 83. 

80. With oblique rows of ventral cilia; on Hydra 

Kerona Ehrenberg 
Ventral cilia scattered or in lengthwise rows; usually free-swimming 81. 

81. Anterior end asymmetrical 

Chilodonella. Strand 
(Chilodon Ehrenberg) 
Anterior end almost evenly rounded 82. 

82. With many cilia in lengthwise rows on the ventral surface 

Urostyla Ehrenberg 
With scattered ventral cilia 

Oxytncha Ehrenberg 

83. Mouth almost or quite at the front end of the body 84. 
Mouth set about one-fourth or more of the way back 85. 

84. Front end oblique, bearing the mouth 

Spathidium Dujardin 
Animal evenly rounded on both ends 
Prorodon Ehrenberg 

85. With a long groove leading to the mouth 86. 
Not so 89. 



Dl Dl N lUIA 

B U R S A R I A 



C H I L N E L L /\ 



c OL p \ D I u n 




86. Cilia fused into an undulatnig membrane along the groove leading to 

the mouth 87. 

No such membrane 88. 

87. Anterior end pointed, somewhat hooked; color commonly pink 

Blephansma Perty 
Anterior end rounded; practically colorless 
Metopus Claparede and Lachmann 

88. Anterior end asymmetrical, somewhat hooked; ventral surface concave 

Loxodes Ehrenberg 
Anterior end rounded; animal cigar-shaped 
Parameciurn Hill 

89. Anterior end of body narrovv'er than the posterior and usually somewhat 

asymmetrical 90. 

Animal almost evenly oval or with the anterior end slightly wider than 

the posterior 91. 

90. Body flattened sideways; no undulating membrane around the mouth 

Colpoda Miiller 
Body scarcely flattened sideways; with an undulating membrane around 
the mouth 

CoJpidium Stein 

91. Body lengthened, usually uncolored 

Frontoma Ehrenberg 
Body ovate, usually red or brown 
J^assula Ehrenberg 


Calkins, G. N. 1926. The Biology of the Protozoa. Lea and Febiger. New 

York and Philadelphia. 
Cash, J. and Hopkins, J. 1905-1909. The British Fresh-water Rhizopoda 

and Heliozoa. 2 vols. 
Cash, J. and Wailes, G. H. 1915-1918. The British Fresh-water Rhizopoda 

and Helio-oa. Vols. 3 and 4. 
Conn, H. W. 1905. The Protozoa of the Fresh Waters of Connecticut. State 

Geol. and Nat. Hist. Surv., Bull No. 2. 
Edmondson, C. H. 1906. The Protozoa of Iowa. Proc. Davenport Acad. 

Sci., 11; 1-124. 
Jahn, T. L. 1950. How to Know the Protozoa. Wm. C. Brown Co. Du- 
buque, Iowa. 
Kent, S. 1880-1882. A Manual of the Infusoria. 3 vols. London. 
Kofoid, C. A. 1898-1899. Plankton Studies. Bull. 111. Nat. Hist. Surv., 5. 
Kudo, R. R. 1946. Protozoology. 3rd Edition. C. C. Thomas. Springfield, 

Lcidy, J. 1879. Fresh- water Rhizopods of North America. U. S. Geol. 

Surv. Territ. Vol. 12. 
Stokes, A. C. 1888. A Preliminary Contribution toward a History of the 

Fresh-water Infusoria of the United States. Jour. Trenton Nat. Hist. 

Soc. Vol. 1. 
Wenyon, C. M. 1926. Protozoology. London. 



Gatenby, J. B. and Cowdry, E. V. 1928. Bolles Lee's Microtomist's Vade 
mecum. London. 

Guyer, M. F. 1917. Animal Micrology. Univ. of Chicago Press. 

Hyman, L. H. 1925. Methods of Securing and Cultivating Protozoa. Trans. 
Amer. Micros. Soc, Vol. 44; Pg. 216-221. 

Hyman, L. H. 1931. Methods of Securing and Cultivating Protozoa. Trans. 
Amer. Micros. Soc, Vol. 50; Pg. 50-57. 

McClung, C. E. 1929. Handbook of Microscopical Technique. New York. 

Needham, J. G. (chairman) and others. 1937. Culture Methods for In- 
vertebrate Animals. Comstock Publishing Co. Ithaca. 

Peters, A. W. 1901. Some Methods for Use in the Study of Infusoria. Amer. 
Nat., Vol. 35; Pg. 553-559. 

Taylor, M. 1924. Amoeba proteus; Some New Observations on its Nucleus, 
Life History and Culture. Quart. Jour. Micros. Sci., Vol. 69; Pg. 119- 

Wells, M. M. 1928. Protozoan Cultures. General Biological Supply House. 



Chapter 3 

Under the heading of moss-Hke and jellyHke animals are grouped some 
forms which our modern system of classification separates into three distinct 
phyla and which, in spite of their superficial likenesses, are really distant rela' 
tives. Until modern microscopes revealed the details of their structures, all of 
these creatures were placed, even by the scientist, as zoophytes or plant' 

The first of these groups is the Porifera or Sponges, most of which are 
marine, but which have several small fresh'water forms. None of these much 
resembles the skeleton of the marine sponge, which we use for washing pur- 
poses, but may be truly called moss'like. They form mats or irregular masses 
on the under sides of floating logs and boards and sometimes are found as 
patches around the submerged stems of rushes. The resemblance to mosses 
is still further increased in some of the common species by the green color, 
which is probably due to associated or symbiotic algae. Sponges are usually 
distinctive, however, in having a characteristic odor, which has been described 
by some writers as resembling that of garlic. Occasionally under favorable 
conditions sponges become very numerous and have been known to grow in 
and even fill the pipes from reservoirs. 

The shape of the sponge colony varies and the only reasonably constant 
character upon which identification can be based is the form of the silicious 
needles or spicules which are embedded in and support the body wall. There 
are usually two kinds of spicules in the body wall : large skeletal spicules, which 
are often bound together in bunches, and smaller flesh spicules, which are scat' 
tered through the body mass. Spicules of a somewhat different character are 
developed around the gemmules or small masses of cells by means of which 
the sponge reproduces itself. These gemmules arise throughout the body and 
appear as small, round, dark objects in the sponge colony. They become most 
numerous in the autumn and live through the winter, after the colony has 
disintegrated. Autumn is the best time to collect sponges, since gemmules are 
usually necessary for positive identification. Sponges may be merely dried 
out, when gathered. Later the collector can crush a portion in a drop of water 
for examination and identification under the microscope at his leisure. Hot 
nitric acid is often used to dissolve the sponge mass, after Vv'hich the spicules 
are washed ofi^ and examined more easily. 

The next group in this series is called the Coelenterata, the fresh-water 
forms of which are mainly plant-like. Back in 1744 a man named Trembley 


kept an aquarium to interest the boys he was tutoring, and he himself became 
deeply engrossed in some tiny, thread-like, tentacled creatures which appeared 
there. It is said that, in order to determine whether they were plants or 
animals, he attempted to grow more of them from cuttings, just as we do 
geraniums and other house plants. The creatures did grow from cuttings, 
but Trembley observed enough of their activities while watching them to leave 
little doubt that they were animals. He later published a book describing 
the hydras and their marvelous powers of reduplicating or regenerating lost 

Hydras may usually be found attached to water plants, such as Elodea, 
in cool and quiet water. When the plants are lifted from the water, the 
animals contract into tiny points of jelly, hut, if they are put into a glass con- 
tainer with pond water, they will be seen to expand again in a short time. 
Hydras may often be collected in great quantities by bringing in a bucket full 
of water plants and putting them into a container with just enough pond water 
to cover them. As the mass becomes foul, which it usually does within two 
or three days, the hydras float up to the surface in search of more oxygen and 
may be easily taken out with a pipette. To remove them from a plant requires 
quick action because, if given any warning, they grip their perch so securely 
that the suction of a pipette has little effect upon them. 

A hydra in a drop or two of water with other small organisms well repays 
observation. It reaches out for its prey with its tentacles, which shoot out 
tiny poisoned arrows or nematocysts. The stupefied victim is grabbed by 
these tentacles, pushed into the mouth which lies among them, and forced 
on into the body, often distending it most grotesquely. Hydras are sometimes 
reported to be a source of loss in fish hatcheries. Although the young fish are 
usually too big to be swallowed by the hydras, they are often poisoned by the 

Hydras ordinarily reproduce by budding, a protrusion from the side 
gradually developing into a complete animal that eventually becomes detached 
from its parent. In autumn or when living conditions become unfavorable, 
sex organs, spermary and ovary, may appear. The fertilized egg develops into 
a group of cells called a planula, whi:h rests over until conditions become 
favorable for its development into a complete hydra. Many marine Coelenter- 
ates have a peculiar method of reproduction by which the offspring resembles 
the grandparent rather than the parent. A hydra-like animal gives rise to a 
medusa, a bell-shaped "jelly -fish", which in its turn gives rise to more hydra- 
like forms. Such metagenesis or alternation of generations is rare in fresh- 
water Coelenterates, but occurs occasionally. Craspedacusta, such a medusoid 
form, has been found several times in different places in America and Europe. 

The third group of animals under consideration may be either moss-like 
or jelly-like. They are called Bryozoa, meaning ''moss animals", and are 


amonjj; the most fascinating of minute creatures, when seen under favorable 
conditions. They are usually found in quiet streams, lakes and ponds. Some 
build little tubes on sticks and stones and, since they branch freely, the colony 
soon takes on the appearance of a plant or a clinging vine. Others secrete 
masses of jelly in the surface of which they remain embedded. One spectacular 
form, Pectmatella, frequently builds up a spherical or oval colony a foot or 
more in diameter, which cannot fail to excite the wonder and admiration of 
the July or August observer. The full beauty of these colonies is seldom ap' 
preciated, however, for the individual animals are very timid and retreat into 
their protective sheaths until fully assured that all is w^ell. The colony should 
be taken up carefully and put into a suitable glass container, so that it may 
be covered with water and still be available for observation. One will find 
it well worth the time and patience required to watch the surface of the colony 
v.'ith a hand lens. Gradually each little animal in the group extends a pinkish 
head and a lophophore or crown of waving tentacles, until the whole mass 
appears to be a garden of delicate flowers. These fragile tentacles are for 
the prosaic task of pulling in the microscopic organisms upon which the animals 
feed and also serve the naturalist as an aid in identifying the various species. 

Like Sponges, the Bryozoa form little, well-protected globules of cells, 
which carry over the winter. Instead of gemmules, these are called statoblasts. 
Some forms bear a series of hooks which serve to anchor them until they are 
ready to begin growth. In September, when the colonies usually disintegrate, 
these statoblasts, looking superficially much like fig seeds, are often found in 
rows or masses along the shores of our lakes and ponds. As in the sponges, 
the reproductive bodies are often necessary for positive identification. 



Sessile, aquatic animals with calcareous, siliceous or spongin fibers 
supporting the body; numerous pores in the body wall open into a 
central gastral chamber 

Spicules siliceous or spongin 

Body spicules four-rayed or single, never three or six-rayed 

Long (body) spicules v^'ith both ends alike; small spicules not 
greatly recurved on ends 



Fresh-water sponges, with body spicules straight or 
slightly curved, gemmule spicules plain or birotulate; re' 
production asexual, by gemmules 
Seven genera — Spongilla Dosilia 

Ephydatia Trochospongilla 

Heteromeyenia Carterius 

Aster omeyenia 

Radially symmetrical animals with a gastrovascular cavity and no 
coelom; middle body layer primarily noncellular; body, and especially 
the tentacles, with nettle cells or nematocysts 

Hydroid stage usually evident; medusa usually minute or reduced 
to sporosac 

Elongate, cylindrical animals, attached or free'floating; mostly in 
fresh water; no medusae 
Three genera — Chlorohydra 


Colonial forms; hydranth without hydrotheca; no medusa in fresh' 
water genus 

One genus — Cordylophora 

Hydroid stage omitted or minute; medusa with a velum 
One genus — Craspedacusta 

Colonial, aquatic animals; with tentacles on a ridge around the mouth; 
digestive tract U-shaped; with coelom 

Anus within circle of lophophore; lophophore circular, with a single 
row of tentacles which cannot be completely retracted 

Each colony consisting of a few zooids which rise from a com- 
mon disc; stalks long, jointed, branching 
One genus — Umatella 

Anus outside lophophore, which can be completely retracted 
Lophophore circular 



With chitinous tubes and partitions between club-shaped 2;ooids 
Two genera — Palndicella 


Lophophore lyre-shaped or almost circular 

Colony branched, with chitinous, non-jointed tubes; lophophore 

almost circular 

One genus — Fredericella 

Colony branched, with chitinous, jointed tubes or lobed sacs; 

lophophore lyre-shaped; statoblasts without spines 

Two genera — Plumatella 

Colony small, compact; lophophore lyre-shaped; statoblasts oval, 

with spines on each end 

One genus — Lophodella 


Colony with gelatinous matrix; lophopore lyre-shaped; state 
blasts each with one or two completely encircling rows of mar' 
ginal spines 

Two genera — Pectinatella 


Individual animals usually with, but rarely without, tentacles; without 
spicules 2. 

Without tentacles; usually with spicules in the colony mass 

Porifera or Sponges 3. 

Animals solitary, with the frequent exception of one or two sprouts or 
buds, or else colonial, plant-like, with tentacles arising from over the 
bodies of the individual animals; tentacles not retractile into a pro- 
tective sheath, although often capable of great contraction; with one 
opening to the digestive tract — Coelenterates 9. 

Animals colonial, resembling a small plant, a patch of moss or a mass of 
jelly; tentacles in a circular or double horseshoe arrangement around 
the mouth of each animal, partially or wholly retractile within a pro' 









tective sheath; digestive tract of individual animals U-shaped, with the 
mouth and anus near together- — Bryozoa or Moss Animals 14. 

3. Spicules spine- or quill-like 

Spongilh Lamarck 
Some of the gemmule spicules birotulate (formed of a rod with a disc 
or cap on each end, resembling a spool or bobbin) 4. 

4. Opening to gcmmule (reproductive bud) spout-like, with one or more 

lilaments or tendrils from the end 
Carterms Potts 
No tendrils or filaments from the openings to the gemmules 5. 

5. Gemmules with two kinds of birotulate spicules 6. 
Gemmules with one kind of birotulate spicules, which may vary some- 
what in size 7. 

6. Flesh spicules quill-like or absent 

Heterovieyenia Potts 
Flesh spicules star-shaped 

Aster onieyenia Annandale 

7. With the disc-shaped ends of the birotulate spicules with smooth margins 

Trochospongilla Vejdovsky 
Ends of birotulate spicules with serrated margins 8. 

8. Flesh spicules star-shaped 

Dosilia Gray 
Flesh spicules not so, often absent 
Ephydatia Lamouroux 

9. Branching, plant-like, colonial animals; tentacles scattered over the bodies 

of the individual animals; colonies stationary, attached to sticks, vegeta' 
tion, etc. 

Cordylophora lacustris Allman 
Single animals, often with one or more sprouts or buds; tentacles, if 
present, in a ring around the mouth area 10. 

10. With two generations differing greatly in appearance; the common, sexual 
generation is bowl-shaped, with a ring of tentacles around the mouth 
area, and is free-swimming; the less familiar, asexual generation is 
very small, cylindrical (often with sprouts or buds) , without tentacles, 
and attached to plants, sticks, etc. 

Craspedacusta ryderi (Potts) Medusa or Jelly-fish 
{Craspedacusta sowerhyi Lankester) 
No alternation of generations; body cylindrical (excepting buds or sexual 
organs in the body wall), with a ring of tentacles around the mouth; 
usually attached to water plants, but capable of free motion — Hydras 


1 1 . Animal bright green in color 

Chlorohydra viridissima (Pallas) Green Hydra 
(Hydra viridis Linn.) 
Body whitish, brownish or reddish 12. 



C MAG Ml Fl ED 5 




12. Basal portion of body much narrowed to form a slender stalk 

Pelmatohydra oligactis (Pallas) Brown Hydra 
(Hydra fusca Linn.) 
Body more uniform — Hydra Linn, (several species) 13. 

13. Tentacles, when extended, much longer than the extended body 

Hydra camea Agassiz Red Hydra 
Tentacles shorter than the body; color whitish 

Hydra americana Hyman Common or Gray Hydra 
(Hydra vidgans Pallas) 
(Hydra grisea Linn.) 

14. Colony in a more or less spherical, flattened, triangular or ribbon -like 

mass; statoblasts (groups of cells set apart for vegetative reproduction) 
with marginal, hooked spines; lophophore (crown of tentacles of each 
animal of the colony) appearing divided, lyre-shaped or somewhat rc' 
sembling a pair of wings 15. 

Colony somewhat lobed, branching or plant-like, sometimes forming a 
conspicuous mass but often very small; statoblasts without hooked 
spines or projections; lophophore lyre-shaped or circular 17. 

15. Colonies usually very small, somewhat triangular; usually on water 

plants; statoblasts oval, with several graduated, hooked spines or pro- 
jections on each end, which spines usually bear two to eight hooks or 
prongs distributed along the sides of the spines out to the ends; colony 
capable of very slow motion; recently discovered near Philadelphia 
and in Lake Erie and probably recently introduced into this country 
Lophodella carteri (Hyatt) 
(Lophopodella carteri (Hyatt) ) 
Colonies usually large enough to be quite noticeable, sac-like or ribbon- 
like; statoblasts more rounded, with one or two completely encircling 
rows of marginal spines, which bear two or more hooks or prongs at 
their ends 16. 

16. Colony flattened on the under side, long and narrow; with the power 

of extremely slow motion; becoming one-quarter of an inch by eight 
inches; on twigs, the under sides of lily pads, etc.; statoblasts with a 
double row of more than twenty-five marginal spines, some of which 
have more than two hooks or prongs at the ends 

Cristatella mucedo Cuvier 
Colony sac-like; incapable of moving; becoming extremely large; attached 
to sticks, etc.; statoblasts with a single row of less than twenty-five 
marginal spines, which have two prongs or hooks at the ends 

Pectinatella magnifica Leidy 

17. Lophophore with more than thirty tentacles and appearing divided, lyre- 

shaped or somewhat resembling a pair of wings 18. 

Lophophore with less than thirty tentacles in a circular arrangement 20. 

18. Colony somewhat glove-shaped, very small; on roots of duck-weed, on 

plant stems, etc.; mature statoblasts pointed or drawn out at each end, 
with a brownish, cellular marginal ring 
Lophopus cnstalhnus (Pallas) 
Colony plant-like, sometmies small or sometimes forming a conspicuous 













mass, on under sides of sticks and stones, in water pipes, etc.; statO' 
blasts oval, with a brownish, cellular marginal ring 19. 

19. Apertures in cones that appear as swellings on the main branches 

Hyalmella punctata (Hancock) 
Apertures at the ends of stems from the main branches 
Plumatella repens Kraepelin 

20. Stem not jointed; statoblasts oval, without a cellular marginal ring 

Fredericella sultana (Blumenhach) 
Stem jointed, or with partitions between the individual animals; statO' 
blasts, in the familiar forms, oval, with a purplish, cellular marginal 
ring 2 1 . 

21. Tentacles not completely retractile; no statoblasts known; rare 

UrnateUa gracilis Leidy 
Tentacles completely retractile 22. 

22. Individual animals long-cylindrical, arising erect from a stem; no statO' 

blasts known; rare 

Pottsiella erecta (Potts) 
Individual animals attached directly to each other in a more or less branch' 
ing arrangement; statoblasts oval, with a purplish, cellular marginal 
ring; on the under sides of stones, etc.; common 

Paludicella articulata (Ehrenberg) 


Annandale, N. 1910. Fresh-water Sponges in the Collection of the United 
States National Museum. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., Vol. 37; Pg. 401-406. 

Davenport, C. B. 1918. Moss Animalcules. Chap. 28 in Ward and 
Whipple's "Fresh-water Biology". John Wiley ^ Sons. New York. 

Hyman, L. H. 1929, 1930 and 1931. Taxonomic Studies of the Hydras of 
North America. In 3 parts. Trans. Amer. Micros. Soc, Vols. 48, 49 
and 50. 

Old, M. C. 1932. Delaware Fresh-water Sponges. Trans. Amer. Micros. 
Soc, Vol. 51. 

Payne, F. 1924. A Study of the Fresh-water Medusa, Craspedacusta ryderi. 
Jour. Morph., Vol. 38; Pg. 387-430. 

Potts, E. 1887. Fresh-water Sponges. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., Vol. 
39; Pg. 158-279. 

Potts, E. 1918. The Sponges. Chap. 10 in Ward and Whipple's "Fresh- 
water Biology". John Wiley ^ Sons. New York. 

Rogick, M. D. 1940. Studies on Fresh-water Bryozoa. Trans. Amer. Micros. 
Soc, Vol. 59, Pg. 187-204. 

Smith, F. 1918 Hydra and Other Fresh-water Hydrozoa. Chap. 11 in Ward 
and Whipple's "Fresh-water Biology". John Wiley & Sons. New York. 

Smith, F. 1921. Distribution of the Fresh-water Sponges of North America. 
Bull. 111. Nat. Hist. Surv., 14; Pg. 13-22. 



Chapter 4 

In the year 1703 the Dutch scientist, Leeuwenhoek, saw through his home- 
made microscopes many pecuHar Httle animals which appeared to have tiny 
wheels rotating at their anterior ends. Later workers confirmed his report, 
and these little animals, multicellular but often no larger than many of the 
Protozoa, were called Rotifera, or "wheel-bearing" animals. It is now known 
that this wheel effect is an optical illusion caused by the successive motions of 
cilia which form a single or double ring around the mouth. The chief purpose 
of this corona or ring of cilia is to create a little whirlpool which will drag 
unfortunate passers-by into the ever ready mouth of the rotifer. Once en- 
gulfed there is no escape, for in the throat of the animal and plainly visible 
through its transparent body is a mastax or set of jaws which soon disposes 
of any morsel which may reach it. Some of the rotifers have reduced the 
corona and developed the ability to project a forceps-like mastax out at the 
mouth and so grab their prey. Others have become vegetarians and have 
adapted the mastax into a sucking pump, highly efficient in extracting the 
contents of plant cells. 

Some of the Rotifera are sac-like forms, but many have a characteristic 
posterior extension of the body called the foot, which may fork at the end 
into two or three toes. This foot serves as a rudder in swimming and as an 
anchor when the animal rests. Frequently the foot shows several joints and 
is capable of folding up or of extending like a telescope. 

Most rotifers are solitary nomads, but a few species have developed colonial 
habits and, like Conochilus, may be found in spherical, floating colonies, all 
hooked together by their feet. Some appear to feel the need for protection and 
secrete thin and usually transparent tubes around themselves. In time of 
danger the head can be withdrawn into this protective sheath, which is called 
the lorica. Other rotifers have settled down and built themselves homes. One 
of the most beautiful of these, Floscularia, puts out a finger-like projection 
from the region back of the head and makes up tiny bricks wath which it builds 
itself a delicate, chimney-like house. 

Rotifera, like Protozoa, are found in almost all standing water, even in 
temporary puddles and the cavities of pitcher-plant leaves. They are com- 
monly associated with small aquatic plants, especially with algae, or with decay- 
ing vegetation. Several species are often found on Spirogyra, the alga popularly 
called "pond scum", upon which they feed by sucking out the cell contents. 
One rotifer, Ascomorpha, spends most of its life inside the spherical protozoan 
colony, Volvox. 


In the Rotifera the sexes are separate and the emancipation of the female 
is quite complete. She may live her whole life and produce innumerable off' 
spring without ever meeting a male. As a matter of fact, males are very rare, 
small, and lack mouth and stomach. They usually occur in the autumn and 
mate with the females who then produce a special type of egg which survives the 
winter and produces females for the next spring. During spring and summer 
these females produce eggs which hatch without fertilization into more females. 
In the autumn, smaller, male-producing eggs are also laid. This process of 
development without fertilization is called parthenogenesis and is fairly common 
among invertebrate animals. 

Another odd group of animals, often classed with the rotifers and likely 
to puzzle the amateur microscopist, is the Castrotricha. The name comes from 
two Greek words meaning ''hairy stomach" and refers to the ciliated ventral 
surface. These animals are widely distributed and are usually present wherever 
Protozoa and rotifers are found. Occasionally they get to be twice as long as 
a Paramecium but are usually about the size of, and are commonly mistaken 
for, large ciliate Protozoa. They are usually covered with small scales or with 
spines. They generally have two posterior toes, as do many rotifers, but lack 
the telescoping foot. Little is yet known of the American forms and their 


Marine or fresh-water animals with one pair of cement tubes posteriorly 

or with none 


Rear end forked; v^'ith one pair of cement tubes 
Three genera — Lepidoderma 

Rear end rounded; no cement tubes 
One genus — Dasydytes 
(or Rotifera) 

With paired ovaries; no male animals 

Corona flat, with cilia on the ventral side 
Common genus — Admeta 

No corona ;with a bunch of cilia in the mouth region 
Common genus — Philodinavus 



Corona in the form of two very distinct rings of cilia 
Common genera — Philodina 

With one ovary; with both male and female animals 

With cilia in two rings around the corona, those of the inner 
ring longer; with or Vv'ithout a foot ending in a ciliated disc 

Single or colonial; usually attached, living in a tube, or 
with spines or branched appendages; with or without a 
foot ending in a cliliated disc 
Common genera — Floscularia Filima 

Octotrocha Pedaha 

Limnias Siynantherina 

Ptygura Lacinularia 


Free'swimming colonies 
Common genus — Conochilns 

Free-swimming individuals; either spherical or with a 
foot ending in a ciliated disc 
Common genera — Testudinella 


Attached or living in a tube; with or without a foot ending in a 
ciliated disc; mouth in the center of a large corona 

Usually with long bristles, which move slowly instead of 
beating rapidly like ordinary cilia 
Common genera — Collotheca 


No setae or cilia around the corona 
Common genera — Atrochus 


Single; free -swimming; with or without a foot ending in one or 
more toes; corona not as in the preceding two orders 



No lorica; no bristles or projections from the corona; 

foot projecting squarely posteriorly 

Common genera — Jslotonimata Eosphora 

Taphrocampa Cephalodelh 

Proales Monommata 


Similar to the preceding family, hut with two eyes in 
the neck; often grouped with the preceding family 
Common genus — Dicranophorus 

Lorica entire, often asymmetrical; with one toe or two 
unequal toes or two equal, short toes 
Common genera — Trichocerca 

Lorica regularly outcurved, of two convex plates; no 

Common genus — Chromogaster 

Lorica entire; foot and toes about as long as the body 
or lorica with long dorsal spines 
Common genera — Trichotria 


Lorica with three or four plates 
Common genus — Mytilina 

Sac'like; intestine usually absent; foot absent or small 
and projecting from the rear of the ventral side 
Common genera — Asplanchna 


Corona with several long bristles; with or without 
paddle-like appendages; no lorica; with or without a foot 
Common genera — Synchaeta 

Lorica Vv'ith a mid-ventral split; foot ringed, ver>' re- 
tractile, projecting ventrally 
Common genus — Ploesoma 





C R 

N A 

- E ^ e 

B R A \ N 









With entire lorica; foot ringed, very retractile, project' 

ing vcntrally 

Common genus — Gastropus 

Mouth in center of the corona (and so often placed 

under Order Collothecacea) \ no lorica; with one toe or 

two unequal toes 

Common genera — Microcodon 

A large and varied group which has been variously 

divided into other families by different writers; with or 

without a lorica of one or two pieces; with or without 

a foot; corona with or without bristles or projections; 

mastax malleate (all parts well developed, for grinding 

and for prehension) 

Common genera — Epiphanes Tslotholca 

Cyrtonia Euchlanis 

Brachionns Lecane 

Schizocerca Monostyla 

Platyms Lapadella 

Squatinella Colurelhx 



1. Body usually flattened; v^ithout internal jaws; with two tufts of bristles 

on each side of the head, or head with long spines — 


Body usually, but not always, saclike or tubular, sometimes colonial; 
animal transparent, with internal jaws (mastax) ; usually, but not al' 
ways, with one or more rings of cilia in the area of the mouth 


2. Rear end rounded 

Dasydytes Gosse 
Rear end forked 3. 

3. Skin smooth 

Ichthydium Ehrenberg 
Skin with scales or spines 4. 

4. Skin with diamond-shaped scales; caudal projections jointed 

Lepiduderma Zelinka 


Skin with rounded scales or spines, or both; rear projections plain 
Chaetonotus Ehrenberg 

5. Apparently permanently attached or in colonies or living in a tube 6. 
Temporarily attached or separate, free-swimming or creeping individuals; 

almost always without a tube 15. 

6. In spherical colonies 7. 
Not so 9. 

7. Colonies free-swimming 

Conochilus Ehrenberg 
Colonies attached 8. 

8. Animals embedded in a mass of jelly 

Lacinulana Schweigger 
Not so 

Sinantherina Bory 
(Megalotrocha Ehrenberg) 

9. No cilia or setae around the corona, although sometimes a ring of cilia 

around the body below the corona 10. 

With cilia or setae around or on the corona 1 1 . 

10. Body fat and sac-like; corona cup-shaped 

Cupelopagis Forbes 
(Apsilus Metschnikoff ) 
Body narrow; corona with one long, sickle-shaped lobe 
Acyclus Leidy 

11. Usually with long bristles, instead of cilia, which move slowly instead 

of beating rapidly like ordinary cilia 12. 

With cilia in two rings around the corona, those of the inner ring 

longer 13. 

12. Corona in the form of iive long, slender projections bearing bristles 

Stephanoceros Ehrenberg 
Corona plain or lobed, but not drawn out into slender projections 
Collotheca Harring 
(Floscularia Oken) 

13. With three or four lobes in the corona 

Floscularia Cuvier 
(Melicerta Schrank) 
Corona nearly circular or in two lobes 14. 

14. Corona almost circular 

Ptygura Ehrenberg 
{Oecistes Ehrenberg) 
Corona with two very distinct lobes 
Limnias Schrank 

15. Animal almost or quite spherical, without a foot 

Trochosphaera Semper 
Not so 16. 

16. With a lorica (or stiff or rigid and usually transparent sheath) 17. 
No lorica 39. 











17. Without a foot, but often wth a rear projection of the lorica 18. 
With a foot 20. 

18. Lorica outcurved all around 

Chromogaster Lautenborn 
{Anapus Bergendal) 
Lorica flattened on one side 19. 

19. Lorica with lengthwise ridges or furrows 

Klotholca Gosse 
Lorica irregularly marked 
Keratella Bory 
(Anuraea Ehrenberg) 

20. Foot ending in a ring of cilia 

Testudinella Bory 
(Pterodina Ehrenberg) 
Foot not so, being forked or ending in one or two toes 21. 

21. Foot deeply forked, each fork bearing two short toes 

Schizocerca Daday 
Foot with one or two toes 22. 

22. Foot with many short rings, very retractile 23. 
Foot with a very few wide segments, not much retractile 25. 

23. Foot projecting from the rear of the body 

Brachionus Pallas 
Foot projecting from the rear of the ventral side 24. 

24. Lorica wrinkled 

Ploesoma Herrick 
Lorica smooth 

Gastropus Imhof. 

25. Foot ending in one toe or in one long toe and one very short toe 26. 
Foot ending in two equal toes or in one long toe and one shorter toe 

which is about one-half or more the length of the long toe 27. 

26. Lorica divided into lengthwise plates; with one toe 

Monostyla Ehrenberg 
Lorica almost plain; with one long toe and one very short, scarcely notice' 
able toe 

Trichocerca Lamarck 
{Rattulus Lamarck) 

27. Lorica in one almost cylindrical piece 28. 
Lorica composed of two to four lengthwise plates, often flattened 32. 

28. Dorsal surface of lorica with long spines 

Macrochaetus Perty 
(Polychaetus Perty) 
No spines on dorsal surface of lorica 29. 

29. With a flat, chitinous plate above the head 

Squatinella Bory 
(Stephanops Ehrenberg) 
No plate above the head 30. 


30. Foot and toes short; toes sometimes unequal 

Diurella Bory 

(Coelopus Hudson and Gosse) 
Foot and toes about as long as the body; toes equal 31. 

3 1 . Lorica almost smooth 

Scandium Ehrenberg 
Lorica marked into irregular sections 
Trichotna Bory 
(Dmocharis Ehrenberg) 

32. With a chitinous plate above the head, which is arched in side view, ap' 

pearing like a sickle 33. 

No plate over head 34. 

33. Lorica higher than wide, of two side plates 

Colurella Bory 
(Colurus Ehrenberg) 
Lorica wider than high, of one dorsal and one ventral plate 
Lepadella Bory 
(Metopidia Ehrenberg) 

34. Lorica split down the back, of three or four plates 35. 
Lorica composed of one dorsal and one ventral plate 36. 

35. Lorica small, covering only the upper part of the body 

Diaschiza Gosse 
Lorica enclosing the body; usually, but not always, with spines projecting 

My tilma Bory 
(Dip lax Gosse) 
(Salpma Ehrenberg) 

36. Foot with one segment 37. 
Foot with three segments 38. 

37. Corona somewhat narrower than the body; toes usually longer than the 

rest of the foot 

Lecane Nitzsch 
(Cathypyia Gosse) 
(Distyla Eckstein) 
Corona about as wide as the body; toes very short 
Brachionus Pallas 

38. Body fat; corona almost as wide as the body 

Platyias Harring 
(7\[oteus Ehrenberg) 
Body lengthened; corona about half as wide as the widest section through 
the body 

Euchlams Ehrenberg 

39. Body cylindrical, formed of ring-like segments which may be drawn up 

within one another; usually, but not always, with three toes; swim' 

ming or creeping; with or without a corona 40. 

Body not so; with or without a foot with one or two toes; swimming only; 

with a corona 44. 










40. No corona; only a bunch of cilia about the mouth 

Philodinavus Harring 
(Microdina Murray) 
With one or more rings of cilia 41. 

41. Corona flat, regular 

Adineta Hudson 
Corona in the form of two very distinct rings of cilia 42. 

42. No eyes 

Habrotrocha Bryce 
(Callidina Ehrenberg) 
With two eyes 43. 

43. Eyes far back in the neck 

Philodina Ehrenberg 
Eyes very near the front 
Rotaria Scopoli 
(Rotifer Cuvier) 

44. No foot 45. 
With a foot 50. 

45. With spines or jumping or swimming appendages 46. 
Body saC'Hke, without appendages 48. 

46. With two or three spines 

Filinm Bory 

(Pedetes Gosse) 
(Triarthra Ehrenberg) 
With several branched or paddle-like appendages 47, 

47. Appendages branched 

Pedalia Barrois 
(Pedalion Hudson) 
Appendages paddle-like 

Polyarthra Ehrenberg 

48. Corona with two to four long bristles and wider than the body 

Synchaeta Ehrenberg 
Corona without bristles, a little narrower than the body 49. 

49. Body transparent 

Asplanchna Gosse 
Body colored or opaque 

Ascomorpha Perty 

50. Mouth in the center of the corona; with one toe or with two very unequal 

toes placed one dorsal to the other 5 1 . 

Mouth not in the center of the corona; with two equal or nearly equal 

toes side by side 52, 

51. Foot about as long as the body; eye usually purple 

lAicrocodon Ehrenberg 
Foot shorter; eye usually red 

Mi/^rocodides Bergendal 


52. Corona with a few long bristles, or else with bunches of bristles alter' 

nating with the cilia of the inner ring 53. 

No bristles on the corona 55. 

53. With two to four long bristles on the corona 

Synchaeta Ehrenberg 
With bunches of bristles in the inner ring of cilia 54. 

54. No eye, or else body saC'like 

Epiphanes Ehrenberg 
(7\[otops Hudson) 
(Hydatina Ehrenberg) 
With one eye; body tapering; with a hump on one side 
Cyrtonia Rousselet 

55. Foot projecting from the rear of the ventral side of the body 56. 
Foot projecting squarely posteriorly 57. 

56. Back almost flat 

Asplanchnopus de Guerne 
With a decided hump on the back 
Enteroplea Ehrenberg 
{Trxphylus Hudson) 

57. No eyes 

Pleurotrocha Ehrenberg 
With one to three eyes 58. 

58. With one eye 59. 
With two or three eyes 62. 

59. Eye near the front 

Monomviata Bartsch 
(Furcularm Ehrenberg) 
Eye in the neck 60. 

60. Skin with many cross folds permanently fixed 

Taphrocampa Gosse 
Skin not so, although sometimes jointed 61. 

61. Corona regular 

Proales Gosse 
With a lobe bearing longer cilia on each side of the corona; these lobes 
(auricles) are usually contracted and not visible when the animal is 
not swimming 

'hlotommata Ehrenberg 
(Includes Co pens Gosse) 

62. With three eyes 

Eosphora Ehrenberg 
With two eyes 63. 

63. With a dorsal projection from the corona bearing two eyes 

Rhmoglena Ehrenberg 
{Rhinops Hudson) 
No dorsal projection from the corona 64. 

PH I LO D \ N A 


F 1 L \ N \ A 







64. Eyes in the neck 

Dicranophorus Nitzsch 
(Distemma Ehrenberg) 
Eyes near the front margin 
Cephalodella Bory 
(Diglena Ehrenberg) 


Anon. May, 1902. Key to the Rotifera. Amer. Monthly Micros. Jour. 
Vol. 23. 

Harring, H. R. 1913. Synopsis of the Rotatoria. Bull. 81, U. S. Nat. 

Hudson, C. T. and Gosse, P. H. 1889. The Rotifera or Wheel Animalcules. 
2 vols. London. 

Jennings, H. S. 1899. Rotatoria of the United States etc. Bull. U. S. Fish 
Comm. Vol. 19. 

Jennings, H. S. 1901. Synopses of North American Invertebrates XVII. 
Amer. Nat. 35. 

Needham, J. G. and Needham, P. R. 1930. A Guide to the Study of Fresh- 
water Biology. Comstock Publishing Co. Ithaca. 

Stokes, A. C. 1918. Aquatic Microscopy for Beginners. Fourth ed. John 
Wiley fe? Sons. 

The names used as first choice in the Rotifer Key are those given in 
Harring's "Synopsis of the Rotatoria". 



Chapter 5 

When Linnaeus, in the eighteenth century, was developing the system of 
classification upon which our modern system is based, he grouped a large 
number of soft-bodied invertebrates into one division which he called Vermes 
or Worms. This tendency to call any creeping invertebrate a worm still per- 
sists among the general public, and caterpillars are called cabbage worms or 
measuring worms even by people who know them to be insect larvae. As 
scientific knowledge increased, more and more animals were taken out of 
Linnaeus' group of Vermes. At the present time the naturalist acknowledges 
three main groups of land and fresh-water worms, which constitute three phyla 
in our modern system. These are the Platyhelmmthes or Flatworms, the T^e- 
mathelminthes or Round Worms and the Annelida or Coelhelminthes, 
the Segmented Worms. Another small group, the J^emertea, are sometimes 
placed with the Platyhelmmthes. The Rotifera also are sometimes grouped 
as Vermes, but are here treated in a separate chapter. 

Some other forms in our ponds look very much like worms, and the ama- 
teur is often deceived by them. Several of the insect larvae, especially the 
midges, have a strong resemblance to the bristle worms or aquatic annelids, 
but may be distinguished by their distinct heads. On land, the slugs are often 
mistaken for worms. These are in reality shell-less mollusks, distinguished by 
two pairs of tentacles and by the mantle which covers part or all of the back. 

The flatworms are best known for the more disreputable of their number, 
the parasitic flukes or tapeworms. Most North American free-living forms 
are small and inconspicuous, seldom becoming more than an inch or two in 
length. They are finely ciliated animals, called Turhellaria from the currents 
which their cilia set up in cloudy water. The cilia themselves are not apparent, 
but the animals appear to move by a steady, effortless, gliding motion. When- 
ever pond weeds are brought in for the aquarium or for the study of their 
animal guests, some Turhellaria are likely to be found. An investigation of the 
under sides of submerged rocks or logs is also likely to reveal some of these 
tiny, flattened creatures. The largest ones might be mistaken for leeches, but 
they do not have the posterior adhesive discs possessed by leeches. A few live 
in moist places on land and may sometimes be found in greenhouses or under 
boards in damp corners of gardens. 

One of the peculiarities of the Turhellaria is the position of the mouth, 
which is situated in the middle of the ventral surface. From the mouth a 


long, tube-like pharynx can be protruded to take in particles of food. The 
digestive tract extends into all parts of the body and has either three main 
branches, one anterior and two posterior to the mouth, or else a modification 
of one large sac, which may divide into a complex arrangement of many small 
branches. These branches can often be seen through the body wall, especially 
if they are distended with food of a color different from that of the body. 

The Turhellaria show extreme powers of regeneration. One of the com- 
mon genera, Dugesm, has been widely used in experimental laboratories. Dr. 
Child has shown that even a fragment consisting of as little as one-two hundred 
and fiftieth of the original animal can still replace the missing parts and form 
a complete animal. In its natural state the creature frequently breaks into two 
of its own accord, and each part regenerates the portions it lacks. Eggs are also 
produced at certain seasons of the year. 

Until recently the larger Turhellana of Europe and America were sup- 
posed to be very closely related, if not actually the same species. Studies of 
their internal anatomy now seem to indicate that there are important differ- 
ences. The familiar name Planaria is now reserved for European forms, and 
our American forms are called Dugesia or other new generic names. 

The Tslemathelminthes or Round Worms have neither the gliding motion 
of the flatworm nor the segmentation of the ringed worm. Their motion is 
snake-like, their form thread-like. The tiny or microscopic members of the 
group have received the popular appellation of ''nemas". The nemas most widely 
known, until modern methods of merchandising developed, were the "vinegar 
eels". As a matter of fact, nemas are universally present almost everywhere 
life of any form can exist, from arctic ice to tropical jungles. They are often 
parasitic on plants and cause damage in greenhouses and nurseries. 

Another famous member of the Round Worm group is the Horsehair 
Snake. Many a farm boy has seen these undulating "'serpents"''' swimming in 
the watering trough and has never doubted that, in some miraculous way, 
some hairs from Dobbin's tail have become endowed with life. It is a pity 
that Gordnis (Linnaeus named the animal after the classic Gordian knot which 
even Alexander could not untie) has no press agent of his own, for his true 
life is even more remarkable than his legendary one. Starting his career as 
a parasite in the intestine of some insect, commonly a grasshopper, he travels 
a la Jonah all summer and finally, leaving his dying host, he emerges for a free- 
living adult life in some pond or stream. Really quite common in our smaller 
bodies of water, the little Gordian knot progresses very slowly and, if noticed at 
all, is mistaken for a fine rootlet moving with the current. 

The larger and usually terrestrial members of the Annelida or Ringed 
Worms are familiar to all of us, if only in the form of fish bait or as prey for 
the robins on our lawns. In addition, there are hosts of smaller and more 
active ones in the ponds and streams. The worm as we usually meet him is 


a degenerate, specialized and unappealing animal. To appreciate segmented 
worms properly one must see their marine relatives, which have retained definite 
heads, often with biting or pinching jaws and sometimes a shock of ''hair'' or 
tentacles, and along whose sides are rows of paddlc'like structures, called para' 
podia, serving as both legs and gills. The heads of the land and fresh-water 
forms are almost non-existent and the parapodia are represented only by tiny 
bristles or setae, which aid the worms in their movements or enable them to 
resist the tug of the early bird. The only external character at all noticeable in 
the adult earthworm is the clitellum, a thickened area somewhere between the 
twelfth and the thirty-fifth segments. 

Sexual activity usually begins after the first warm rains of spring and 
continues through the summer. In the evening, when earthworms mate, each 
worm emerges from the ground so far that only the tip of its tail remains in 
its burrow. Then it moves around in search of a neighbor. If it succeeds in 
finding one, the two lie side by side, head towards tail, and a secretion from the 
clitellum of each forms a belt around the two. Then, since each worm is both 
male and female, the two exchange sperm and finally separate. Later the clitel- 
lum again becomes active, secreting another belt, this time around the one worm. 
The worm deposits some of its eggs and some of the sperm it received from its 
neighbor within this secretion of the clitellum. It then backs out of this belt, 
which closes down on eggs and sperm like a section of elastic tubing and forms 
the cocoon in which the young worms develop. 

The small aquatic annelids usually have long setae or bristles projecting 
from the body and so are commonly called Bristle Worms. It is necessary to 
make out the details of these bristles in order to identify these worms, and some 
difficulty is caused by the fact that some of the bristles may be retractable. A 
weak solution of glycerine as a mounting fluid is helpful in slowing down the 
activities of a worm and enabling one to study it from all sides. Some of the 
aquatic annelids reproduce sexually. Others reproduce by fission. A constric- 
tion appears in the mid-region of the body, a head develops behind this con- 
striction, and soon two worms appear in place of one. 

The part worms play in human affairs, aside from those of the fisherman, 
is seldom appreciated. Charles Darwin's book. The Formation of Vegetable 
Mould, Through the Actiori of 'Worms, is a revelation to most readers and 
gives astounding facts on the immense worm population of fields, the utility of 
worms in maintaining soil fertility, and even their value to the archaeologist in 
preserving the ruins of antiquity. 

Leeches or blood suckers are common in most ponds and streams but, 
fortunately for our peace of mind, few of them seek human blood. Some of 
them are not even parasitic, but feed on small animals and plant material. They 
may be distinguished from all other aquatic animals by their sucking discs, one 
at each end; by their appearance of extreme segmentation, since each somite 


is superficially subdivided into several; and usually by their flattened bodies. 
Unlike the earthv^orms, most of the leeches have retained eyes and jaws. 

For centuries leeches have been used for medicinal purposes. In the nine' 
teenth century "leech" was a common synonym for doctor. Disease was re- 
garded as due to "bad blood", which needed to be removed, so that "good" 
blood could be formed in its place. The more heroic patients patronized the 
barber'Surgeons, with their lancets and bleeding cups, and the barber's sign of 
the red-and'white striped pole is said to refer to the blood and bandages. The 
less courageous used leeches to remove the blood painlessly and less visibly. 
Napoleon's surgeon-general popularized the use of large numbers at a time, 
recommending a "cordon of leeches" on the forehead for headache. The 
local supply running short, France imported leeches by the million from Russia, 
until even that country had to protect its supply by a law forbidding the taking 
of leeches during the three summer months when they were breeding. In most 
European countries leech ponds were built to propagate the animals, and fancy 
china "leech jars" were available so that each family might keep its medicine 
chest stocked with live leeches. The three sharp jaws of the leech make a 
painless, triangular incision, into which it pours a secretion which inhibits the 
clotting of blood. The medicinal leech of Europe, imported into America for 
medical purposes and now naturalized in some areas, is capable of taking 
from onc'half to one ounce of blood at a feeding. The best our native ones 
can do is about one-fifth of an ounce. When the leech has completed its meal, 
it drops off. Since it has also withdrawn the anticlotting substance, the wound 
usually gives no trouble. If the leech be removed before it has finished its 
meal, the wound may continue to bleed for a long time. 

Leeches, like earthworms, reproduce sexually. The eggs are usually de- 
posited in cocoons formed by bodily secretions and fall to the bottom of the 
pond, where they develop into young leeches. The Glossiphonidae bear their 
eggs and later their young attached to the ventral surface. Most leeches are 

Collection of Earthworms 

The larger Lumbricid worms can be collected in quantity on spring nights 
during or after evening thunder-showers or warm rains. At this time the 
worms extend most of their bodies from their burrows in search of mates. 
Most well established lawns prove to be good hunting fields. A small flash' 
light should be used, or the lens covered with red cellophane, as a bright light 
alarms the worms, which then snap back into their burrows as though they 
were stretched rubber bands. A quick grab must be made, for if the worm 
gets any warning it will brace itself with its setae and the collector will get 
only a portion or a damaged worm. Heavy rains often flood many of the 


smaller earthworms from their burrows, even in daylight. Old manure piles, 
eompost and rotting leaves often harbor several species. If the collector does 
not care for digging, he may use some of the chemical compounds sold for use 
on golf courses. These chemicals are soaked into the soil, and often bring up 
the v^'orms with surprising speed. Worms collected by this method can rarely 
be kept alive afterward, hov^-ever. 

Care and Preparation of Earthworms 

Worms collected for scientific study are usually kept alive for several days 
in sphagnum moss or damp cheesecloth or muslin, in order that their intestines 
may be emptied of soil, Vv'hich might prevent the making of good dissections 
or the cutting of sections. They arc usually anaesthetised by placing them in 
water to v^'hich a little chlorotone has been added, or in water to which alcohol 
is added at intervals until about lO^r is reached. Then, when fully relaxed, 
they should be washed free of mucus, transferred to fresh 10% alcohol for 
several hours, then to 40%, 70% and 95% alcohol. After a day or so they 
may be put in 70% alcohol for storage. If the collector has some technical 
experience, he will find that injection with 1% aqueous solution of chromic 
acid following the 10% alcohol bath will produce excellent results. If one 
expects to section them later, the worms should be transferred from the 10% 
alcohol to one of the standard fixing fluids, such as Bouin's or Zenker's and 
the usual procedure followed. 

In the case of some earthworms, unfortunately, the lack of definite ex' 
ternal characters makes it necessary for one to examine the internal organs in 
order to determine genera. To accomplish this the worm should be stretched 
out, dorsal side up, on a piece of soft wood or cardboard, and the skin care 
fully cut, with fine-pointed scissors, along the mid-dorsal line. The skin can 
then be turned back on either side and pinned to the board, so that an unob' 
structed view of the internal organs is possible. 




Usually flattened worms without segmentation or body cavity 

Free-living flatworms with ciliated epidermis 

With simple tube or sac-like intestine without lateral branches 


Intestine trilobed, one lobe anterior to pharynx and two posterior, 
with simple or branched diverticula 
Suborder HAPLONEURA (or Paludicola) 

Aquatic; intestine lobes usually with branched diverticula 
Suborder DIPLONEURA (or rerricola) 

Terrestrial; diverticula simple-branched 
(Phylum) NEMERTEA (sometimes regarded as a class under Phylum 

With an eVersible proboscis above the anterior part of the digestive 
tract; epidermis ciliated; anus present; no external segmentation 

Proboscis partly eversible, armed with one or more dagger-like 

Cylindrical animals with no external segmentation; ectoderm covered 
with a thick cuticle; no cilia 

With lengthwise, internal, lateral, muscular ridges; digestive tract 
functional in most but not all families 
Class GORDIACEA {or Tiematomorpha) 

No lateral, muscular ridges; digestive tract non-functional and often 
incomplete in adult 
Phylum ANNELIDA (or Coelhelminthes) 

Segmented or metameric externally and internally: with coelom, or 
body cavity 

With parapodia and setae 

With setae but no parapodia 

No parapodia or setae; with a sucking disc around the mouth and 
usually another at the posterior end of the body; with more external 
rings than true segments 


L Animals minutely ciliated; moving with a gliding or flowing motion 2. 

Animals not ciliated (often with setae or bristles) ; usually moving with 

a writhing or hitching motion 3. 

2. Mouth, from which a long proboscis may be protruded, situated at the 
anterior end; digestive tract tubular, running the length of the body; 
getting to be three-quarters of an inch long; color reddish 
NEMERTEA — one species in fresh water 


OORD 1 us - MALE 




C r^ACr N \ f lEO ^ 


Prostoma ruhrum (Leidy) 
(Stichostemma ruhrum (Leidy) ) 
Mouth without a proboscis and situated somewhat back fiom the anterior 
end, frequently in the middle of the ventral side; digestive tract modi' 
fied saC'like; size various; color various 

PLATYHELMINTHES— Turbenarm Flatworms 
3. Body segmented 

ANNELIDA Annelids 
Body not segmented 



1. Usually minute forms living in soil, on vegetation, etc.; intestine com' 

plete (Very difficult to identify. The genera are not included here.) 
Class l^lematoda Thread Worms or Nemas 
Parasitic, usually in insects, as young; freediving as adults; getting to be 
several inches long; digestive tract often somewhat degenerate in the 
adult 2. 

2. Cuticle usually finely striate; posterior end pointed; digestive tract usually 

degenerate posteriorly; frecliving in water, soil or on vegetation 
Family Mermithidae of Class J\lematoda 

Mermis Dujardin (typical genus) "Cabbage Worms" 
Cuticle usually rugose; posterior end split or bluntly rounded; digestive 
tract often degenerate anteriorly; free-living in water — Class Gordi' 
acea Hair Worms 3. 

3. Anterior end rounded, usually with a narrow, dark ring just back from 

the tip; posterior end rounded (in female) or split into two tips (in 

Gordius Linn. 
Anterior end oblique or pointed; posterior end rounded or split into two 
or three tips 4. 

4. Anterior end oblique, with a wide, dark ring just back from the tip; pos' 

terior end split into two (in male) or three (in female) tips 

Paragordius Camerano 
Anterior end pointed, without a dark ring; posterior end not split, but 
rounded (somewhat coiled in male, swollen in female) 

Chordodes Creplin 


L Intestine simple, modified sac-like, sometimes dividing into many small 
branches; animals usually minute (Keyed mainly on internal charac' 
ters and very difficult to identify. The genera are not included in 
this key.) 

Order Rhabdocoelida Smaller Water Turbellaria 


Intestine with three branches, one median anterior and two lateral pos' 
terior; usually small but not as minute as the preceding — Order Tri' 
cladida 2. 

2. Land animals — The Diploneura (Terricola) Land Turbellaria 3. 
Water animals — The Haploneura (including the Paludicola) Larger 

Water Turbellaria 7. 

3. Body ribbon'like, with the head suddenly wider than the body; getting to 

be several inches long; found in greenhouses 

Bipalium \ewense Moseley Ribbon Worm 
(Placocephalns \ewense (Moseley) ) 
Animal tapered at each end; smaller 4. 

4. With many eyes in linear arrangement around the anterior margin and 

back along the sides; getting to be an inch or more long; Cal. into 

Geoplana mexicana Hyman 
With a pair of eyes anteriorly, or eyes apparently absent; less than an inch 
long 5. 

5. First fifth of animal narrower and more cylindrical than the rest; usually 

lengthwise striped; reported from Pa. and Ohio 
Rhynchodemus sylvaticus (Leidy) 
Animal more evenly tapering at each end; more uniformly grayish 6. 

6. Eyes apparently absent; W. Va. to Maryland 

Diporodemus mdigenns Hyman 
Eyes more apparent; Ky to Mo. 

Geodesmus atrocyanens (Walton) 
(Rhynchodemus atrocyaneus (Walton) ) 

7. With many eyes in an inverted U-shaped arrangement around the front 

and sides of the head region; found in the southwest 
PolyceUs coronata (Girard) 
Eyes none to several in pairs or in two lengthwise rows 8. 

8. No eyes; color white; cave species 9. 
With eyes; color various 13. 

9. With many pharynxes; Indiana 

Phagocata suhterranea Hyman 
With one pharynx from the middle of the ventral surface 10. 

10. With pointed head lobes; Kentucky 

Sphalloplana percoeca (Packard) 
(Dendrocoelum percoecum Packard) 
Head lobes obscure or absent 11. 

11. Animal turtle-shaped, with a snout about one-fourth as long as the body; 

small (about one-eighth of an inch long) ; Oregon 
Ken\ia rhynchida Hyman 
Animal flattened, elongate, tapering posteriorly; larger 12. 

12. With a short snout visible only when the animal is contracted; Penn. 

Speophila pricei Hyman ,. 

No snout; Kentucky <5^,CJ\|f^<.1 ?X 

Speophila huchanani Hyman ^' r- - '^^ 

13. Anterior end truncate 14. 


Anterior end pointed or narrowly rounded 19. 

14. With an adhesive circle in the middle of the anterior margin; eyes two 

to several, near the front and well separated; color white 
Procotyla fluviatilis Leidy 
(Dendrocoelum lacteum Oersted) 
No adhesive circle; with two eyes farther back and closer together; color 
various 15. 

15. Color white 16. 
Color gray or black 17. 

16. With one pharynx from the middle of the ventral side 

Phagocata morgani (Stevens 6? Boring) 
(FonUcola truyicata (Leidy) ) 
With several pharynxes; Indiana 

Phagocata subterranea Hyman 

17. Color gray; with one pharynx from the middle of the ventral side 

Phagocata velata (Stringer) 
Color gray to black; with several pharynxes 18. 

18. Head lobes conspicuous 

Phagocata gracilis (Haldeman) 
Head lobes less evident 

Phagocata woodworthi Hyman 

19. Head lobes slender and acutely pointed; anterior end sharply pointed; 

large (to one inch) , active animals 20. 

Head lobes thick and bluntly pointed; anterior end more rounded; smaller, 

sluggish animals 21. 

20. Dark above and below 

Dugesia agihs (Stringer) 
(Euplanana agiUs (Stringer) ) 
Brown above, lighter below 

Dugesia dorotocephala (Woodworth) 
(Euplanaria philadelphica Hyman) 

21. With scattered, unpigmented areas on a grayish or purplish background 

Dugesia tigrina (Girard) 
(Euplanana maculata (Leidy) ) 
(Planaria lata Sivickis) 
Uniformly dark colored above 22. 

22. Head lobes obscure; color usually blackish 

Curtisia foremanii (Girard) 
(Planaria simplissima Curtis) 
(Planaria luguhris Schmidt) 
Head lobes evident; color usually brownish 

Dugesia microhursalis (Hyman) 
(Euplanaria microhursalis Hyman) 

1. With a sucker on the posterior end of the body (often difficult to see); 







no setae; body usually stout; scmi'parasitic animals, often found free 2. 
No sucker on the posterior end; with setae; body usually slender 40. 

2. No sucker on the anterior end; parasitic on crayfishes; Family Discodrili' 

dae or Branchiohdellidae of Class Oligochaeta 3. 

With a sucker on the anterior end; Class Hirndinea or Leeches 10. 

3. Back with projections or raised cross bars 4. 
Not so 5. 

4. Back with rough, raised, cross bars 

Cirrodrilus Pierantoni 
With large, upright projections along the mid-dorsal line 
Pterodrilus Moore 

5. Posterior end flat and wide, so that the body is spadc'shaped 

Xironogiton Ellis 
Not so 6. 

6. Body flattened; posterior sucker on the under side of body 

yiironodrilus Ellis 
Body cylindrical; posterior sucker at the end of body 7, 

7. With most of the main body segments subdivided into three rings 

Triannulata Goodnight 
Not so 8. 

8. Head very distinct from the body; with one pair of testes in segment five 

Branchiohdella Odier 
Head less distinct from the body; with two pairs of testes in segments five 
and six 9. 

9. Head narrower than first body segment 

Bdellodrilus Moore 
Head as wide as or wider than first body segment 
Camharincola Ellis 

10. Mouth filling most of the cavity of the anterior sucker; no proboscis 11, 
Mouth only a tiny hole in the anterior sucker, from which a proboscis 

may be projected 22. 

11. Without eyes or with three or four pairs of minute eyes not in cresdentic 

arrangement; without jaws — Family Herpohdellidae or Worm Leeches 


With five pairs of tiny eyes in crescentic arrangement around the anterior 

end; usually but not always with three jaws, which are often difficult 

to see — Family Hirudinidae or Blood Suckers 15. 

12. Body regularly ringed 

Herpohdella punctata (Leidy) Common Worm Leech 
With each fifth or sixth body ring enlarged 13. 

13. With four pairs of eyes; back blotched or plain dark colored 

J^lephelopsis ohscura Verrill 
With three or four or no pairs of eyes; back lengthwise striped or al* 
most without pigment and appearing pinkish 14« 

14. With lengthwise stripes 

Dina anoculata Moore 

Dina fervida (Verrill) 


15. With three distinct jaws within the mouth area (appearing as opposing 

ridges or folds) 16. 

Jaws not evident, being small, retractile or absent 17. 

16. Back greenish, with a central row of red spots and with a row of black 

spots along each side 

MacrohdeUa decora (Say) Common Northern Blood Sucker 
Back greenish, with four to six complete or interrupted lengthwise stripes; 
an introduced species 

Hirudo medicinalis Linn. Medicinal Leech of Europe 

17. With three, yellow, lengthwise stripes or with reddish and dark stripes; 

blood suckers; Gulf states 

Philohdella Verrill Southern Blood Suckers 18. 

Body blotched, plain dark, or with a yellow stripe along each side; feed' 
ing on worms, insect larvae, etc.; not true blood suckers; aquatic or ter' 
restrial or both, typically found on pond edges; widely distributed 

Haemopsis Savigny Land and Pond Leeches 19. 

18. With a narrow yellow stripe along the middle of the back and with a 

broader yellow stripe along each side; with brown spots 

Philohdella gracxle Moore Spotted Southern Blood Sucker 
With two dark stripes along the back, each bordered below by a reddish 

stripe; without spots 

Philohdella floridana Verrill Southern Blood Sucker 

19. Usually with a median dark stripe and a yellowish stripe along each side 

Haemopsis lateralis (Say) Striped Leech 
Back dark or blotched; no mid-dorsal stripe but often with a yellowish 
stripe along each side 20. 

20. Back scarcely blotched and about the same shade or lighter than the under 


Haemopsis plumheus Moore 
Back blotched and darker than the under side 21. 

21. With very irregular dark blotches on the back 

Haemopsis marmoratis (Say) Common Horse Leech 
With almost squarish dark blotches on the back 

Haemopsis grandis (Verrill) Giant Leech 

22. Body usually cylindrical, extremely long and narrow, when extended; 

stomach with two posterior caeca; usually parasitic on fishes; Family 

Piscicohdae or Ichthyohdellidae 23. 

Body usually flattened, not so slender; stomach with many lateral caeca; 

habitat varied; Family Glossiphonidae 30. 

23. Anterior sucker quite distinct from the body; with pulsating structures 

along the sides serving as gills 24. 

Anterior sucker not distinct from the body; without such pulsating struc' 

tures. 26. 

24. Posterior part of body flatter and wider than anterior part; central body 

segments (larger divisions of body) composed of about seven small rings 
Cystohranchus vividus (Verrill) 
(Trachelohdella vivida (Verrill) ) 
Body more uniform throughout; central body segments composed of about 
fourteen small rings. 25. 


25. With a line of about ten eye spots along the margin of the posterior sucker 

Pisciola milneri (Verrill) 
Not so 

Pisciola punctata (Verrill) 

26. With about three small rings to each segment (larger division of body) 

near the middle of the body 

Piscicolaria reducta Meyer 
With twelve to fourteen small rings to each body segment near the middle 
of the body 27. 

27. Body divided into a narrow anterior and a wider posterior region 

Illinobdella moorei Meyer 
Sides of body more evenly parallel 28. 

28. With twelve small rings to each body segment 

Illinobdella elongata Meyer 
With fourteen small rings to each body segment 29. 

29. Body extremely slender, being ten times as long as wide, when extended 

Illinobdella richardsoni Meyer 
Body less than ten times as long as wide, when extended 
Illinobdella alba Meyer 

30. With four pairs of simple eyes; color transparent greenish, with yellow 

spots; parasitic on fish and frogs 

Protoclepsis occidentalis (Verrill) 
(Hemiclepsis occidentalis (Verrill) ) 
With a pair of compound, adjacent eyes or with one to three pairs 
of simple eyes; color various 31. 

31. Some of the body rings noticeably wider than others; fish parasites 

Actinobdella annectens Moore 
Body practically evenly ringed 32. 

32. With one pair of compound, adjacent eyes, with or without pairs of 

tiny, simple eyes posterior to these; temporary parasites on turtles, 
frogs, fish, etc. 

PlacobdeUa Blanchard (Four common species given) 33. 

With one to three pairs of simple eyes; on plants, stones, etc. 

Glossiphonia Johnston Brook Leeches (Five common species) 36. 

33. With tiny pairs of simple eyes behind the compound eyes; back greenish, 

mottled with brown, yellow and white; head almost colorless 
Placobdella hollensis (Whitman) 
With only a pair of compound, adjacent eyes; color various 34. 

34. First few segments widened to form a head'like region; back greenish, 

with lengthwise stripes 

Placobdella montifera Moore 
No widened head region; striped or blotched 35. 

35. With minute, smooth skin papillae; usually greenish, with yellow stripes 

or spots 

Placobdella parasitica (Say) Common Turtle Leech 
With sharp skin papillae, usually arranged in lengthwise rows; back 
blotched green or yellow 

Placobdella rugosa (Verrill) 


C- 1 Z Z A R D 

NE P HH\o I A 
00R5 AL B LOO D V 


PR0 5T0M\Ur^ 







36. With three pairs of eyes 37. 
With only one pair of eyes 38. 

37. Back dark, usually with two dark stripes; with two almost parallel rows 

of eyes 

Glossiphonia complanata (Linn.) 

Body transparent; with two divergent rows of eyes 

Glossiphonia heteroclita (Linn.) 

38. Posterior part of body broadened; with many stripes or spots 

Glossiphonia fusca Castle 
Body very long and narrow; grayish, brownish or almost colorless 39. 

39. Grayish or brownish, sometimes transparent; with a brown, horny plate 

situated between two rings on the back of segment eight 
Glossiphonia stagnalis (Linn.) 
Transparent, almost colorless; no brown, horny plate so situated 
Glossiphonia nepheloidea (Graf) 

40. With flattened, leaf-like appendages along the sides of the body, or 

with head appendages; mostly marine worms, but with two fresh- 
water genera near the coast — Class Polychaeta 4L 
Not so — Class Oligochaeta 42. 

4L With a distinct head and many segments; California 
l^ereis limnicola Johnston 
With about thirty-six gill filaments on an indistinct head area; with 
twelve segments; animal living in a tube; N. J. and Penna. and in the 
Great Lakes 

Manayun\ia eriensis Krecker 
(Manayun\ia speciosa Leidy) 

42. Clitellum absent or very narrow, usually beginning on, or anterior to, 

segment eleven; setae or bristles usually distinct, with some of them 
split or curved or else in groups of more than two; usually, but not 
always, about one or two inches long; usually, but not always, aquatic 
— Bristle Worms 43. 

Clitellum usually wide and usually beginning on or posterior to segment 
twelve; setae usually very minute, simple and usually singly or in 
pairs; rarely with many setae in a ring-like arrangement around the 
segments; usually getting to be several inches long; usually, but not 
always, terrestrial — Earthworms 62. 

43. With one or two setae per bundle 44. 
With more than two setae in some bundles, either dorsally or ventrally 

(ventral setae may be retractile and difficult to see) 47. 

44. Extremely slender, thread-like; with two, long, separate, ventral setae 

and two, minute, dorsal setae per segment; usually whitish; usually 
getting to be several inches long; usually terrestrial 

Haplotaxis Hoffmstr. (of Family Haplotaxidae) 

(Phreoryctes Hoffmstr.) 

Moderately stout; setae usually arranged as pairs of curved spines; 

usually with a reddish, dorsal blood vessel giving off side branches 

discernible through the body wall; usually about one or two inches 

long; usually aquatic — Family Lumhriculidae 45. 


45. Some of the setae split at the ends 

Lumbriculus Grube 
Setae or spines simple-pointed 46. 

46. With a finger-like proboscis from the front of the head 

Sutroa Eiscn 
No proboscis 

Echpidrilus Eisen 

47. Reproducing by fission, often showing a narrowed, clear section through 

the middle; clitellum, if present, much anterior; usually with bright 
color spots or else transparent, with the blood showing pale red 48. 

Reproducing sexually; with a clitellum (thicker, dull section) in the 
region of segments ten to twelve in the reproductive season; body 
usually white or yellowish or else with pulsating hearts and the blood 
showing bright red 56. 

48. With straight bristles only, which are simple-pointed; body usually, 

but not always, with bright spots of red, yellow or green 
Aeolosoma Ehrenberg (of Family Aeolosomatidae) 
With some of the setae split or curved; body usually transparent, with 
the blood showing pale red; Family T^laididae 49. 

49. No setae on the dorsal surface 

Chaetogaster Baer 
With setae on the dorsal surface 50. 

50. Posterior end bearing finger-like gill structures 51. 
No finger-like gill structures on the posterior end 52. 

51. With the two ventral gill structures on the posterior end much longer 

and slenderer than the others 
Aulophorus Schmarda 
Gill structures not greatly differing 
Dero Oken 

52. With a finger-like proboscis from the anterior end 53. 
No proboscis 54. 

53. Dorsal setae starting on the second segment 

Pristina Ehrenberg 
Dorsal setae starting on the fifth or sixth segment 
Stylaria Lamarck 

54. Dorsal setae starting on the second segment 

Tsjaidium Schmidt 
Dorsal setae starting on the fifth or sixth segment 55. 

55. With one or more of the setae on the sixth segment much longer than the 

setae on the other segments 
Slavina Vejdovsky 
Not so — 

l-^ais Miiller 

56. Setae simple-pointed; usually white or yellowish; aquatic or terrestrial; 

Family £nch>'traeidae 57. 

Some of the setae with more than one tip; usually with bright red blood 

showing; usually living in mud with one end buried in a mud tube 



(EN LA aCr E D 

TUB \ F E X 

(E NL A RO to ) 


( E N L ARC-E 0) 






and the other end waving in the water above; several common genera 
identified mainly by the internal anatomy; two common genera are 
given here; Family Tuhijicidae 61. 

57. Oesophagus widening suddenly into the intestine 

Henlea Mich. 
Oesophagus merging gradually into the intestine 58. 

58. Inner setae in setae bundles shorter than the outer setae 

Fridericia Mich. 
Setae about equal in length 59. 

59. Setae straight 

Enchytraens Henle 
Setae curved at tips 60. 

60. No sperm sacs; with very few bundles of four setae 

Lumhricillus Orsted 
With sperm sacs; with several bundles of four setae 
lAesenchytraeus Eisen 

61. None of the dorsal setae simple-pointed 

Limyiodnlus Claparede 
Some of the dorsal setae simple-pointed; some usually split into three 
or more tips 

Tubifex Lamarck 

62. With four single setae per segment; clitellum on segments eleven to 

fourteen; body thread-like; color whitish 

Haplotaxis Hoffmstr. (of Family Haplotaxidae) 
(Phreoryctes Hoffmstr.) 
With eight or more setae per segment, usually in pairs, rarely in a ring- 
like arrangement around the segments; clitellum beginning on or 
posterior to segment twelve and extending to segment seventeen or 
beyond 63. 

63. Clitellum beginning after segment eighteen; male pores on a segment 

between twelve and fifteen inclusive; Family Lumhricidae 64. 

Clitellum beginning before segment eighteen; male pores on a segment 

between seventeen and nineteen inclusive 73. 

64. With the prostomium completely dividing the peristomium above; large, 

thick worms 

Lumhricus Linn. em. Eisen Night-crawlers 

(Two common species given here) 65. 

With the prostomium incompletely dividing the peristomium above; 

worms smaller and more slender 66. 

65. Clitellum on segments 3 1 or 32 to 37; color purplish 

Lumbncus terrestris Linn. 
CHtellum on segments 26 or 27 to 32; color pinkish 
Lumhricus ruhellus Hoffmeister 

66. Clitellum beginning on segment thirty 

Octolasium Orley em. Rosa 

(Representative species, O. lacteum Orley) 


Clitellum beginning before segment thirty (Helodrilus Hoffmeister. 

This genus has been spHt into several subgenera, which are now re' 
garded as genera.) Dew Worms 67. 

67. CHtellum before or just reaching segment twenty 'Seven ; color of most 

species brownish 

E^seniella Mich. 

(Representative species, E. tetraedra (Savigny) ) 
Clitellum reaching behind segment twenty 'seven; most species reddish or 
banded 68. 

68. With two pairs of sperm sacs in segments eleven and twelve; no sper' 

mathecal pores 

Bimastus (or Bimastos) Moore 
(Representative species, B. tenuis (Eisen) ) 
Usually with three or four pairs of sperm sacs in segments nine to twelve; 
with spermathecal pores 69. 

69. Spermathecal pores opening on the back above the upper line of setae 

Eisenia Malm em. Mich. 

(Two common species given here) 70. 

Spermathecal pores opening below the upper line of setae 71. 

70. With a dark ring on each segment 

Eisenia foetida (Savigny) 
Plain reddish 

Eisenia rosea (Savigny) 

71. With three pairs of sperm sacs; setae placed singly or in wide pairs 

Dendrohaena Eisen em. Rosa 

(Representative species, D. suhruhicunda (Eisen) ) 
With four pairs of sperm sacs; setae in close pairs 
Allolohophora Eisen 
(Two common species given here) 72. 

72. Usually with more than 130 segments; reaching six inches 

Allolohophora caliginosa (Savigny) 
With less than 130 segments; not over three inches long 
Allolohophora chlorotica (Savigny) 

73. Clitellum on approximately segments 15 to 25 

Sparganophilus Benham (of Family Glossoscolecidae of some 
writers. Family Sparganophilidae of others) 
(Representative species, S. eiseni Smith) 
Clitellum beginning on segment 12 to 14 and extending not farther than 
segment 2 1 ; Family Megascolecidae 74. 

74. Setae very numerous, arranged in a ring-like arrangement around the 

segments (an introduced genus) 
Pheretima Kinberg 

(Representative species, P. elongata (E. Perrier)) 
Setae in four pairs per segment 75. 

75. With two consecutive gi^ards 76. 
With one or no giz2,ard 77. 


76. Clitellum extending to segment 19 or 20; male pores on segment 17 (an 

introduced genus) 

Dichogaster Beddard 

(Representative species, D. holaui (Mich.)) 
Clitellum extending to segment 18; male pores on segment 19 
Diplocardm Garman 

(Representative species, D. communis Garman) 

77. Gi2::ard vestigial or absent; southern species 78. 
With one gizzard; western species 79. 

78. Calciferous glands in segment nine or in nine and ten; clitellum on seg' 

ments 13 to 19 or 20 (Family Ocnerodnlidae of some writers) 
Ocnerodrilus Eisen 

(Representative species, O. occidentalis Eisen) 
No calciferous glands; clitellum on segments 13 to 16 
Microscolex Rosa em. Mich. 

(Representative species, M. phosphoreus (Duges)) 

79. (Two genera which are distinguished only by the minute structure of the 

nephridia or excretory organs) ; with '■'meganephridia" or one pair of 
large nephridia in each segment 
Plutellus E. Perrier 

(Representative species, P. marmoratus (Eisen)) 
With '■'■micronephridia" or several pairs of small nephridia in each seg' 

Megascolides McCoy 

(Representative species, M. americanus Smith) 


Altman, L. C. 1936. Oligochaeta of Washington. Univ. of Wash. Pub. in 
Biology, Vol. 4, No. 1, Seattle, Wash. 

Beddard, F. E. 1895. A Monograph of the Order Oligochaeta. Oxford. 

Bcnham, W. B. 1890. An Attempt to Classify the Earthworms. Quart. Jour. 
Micros. Soc, Vol. 31. 

Cobb, N. A. 1918. Free-living Nematodes. Chap. 15 in Ward and Whip' 
pie's 'Tresh'water Biology". John Wiley fe? Son. New York. 

Cobb, N. A. 1935. A Key to the Genera of Free-living Nemas. Proc. Hel' 
minthological Soc. of Wash., Vol. 2, No. 1. Washington, D. C. 

Eaton, T. H. Jr. 1942. Earthworms of the Northeastern U. S. A Key, with 
Distribution Records. J. Wash. Acad. Sci., Vol. 32. 

Eisen, G. 1900. Researches in the American Oligochaeta. Cal. Acad, of Sci., 
third series Zool., Vol. 2, No. 2; Pp. 85-277. 

Galloway, T. W. 1911. The Common Fresh-water Oligochaeta of the United 
States. Trans. Amer. Micros. Soc, Vol. 30, Pp. 285'^3 17. 

Gates, G. E. 1942. Check List and Bibliography of North American Earth- 
worms. Amer. Midi. Nat., Vol. 27, Pp. 86-108. 


Goodnight, C. J. 1940. The BranchiobdeUidae of North American Crayfishes. 
Univ. of Ilhnois Press. Urhana, 111. 

Hyman, L. H. 1931. North American Triclad Turbellaria. Trans. Amer. 
Micros. Soc, Vol 50. 

Hyman, L. H. 1937. North American Triclad Turbellaria. Trans. Amer. 
Micros. Soc, Vol. 56. Pp. 298 and 457. 

Hyman, L. H. 1943. The Endemic and Exotic Land Planarians in the United 
States. Amer. Mus. Novitates, No. 1241. New York. 

Meyer, M. C. 1940. A Revision of the Leeches (Piscicolidae) Living on 
Fresh-water Fishes of North America. Trans. Amer. Micros. Soc, Vol. 
59. Pp. 354-377. 

Miller, J. 1929. Leeches of Ohio. Ohio State Univ. Franz; T. Stone Lab. 
2. Columbus. 

Miller, J. 1937. A Study of the Leeches of Michigan. Ohio Jour. Sci., Vol. 

37, Page 85. 

Moore, J. P. 1905. Hirudinea and Oligochaeta collected in the Great Lakes 
Region. Bull. U. S. Bureau of Fisheries, Vol. 25. 

Moore, J. P. 1918. The Leeches. Chap. 20 in Ward and Whipple's "Fresh- 
water Biology". John Wiley & Sons. New York. 

Nachtrieb, Hemingway and Moore. 1912. Report on the Leeches of Min- 
nesota. Geol. and Nat. Hist. Surv. of Minn., TjdoI. Series No. 5. 

Olson, H. W. 1928. Earthworms of Ohio. Ohio. Biol. Surv., Bull. 17 (Vol. 
4, No. 2) 

Olson, H. W. 1940. Earthworms of New York State. Amer. Mus. Novitates, 
No. 1090. 

Smith, F. 1917. North American Earthworms of the Family Lumbricidae. 
Proc U. S. Nat. Mus., Vol. 52; Pg. 157-182. 

Smith. F. 1918. Aquatic Earthworms and Other Bristle-bearing Worms. 
Chap. 19 in Ward and Whipple's 'Tresh- water Biology". John Wiley 
6? Sons. New York. 

Stephenson, J. 1930. The Oligochaeta. Oxford. 

Stringer, C. E. 1918. The Free-living Flatworms. Chap. 12 in Ward and 
Whipple's "Fresh-water Biology". John Wiley 5? Sons. New York. 

Verrill, A. E. 1874. Synopsis of the North American Fresh- water Leeches. 
Report U. S. Comm. Fish., Vol. 2; Pg. 666-689 . 

Walton, L. B. 1906. Naididae of Cedar Point, Ohio. Amer. Nat., VoT. 
40; Pg. 683-706. 

Woodworth, W. McM. 1897. Contributions to the Morphology of the 
Turbellaria. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard, Vol. 31. 


Chapter 6 

Shells of snails and of clams or mussels have apparently always interested 
man. Before Columbus arrived, the American Indians used shells or objects 
made from them as ornaments and as a medium of exchange. Clam valves 
were in wide use as spoons and scrapers. At the present time the collecting 
of shells is a wide-spread hobby, and almost all of us who visit the sea-shore 
gather some of the more attractive specimens. 

The collector, fortunately, need not confine his efforts to marine shells, 
but can find a multitude of varieties both on land and in fresh water. Indeed, 
before sewage and factory wastes had destroyed the life in many of our rivers, 
America could justly claim to have more forms of fresh-water moUusks than 
any other area in the world. The Coosa River in Alabama became world 
famous among scientists because of the number of species of clams and snails 
peculiar to it. 

The ecological problems connected with the distribution of mollusks have 
received much and deserve more study. The famous work of J. T. Gulick on 
the land snails of Hawaii, where each valley was found to have a different 
variety of tree snail of one genus, Achatinella, with a degree of difference pre 
portional to the distance between valleys, has important bearing on our theories 
of species forming. The distribution of fresh-water clams or mussels is an ex- 
cellent index of the condition of the streams, since clams cannot travel far 
from place to place as the circumstances of their environment change, as do 
fishes and other aquatic animals. 

The taxonomist naturally considers the whole animal rather than the shell 
alone, and the finer points of classification are based on anatomical studies of 
the soft parts, such as the gills and reproductive organs of clams and snails 
and the rasp-like tongue or radula of the snails. Although all this study is es- 
sential to the establishment of classification, once the taxonomic position has 
been determined an authority can usually identify the animal by the shell 
alone. The present keys are an attempt to make it possible for the beginner 
to identify the specimens he may find from an examination of the more evident 

Most snails carry a one-piece shell, spirally coiled around a central axis 
called the columella. A few small fresh-water snails, like some of their marine 
relatives, have lost the spiral coiling and developed a pyramid-like or cone- 
like shell. Several land genera have almost or quite dispensed with their shells 
and are commonly called slugs. Most of these slugs have marks on their backs 


where the shells might be expected, giving one the impression that they have 
temporarily laid aside their houses in order to enjoy more ease or less impeded 

There are in the United States over twelve hundred species and varieties 
of land snails and slugs and over fourteen hundred fresh-water snails. Some 
of these may be found in almost every woodland, pond and stream. Slugs 
often invade our gardens or damp cellars and leave shining trails of mucus 
vv'hich notify us of their nocturnal wanderings. 

For complete identification of a snail the whole animal or a record of its 
habitat is usually needed. For example, there is no shell character which will 
satisfactorily separate the land from the fresh-water snails. If the whole animal 
is at hand, one can check on other characters. Land snails almost always bear 
their eyes on the ends of the longer tentacles, often miscalled "'horns". The 
eyes of most amphibious and water snails are at the bases of the tentacles. Land 
snails usually have tv^-o pairs of tentacles, while water snails usually have but 
one pair. Water snails may have either lungs or gills. A snail with gills may 
have a horny or limy disc, called an operculum, attached to the side of the body 
in such a position that it serves as a door to the shell when the animal is re 
tracted. The presence or absence of an operculum and the details of its mark' 
ings are useful characters for snail identification. 

Another structure examined by experts in snail classification, but not used 
in general shell identification, is the radula, a tongue-like, rasping organ. One 
who has kept snails in a well established aquarium has probably noticed the 
peculiar action of this structure and the ripple-like markings it leaves on the 
glass, where the snail has scraped off the algal growths. Most snails are largely 
herbivorous hut a few, such as the land snail, Haplotrema, are carnivorous. 
Some species may act as scavengers. 

Most of the pulmonate snails are hermaphroditic, while the operculate 
snails are usually unisexual. Some snails, such as Viviparus, retain their eggs 
until development is completed, and each little snail has its protective shell 
formed when it is born. Many snails, however, lay eggs in gelatinous masses. 
Some, like Helisoma, deposit a flat, rather solid disc of jelly containing about 
twenty eggs. Others, like Physa and Lymnaea, leave a rather loose and more 
or less cylindrical mass of jelly enclosing the eggs. A few snails, like Paludes- 
trina, deposit eggs on the outside of their own shells or on the shells of others 
of their own species. Several of the land snails and slugs deposit their eggs 
singly under damp logs and boards, each egg with its coating looking like a 
pinhead of milky jelly. Some snails lay shelled eggs. Pomacea, the infusoria 
snail of the aquarist, deposits a mass of shelled, pinkish eggs on some convenient 
plant or tree trunk above the surface of the water. One large tropical species 
of land snail lays an oval egg an inch or so long which looks very much like 


a turtle or snake egg. Many marine snails have a complicated infancy in- 
volving a ciliated, free-swimming stage called a veliger. Land and fresh-water 
snails have a more variable environment with which to contend and have 
telescoped their developmental stages into a brief period while they are still 
within the egg or else have omitted the ancestral recapitulations entirely. 

Snails are seldom of much direct economic importance to man. In Europe 
some of the larger snails are used for food. In America their use is indirect, 
since most of us prefer to eat the fish and birds that feed upon the snails. The 
diet of a number of the fishes, such as the pumpkinseed sunfish and some of the 
suckers, consists of twenty-five per cent or more of mollusks. Occasionally land 
snails, especially slugs, are destructive to tender garden plants. One genus 
of snails, Lymnaea, serves as an intermediate host for the sheep liver fluke, a 
parasite that frequently causes great losses. 

Snail shells are easily preserved. A shell in which the occupant has died 
and decayed often loses its markings and luster and is regarded as a "dead 
shell", of little value to collectors. During and after damp warm weather on 
land, and at almost any time in the water, live snails can be obtained. Logs 
or boards which have been long submerged, and stems of water plants, usually 
harbor snails. On land, snails arc usually found under loose bark or decaying 
logs or stumps. Live snails, unless very small, are usually killed by dropping 
them for a moment or two into boiling water. The animal can then be gently 
"unscrewed" from its shell with the aid of a pin. If an operculum is present, 
it should be removed, dried flat between two pieces of glass, and placed inside 
the shell, the aperture of which is then plugge*d with cotton-wool. Even if 
the operculum is lost, the cotton plugs should be used in all operculate shells 
as an indication. Inoperculate shells are left open. A number should be writ- 
ten on the shell with India ink to correspond to the number of the label or 
written record, on which the place and date of collection and other useful 
data are given. 

Minute shells may be dropped into alcohol for a day or two and then 
dried, as the occupants will then mummify and not spoil the shells. Small or 
delicate shells are usually kept in glass vials, with cotton below and cotton 
plugs above, or else are put, together with their labels, into gelatin capsules, 
which are available at druggists. The number and the record of date and 
locality should always be most carefully recorded, as a collection without such 
data has lost much of its scientific value. 

There are two families of bivalve mollusks found over most of the United 
States. The members of the larger of these, the Unionidae, are the common 
clams or fresh-water mussels. They have nacreous or mother-of-pearl linings 
to the shells and usually attain an adult length of more than an inch. The other 
family, the Sphaeriidae, are commonly called "finger-nail shells". They are 
usually less than an inch long and have dull, instead of iridescent, linings. 


Although often ignored by collectors, probably because of their small size and 
uniform appearance, they constitute an important item in the diet of fishes 
and other aquatic animals. 

North America is extremely rich in varieties and numbers of fresh-water 
mussels or clams. Many genera have apparently originated in the ideal en- 
vironment of the Mississippi valley and have since spread widely. The shells 
of the various species show great variation in size, shape and coloring, and 
have attracted the interest of amateur and specialist since the settlement of 
the country. 

The living clam is well protected by its shell, and not much of the animal's 
body is usually visible. As one rows slowly along in shallow water, he may 
see the undisturbed clam at its normal activities. The shell is usually half 
buried in mud or gravel. The hinge joint is uppermost and the anterior end 
tilted downward. Between the slightly separated valves of the shell, behind 
the horny hinge, extend two tubular projections. The upper one is formed by 
a smooth, mottled membrane and is called the exhalent siphon. Below and 
behind it is another slightly larger opening, surrounded by a circle of mem- 
branous tentacles. This is the inhalent siphon, which serves both for conducting 
aerated water to the gill chamber and for taking in the minute organisms or 
microscopic plants upon which the animal feeds. The clam usually takes up 
a position with the siphons headed up stream, so that its food is brought down 
with the current. The sensitive tentacles of the lower siphon warn the clam 
to close if anything undesirable touches them. To the naturalist who is used to 
marine animals the fringed inhalent siphon recalls the sea anemone. 

If one picks up the clam quickly, he may see that a large muscular part of 
the body, called the foot, was protruding on the lower side of the animal from 
between the valves of the shell. Since this foot has somewhat the shape of an 
axe blade, clams are frequently referred to by zoologists as Pelecypoda, meaning 
hatchet-footed. The foot serves to anchor the animal in a good feeding ground 
or to enable it to crawl from place to place. As the clam progresses, this foot 
and the edges of the shell plough a furrow in the soft mud, so that one can 
easily trace the creature's wanderings. Most clams prefer water from one to 
three feet deep, and move as conditions change. 

Within the shell and hanging down on each side of the body of the clam 
are the gills, two on each side, the inner pair being the longer. Each gill re- 
sembles a curtain folded upon itself or a double curtain continuous at the 
bottom. The gills are crosswise divided into compartments called water tubes. 
Some of the water tubes of the female clam serve as ovisacs during the breeding 
season and may be discolored or distended with developing eggs. The ovisacs 
make up the portion of the gills known as the marsupium. Clam taxonomy is 
based largely upon the size and structure of the marsupium. 


When, for commercial reasons, it seemed desirable to increase the number 
of clams in our rivers, the experts of the Bureau of Fisheries discovered that 
they were attempting a most complicated task. Almost all clams must undergo 
a parasitic stage on the gills, or sometimes on the fins, of some fish. Com' 
plicating matters still more, it was found that for each kind of clam there must 
be a particular kind of fish host. As it was finally worked out, the develop- 
mental histors^ makes an interesting story. The female clam carries the fer' 
tilized eggs in the modified portion of the gills called the marsupium. When they 
have reached a certain stage of development, the clam will extrude them at the 
slightest stimulus, such as the passing of a fish. The larval clams, called glo' 
chidia, are shot out in immense numbers and some of them are likely to be taken 
into the mouth of a fish and to find lodgment in its gills. If the fish is of the 
right species and has not yet acquired immunity by having carried many young 
clams previously, the glochidia encyst on the gills and complete their larval 
development. Later they escape from their cysts and, if they are fortunate 
enough to emerge into a favorable part of the stream, begin their lives as clams. 
Much work has been done on glochidia and their hosts, but much more 
remains to be discovered. Glochidia, as found on the gills of fish, can often 
be identified to genus and occasionally to species. As the first step, three 
main types of glochidia, based on their shapes, are recognized: the axe-head 
type, as in the pink heel-splitter; the hooked, as in the floaters and the white 
heel-splitter; and the backless, as in the purple pimple-back. By this method 
of study the natural fish hosts for a number of our common clams have been 
discovered. In addition to its scientific value, this information is of value 
to the fisherman. If he finds shells of the yellow or slough sand shell, he may 
be sure gars are present; pimple-backs point to catfishes; mucket and blue 
point indicate bass; and so on. The glochidia of some species may be carried 
by salamanders, as Sim psoni concha avihigua on the gills of J\iectnrus maculosus. 
The scientific names of clams have been subjected to much revision during 
the past twenty years. Since shells are attractive and easily preserved, it is 
not surprising that practically all our early American naturalists, as well as 
many European scientists who employed collectors here, named our clams, 
often working in ignorance of what their contemporaries were doing. Under 
these conditions most of our clams were described at different times under 
different names, and the application of the law of priority has often been 
difficult. The soft parts of the animal were long completely ignored, and even 
localities of collections were overlooked or unrecorded. One Mississippi valley 
shell was actually described by a European scientist as coming from Peru and 
was given the scientific name of peruviana. 

Recent studies have shown that clam shells may vary greatly with their 
environment, and indicate that in several cases clams that have been regarded 


as belonging to two or three different species may be only ecological varia- 
tions of one species. As a general rule, clams from acid or neutral waters 
have thinner shells than those of the same species in alkaline or limestone 
regions. Individuals in small streams and in rapid water are not as wide 
proportionally as those in large or slowly moving streams. Another variation 
which has frequently pu2;2,led taxonomists is found in some of the normally 
knobby or pustulate clams, which in swift headwaters may develop quite smooth 
shells. The color of the nacre or mother-of-pearl lining also varies decidedly. 
In some localities all shells of one species may be pink or reddish inside and in 
other localities white, while sometimes both red and white nacred varieties may 
occur in the same place. Age and sex may also cause marked differences. 
Female shells are often more swollen and rounded posteriorly than the males. 
Old shells are usually duller colored than the young, and may lose the rays 
altogether. The ratio of length to depth may also vary with the age of the 

About 1890 began the first serious attempts to utilize the heavy-shelled 
varieties of clams from the Mississippi valley for pearl buttons, knife handles 
and other novelties. By 1910 a twenty million dollar industry had developed, 
thousands of tons of clams were gathered annually, and button factories sprang 
up wherever shells were available. Few of these factories were large and, when 
the local supply was exhausted, they were moved to other localities. Many of 
them cut, or rather sawed, out the "blanks'' or discs, and sent them to other 
points to be finished. The almost unregulated fishing, the improvement of 
collecting methods, the digging of drainage ditches and the straightening of 
streams, and the increased pollution of rivers by sewage and factory wastes 
quickly led to the almost complete extinction of many of the most useful species 
of clams and the resultant decline of the industry. Importation of marine shells 
and the introduction of new synthetic plastics now seem to have rung the knell 
of the fresh-water, pearl button industry. 

An added inducement to clammers was the possibility of finding a valuable 
pearl, for fresh-water mussels produce pearls hardly inferior to those of tropic 
seas. An especially fine pink or green pearl might bring enough money to 
enable the finder to have a never-to-he-forgotten spree. As a matter of fact, 
the annual crop of pearls from the Mississippi valley is estimated at about 
$300,000.00 Most of them, however, are irregular in si2,e and are termed 
slugs, bringing to the finder only a few dollars. 

Studies have shown that almost any foreign body, such as a cestode, nema- 
tode, or even a grain of sand, may become the nucleus of a pearl. Layers of 
nacre are deposited over this nucleus by the mantle. Those developing in the 
soft parts near the beak cavity are usually the most symmetrical and therefore 
the most valuable. Many centuries ago the Chinese discovered that it was 
possible to induce pearl formation by inserting some object which might serve 


as a nucleus. Small images of Buddha were often used, doubtless strengthening 
the faith of the superstitious pearl divers who later found the pearly images. 
The Japanese later developed this process commercially. In this country 
promising experiments in pearl culture have been carried out with the marine 
abalone snail. Clams carrying pearls of any great size are often deformed, 
the usual variation being a furrow down one valve and a corresponding eleva' 
tion on the other. Sometimes the animal rids itself of the pearl, and the cast- 
out pearl may be found among gravel. Because of the formation in concentric 
layers a tarnished or discolored pearl can sometimes be restored to commercial 
value by the removal of some of the outer layers, but this "peeling" is a task 
for experts. 

Clams, like snails, should be gathered alive, if good shell specimens are 
wanted. When the stream is muddy, it is usually possible to wade into shallow 
water and feel around for them. If one is especially hardy, wading barefoot 
is an excellent method of locating clams, but one must take care that he does 
not get a practical demonstration of the reason why some clams are called 
"■heel-splitters". A rake may occasionally be used to advantage. Commercial 
clammcrs use a boat from which hangs a bar bearing several lines, each with 
a twisted-wire, four-pronged, "crowfoot" hook. As the boat drifts slowly 
downstream, the crowfoot bar is allowed to slide along the river bed. The 
hooks enter the gaping posterior parts of the clams, which close tightly upon 
them. After the boat has drifted for some distance, the bar is pulled up and 
the clams that are found hanging to the hooks are removed. 

Having captured the clam, it may be opened either by dropping it into 
hot water or by slipping a thin knife blade between the valves, on each side 
of the hinge, and cutting the adductor muscles. The body of the animal can 
then be removed and the shell washed. If it is overgrown with algae or en- 
crusted with marl, a brief bath in oxalic acid will usually clean it. After the 
shell is cleaned, it is advisable to give the epidermis a thin coat of vaseline 
and to dry the shell slowly in a fairly cool place. Unless these precautions are 
taken, the shell is likely to crack badly as it dries. The locality and date records 
may be written with India ink or pencil on the lining of the shell. 
Some Pointers For Identific.-\tion. 

If the soft parts of the clam are conspicuously colored, the collector should 
make note of the fact, as it may aid in identification. For example, the animal 
of iluadrida flava is orange-red, while that of ^uadrula coccmea, which 
has a quite similar shell, is v^^hite. Strophitus undulatus, Decuramhis marginata 
and Pleurohema cyphyum also have reddish soft parts, while most clams are 
white or yellowish. The gills of the female clam may derive color from the 
eggs carried in the ovisacs. Thus ^uadrula coccinea and ^uadrula undata 
have red eggs, and the marsupium of each of these species therefore appears 
to be red. 


In using the clam key one should remember that the hinge is regarded 
as the most dorsal region, and that the hinge is posterior to the beak or umbone. 
The early American conchologists sometimes forgot the latter point, and as 
a result their descriptions do not always agree with their figures. If the shell 
is held so that the hinge is on top and level, it will greatly facilitate determin' 
ing whether the posterior ridge runs to the mid-posterior or to the post-basal 
point, often a useful character for identification. A quick method of ap 
proximating proportions is the stunt of placing the valves together with one 
valve across and at right angles to the other. This makes it at once apparent 
whether the shell is twice as long, or less or more than twice as long, as its 
height. For more exact measurements a ruler should be placed across an open 
valve, and the straight distance taken for height or length. 

Snail shells are right- or left-handed. An easily remembered and quick 
method of determining the direction of coiling is to hold the shell v^'ith its 
spire up and its aperture toward the observer. If the aperture is on his right, 
the shell is dextral; if on his left, sinistral. Or, looking down on the spire, 
clockwise coiling is right or dextral, counter-clockwise is left or sinistral. The 
whorls are numbered from the center outwards, the apical whorl being the 
first, but it is usually more convenient to count them in the opposite direction, 
starting with the body whorl directly opposite the edge of the aperture. 

The height of a snail shell is usually considered to be the vertical distance 
from the apex to the lower edge of the aperture. The width is the greatest 
diameter at right angles to the axis, although sometimes in heliciform shells 
the width is considered to be the greatest oblique diameter. The aperture of 
the shell is usually very important from the taxonomic point of view. The 
free edge of the aperture is called the lip, the outer side being called the outer 
lip and the part curving upwards toward the base of the columella the inner 
lip, and may be thin-edged or reflected. The aperture is often constricted by 
folds or protuberances called lamellae or denticles, although for convenience 
often referred to as "teeth", and so called in the key. 

The amateur collector may be confused by young Polygyras, which may 
not yet have acquired the reflected lip characteristic of adult specimens. Most 
species of this group have rather dull, yellowish shells. Most of the species 
of Family Zonitidae, which are often confused with young Polygyras, have 
uniformly shining or semi-shining shells. The keys are necessarily based on 
average, adult specimens. The snail key is primarily a key to genera only, 
although a few of the common species of some of the more widely distributed 
genera are included. State surveys and regional books should be consulted 
for particular localities. 




MoUusks with a more or less distinct head and a broad, flat foot; usually 
with a spirally wound shell 

No true operculum; no gills; cavity between body and mantle serv 
ing as lung; hermaphroditic 

Usually aquatic (one family terrestrial) ; with one pair of con' 
tractile tentacles, with a pair of eyes at their bases 

Small terrestrial or amphibious snails; shell usually with elon- 
gate, folded, and often toothed aperture 
Common genera — Melampus 

Aquatic; tentacles flattened; shell thin, usually acutely pointed, 
and with a large and often flaring aperture; lip thin and simple 
Common genus — Lymnaea 

Aquatic; tentacles thread'like or cylindrical; shell usually dis' 
coidal, sinistral or apparently dextral 

Common genera — Helisoma Drepanotrema 

Armigera PJanorhula 

Gyraulus Carinifex 

Promenetus Parapholyx 


Small; aquatic; tentacles triangular; shell cap-like, scarcely or 
not spiral 

Common genera - — Ferrissia Rhodacmea 

Lanx Amphigyra 

Gundlachia l\[eoplanorhis 


Aquatic; tentacles thread-like; shell sinistral, with large lower 

Common genera — Physa 



Terrestrial; usually with two pairs of tentacles, the larger pair in- 
vertible and with eyes at the ends, sometimes with the small an- 
terior pair absent 

Introduced European species; medium to large; shell with a 
fairly low spire, five to seven whorls; aperture with reflected lip; 
foot not grooved 

Common genera — Helix Cepaea 


Introduced European species; small; shell Vv'ith lo\\i spire and 
thin or partly reflected lip; foot not grooved (Not included in 
the key) 

Common genera — Jacosta Monacha 

Hygromia Cochlicella 


Moderate to large; shell globose to depressed, usually banded; 
lip thin or reflected; foot not grooved; southern and western 

Common genera — Cepolis Micrarionta 

Monadenia Sonorella 

Helminthoglypta Sonordix 


Moderate si:;ed; shell pyramidal to discoidal; umbilicate; lip 
usually not reflected or expanded; body whorl plain colored or 
with two color bands; foot not grooved; southwestern states 
Common genera — Oreohelix Avimomtdla 

Polygyrella Glyptostoma 


Small to large; shell globose to discoidal; usually plain colored, 
sometimes banded; aperture with reflected lip, often toothed; 
foot not grooved 

Common genera — Polygyra Triodopsis 

Stenotrema AMogona 

Praticolella V^espericola 

Mesodon Ashmunella 


Small; shell conic to discoidal; plain colored; lip thin; foot not 


Common genera — • Lacteolima Thysanophora 

Hojeda Microphysula 


Moderate to large; shells higher than wide, usually streaked 
with color; lip thin 

Common genera — Liguus Drymaeus 

Bidimulus Orthalicus 


Shells with high spire, thin lip, narrow aperture 
Common genera — Euglandina Varicella 


Small, many whorled, slender, tapering shells; lip reflected; 


Common genera — Holospira 

Cochlodmella Microceramus 


Small, slender shells; lip thin; base of columella slightly turned 
back over umbilical area 

Common genera — Rumina Cecilwides 

Lamellaxis Suhulma 


Pupa-like; large (about 1") and solid; often streaked with color; 
aperture completely reflected 
Common genus — Cerion 

Animal slug'like, with posterior mantle and rudimentary, ear' 
shaped shell 

Common genus — Testacella 

Shells heliciform, moderate sized, thin, semi-shining, with wide 
umbilicus; foot not grooved 
Common genus — Haplotrema 

Shells usually depressed; shining or semi-transparent; aperture 
large and thin-lipped; foot often grooved 
Common genera — Zonitoides Pristiloma 

Mesomphix Ventridens 

Vitrina Gastrodonta 

Vitrinizonites Hawana 

Pilshryna RetineUa 

Clappiella Euconulus 

Paravitrea Oxychilus 

Striatura Cuppya 



Shells with low spire, thin lip; often dull or with color mark' 

ings; margin of foot grooved, sole ungrooved 

Common genera ■ — ■ Anguispira Punctum 

Discus Radiodiscus 


Very thin shells, with small spire and large body whorl and 


Common genera — Succined Oxyloma 


Minute; parietal wall with several entering lamellae; foot not 


Common genus — Strohilops 

Small or minute; shell almost cylindrical; lip reflected; aperture 

contracted by teeth or lamellae; with one or two pairs of 


Common genera — Gastrocopta 'Vertigo 

Pupilla Ster\ia 

Pupoides Pubisoma 

Chaenaxis Columella 


Minute; shells heliciform, with three or four whorls; foot not 


Common genera — Vallonia Zoogenetes 


Small, slender shells, with thin lip and base of columella some- 

what twisted; foot not grooved 

Common genus — Cionella 

Slugs with no vestige of shell and with mantle covering most 

of the back; respiratory pore above margin of mantle 

Common genera — Philomycus Pallifera 


Slugs; no external shell, but sometimes with a vestige of one in 

the mantle; mantle exterior; foot smooth 

Common genera — Limax Milax 


Slugs; sometimes with vestige of shell; mantle anterior; foot 

with marginal furrows 


Common genera — Binneya Arion 

HernphiUia Prophysaon 

Ariolimax Anadenulus 

Hesperarion Zacoleus 


Slug'like; with two pairs of tentacles, the larger pair contractile 
and with eyes at the ends 

Slugs; mantle covering entire back; respiratory pore below mar' 
gin of mantle 

Common genus — Veronicella 

Shell opcrculate; with or without gills; usually with one pair of 
nou'contractile tentacles, with a pair of stalked or unstalked eyes 
at their bases; sexes separate 

Terrestrial; no gill, mantle cavity serving as lung; operculum with 
concentric half 'rings 
Shell hcliciform 

Common genera — Heliciyia Hendersonid 


Terrestrial; with or v^ithout a small gill; operculum with subspiral 

With a small gill; spire almost cylindrical; lip continuously 

Common genus — Trimcatella 

No gill; shell higher than Vw'ide; lip slightly reflected 
Common genus — Chondropoma 

Aquatic; gill bearing filaments on both sides 

Shell globose, with very short spire; columella area much ex' 
panded; eyes on stalks on the outside of the bases of the 

Common genera — Tsleritina Lepyrium 


Aquatic; gill usually bearing filaments on one side 



Shell small, usually conical; aperture rounded; Vv'ith eyes on the 
outside of the bases of cylindrical tentacles; operculum various, 
concentric (Bythinia) to spiral 

Common genera — Amnicola Lyogyrus 

Bythima Horatia 

Somatogyrus Lyrodes 

Fluminicola Gillia 

Pomatiopsis Cochlwpa 

Littoridina Clappia 

Tryonia Pyrgulopsis 

Paludestnna Hoyia 


Shell small, with low spire; aperture ovate; gill with filaments 
on both sides (exceptional in this order) ; with stalked eyes on 
the inner sides of the bases of cylindrical tentacles; operculum 
with multispiral markings 
Common genus — 'Valvata 

Animal viviparous; with stalked eyes on the outside of the bases 
of slender tentacles; operculum largely with concentric mark' 
ings; gill present, no lung 

Common genera — \liviparus LiopJax 

Campeloma Tulotoma 


Aquatic or amphibious; with stalked eyes on the outside of the 
bases of slender tentacles; operculum with concentric markings; 
with both gill and respiratory sac 
Common genus — Pomacea 

Shell usually elongate; aperture with slight channel below; eyes 
on the outside of the bases of the tentacles; operculum subspiral 
Common genera — ■ Pleurocera Anculosa 

lo Gyrotoma 

Goniohasis Eurycaelon 

Lithasia l^itocris 


With two opposing valves joined by a hinge ligament; animal without 
a distinct head 


With gill filaments joined to form continuous lamellae 



Valves nacreous; siphons short; usually with pseudocardinal 
teeth and with lateral teeth posterior to them, sometimes absent; 
with a glochidial larval stage, usually parasitic on fishes 


Gills without water tubes and with only scattered inter- 
lamellar connections; shell long and usually arcuate; later- 
al teeth very blurred (Sometimes grouped as a separate 
Common genera — Margaritana Cumherlayidia 


Gills crosswise divided into water tubes; water tubes of 
gravid female lengthwise divided into three sections or 
tubes, with the middle ones serving as ovisacs to form the 
marsupium, which extends the length of each outer gill; 
hinge teeth reduced or absent 
Common genera — Anodonta Arcidens 

Strophitus Ar}{ansia 

Alasynidoyita Lasmigona 

Decuramhis Simpsoniconcha 


Subfamily UNIONINAE 

Water tubes of gravid female undivided; marsupium 
sharp-edged, formed from all four gills or from the outer 
gill on each side; hinge teeth usually complete; inter- 
dentum usually flat; valves usually sculptured; no distinc- 
tion between male and female shells 
Common genera — Elliptio Ohliquaria 

Pleurohema Dromns 

Canthyna Cyprogema 

^uadrula Hemistena 

Amhlema Ptychohranchus 



Water tubes of gravid female undivided; marsupium 
swollen beyond the edge of the gills, usually formed only 
from the posterior part of the outer gills; hinge teeth 
usually complete; interdcntum usually rounded; valves 
usually smooth; female shells often more swollen or some- 
times more rugose posteriorly than the male 


Common genera • — Lampsilis Ohovaria 

Proptera Glehula 

Carunculina Medionidus 

Truncilla Lemiox 

Plagiola Dysnomia 


Small; no nacre; beaks terminal; valves narrow and unequal; 
with conspicuous siphons; foot with byssus (thread or threads 
used for attachment to rocks, etc.) ; Atlantic coast (Not included 
in the key) 

Common genus — Congeria 

Small; shell porcelain-like; with hinge plate; with cardinal teeth 
and anterior and posterior lateral teeth; with two distinct si' 
phons; southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts (Not included in the 

Common genus — Polymesoda (Cyrena) 

Small; no nacre; no hinge plate; with cardinal teeth and an' 
terior and posterior lateral teeth; generally distributed (Some 
times grouped with the preceding family) 
Common genera — Sphaerium Musculium 


Enpera (Tropical species, not included 
in the key) 

Small; no nacre; with cardinal teeth but no lateral teeth; with 
two long siphons, contractile, completely united; Florida (Not 
included in the key) 
Common genus — Cyrenella 

Large; no nacre; with cardinal teeth and anterior and posterior 
lateral teeth; with two short siphons, united below; in brackish 
waters of the Gulf States (Not in key) 
Common genus — Rangia 










U M B I L I C U S 


L I P 










Without a shell or with a cap-like or spirally wound, one-piece shell; 
usually with a head hearing eyes and tentacles and with a broad, flat 
foot; aquatic or terrestrial 

Class Gastropoda Snails and Slugs 
With a bivalve shell; no head bearing eyes and tentacles; foot usually 
keel-like; aquatic 

Class Pelecypoda Clams and Clam-like MoUusks 


1. Water animals; with only one pair of tentacles; never with eyes at the 

ends of the tentacles 2. 

Land animals; with one or two pairs of tentacles 93. 

2. Shell cap-like, not coiled — Limpets 3. 
Shell more or less coiled 9. 

3. Apex pink; about %" 

Rhodacmea filosa (Conrad) 
Shell almost uniformly brownish 4. 

4. Apex about central; about %"; western states 5. 
Apex more posterior; shell smaller 6. 

5. Shell fairly solid and about as high as wide 

Lanx patelloides (Lea) 
Shell thinner and more depressed 

Lanx ('Wal\erola) ?^/amathensis Hannibal 

6. Apex cut oif internally from the rest of the shell by a septum, appearing 

externally like a small shell-cap 7, 

Apex not so separated 8. 

7. Apex with radial striations 

Gundlach-ia mee\xana Stimpson 
{Kincaidella mee\iana (Stimpson) ) 
Apex smooth 

Gundlachia hjalmarsom Pfeiffer 

8. Apex smooth 

Ferrissia diaphana (Haldeman) 
{Laevapex fusca (Adams) ) 
Apex with radial striations 

Ferrissia rivularis (Say) 
(Ancylus rivularis Say) 

9. Shell subconic, scarcely coiled; with a thin columellar plate projecting 

across part of the aperture; Alabama 

Amphigyra alahamensis Pilsbry Boat Shell 
Shell with two or more coils; no columellar plate across the aperture 10. 


10. Without an operculum (a horny or Hmy structure attached to the body 

and used to close the aperture of the shell) 11. 

With an operculum 45. 

11. Shell minute, with two whorls, w^idcr than high; base of columella 

broadly expanded; Alabama 

l\[eoplanorhis tantillus Pilsbry 
With three or more whorls 12. 

12. Shell left'handed (coiled counter'clockwise) or else disc-shaped, coiled 

almost or entirely in one plane 13. 

Shell normally right-handed (coiled clockwise), globular to high 32. 

13. Shell left-handed or apparently right-handed, usually coiled in one plane, 

but occasionally with only the small upper whorls so coiled — Ramshom 

Snails 14. 

Shell left-handed; spire acute — Tadpole Snails 26. 

14. With small teeth back within the aperture; seldom over %" wide; 

widely distributed 15. 

Aperture not toothed; size various 16. 

15. Lip thin 

Planorhida armigera (Say) Toothed Ramshorn 
{Segmentina armigera (Say) ) 
Lip with a thickened crest within 

Planorhida crassilahris (Walker) 
(Segmentina crassilahris Walker) 

16. Shell left-handed 17. 
Shell apparently right-handed 19. 

17. With only the small upper whorls coiled in one plane, so that the shell is 

Physa-shaped; Florida 

Helisoma scalare (Jay) 
Shell disc-shaped; west to the Rockies 18. 

18. Lip slightly flaring; whorls four and one-half or more, and rather loose; 

smaller whorls distinct 

Helisoma campanulutum (Say) Bell-mouth Ramshorn 
(Planorhis campanulatus Say) 
Aperture not flared; coils tight and four and one-half or less; smaller 
whorls blending 

Helisoma trivolvis (Say) Common Ramshorn 
(Planorhis trivolvis Say) 

19. Aperture flaring; lip thickened; whorls keeled on both sides, with the 

periphery curved or flat; widely distributed 

Helisoma anceps (Menke) Keeled Ramshorn 
(Planorhis antrosus Conrad) 
(Planorhis hicarinatus Say) 
Lip simple 20. 

20. Shell flat below, with the base of the aperture in the same plane as the 

base of the shell; southern states, Florida to Texas 
Drepanotrema cultratum (Orb) 
Shell more or less flattened below, with the base of the aperture below 
the base of the shell 21. 












21. Shell much flattened, with the body whorl distinctly keeled 22. 
Shell not so much flattened; body whorl sometimes shouldered 23. 

22. Body whorl almost concealing the other whorls, when viewed from 

below; Pacific states 

iVlenetus opercularis (Gould) 
(Planorhis opercularis Gould) 
Whorls visible from both sides; widely distributed 
Promenetus exacuous (Say) 

23. Body whorl shouldered or faintly keeled above; umbilicus small and 

deep, with the body whorl almost concealing the other whorls; eastern 
and central states 

Menetus dUatatiis (Gould) 
Body whorl more symmetrically rounded; umbilicus wide, with most 
of the whorls plainly visible; generally distributed 24. 

24. Shell with cross striations 

Armigera cnsta (Linn.) 
(Planorbis cristus (Linn.) ) 
Shell finely striate or smooth 25. 

25. Epidermis erect between the growth lines; aperture oblique 

Gyraulus hirsutus (Gould) 
(Planorhis hirsutus Gould) 
Surface smooth; aperture more even 

Gyraulus (Torqws) parvus (Say) 
(Planorhis parvus Say) 

26. Shell narrow; width less than one-half length 

Aplexa hypnorum (Linn.) 
Shell wider ' 27. 

27. Shell lengthwise ribbed 

Costatella costata (Newcomb) 
Shell without lengthwise markings except growth lines 28. 

28. Whorls blending, so that the sutures appear as scarcely more than fine 

lines; spire usually so low that it scarcely disturbs the outline of the 
body whorl; body whorl usually distinctly shouldered; shell usually 
with fine spiral lines; Maine to Minn, and south to the Ohio River; a 
river species 

Physa ancillaria Say 
Sutures evident; spire usually somewhat acute; body whorl less shoul- 
dered; shell with or without fine spiral lines 29. 

29. With a thick white callus on the parietal wall and around the edge of 

the lip; seldom over ^2'' high; Great Lakes area to the Gulf 
Physa integra (Haldeman) 
Callus around lip purplish or less conspicuous 30. 

30. Shell smooth and shining; seldom much over 1/2'' high; New England; 

rarer west of the Alleghenics; not south of the Ohio and Potomac 
rivers; small stream form 

Physa heterostropha (Say) 
Shell with fine spiral lines; becoming larger ' 3L 


31. Usually with a trace of an umbilicus, almost covered by the reflected lip; 

shell solid; lip joins body at an acute angle, making a loop-shaped or 
shouldered aperture; from Alabama to Texas northward, in stagnant 

Physa gyrina Say 
No umbilicus; shell thin; body whorl rounded; N. Y. to Nebraska and 
southward to the Ohio River; a lake species 

Physa sayii (Tappan) 

32. Aperture toothed or ridged; brackish water species 

Melampus lineatus Say Ear Shell 
Aperture without teeth or ridges; fresh water species 33. 

33. Shell globular, usually about as wide as high; tentacles cylindrical; west- 

ern species 34. 

Shell higher than wide; tentacles flattened; generally distributed; Lyrri' 

naea (Fossaria) sp. — Common Pond Snails 35. 

34. With a deep umbilicus; shell often keeled around top of whorls 

Cannifex newherryi (Lea) Terraced Pond Snail 
Scarcely or not perforated 

Parapholyx ejfusa (Lea) California Pond Snail 
{Pompholyx effusa Lea) 

35. Body whorl large and inflated; aperture large and oval or rounded 36, 
Body whorl compressed or narrow; aperture moderate to narrow 40. 

36. Spire long and slender, usually longer than the aperture 

Lymnaea (Lymnaea) stagnalis (Linn.) 
Spire rather thick and usually equal to or shorter than the aperture 37. 

37. Spire much shorter than the aperture 38, 
Spire only a little, if any, shorter than the aperture 39. 

38. Aperture much inflated, larger than the shell; a European species intro* 

duced into the eastern states 

Lymnaea (Radix) auricularia (Linn.) 
Body whorl and aperture lengthened; native species 
Lymnaea (Lymnaea) columella Say 
(Pseudosuccinea columella (Say) ) 

39. Columellar area of aperture very broad; over 1" high 

Lymnaea (Bulimnea) megasoma Say 
Columellar area of aperture narrower; smaller 
Lymnaea (Stagnicola) emarginata Say 

40. Shell very long and narrow; upper whorls as high as, or higher than, 

wide 41. 

Shell narrow, but with the upper whorls wider than high 42» 

41. Aperture extremely narrow, with a continuous lip; shell unlined 

Lymnaea (Acella) haldemani Desh. 
(Lymnaea gracilis Jay) 
Aperture oval; lip not continuous; shell with growth lines 
Lymnaea (Stagnicola) reflexa Say 


42. Columella folded or twisted; surface of shell with a malleated appear' 

ance; about 1" 

Lymnaea (Stagmcola) palustns (Mi.iller) Hammered Pond Snail 

Columella smooth; shell with lengthwise growth lines and often with 

fine spiral lines; about ^2'" 43. 

43. Inner edge of aperture slightly curved over the umbilical area 

Lymnaea (Galha) humilis Say 
(Includes Lymnaea modicella Say) 
Inner edge of aperture turned in a more or less triangular expansion over 
the umbilical area 44. 

44. Shell solid; epidermis standing erect on the spiral lines 

Lymnaea (Galha) caperata Say 
Shell thin; spiral lines impressed 

Lymnaea (Galha) ohrnssa Say 

45. Inner edge of operculum with small projections which fit into depres' 

sions in the base of the columella; fresh and brackish waters of the 
Florida and Gulf coasts 

J\[eritina reclivata (Say) Wavy-lined Shell 
Columellar area of aperture not serrate 46. 

46. Shell cup' or turban-shaped, with three whorls, very thin and trans- 

parent; inner side of aperture very broad; Alabama 
Lepyrium showalteri (Lea) Turban Shell 
Not so 47. 

47. Aperture circular; operculum circular, with multispiral (tightly wound) 

markings; body whorl slightly disjoined; usually less than %" 48. 

Aperture approaching oval; opercular markings concentric or slightly 

spiral; body whorl not disjoined 52. 

48. Shell much higher than wide; Atlantic states 

Lyogyrus pupoideus (Gould) 
Shell about as wide as, or wider than, high 49. 

49. Whorls rounded 50. 
Whorls keeled 51. 

50. Operculum with about ten spirals 

Valvata sincera Say Smooth Valve Shell 
Operculum with about four spirals 
Horatia micra (P. ^ F.) 

5 1 . Apex somewhat elevated 

Valvata tncannata (Say) Three-keeled Valve Shell 
Apex low 

Valvata hicarinata Lea Two-keeled Valve Shell 

52. Opercular markings concentric (outer markings concentric, central 

markings spiral, in one species) 53. 

Opercular markings spiral 64. 

53. Inner margin of operculum reflected, making the opercular markings 

concentric half rings; shell heavy and usually with tubercles; Alabama 
Tulotoma magnifica (Conrad) Knobby Shell 


Operculum oval; outer opercular markings concentric rings; shell not 
tuberculate 54. 

54. With the outer opercular markings concentric, the central ones spiral; 

whorls usually faintly keeled; about V2''; Ohio southwards 
Lioplax subcarinata (Say) Keeled Mud Snail 
Opercular markings concentric; whorls usually smooth 55. 

55. Spire very much shorter than the aperture; shell with revolving bands 

of color; about 2"; Georgia and Florida 

Pomacea paludosa (Say) Infusoria Snail 
(Ampullaria depressa Say) 
Spire about as high as the aperture; color banded or plain; smaller; 
eastern and central states 56. 

56. Operculum limy; color greenish'yellow; about Y2" 

Bythinia tentaculata (Linn.) 
(Buhmus tentaculatus (Linn.) ) 
Operculum horny; getting to be larger 57. 

57. Upper part of aperture forming an angle of about seventy degrees; shell 

usually dark or with revolving bands of color - — • Dark or Banded Mud 

Snails 58. 

Upper part of aperture forming an angle of about fifty degrees; shell 

usually plain greenish — Green Mud Snails 60. 

58. Spire slightly shorter than the aperture; umbilicus present, except in 

southern forms; Mississippi drainage 

Vnnparus intertextus (Say) Brown Mud Snail 
Spire usually longer than the aperture; umbilicus absent or a very narrow 
chink 59. 

59. With four dark bands; N. Y. to Michigan 

Vwiparus contectoides Binney Banded Mud Snail 
(Paludina vwipara (Say) ) 
Without bands; Mississippi drainage 

Vivipariis suhpurpureus (Say) Purple Mud Snail 

60. Shell rather thin; upper whorls usually eroded; northeastern and north- 

central states 

Caynpeloma decisum (Say) 
Shell solid to heavy 61. 

6L Whorls usually rounded; aperture usually about as long as the spire; 

apical whorl sunk within the second whorl 62. 

Whorls usually somewhat flattened; aperture often shorter than the 

spire; apical whorl raised above the second whorl 63. 

62. Shell usually reddish beneath the epidermis; east-central and central 


Campeloma rufuiyi (Haldeman) 
Shell white beneath the epidermis; shell very thick and heav>'; N. Y. to 

Campeloma ponderosum (Say) 

63. With six whorls; upper Mississippi River 

Campeloma integrum (Say) 









\ O FUUV \ A L » S 




With seven whorls; body whorl more flattened than in the preceding 
species; Ohio River area 

Campeloma suhsolidum (Anthony) 
(Campeloma crassulum Raf.) 

64. Lower edge of aperture more or less narrowed or slightly drawn out 

to a blunt point, in most species; shell often dark-banded within; 
usually heavy and getting to be over one-half an inch high; several 
genera and many species, most of them south of the Ohio River, but 
some farther north and west, and a few species of the genus Gonio^ 
basis on the west coast; a large and variable group, with genera and 
species intergrading; Family Pleuroceridae 65. 

Aperture broadly rounded below; shell usually plain colored; usually 
solid to thin and less than one-half an inch high 76. 

65. With a gap in the upper rim of the aperture along the suture; found 

in the Coosa River, Alabama 

Gyrotoma amplum Anthony Cut-lip Shell 
{Schizostoma ampla (Anthony) ) 
Aperture complete above 66. 

66. Lower edge of aperture produced into a long, narrow half -tube; shell 

often spinous or tuberculate 

lo fluviahs (Say) Spindle Shell 
(Includes lo spmosus Lea) 
Aperture not so much drawn out; shell smooth or rough 67. 

67. Columellar area of aperture heavily calloused; aperture slightly longer 

than the spire in most species 68. 

Columellar area slightly thickened ; spire somewhat longer than the aper' 

ture in most species — Steeple Shells 74. 

68. Aperture drawn out but scarcely narrowed below; body whorl smooth 

to ridged or faintly tuberculate 69. 

Aperture narrowed below; body whorl smooth to tuberculate 70. 

69. Many species of the genus Anculosa. A few species have been referred 

to the genus Klitocris on the basis of difference in number and arrange 
mcnt of teeth of the radula. Shells vary greatly in sculpture according 
to locality. Two representative species are given. 

Anculosa praerosa (Say) 

l^itocris carinata (Brug.) 

70. Columellar extremity of lip turned sharply inward below 71. 
Columellar extremity of lip slightly incurved below 72. 

7 1 . Inner edge of lip folded back over a deep umbilical area 

Eurycaelon anthonyi (Budd) 
With a callus over the umbilical area 

Eurycaelon crassa (Haldeman) 

72. Aperture well produced below; body whorl usually with a central row 

of tubercles 

Lithasia armxgera (Say) 
(Angitrema armigera (Say) ) 


Aperture not so much produced below; body whorl practically smooth 
or with a row of tubercles above the middle 73. 

73. Body whorl practically smooth 

Lithasia obovata (Say) 
Usually with a row of tubercles around the upper part of the body whorl 
Lithasia geniculata Haldeman 

74. Columellar area of aperture smooth (Very many intergrading species, 

of which one representative is given here) 
Goniobasis virginica (Gmelin) 
Columellar area of aperture folded or twisted (Many intergrading spC' 
cies, of which two representatives are given here) 75. 

75. Body whorl considerably lengthened; sides of body whorl usually almost 

parallel; outer lip almost perpendicular; operculum small and trans' 
parent, with the spiral lines touching the margin at the base 
Pleurocera (Strephobasis) curtum (Haldeman) 
Sides of body whorl usually diverging; outer lip more oblique; operculum 
more solid, with the spiral lines touching the margin at the left side 
Pleurocera acuta Raf . 

76. Shell rather solid; spire usually slightly shorter than the aperture; colu' 

mellar area of aperture thickened 77. 

Shell usually thinner; spire usually slightly to decidedly longer than the 

aperture; columellar area thin 82. 

77. Shell wider than high; umbilicus wide; southwestern states 

Cochlwpa riograndensis P. & F. 
Shell slightly higher than wide 78. 

78. Umbilicus oval and deep; Alabama 

Clappia clappi Walker Clapp's Shell 
Umbilicus narrow or absent 79. 

79. Edge of aperture continuously in one plane; sutures slightly impressed; 

southeastern states 

Gillia altihs (Lea) Gilly 
Lip projecting forward; sutures well impressed 80. 

80. Lip projecting centrally; shell solid; West Coast 

Fluminicola nuttalhana (Lea) Flood Shell 
Lip projecting above; shell slightly thinner; central and southern states 
— Globe Shells 81. 

81. With a narrow umbilicus; getting to be over %" 

Somatogyrus subglobosus (Say) 
(Birgella subglobosa (Say) ) 
Shell scarcely or not perforated; less than %" 
Somatogyrus depressus (Tryon) 

82. Shell lengthwise ribbed ; western states 

Tryonia clathrata Stimpson 
Not so 83. 

83. Whorls keeled or angulated above; west and south 84. 
Whorls more rounded; more generally distributed 86. 


84. Whorls with a sharp central keel; western states 

Pyrgulopsis nevadensis (Stearns) 
Whorls angulated above; southern states 85. 

85. Shell rather slender; no umbilicus; often with spines along the shouldered 

area of the whorls 

Lyrodes coronatus (Pfeiffer) 
(Potamopyrgus coronatus (Pfeiffer) ) 
Shell stouter; with a narrow umbilicus; whorls smoothly shouldered 
Littoridina monroensis (Frauenfeld) 

86. Usually with a small umbilicus; part of operculum with fine, screen'like 

markings 87. 

Shell scarcely or not perforate; no fine, criss-cross lines on the operculum 


87. Animal amphibious, found on pond edges; shell about two times as high 

as wide, with somewhat turreted whorls; foot with a transverse groove 

Pomatiopsis lapidaria (Say) Amphibious Snail 
Animal aquatic; shell globose to narrow, with convex whorls; foot entire 
— Lake Shells 88. 

88. Apex flattened, the second whorl surrounding the tiny nuclear whorl 

in the same plane 89. 

Apex acute 90. 

89. With the first three whorls coiled in one plane 

Amnicola emarginata (Kiister) 
(Cincinnatia emarginata (Kiister)) 
With the first two whorls coiled in one plane 
Amnicola limosa (Say) 

90. Spire only slightly longer than the aperture 

Amnicola integer (Say) 
(Cincinnatia cincinnaUensis (Anthony) ) 
Spire decidedly longer than the aperture 
Amnicola lustrica Pilsbry 

91. Lip not continuous 

Hoyia sheldoni (Pilsbry) 
Lip continuous — • Watercress Snails 92. 

92. Aperture broadly oval, scarcely narrowed above 

Paludestrina nic\liniana (Lea) 
(Bythinella nic\liniana (Lea) ) 
(Stimpsonia nicl{liniana (Lea) ) 
Aperture angled above 

Paludestrina longinqua (Gould) 

93. Shell absent or very small in proportion to the body of the animal, and 

scarcely or not coiled — Slugs and Slug-like Mollusks 94. 

Shell of two or more coils, almost or entirely enclosing the retracted 
animal — ■ Land Snails 118. 

94. Shell somewhat exposed 95. 
Shell hidden or absent 98. 


95. Shell slightly spiral 96. 
Shell a flattened or convex plate; northwestern states — Plated Slugs 97. 

96. Mantle on the rear of the animal, covered by a tiny shell; an introduced 

species often found in greenhouses 

Testacella haliotoidea Draparnaud 
(Testacella europaea de Roissy) 
Mantle more central, partly covered by a small shell; on islands off the 
coast of California 

Binneya notahilis Cooper 

97. Mantle covered with papillae; posterior part of body with a median 

ridge ending in a curved-down projection 

Hemphillia glandulosa B. 6? B. 
Mantle slightly wrinkled; posterior half of body somewhat keeled, but 
without any terminal projection 

Hemphillia camelus P. &? V. 

98. Mantle covering almost or all of the back 99, 
Mantle anterior in position 101. 

99. Respiratory pore on the right side, posterior, and below the margin of 

the mantle; Florida 

Veronicella flondana (Leidy) 
Respiratory pore on the right side, anterior, and slightly above the mar- 
gin of the mantle; in the eastern and central states 100. 

100. Mantle covering the entire back; animal yellowish, with dark blotches 

which may form three indefinite lengthwise rows; about 3" or 4" 
long; west to Iowa and Texas 

Philomycus carolinianus (Bosc) 
{Tebennophorus carolinensis (Bosc) ) 
Mantle covering all but a small head region; animal grayish, sometimes 
with a broken dark band down the center of the back; about Y/' 
long; northeastern and north'central states 
Palhfera dorsalis (Binney) 
(Tebennophorus dorsalis (Binney) ) 

101. Respiratory pore on the right side and placed centrally or anterior to 

the middle of the mantle 102. 

Respiratory pore placed posterior to the middle of the right side of the 

mantle 109. 

102. Skin coarsely wrinkled lengthwise and often with lengthwise tubercles; 

genital pore below the respiratory pore; introduced European species 


Skin with a network enclosing diamond-shaped patches or with more 

oblique wrinkles on the sides; genital pore below or behind the right 

tentacle; western species 105. 

103. Back uniformly colored; 21/2" lo^ig 

Arion ater (Linn.) 
Back usually striped; smaller 104. 

104. Dark stripe on right side of mantle passing through the respiratory pore 

Arion hortensis Per. Gray European Slug 
(Anon fuscus (Miillcr) ) 


Dark stripe on right side of mantle passing above the respiratory pore 
A^rion circumscnptus Johnston 

105. Sole with two lengthwise grooves; tail normal; Cal. 

Anadenulus coc\erelli (Hemp.) 
Sole plain; with a narrowed area around the body about two-thirds of 
the way back, which may be self -amputated, in most species; Pacific 
states into Idaho 106. 

106. Sides with oblique lines only; no light or dark mid-dorsal stripe 

Prophysaon coeruJeum Cockerell 
Sides with cross lines between the oblique lines; usually with a light or 
dark mid-dorsal stripe 107. 

107. With a dark mid-dorsal stripe 

Prophysaon vanattae Pilsbry 
Usually with a light mid-dorsal stripe 108. 

108. Respiratory pore about central in mantle; about 2y2'' long 

Prophysaon andersoni (Cooper) 
Respiratory pore slightly anterior in mantle; getting to be 3 to 4 inches 

Prophysaon foliohtum (Gould) 

109. With a caudal mucous pore; sole indistinctly in three lengthwise sections; 

western species 110. 

No caudal mucous pore; sole distinctly grooved in three lengthwise sec 

tions 112. 

110. Caudal pore deep and open; less than 2" long; Cal. 

Hesperarion hemphilli (Binney) 
Caudal pore filled with spongy tissue; larger 111. 

111. Mantle free for about one-fourth of the way back from the front mar' 

gin; yellowish or brownish, with dark dashes; Cal. 

Ariolimax calif ornicus Cooper California Garden Slug 
Mantle free for about one-third of its length; yellowish or greenish, with 
dark dashes or blotches; Pacific states 

Ariolimax columhianus (Gould) Columbian Garden Slug 

112. Back with two or three unbroken dark stripes; about two inches long; 

a European species found in greenhouses and introduced into Cali- 

Limax marginatus Miiller Striped European Slug 
Stripes on back usually broken or absent 113. 

113. Sides with lengthwise stripes or rows of blotches; large animals, getting 

to be 5" or 6" long 114. 

Small (about 1" to 2" long), plain colored or irregularly spotted 

slugs 115. 

114. Color brownish, with gray blotches; a European species found in green' 

houses and widely distributed throughout the U. S. 
Limax flavus Linn. Spotted Slug 
Color brownish, with black blotches; a European species established in 
various parts of the U. S. 

Limax maximum Linn. Giant Spotted Slug 









PmuoMYcuS c AROL > N I ANUS 



115. Back smooth between conspicuous lengthwise furrows; mantle with a 

U-shaped groove; an introduced species often found in greenhouses 
Milax gagates Drap. Greenhouse Slug 
(Amalia gagates (Drap.) ) 
Back with fine transverse striae; no U'shaped groove in the mantle 116. 

116. Back keeled behind mantle; mantle granular; western states 

Zacoleus idahoensis Pilsbry Idaho Slug 
Back keeled only toward tail; mantle with concentric lines; generally 
distributed ■ — Gray Garden Slugs 117. 

117. Color grayish or brownish; with flat tubercles over the surface, with 

dark lines or furrows separating them; about 1'^ to 2" long 
Deroceras reticulatum (Miiller) 
(Agriolimax agrestis (Linn.) ) 
Color yellowish to dark; with rounded tubercles over the surface, of the 
same color as the separating furrows; about 1"" long 
Deroceras laeve (Miiller) 
(Deroceras gracile Raf.) 
(Agriolimax campestris (Binney) ) 

118. With an operculum (a permanent structure attached to the body and 

used to close the aperture of the shell) ; lip more or less reflected; with 
one pair of tentacles with stalked or unstalked eyes at their bases 119. 
Without an operculum (Species of Helix and related genera may have an 
epiphragm — a temporary seal for the opening, while the snail is in a 
resting condition. This epiphragm is a dried and hardened secretion 
that is not attached to the body.) ; usually with two pairs of tentacles, 
with eyes at the ends of the larger pair, sometimes with the small, an' 
terior pair absent (except Carychium exiguum, which has one pair of 
tentacles, with a pair of eyes at their bases) 124. 

119. Shell narrow, much higher than wide 120. 
Shell heliciform, little, if any, higher than wide; less than V2''; southern 

states 121. 

120. Shell lengthwise ribbed; lip continuously thickened and reflected 

Truncatella hilahiata Pfeiffer 
Shell with fine lengthwise and spiral lines; lip slightly reflected 
Chondropoma dentatum (Say) 

121. Shell with lengthwise striations 122. 
Shell smooth 123. 

122. Spire scarcely elevated above the body whorl; less than Vg" wide; Florida 

Lucidella tantilla (Pilsbry) 
Height about equal to width; about V4"; north-central states to N. C. 
Hendersonia occulta (Say) 

123. Shell slightly wider than high; slightly under I/4"; southeastern and 

south'Central states 

Helicina orhiculata (Say) 
Shell slightly higher than wide; slightly over %"; Texas 
Helicina chrysocheila Binney 


124. Shell distinctly higher than wide 125. 
Height about equal to, or less than, width 153. 

125. Aperture toothed or with the outer side of margin reflected 126. 
Aperture toothless; lip thin 136. 

126. Aperture round and toothless; edge of aperture completely reflected all 

around; about ^2" ^ig^ 127. 

Edge of aperture incomplete across the parietal wall 128. 

127. Body whorl curved, disjoined; aperture almost circular; southeastern 


Cochlodinella poeyana (Orb.) 
{IJrocoptis poeyana (Orb.) ) 
{Cylindrella poeyana (Orb.)) 
Body whorl keeled below and scarcely or not disjoined; aperture some' 
what squarish; southwestern states 
Holospira roemeri (Pfeiffer) 
(Cylindrella roemeri Pfeilfer) 

128. Shell narrow, tapering; with more than seven whorls; aperture toothless; 

about 1/2" to y/^; southern states 

Microceramus pontificus (Gould) 
(Macroceramus pontificus (Gould) ) 
Shell more cylindrical, approaching capsulcshaped; whorls may or may 
not exceed seven; toothed or toothless 129. 

129. Shell very thin and transparent, minute; aperture with about two teeth; 

with one pair of tentacles, with eyes at their bases; generally distributed 

Carychium exiguum (Say) 

Shell translucent or opaque, usually rather solid; large or small; toothed 

or toothless; with one or two pairs of tentacles, with eyes at the ends 

of the single or larger pair 130. 

130. Shell white or streaked with color; about 1" high; Florida 

Cerion incanum (Binney) Giant Pupa Shell 
Usually plain brownish colored; usually much smaller; more generally 
distributed; Family Pupilhdae ■ — Pupa Shells 131. 

131. Shell widely umbilicate, with a hollow axis to apex; Arizona 

Chaenaxis tuha (P. & F.) 

Not so; more generally distributed 132. 

132. With only one pair of tentacles 133. 
With two pairs of tentacles, the lower pair minute 134. 

133. Tooth or lamella on parietal wall nearest outer edge of aperture not 

reaching to junction of lip with parietal wall 
Vertigo ovata Say 
Tooth or lamella on parietal wall nearest outer edge of aperture reach' 
ing to junction of lip with parietal wall 
Ster\ia hemphilli (Sterki) 

134. Usually with five or more teeth in the aperture; teeth on parietal wall 

usually joined together 

Gastrocopta armifera (Say) 
(Bifidaria armifera (Say) ) 
Usually toothless or with one small tooth 135. 


135. Spire somewhat tapering; coils rather loose 

Pupoides albilahr-is (Adams) 
(Pupoides marginatus (Say) ) 
Spire more cylindrical; with close coils 
Pupilla muscorum (Linn.) 

136. Shell of three or four whorls 137. 
Shell of five or more whorls 141. 

137. Shell almost globular; shell minute 207. 
Body whorl and aperture very large and flaring; smooth, thin shells, 

about Yj'^ high, usually found near pond edges; generally distributed 
— Amber Snails 138. 

138. Aperture about one-half the length of the shell 

Succinea avara Say 
Aperture longer 139. 

1 39. Shell rather dull and opaque 

Succinea campestris Say 
Shell more translucent, shining 140. 

140. Inner side of aperture (parietal wall) almost vertical 

Oxyloma retusa (Lea) 
Inner side of aperture more oblique 
Succinea ovalis Say 

141. Inner side of aperture (columellar extremity) truncate or slightly rolled 

inwards 142. 

Lower inner margin of aperture slightly turned outwards 143. 

142. With about ten whorls; shell over three times as high as wide; V2" ^o 

%" long; introduced into Florida 
Subulina octona (Brug.) 
With less than ten whorls; shell wider in proportion to height; about 
IV2" high; southern states 

Euglandina rosea (Fer.) Scroll Shell 
(Glandina truncata (Gmelin) ) 

143. Shell more than three times as high as wide 144. 
Shell lower in proportion to width 146. 

144. Shell lengthwise ribbed; about I/4" high; Florida 

Varicella gracillima (Pfciffer) 
(Stenogyra gracillima (Pfeitfer) ) 
Shell practically smooth; southern states 145. 

145. Whorls flattened; body whorl almost one-half as long as the shell; less 

than 1/4" high 

Cecilioides acicula (Miiller) Needle Shell 
Whorls convex; body whorl much shorter; about V2" ^^S^ 
Lamellaxis gracilis (Hutton) 
(Opeas gracile (Hutton) ) 
(Stenogyra subula (Pfeifler) ) 


146. Shell almost cylindrical, pupa-shaped; small (%" or less); generally dis' 

tributed 147. 

Shell more tapering; becoming larger; southern states 148. 

147. Aperture about as high as wide; shell dull; one of the Pupillidae lacking 

teeth and with a thin lip 

Columella edentula (Drap.) Toothless Pupa 
Aperture narrowed; shell shining 

Cionella luhrica (Miillcr) Brilliant Snail 
(Cochlicopa luhrica (Miiller) ) 

148. Apex broken off; shell plain light colored 

Rumina decollata (Linn.) 
Apex normally entire; shell usually, but not always, banded or streaked 
with color 149. 

149. Body whorl inflated; aperture wide 150. 
Body whorl and aperture more narrowed 151. 

150. Aperture about one-half as long as the shell 

Orthahcus reses (Say) Painted Florida Land Snail 
(Oxystyla undata (Brug.) ) 
Aperture less than one-half as long as the shell 

Liguus fasciatus (Miiller) Florida Tree Snail 
(Achatina fasciata (Miiller) ) 

151. Small whorls of apex with minute upright and spiral lines crossing each 

other; aperture usually distinctly less than one-half the length of the 
shell; about 1" high 

Drymaeus midtilineatus (Say) Many-lined Florida Land Snail 

Apex smooth, granulated, or vertically creased; aperture usually about 

one-half the length of the shell; often becoming larger — Giant Land 

Snails 152. 

152. Interior of aperture dark colored 

BuUmidus alternatus (Say) 
Interior of aperture light colored 
Bulimulus dealhatus (Say) 

153. Lip definitely reflected 154. 
Not so 189. 

154. Minute shells with one or two ridges visible on the parietal wall parallel 

with the suture, and with several revolving ridges back within the 
aperture; eastern and central states 
Strohdops lahyrmthica (Say) 
Not so 155. 

155. With the lip continuing across the parietal wall in a raised, entering, V' 

shaped callus, making the aperture more or less ear-shaped (Many 

species, of which a few common ones are given) Ear-mouthed Wood 

Snails 156. 

Not so 164. 

156. .Shell with about seven whorls coiled almost in one plane; umbilicus 

showing the volutions; about V2"; Florida 157. 

Not so 158. 


157. With a ridge within the last whorl; body whorl faintly keeled 

Polygyra (Polygyra) cereolus (Muhlfeld) 
No ridge within the last whorl; body whorl sharply keeled 
Polygyra (Polygyra) septemvolva Say 

158. With strong transverse ribs; about I/4"; east'Central states 

Polygyra (Daedalochila) plicata Say 
Not so 159. 

159. Umbilical opening wide, showing all of the last volution; about ^Z^'; 

southeastern states 

Polygyra {Daedalochila) pustuloides (Bland) 
Umbilical opening small or partly covered by the reflected lip 160. 

160. Umbilicus partly covered by the edge of the aperture; about ^Z^'; south' 

central states 

Polygyra {Daedalochila) leporina (Gould) 
Lip not covering umbilicus; about Y/' to V2" 161- 

161. With a tubercle or transverse ridge far back within the aperture on the 

base of the last whorl 162. 

Not so 163. 

162. With an upright tubercle on the base of the last whorl; central states 

Polygyra {Daedalochila) dorfeuilliana Lea 
With a transverse tubercle or ridge on the base of the last whorl; Texas 
Polygyra {Daedalochila) hippocrepis (Pfeiffer) 

163. Teeth well developed; outer tooth on lip with a hook; southeastern states 

Polygyra {Daedalochila) postelliana (Bland) 
Teeth less well developed; with the parietal callus less elevated; no hook 
on the outer tooth on lip; southern states westward to Texas 
Polygyra {Daedalochila) auriformis (Bland) 

164. Aperture much narrowed, projecting scarcely beyond the outline of the 

body whorl; parietal wall with a long, thin, oblique tooth parallel to 

the lip (Many species, of which a few common ones are given here) 

Narrow-mouthed Wood Snails 165. 

Not so 168. 

165. Outer lip not indented 166. 
Lip indented 167. 

166. Coils narrow and close; epidermis without hairs; lip not partly overlap- 

ping umbilicus; about %"; eastern and central states 
Stenotrema monodon (Rackett) 
Coils wider and looser; epidermis with fine hairs; lip usually partly over' 
lapping umbilicus; almost ^2"' eastern and central states 
Stenotrema fraternum (Say) 

167. Parietal tooth incompletely overhanging lip, as seen from side view; 

about %"; eastern and central states 
Stenotrema hirsutum (Say) 
Parietal tooth completely overhanging lip; about Ys'^; central states 
Stenotrema stenotrema (Pfeiffer) 






VEMTR\OtN"=> GrUV.AR\S POL^C-t t\ E LV A PO L1G- Y F<. E I. L Aw 





168. Lip thickened and well reflected; aperture toothed or toothless; shell 

unhanded in most but not all species 169. 

Lip slightly reflected below; rarely with one tooth on the parietal wall; 

usually, hut not always, with one or more revolving bands of color 189. 

169. Minute (Vs") shells; widely umbilicated; striate to ribbed; aperture 

toothless; generally distributed 170. 

Not so 171. 

170. Shell definitely ribbed 

Vallonia costata (Miiller) 
Shell striate 

Vallonia pulchella (Miiller) 

171. Mostly in Ari2;ona and New Mexico; shells plain colored; moderate sized 

shells (Many species, of which this is representative) 

Ashmunella ashmuni (Dall) White-lipped Desert Snail 

Generally distributed, except in the two states mentioned; usually plain 

colored, but with bands of color in a few species; about V2" to 1" 

(Many species, formerly of the genus Polygyra, of which a few are 

given here) Large-mouthed Wood Snails 172. 

172. Umbilicus closed 173. 
Umbilicus open 180. 

173. With a long, oblique tooth on the parietal wall, and usually with one or 

two teeth on the lip 174, 

Toothless or with one small tooth on the parietal wall 177. 

174. Umbilicus indented, sometimes slightly exposed; body whorl smoothly 

rounded; about Vz"' central and southeastern states 
Mesodon (Infiectarius) inflectus (Say) 
Umbilicus concealed; body whorl usually somewhat angulate or keeled 


175. Lip usually with only one small tooth near the base of the aperture; Vz''' 

to y/'; east-central states 

Mesodon (Patera) appressus (Say) 
Lip usually with two teeth 176. 

176. Body whorl keeled; no hairs on epidermis; about 1"; central states 

Triodopsis (Xolotrema) ohstricta (Say) 
Body whorl angulate; epidermis with fine hairs; about %" to T'; eastern 
and east-central states 

Triodopsis (Xolotrema) notata (Deshayes) 
(Polygyra denotata (Ferussac) ) 
(Polygyra palUata (Say) ) 

177. Shell usually with many fine dark lines; umbilicus indented; about %" to 

1''; central states 

Triodopsis (Heohelix) multilineata (Say) Many-lined Wood 
Color not in fine revolving lines; umbilicus concealed 178. 


178. With six whorls; height usually more than threcfourths width; 3/^" to 

1"; central states 

Mesodon (Mesodoyi) elevatus (Say) 
With less than six whorls; height usually less 179. 

179. Height about 60 ^c of width; about 1%"; east of the Mississippi River 

Triodopsis (Jsleohelix) alholahns (Say) White-lipped Wood 
Height about 70% of width; about 1"; eastern and central states 
Mesodon (Mesodon) z-aletus (Binney) 

180. Toothless or with one tooth on the parietal wall 181. 
Aperture usually with one tooth on the parietal wall and with one or 

two teeth on the lip 185. 

181. West Coast Shells 182. 
In the eastern and central states 183. 

182. Umbilicus almost covered by the reflected lip; about Yg'; California 

Vespericola megasoma (''Dalb' Pilsbry) 
Umbilicus slightly covered by the reflected lip; about Vs"; Pacific states 
Vespericola columhiana (Lea) 

183. Umbilicus wide, about one-fifth the diameter of the shell; lip usually with 

a thickened area within the base of the aperture; with or without re- 
volving bands of color; 1" to 1%" 

Allogona (Allogona) profunda (Say) 
Lip turned back over a small umbilicus; lip without basal callus; plain 
colored 184. 

184. Reflected lip wide and flat; with or without a tooth on the parietal wall; 

about 1" 

Mesodon (Mesodon) thyroidus (Say) White-lipped Wood Snail 
Reflected lip narrower and more rounded; no tooth on the parietal wall; 
umbilicus smaller than in the preceding species; less than %" 
Mesodon (Mesodon) clausus (Say) 

185. With one tooth on the lip at the base of the aperture; about l"; eastern 

and central states 

Mesodon (Appalachina) sayanus (Pilsbry) 
(Polygyra sayi (Binney) ) 
Typically wath two teeth on the lip 186. 

186. Tooth on parietal wall long and narrow, joined or almost so with the 

axial end of the lip; eastern and east-central states 187. 

Tooth on parietal wall rather small; western species 188. 

187. Aperture almost closed by the teeth; about ^2'' 

Triodopsis (Triodopsis) fraudulenta (Pilsbry) 
Aperture not so constricted; about ^2'' 

Triodopsis (Trwdopsis) tridentata (Say) 

188. Umbilicus almost covered by the reflected lip; about V2"; western states 

Trwdopsis (Cryptomastix) mullani (Bland 6? Cooper) 


Umbilicus slightly covered by the reflected lip; about I/4"; California 
Trilohopsis loricata (Gould) 
(Polygyra lecontii (Lea) ) 

189. Lip slightly expanded and reflected; many, but not all, of this group have 

one or more revolving bands of color 190. 

Lip not reflected; shell unhanded in most, but not all, species 207. 

190. Minute (not over Vs") shells; epidermis usually shining or transversely 

ribbed, plain colored 207. 

Moderate si2;ed to large shells; usually banded 191. 

191. Shell widely umbihcated, showing the volutions; lip continuing as a thin 

callus across the parietal wall 223. 

Not so 192. 

192. Shell about as high as wide; parietal wall rose colored; about Ys"; 


Cepolis varians (Menke) 
Not so 193. 

193. Introduced European species found mostly in the eastern states (one 

species in California); spire usually well elevated; umbilicus small or 

absent 194. 

Native species 197. 

194. Lip dark colored; no umbilicus 

Cepaea nemoralis (Linn.) European Garden Snail 
(Helix nemoralis (Linn.) ) 
Lip light colored or shell with an umbilicus 195. 

195. Shell shining and practically smooth, except for fine growth lines; usually 

dark banded, but sometimes plain yellowish 
Cepaea hortensis (Miiller) 
Shell dull, pitted, usually dark banded 196. 

196. With a narrow umbilicus; lip brownish 

Hehx pomatia Linn. Edible Snail of Europe 
No umbilicus; lip white 

Hehx aspersa Miiller Garden Snail of Europe 

197. Shell usually with many fine dark lines; umbilicus indented but closed; 

central states 

Triodopsis (7s[eoheIix) multilineata (Say) Many-lined Wood 
Color hands usually wider and fewer; often with an umbilicus 198. 

198. Width almost two times height; umbilicus rather wide, about one-fifth 

the diameter of the shell; with a small swelling on the lip within the 
base of the aperture; about 1" to 1%"; eastern and central states 
Allogona (Allogona) profunda (Say) 
Not with the preceding combination of characters; southern and western 
states; moderate sized to large shells 199. 


199. Southern species (east of Phoenix, Arizona); color usually grayish or 

with light bordered, dark stripes (Many species, of which a few rep' 
rcsentatives arc given. For specific details see Pilsbry's Land Mollusca 
of Klorth America.) 200. 

Shells native to the Pacific states (in the southwest, west of Phoenix, 
Arizona) ; color usually, but not always, yellow to brown, dark banded 
(Many species. See Pilsbry's Land Mollusca of 7<[orth America for 
specific details.) 202. 

200. Umbilicus moderate, open; Sonora region (centering around Tucson, 

Arizona) Many species, of which this is representative) 
Sonorella hachitana (Dall) Sonora Snail 
Umbilicus narrow 201. 

201. Lowest dark band starting at the top of the aperture; Texas and New 


Humholdtiana ferrissiana Pilsbry 
Lowest dark hand entering aperture; Florida to Texas 
Praticolella griseola (Pfeilfer) 

202. Lowest dark band entering aperture; shell often angulate or keeled 

tAonadenia fidelis (Gray) 
(Epiphragmophora fidelis (Gray) ) 
Lowest dark band starting above the aperture; not keeled 203. 

203. Usually smooth shells; Gal. and Arizona west of Phoenix 

Micrarionta \elletti (Forbes) 
(Epiphragmophora \elletti (Forbes) ) 
Shells usually malleated, minutely granulated, or with fine hairs; Oregon 
and Galifornia 204. 

204. Shells usually malleated; umbilicus small to absent 205. 
Shells almost smooth or minutely granular; umbilicus moderate to 

small 206. 

205. Shell depressed 

Helminthoglypta (Helminthoglypta) tudiculata (Binney) 
Shell almost as high as wide 

Helminthoglypta (Helminthoglypta) nic\liniana (Lea) 

206. Shell relatively smooth, much depressed; desert species 

Helminthogly pta (Helmintho gly pta) graniticola Berry 
Shell minutely granular, moderately depressed; coastal species 
Hehniyithoglypta (Charodotes) traskj (Newcomb) 

207. Shell approaching pupa'shaped, plain colored, with umbilicus small to 

absent; not over Vg" 208. 

Not so 212. 

208. With about six whorls; shell smooth; umbilicus minute or absent 209. 
With about four whorls; shell striate or ribbed; umbilicus small 210. 

209. Height usually about the same as width; surface glossy; generally dis' 

tributed, except for the southeastern U. S. 
Euconidus fulvus (Miiller) Beehive 


Height usually greater than width; surface silky; south-central states 
Euconulus chersinus (Say) 

210. Umbilicus about one-seventh to one-eighth diameter of shell; tropical 


Thysanophora plagiotycha (Shuttleworth) 
Umbilicus smaller in proportion to shell 211. 

211. Shell definitely lengthwise ribbed; northern states 

Zoogenetes harpa (Say) 
Shell striate; tropical species in Florida 
Pupisoma minus Pilsbry 

212. Shell dull and opaque, or with a color pattern 213. 
Shell glossy or translucent, plain colored 222. 

213. Umbilicus narrow or very small 214. 
Umbilicus moderate to broad 215. 

214. Shell grayish, usually dark banded; about V2"; southern states 

Praticolella griseola (Pfeiffer) 
Shell brownish (with a light band encircling the body whorl in one 
species) 265. 

215. With about four whorls; color plain; umbilicus showing the volutions 

With more whorls; with a color pattern in some species 216. 

216. Color usually pale; shell usually banded or keeled; western species 217. 
Color chestnut brown; with or without color markings; more generally 

distributed 218. 

217. Lip slightly reflected in the lower columellar area; surface often slightly 

glossy; usually with a narrow, light-bordered, dark band; about Y/'; 
southwestern species, centering around Tucson, Arizona (Many spc' 
cies, of which a representative is given) 

Sonorella hachitana (Dall) Sonora Snail 
Lip often continuing as a thin callus across the parietal wall; surface dull, 
often banded or keeled; about 1"; western states (Many species, of 
which a representative is given) 

Oreohelix strigosa (Gould) White Desert Snail 

218. No color markings; about 5/16" 219. 
With color markings; usually larger 221. 

219. Body whorl transversely rib-striate; aperture without teeth 220. 
Body whorl smooth or spirally ridged, or with the aperture constricted 

by a tooth or callus on the parietal wall 247. 

220. Umbilicus shallow; eastern and central states, except New England 

Discus patulus (Deshayes) Brown Leaf Snail 
(Pyramidula perspectiva (Say) ) 
Umbilicus deep, with nearly upright walls; northwestern states 
Radiodiscus abietum (Baker) 

221. Shell dark banded; about 1" 

Angiuspira \ochi (Pfeitfcr) Banded Leaf Snail 
(Pyramidula soUtaria (Say) ) 



G-L0CH\01A (MAUN\riED") 




TO SHOvj Siphons 




Shell with broken, irregular, transverse bars; about %" 
Anguispira alternata (Say) Barred Leaf Snail 
{Pyramidula alternata (Say) ) 

222. Umbihcus broad, showing most of the volutions 223. 
Umbilicus smaller to absent 265. 

223. With somewhat less than five whorls 224. 
With five to seven whorls 247. 

224. With somewhat less than four whorls 225. 
With four to four and one'half whorls 232. 

225. Shell relatively smooth; about Vs" 226. 
Shell definitely transversely striate or ribbed (in direction of growth 

lines); about 1/16" 227. 

226. Aperture oblique, flaring; surface of shell weakly crisscrossed or indent' 

ed; southeastern states 

Helicod-iscus singleyanus (Pilsbry) 
Whorls increasing more gradually; surface of shell smooth; California 
Pristiloma shepardae (Hemphill) 

227. Shell with many striae 228. 
Shell with about twenty to sixty transverse ribs on the last whorl 229. 

228. Shell low, flaring toward the oblique aperture; northeastern and north' 

central states 

Striatura milium (Morse) Millet Seed 
Shell more globose, increasing more gradually, with more regular aper' 
ture; more generally distributed 

Punctum minutissimum (Lea) 
(Punctum pygmaeum (Drap.) ) 

229. Aperture entire 230. 
Aperture interrupted or excised by parietal wall 231. 

230. With about sixty ribs on last whorl; western states 

Vallonia cyclophorella Sterki 
With about thirtyfive to forty ribs on the last whorl; east'Central 
states to Ariz;, and Utah 

Vallonia perspectiva Sterki Vallonia 

231. Lip definitely simple, thin; with about thirty'five to forty transverse ribs; 

northern states westward to Minn. 

Striatura exigua (Stimpson) 
Lip usually thickened within, at base; with twenty to thirty transverse, 
thin, erect bars, which may become wavy in dry shells; northern states 
westward to Michigan 

Playiogyra asteriscus (Morse) Star Snail 

232. Shell discoidal, with fine revolving ridges around the body whorl; usually 

with small teeth back within the aperture; about Vg''; widely dis' 

Helicodiscus parallelus (Say) 
(Helicodiscus lineatus (Say) ) 
Not so 233. 


233. Aperture narrowed by three almost evenly spaced teeth; about 1/16'"; 

Okla. and Texas 

Pilshryna tridens Morrison 
Not so 234. 

234. Body whorl with ribs which continue across the base of the shell 235. 
Shell smooth or with striae which become obscure on the base of the 

shell 238. 

235. Aperture flaring, with the lip continuing as a thin callus across the pa' 

rietal wall; California 236. 

Aperture more circular; lip not continuing across the parietal wall 237. 

236. Umbilicus very shallow, showing all of the volutions; about y^''; Cali' 

fornia mainland 

Haplotrema caelatum (Ma2;yck) 
Umbilicus wide and deep; about %"; California and outlying islands 
Haplotrema duranti (Ncwcomb) 

237. Upper extremity of aperture starting at middle of body whorl; about 

V4"; widely distributed 

Discus croyi\hitei (Newcomb) 
Upper extremity of aperture starting above the middle of body whorl; 
Ys^'; southwestern states 

Radiodiscus millecostatus Pilsbry and Ferriss 

238. Aperture flaring, with the lip continuing as a thin callus across the pa' 

rietal wall; shell light horn colored; about V2" to Y/^ 239. 

Lip not forming a callus across the parietal wall; seldom over y^' 240. 

239. About 1/2"; California 

Haplotrema \ecpi (Hemphill) California Wood Snail 
About y/'; eastern and central states 

Haplotrema concavum (Say) Thin-lipped or White Wood Snail 
{Circinaria concava (Say) ) 

240. Shell expanding rapidly in size, flaring toward the aperture 241. 
Shell expanding more evenly 242. 

241. Shell pinkish-brown, with fine transverse grooves; about I/4''; Tenn. to 


Retinella pentadelphia (Pilsbry) 
Shell whitish, with fine striae; about V4"; northeastern and north-central 

Retinella hinneyana (Morse) 

242. Body whorl shouldered, with periphery near the top; aperture crescent' 

shaped; shell whitish; about 3/16"; Florida 
Lacteoluna selenina (Gould) 
Body whorl more evenly rounded; aperture almost circular 243. 

243. Height definitely over one-half the width; southern states 244. 
Height about one-half the width; more generally distributed 245. 

244. Whitish; about 3/16"; Florida 

Hojeda inaguensis (Weinland) 


Brownish; about I/4"; Ariz., Texas and N. M. 
Thysanophora horni (Gabb) 

245. About Vs"; whorls four; shell pale; generally distributed 

Hawaiia minuscula (Binney) 
About i/j"; whorls about four and one-half 246. 

246. Shell closely striate; shell pale; northeastern and north-central states 

Zonitoides limatulus (Binney) 
Shell scarcely striate; shell horn colored; generally distributed 
Zomtoides arboreus (Say) Amber Leaf Snail 

247. Shell almost discoidal; body whorl with fine revolving ridges which are 

beaded, rather than smooth as in H. parallelus (Choice 232); about 

Vs"; s. c. 

Clappiella saludensis (Morrison) 
Not so 248. 

248. Aperture constricted by a thickening within the lip and by a parietal 

callus or tooth; shell almost discoidal, with six to eight whorls 249. 
Aperture not so 250. 

249. Spire concave; with a parietal callus; V4"; California 

Ammonitella yatesi (Cooper) Yates's Snail 
Spire flat to convex; with a tooth on the parietal wall; V2''' northwestern 

Polygyrella polygyrella (Bid. and Cooper) 

250. Body whorl regularly expanded 251. 
Body whorl flaring toward the aperture to become about twice as wide 

as the whorl next to it 256. 

251. With six or seven whorls 252. 
With about five whorls 253. 

252. Body whorl with radial rows of small teeth within the base and usually 

visible through the shell; lip thin; about 3/16"; central states 
Paravitrea significans (Bland) 
With a lamella or thick callus at base of aperture; about V2''; Tenn. to 

Ventridens lasmodon (Phillips) 

253. Body whorl toothed within, near the aperture; about Vs"; Tenn. to 

Ala. 254. 

Not so 255. 

254. Aperture toothed within, on columellar and parietal regions; Tenn. 

Pilshryna aurea Baker 
Body whorl wth a series of four double-pointed teeth within last half; 
Tenn. to Ala. 

Clappiella aldrichiana (Clapp) 

255. Spire flattened; usually with slightly over five whorls; about 3/16"; west' 

ern states 

Microphysula ingersolli (Bland) 
Spire somewhat elevated; usually with slightly under five whorls; about 
I/4"; generally distributed 

Zonitoides arboreus (Say) Amber Leaf Snail 


256. With seven whorls; young (only) with teeth within body whorl; about 

yij"; Virginia and Kentucky 
Paravitrea pontis Baker 
With five to six whorls 257. 

257. Lip usually continuing as a thin callus across the parietal wall 258. 
Not so 261. 

258. Shell light yellowish 259. 
Shell darker 260. 

259. Lip sinuous, usually indented above and slightly expanded below; whorls 

striate within umbilicus; V'2'' to V/'; eastern and central states 

Haplotrema concavum (Say) Thin-lipped or White Wood Snail 
(Circinaria concava (Say) ) 
Lip not so; shell smooth within umbilicus; about Yg"; Wash, and Oregon 
Megomphix hemphilli (Binney) 

260. Lip usually sinuous above and thickened below; shell dark greenish, with 

light streaks; about Y/' to 1"; Cal. to Wash, and Idaho 

Haplotrema vancouverense (Lea) Vancouver Wood Snail 
Lip not so; shell ver>' dark brown; about 1%'' to lYi"', Cal. 
Glyptostoma newherryanum (Binney) 

26 L Shell definitely much lighter colored below than above; about Ys'^'^' ^^ 
introduced European species 

Oxych\lus draparnaldi (Beck) 
Shell more uniformly colored; smaller 262. 

262. Young specimens toothed within body whorl; adults darkish horn col' 

ored; about 3/16"; Tenn. 

Pilshryna castanea Baker 
Body whorl not toothed within; usually light horn colored or pink tinted 


263. Adults V^"; shells light or pink tinted; Tenn. to Arkansas 

Paravitrea petrophila (Bland) 
Adults about 3/16" 264. 

264. Pinkish; Virginia 

Retmella virgm-ica Morrison 
Horn colored; central states 

Retmella wheatleyi (Bland) 

265. With tvv'o to three whorls 266. 
With four or more whorls 268. 

266. With a small umbilicus; shell heliciform; about Vs"; northeastern and 

north-central states to N. C. 
Stnatura ferrea Morse 
No umbilicus; last whorl greatly expanded; larger 267. 

267. Shell darkish; adults about %"; Great Smokies 

VitriyiizonUes laUssimus (Lewis) 
Shell light; adults about %^'; northeastern states 
Vitrina Umpida Gould Glass Snail 


268. Last whorl expanded toward the aperture so that it is about twice as wide 

as the whorl next to it 269. 

Body whorl scarcely expanded 282. 

269. Interior of shell of a definitely different color from the surface of the 

shell, usually purplish or with a whitish deposit within lip; large 

shells, adults being y^," to 1"; eastern and central states Large Leaf 

Snails 270. 

Interior of shell not noticeably different from the surface of the shell 275. 

270. Height about or less than half the diameter 27 L 
Height usually considerably more than one-half the diameter 272, 

27 L Spire striate 

Mesomphix suhplanus (Binney) 
Spire smooth 

Meso?nphix inornatus (Say) 

272. Umbilicus round, about onc'sixth diameter of shell; apex usually worn 

Mesomphix (Omphalina) cupreus (Raf.) 
Umbilicus narrowed, smaller; apex not normally worn 273. 

273. Aperture scarcely wider than high, purple near columellar area 

Mesomphix (Omphalina) friahilis (Binney) 
Aperture usually noticeably wider than high 274. 

274. Body whorl with fine spiral lines of fine papillae 

Mesomphix vulgatus Baker 
Spiral lines on body whorl smooth or obscure 
Mesomphix perlaevis (Pilsbry) 
(Mesomphix laevigatus Beck) 

275. Shell glassy-smooth, with flat spire; about ^2'' to %"; northwestern U. S. 

Megoynphix hemphilli (Binney) ' 

Shell glossy to striate; spire low; smaller 276. 

276. Shell glossy, scarcely striate; introduced European species often found 

around buildings and in greenhouses 277. 

Shell regularly striate or grooved; native species 278. 

277. Animal almost black; shell about %"; smelling of garlic 

Oxychilus aUiarius (Miller) 
Animal gray; shell about Yg' 

Oxychilus cellarius (Miiller) Cellar Snail 

278. With seven whorls; northeastern U. S. 

Retinella sculptilis (Bland) 
With four to five whorls 279. 

279. Umbilicus very minute; eastern and central states 

Retinella indentata (Say) Large-mouthed Leaf Snail 
Umbilicus small 280. 

280. With five whorls; central states 

Retinella wheatleyi (Bland) 
With four whorls 281. 

28 1 . Radial grooves extending on base of shell; eastern states 

Retinella rhoadsi (Pilsbry) 


Base of shell almost smooth; generally distributed 
Retinella electrma (Gould) 
(Vitrea hammoms (Strom)) 

282. With four or five whorls 283. 
With five and one-half to eight whorls 289. 

283. Umbilicus moderately small 284. 
Umbilicus tiny; shell about 1/16" to Vs" 286. 

284. Usually with parietal and columellar lamellae; about Vs"' Appalachian 


Pilshryna aurea Baker 
No teeth within aperture 285. 

285. Shell rib-striate; less than Vs"; western U. S. 

Punctum conspectum (Bland) 
Shell with weak growth lines; about %"; generally distributed 
Zomtoides mtidus (Miiller) Yellow Leaf Snail 

286. Eastern and southern species 287. 
In the Pacific states 288. 

287. With distinct, fine spiral sculpture on the body whorl; about Ys"', 

Florida and Texas 

Guppya gundlachi (Pfeiffer) 
Spiral sculpture rather obscure; about 1/16"; eastern states 
Guppya ster\ii (Dall) 

288. Spire flattened; about 1/16" 

Pristiloma nichohoni Baker 
Spire elevated; about Vg" 

Pristiloma chersinella (Dall) 

289. Lip thickened by a white callus or teeth within 290. 
Lip simple 297. 

290. No umbilicus; with five and one-half whorls; about %"; Pacific states 

Pristiloma lansingi (Bland) 
With a small umbilicus; v^-ith five and one-half to eight whorls; about 
%" to ^2"; eastern and central states to Texas - — • Moss Snails 291. 

291. Umbilicus moderately small, about one-eighth diameter of shell; spire 

rather low 292. 

Umbilicus tiny, sometimes narrowed; spire more elevated in most species 


292. Aperture toothless; with about five whorls; east-central states 

Ventridens elliotti (Redfield) 
Usually with small teeth within aperture; usually with about six whorls; 
northeastern states 

"Ventridens suppressus (Say) 

293. With a light band encircling the body whorl; east of the Mississippi 

Ventndens intertextus (Binney) 
Shell plain colored 294. 

294. Usually with seven or eight whorls; aperture usually toothed within 295. 
Usually with six or seven whorls; aperture usually toothless 296. 


295. Upper whorls ribbed; about ^/^"\ south-central states (Ind. to Ala.) 

Gastrod-onia interna (Say) 
Whorls with growth lines only; about Y^"', Penna. to Ala. 
Ventridens gularis (Say) 

296. Spire rather low; east of the Mississippi 

"Ventridens demissus (Binney) 
Spire more elevated (height almost three-fourths width) ; westward to 

Ventridens ligera (Say) 

297. Umbilicus absent or extremely minute; about Vs"; northwestern 

states 298, 

With a small umbilicus; with lamellae or radial rows of teeth within 
base of last whorl and usually visible through the shell, in young speci' 
mens, sometimes persisting in the adult; about Vs" to %"; eastern and 
central states to Texas 299. 

298. Spire somewhat elevated; with radial grooves in shell 

Pristiloma stearnsi (Bland) 
Spire depressed; shell almost smooth 
Pristiloma subrupicola (Dall) 

299. With eight whorls 

Paravitrea andrewsae (Binney) 
With five or six whorls 300. 

300. Body whorl irregularly striate or grooved 301. 
Body whorl with close, evenly spaced striae or grooves 302. 

301. Young often with pairs of teeth within; from western 111. and Tenn. to 


Paravitrea significans (Bland) 
Often without teeth in both young and adult; from eastern 111. and 
Tenn. to N. C. 

Paravitrea capsella (Gould) 

302. With radial rows of teeth within base of body whorl and often visible 

through the shell; Maine to Ala. and Arkansas 

Paravitrea midtidentata (Binney) Toothed Leaf Snail 
Without teeth; often with one or more lamellae within base of body 
whorl; Tenn. to N. C. 303. 

303. Body whorl with minute spiral lines; with or without internal lamellae 

Paravitrea wal\eri (Pilsbry) 
Body whorl without spiral lines; usually with internal lamellae 
Paravitrea lamellidens (Pilsbry) 


1. Shell without nacre (mother-of-pearl) except around the edges, out' 
side of the pallial line; cardinal teeth situated under the beaks, with 
the lateral teeth both before and behind; shell seldom reaching one 
inch in length; generally distributed Finger-nail Shells 2. 




Ray (color M/vRKiNO") 
radial swelling 
Radial d ep ressio m 


posterior ridce 
growth line in the 
















Shell lined with nacre; cardinal teeth (strictly, pseudocardinals) under 
or before beaks, with the lateral teeth posteriorly; usually becoming 
larger True Clams or Mussels 4. 

2. Anterior end longer than the posterior; apparently only one siphon; 

shell triangular 

P^sidium Pfeiffer 
Anterior end shorter than the posterior; with two distinct siphons; shell 
ovoid or rectangular 3. 

3. Embryonic part of shell distinct from the adult growth; shell rectangular 

Musculium Link 
Not so, shell ovoid 

Sphaerium Scopoli 

4. Lateral teeth blurred or absent 5. 
Lateral teeth complete 34. 

5. No indication of cardinal teeth 6. 
Cardinal teeth present or represented by minute tubercles or swellings 

of the hinge line 16. 

6. Shell almost cylindrical; with fine, concentric umbonal markings; Missis' 

sippi and St. Lawrence drainages 

Anodonta ferussaciana Lea Cylindrical Paper Shell 
Anodontoides ferussaaanus (Lea) 
Shell thin below; umbonal markings usually double looped, nodulous or 
parallel bars 7. 

7. Shell almost flat, not much longer than high, winged both anteriorly and 

posteriorly and gaping at both ends; central states 
Ayiodoyita suhorhicuhta Say Flat Paper Shell 
Utterbac\iana suhorhiculata (Say) 
Not so 8. 

8. Umbones very flat, looking as if they had been sliced off; Mississippi 


Anodonta ohiensis Raf . Paper Shell 
Utterhac\ia imhecillis Say 
Umbones rounded 9. 

9. Umbones swollen and extending above the hinge line; umbonal mark' 

ings usually nodulous (with minute tubercles) ; most of U. S. except 
the extreme east and the Rocky Mt. area and westward 
Anodonta grandis Say Floater 
Umbones not so much elevated; umbonal markings not usually nodulous 


10. Dorsal margin not winged posteriorly; eastern states 11. 
Dorsal margin usually straight and sloping slightly upwards to form a 

low wing posteriorly; central, western or southeastern statcG 13. 

11. No marked posterior ridge; posterior slope rounded; nacre dull silver; 

not common 

Anodonta marginata Say Silver Paper Shell 
Posterior ridge somewhat double; nacre bluish to salmon 12. 


12. Posterior ridge ending below the mid line; nacre thickened at the mar' 

gin and anteriorly, darker in the cavities; not common 
Anodonta implicata Say 
Posterior ridge ending at about the mid line; shell thin throughout; 
nacre bluish; common 

Anodonta cataracta Say Eastern Floater 

13. Usually with faint wavy rays (color markings); southeastern states 

Anodonta couperiana Lea Wavy'rayed Floater 
Usually rayless or with a few faint rays; western species 14. 

14. Posterior ridge curved slightly upwards and ending in a slight turned' 

up projection 

Anodonta wahlametensis Lea 
Posterior ridge straight 15. 

15. Shell very thin; beak sculpture doublc'looped 

Anodonta impura Say Western Floater 
Shell more solid; beak with almost straight, parallel markings 
Anodoyita oregonensis Lea Oregon Floater 

16. Shell fluted on posterior slope 17. 
Posterior slope not fluted 19. 

17. Length about two times the height; central states 

Lasmigona costata (Raf.) Fluted Shell 
Length not over one and onc'third times the height 18. 

18. With a double row of pustules down the center; Mississippi and Ohio 

drainages and west to Texas 

Arcjdeyis coy^fragosa (Say) Rock Pocketbook 
Posterior half of shell with oblique wrinkles or folds; Arkansas to 

Ar\ansia wheeleri Walker and Ortmann 

19. Shell not much longer than high, flattened, and with a low or high pos' 

terior wing; central states 

Lasmigona complanata (Barnes) White Heel Splitter, Hatchet- 
Not so 20. 

20. With two distinct posterior ridges; Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers 

Pegias fahida (Lea) 
Only one or no pronounced posterior ridge 21. 

21. Little or no posterior ridge; shell lengthened 22. 
With a posterior ridge; shell oval or triangular 28. 

22. Cardinal teeth heavy; nacre tinged with red or purple; most of U. S., 

in mountain streams 

Margaritana margaritifera (Linn.) River Pearl Mussel 
Cardinal teeth very small or blurred; nacre white, salmon or purple' 
tinted 23. 

23. Shell gaping before and behind; shell slightly twisted when viewed from 

above or below; rare 24. 

Shell not normally gaping; not twisted 25. 


24. Outline fairly even; shell winged posteriorly in young; umbonal mark' 

ings several fine double loops; rays (color markings) complete; nacre 
purplish or salmon; upper Mississippi drainage 

Lampsilis leptodon (Raf.) 

Proptera (Leptodea) leptodon (Raf.) 
Shell narrowed to a point posteriorly; not winged; umbonal markings 
several coarse folds; rays usually broken; nacre bluish or purplish, 
darker in the cavities; Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee River 

Hemistena lata (Raf.) Twisted Shell 

Lastena lata Raf. 

25. Shell about two and one-half times as long as high, arcuate; central 


Cumherlandia monodonta (Say) Spectacle Case 
Shorter 26. 

26. Shell very evenly long'elliptical; with parallel beak markings bent up' 

wards in the middle; usually less than two inches long; central states 
^impsoniconcha amhigua (Say) 
Shell more irregular; with concentric beak markings; becoming larger 27. 

27. Little indication of cardinal tubercles; ventral margin almost straight; 

umbonal markings fine; Mississippi and St. Lawrence drainages 

Anodonta ferussaciana Lea Cylindrical Paper Shell 

A.nodontoides ferussacianus (Lea) 
Cardinal teeth represented by small tubercles or swellings of the hinge 
line; ventral margin curved; umbonal markings coarse; generally dis' 

Strophitus undulatus (Say) Squaw-foot, Orange Peel 

including Strophitus rugosus (Swainson) 

28. Anterior end much narrower than the rest of the shell; rays (color 

markings) , if present, fine or inconspicuous 29. 

Anterior end not conspicuously narrow; with or without rays 30. 

29. Shell long and wedge-shaped; beaks low; nacre brownish or purple; 

western states 

Gonidea angulata (Lea) 
Shell triangular; beaks full and high; nacre bluish; Georgia 
Alasmidonta arcula (Lea) 

30. Posterior end flattened and corrugated; beaks elevated above the hinge 

line; rays usually broken; central states 

Decuramhis marginata (Say) Elk'toe 

Alasmidonta marginata. Say 
Posterior end slightly or obliquely truncated; not corrugated on posterior 
slope; beaks not much elevated; rays not usually broken 3L 

31. Posterior end obliquely truncated; epidermis dull, with wavy rays; north- 

central and eastern states 

Alasmidonta calceola (Lea) Slipper Shell 
Posterior end slightly truncated and pinched upwards to the dorsal mar- 
gin; epidermis shining, with narrow and wide rays, except in old shells, 
or dull, with obscure rays 32, 



PiSiDiun Muscunuri 




32. Epidermis shining, with narrow and wide rays, except in old shells; teeth 

heavy; Atlantic drainage 

Alasmidonta undulata (Say) 
Epidermis dull, with obscure rays; teeth small 33. 

33. With one to three blurred laterals in each valve; shell pointed behind; 

eastern states 

Alasmidonta heterodon (Lea) 
Laterals almost completely absent; shell blunt behind; Tennessee River 

Alasmidonta hadia (Raf.) 

Alasmidonta holstonia (Lea) 

34. Shells with ribs, pustules, knobs or spines 35. 
Shell relatively smooth, except for the posterior ridge 55. 

35. Shell ridged (ridges not crowned by rows of knobs or pustules) 36. 
Shell with pustules, knobs or spines 40, 

36. Shell with but two ridges, one median and one posterior, with a much 

depressed area between; Ohio River drainage 
Dysnomia fiexuosa (Raf.) Folded Shell 
Dysnomia foliata (Hild.) 
Shell with three or more ridges on each valve 37. 

37. With a sharp posterior ridge; nacre purple, red or coppery; south-central 


Amhlema domheyana (Val.) Bank Climber 

Plectomerus domheyana (Val.) 
Little or no posterior ridge; nacre usually white, tinted towards the 
post-basal angle 38. 

38. Lower umbonal region with small zigzag ridges or indications of pustules; 

shell getting to be large and heavy; Mississippi drainage 

Amhlema gigantea (Barnes) Giant Washboard, Sugar Shell 
Is/Legalonaias gigantea (Barnes) 
Lower umbonal region relatively smooth except for the beginnings of 

the large oblique folds; shell smaller; Mississippi drainage 39. 

39. Umbones reaching well above the hinge line; larger rivers of the Missis- 

sippi drainage 

Amhlema plicata (Say) Blue Point 
(Amhlema peruviana (Lamarck) ) 
(Amhlema rariphcata (Lamarck) ) 
Umbones reaching scarcely above the hinge line; smaller streams of the 
Mississippi drainage 

Amhlema plicata-costata Raf. Washboard, Three Ridge 
Amhlema costata Raf. 

40. With long upright spines; Georgia 

Canthyria spinosa (Lea) Spiny Shell 
Elliptio spinosus (Lea) 
With knobs or tubercles 4L 

4L Length over one and one-half times height; anterior part with or with- 
out pustules 42. 
Length usually less; no pustules anteriorly 43, 


42. Anterior part thickly pustulated; epidermis rayless; Mississippi drainage 

to Texas 

^uadrula verrucosa (Raf.) Pistol'grip, Buckhorn 
Tritogonia verrucosa (Raf.) 
Anterior part scarcely pustulate; epidermis with broken rays (color 
markings) or green spots; central states 

^uadrula cylindrica (Say) Rabbit'foot 

43. Pustules or knobs grouped in more or less definite radial rows (If there 

is any indication of radial grouping, take this choice) 44. 

Pustules scattered over shell 51. 

44. Pustules mostly in one row down the center of each valve 45. 
Pustules in two or more rows 49. 

45. Posterior slope with pustules which are usually arranged in rows; epi' 

dermis tawny to brown, with green spots; most of the Mississippi 

^uadrula metanevra (Raf.) Monkey-face 
Posterior slope not pustulate 46. 

46. Interdentum very wide and flat; with a hump below each umbone; rays 

(color markings) spotted or broken and of varying widths; Tennessee 
and Cumberland Rivers 

Dromus dromas (Lea) Dromedary Shell 
Interdentum moderate to narrow; usually with a row of knobs down 
each valve 47. 

47. With about three knobs on one valve distinctly alternating with those 

on the other; epidermis with fine broken or wavy rays; most of the 
U. S. except the extreme eastern and western states 

Ohhquaria rejiexa Raf. Three'horned Warty-back 
Usually with a row of knobs on each valve arranged almost opposite 
each other or morcor-less irregularly; postbasal margin produced; 
rayless or with faint rays (color markings) 48. 

48. Epidermis smooth, with faint rays; Ohio River drainage 

Dysnomia torulosa (Raf.) 
Epidermis in very coarse, concentric folds, usually rayless; central states 
Pleurohema cyphyum (Raf.) Bulbhead, Sheep-nose 
Plethohasus cyphyus (Raf.) 
(Plethohasus aesopus (Green)) 

49. With broken green rays; Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers 

Cyprogenia stegaria (Raf.) Fan Shell 
Cyprogenia irrorata (Lea) 
Usually rayless; central states 50. 

50. Shell rounded; with several large pustules in two more or less distinct 

rows; postdorsal and dorso-posterior edges forming a right angle; 
cardinal plate and laterals forming almost a right angle 

§^uadrula nodulata (Raf.) Warty-back 

^uadrula pustulata (Lea) 
Shell angular; pustules many and small; angles, as above, greater than a 
right angle 

§^uadru]a quadrula Raf. Maple-leaf 



A M B 

lema plicata-costata quadrula quadrula 




51. Shell with broken green rays; posterior ridge developed, with a radial dc' 

pression before and behind; Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers 
Cy progenia stegaria (Raf.) Fan Shell 
Cyprogenia irrorata (Lea) 
Shell scarcely rayed; posterior ridge low, with a radial depression be 
hind 52. 

52. Umbonal markings fine; nacre white or pinkish 53. 
Umbonal markings coarse; nacre purplish 54. 

53. Epidermis greenish; dorsal margin almost straight; Mississippi drainage 

^uadrula pustulosa (Lea) Pimplcback 
Epidermis reddish-brown; dorsal margin curved; Ohio, Cumberland and 
Tennessee Rivers 

^uadruld striata (Raf.) 
Plethohasus cooperianus (Lea) 

54. Pustules scattered irregularly; beaks anterior; Mississippi drainage 

^uadrula tuherculata (Raf.) Purple Pimple-back 
Cydonaias tuherculata (Raf.) 
Pustules in 2;igzag lines; beaks central; Georgia 
S^uadrula securiforrms (Conrad) 

55. With a long projection from the interdentum of one valve which iits into 

a depression in the interdentum of the other; shell lengthened, slightly 
winged posteriorly; generally distributed, except for the Atlantic and 
Pacific states 

Lasmigona viridis (Raf.) 

Lasmigona compressa (Lea) 
Not so 56. 

56. Shell winged posteriorly, moderately full to flat, usually not much longer 

than high 57. 

Not so 60. 

57. Valves moderately full; nacre purple; south-central states 

Proptera purpurata (Lamarck) Purply 
Shell flattened 58. 

58. With a low wing anteriorly; epidermis polished, usually rayless; shell 

gaping posteriorly; nacre purplish; Ohio and Mississippi valleys; New 
York to Texas 

Proptera laevissima (Lea) Smooth Heel-splitter 

Leptodea laevissima (Lea) 
Little or no wing anteriorly; epidermis rayed (with color markings) or 
with many growth lines; not usually gaping; nacre similar or not 59. 

59. Epidermis green or dark; nacre pink, salmon or purple; cardinal teeth 

sharp-edged; Mississippi and St. Lawrence drainage 

Proptera alata (Say) Pink Heel-splitter 
Epidermis yellowish; nacre silvery, often pink-tinted; cardinal teeth small 
and dull; widely distributed, not reaching the far western states 

Lampsilis jragilis (Raf.) Fragile Paper Shell 

Leptodea fragilis (Raf.) 


60. Length of shell more than two times the height 61. 

Length less than two times the height 70. 

6L Shell usually with small transverse ridges on the posterior slope; epider' 
mis with broken rays (color markings) ; nacre bluish to salmon tinted; 
less than three inches; Tennessee and Alabama River drainage 
Medionidus conradicus (Lea) 
No transverse ridges on the posterior slope; becoming larger 62. 

62. Laterals much removed from the cardinals, with no connecting plate; 

posterior ridge ending below the mid line, with two radiating furrows 
on the flattened posterior slope; umbonal markings six to ten concentric 
ridges curved up and drawn together behind; central states 
Elliptio tetralasmus (Say) 
Uniomerus tetralasmus (Say) 
Either with the laterals connected with the cardinals by an interdentum 
or with the posterior ridge ending at the mid line or above; umbonal 
markings not as above 63. 

63. Posterior ridge ending at a point midway or more up from the base; 

beak cavity shallow but impressed; umbonal markings double-looped 

and open behind 64. 

Posterior ridge ending at the posterior basal angle; little, if any, beak 

cavity; umbonal markings irregular bars 67. 

64. Shell with a curved posterior ridge ending in a slightly narrowed area; 

epidermis dull; Atlantic drainage 

Lampsihs nasuta (Say) Beaked Shell 
Ligumia nasuta (Say) 
Posterior ridge straight; posterior end evenly rounded or pointed 65. 

65. Epidermis olive, brown or black, rayed only in young; shell heavy; with 

three to five double loops on the umbones; nacre purplish to salmon; 
central and eastern states 

Lampsihs recta (Lamarck) Black Sand Shell 

Ligumia recta (Lamarck) 
Epidermis clear yellowish or darker and with rays; shell thinner; um' 
bones with eight to ten fine double loops; nacre white to salmon tint' 
ed; Mississippi drainage and Gulf states 66. 

66. Epidermis clear yellowish 

Lampsilis teres (Raf.) Yellow Sand Shell 
Lampsilis anodontoides (Lea) 
Epidermis greenish, rayed 

Lampsilis teres^fallaciosa Simpson Slough Sand Shell 
Lampsihs falhciosa Simpson 

67. Epidermis tawny; rays, if present, broken; nacre white, with oblique 

folds; east-central states 

Ptychohranchus fasciolare (Raf.) Kidney Shell 
Epidermis dull to dark; rays, if present, complete; nacre usually purphsh 


68. Hinge plate thin; shell usually very long and narrow, often as much as 

three times as long as high; east-central states 
Elliptio productus (Conrad) 


Hinge plate moderate to heavy; shell slightly over two times as long 
as high 69. 

69. Shell rhomboid; dorsal margin meeting the posterior margin at an angle; 

hinge plate moderate; nacre purplish, often coppery tinted; Atlantic 

Elliptio complanatus (Dillwyn) Spike 
Shell elliptical; dorsal margin sloping smoothly into the posterior mar- 
gin; hinge plate thick and heavy; nacre usually purple; most of U. S. 
except the Pacific states 

Elliptw dilatatns (Raf.) Lady-finger 

70. Shell with a heavy^ hinge plate, with the larger cardinal tooth in the left 

valve directed toward the posthasal angle and almost parallel with 

the laterals; outline of shell almost circular or triangular 71. 

Cardinal teeth slender or directed downwards or anteriorly at almost a 

right angle or more with the laterals; outline various 83. 

71. With a long, flat posterior slope 72. 
Posterior ridge faint or double; posterior slope rounded or low 74. 

72. Umbones full; epidermis often with broken rays (color markings); east' 

ern and east-central states 

Pleurobema viytiloides Raf. Club Shell 
Pleurohema clava (Lamarck) 
Umbones flattened 73. 

73. Epidermis yellowish, with rays which may be broken up into squarish 

blotches; nacre white; central and east-central states 
Plagiola lineolata (Raf.) Butterfly Shell 
Epidermis dark; nacre purplish; Mississippi drainage 
Elliptio niger (Raf.) Elephant's Ear 
Elliptio crassidens (Lamarck) 

74. Nacre usually purplish 75. 
Nacre usually w-hite or pink 76. 

75. Shell almost circular, except for the very prominent beaks; no radial 

swelling or depression; Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee drainages 
Obovaria retusa (Lamarck) Golf-stick 
Shell more angular; usually with a radial swelling or depression before 
the posterior ridge; Ohio River drainage 
Dysnomia sulcata (Lea) Cat's Paw 

76. Lunule not extending before the beaks, with the anterior margin scarcely 

or not projecting forward 77. 

Lunule projecting to a point well before the beaks 78. 

77. Beaks shallow; posterior muscle scars D-shaped; with a small anterior 

cardinal in the right valve; east-central and central states 

Obovaria olivaria (Raf.) Hickory-nut 
Beaks narrowed under cardinals; posterior muscle scars almost circular; 
no anterior cardinal in the right valve; Mississippi drainage 

^uadrula antrosa (Raf.) Nigger-head 

Fusconata ebenus (Lea) 


78. Shell oval; epidermis somewhat polished, with faint rays (color mark' 

ings) ; Mississippi River 

Lampsilis higginsii (Lea) Higgin's Eye 
Shell more triangular; epidermis somewhat cloth'like or satiny, with ob' 
scure or no rays 79. 

79. No radial swelling or depression before the posterior ridge; Tennessee 


^uadrula dollahelloides (Lea) 
Lexingtonia dolahelloides (Lea) 
With radial swelling or depression before the posterior ridge 80. 

80. Beak cavities narrowed up under the hinge line 8L 
Beak cavities rounded, moderate to shallow 82. 

81. Posterior base distinctly drawn out to a blunt point; central states 

§^uadrula ohliquata (Raf.) 
Pleurohema cordatum pyramidatum (Lea) 
Posterior base more rounded; central states 

^uadrula cordata (Raf.) Ohio Pig-toe 
Pleurohema cordatum (Raf.) 
(Pleurohema ohliquum (Lamarck)) 

82. Epidermis almost smooth; south'Central states 

Ohovaria curta (Lea) 
Pleurohema curta (Lea) 
Epidermis in coarse, concentric folds; east'Central states 
Pleurohema detectum (Frierson) 
Plethohasus cicatricosus (Say) 

83. Shell almost two times as long as high 84. 
Shell shorter 98. 

84. Shining yellow, rayless; Mississippi drainage and Gulf states 

Lampsilis teres (Raf.) Yellow or Slough Sand Shell 
Lampsilis anodontoides (Lea) 
Dark or with rays (color markings) 85. 

85. Epidermis dull to dark; faint rays, if present, confined to the posterior 

slope 86. 

Epidermis shining or with rays - 90. 

86. Beak cavity shallow; with a moderate posterior ridge; fairly large shells 

Beak cavity moderate; no posterior ridge; usually small shells 87. 

87. Umbonal markings fine or inconspicuous; rays sometimes present on the 

posterior slope 88. 

Umbonal markings coarse irregular bars; usually rayless 89. 

88. Posterior margin slightly winged; beak markings many fine double loops; 

nacre bluish- white; Mississippi drainage 
Lampsilis suhrostrata (Say) 
Ligumia suhrostrata (Say) 
Posterior margin not winged; no evident beak markings; nacre often 
salmon to purple; central and lower Mississippi drainage 
Lampsilis Uenosa (Conrad) Black Bean 
M^cromya lienosa (Conrad) 








89. Umbonal markings three irregular nodulous ridges; beaks full; nacre 

salmon to purple; usually less than one and one-half inches long; east' 
central states 

Carunculina gJans (Lea) Purple Lilliput Shell 
Umbonal markings five or more sharp ridges turned up behind; beaks 
moderate to low; nacre white, bluish or salmon; becoming two inches 
long; east'central and central states 

Carunculina parva (Barnes) Lilliput Shell 

90. With a low posterior ridge sloping toward the postbasal angle 9L 
Shell more evenly rounded or pointed behind 94. 

9L Beak cavity impressed; usually with faint wavy rays; New York to 
North Dakota and south to Ohio 

Lampsilis elUpsifonms (Conrad) Ellipse 
Actmonaias ellipsiformis (Conrad) 
Beak cavity shallow; rays often obscure 92. 

92. No interdentum; beak markings several concentric loops drawn together 

and curved up behind; central states 
Elliptio tetralasmus (Say) 
Unwmerus tetralasmus (Say) 
With an interdentum; beak markings not so 93. 

93. Epidermis usually dark; nacre usually purplish; Atlantic drainage 

Elliptio complanatus (Dillwyn) Spike 
Epidermis usually tawny; nacre white; east'central states 
Ptychohrayichus fasciolare (Raf.) Kidney Shell 

94. Epidermis and nacre both shining; epidermis usually brightly rayed; 

greatest height usually through the end of the laterals, with the shell 

often swollen in this region 95. 

Epidermis usually rather dull; shell not higher posteriorly 97. 

95. Rays usually broken; shell thin and small 

Lampsilis nervosa (Raf.) Rainbow Shell 
Ivlicromya iris (Lea) 
Rays often wavy; shell moderate; becoming large 96. 

96. Nacre thickened anteriorly; nacre white or pink; posterior slope round' 

ed; east'central and central states 

Lampsilis fasciata (Raf.) Fat Mucket 
Lanips-iUs siliquoidea (Barnes) 
(Lampsihs luteola (Lamarck) ) 
Nacre not much thickened anteriorly; nacre silvery, often bluish or 
brown in cavities; posterior slope slightly flattened; south-central states 
Lampsilis fasciata hydiana (Lea) Southern Fat Mucket 
Lampsilis hydiana (Lea) 

97. Teeth small and delicate; epidermis dull, with many rays; nacre dull, 

often tinged with salmon or purple; valves very shallow; Atlantic 

Lampsilis radiata (Gmelin) Eastern Mucket 
Teeth fairly solid; epidermis dull, with obscure and often faintly inter' 
rupted rays; nacre white or pink; valves only moderately shallow; 
Mississippi drainage 


Lampsihs carinata (Barnes) Mucket 
Actinonaias carinata (Barnes) 

98. Epidermis with a dull, mat or satiny finish and with obscure or no rays 

(color markings), except in some young shells; epidermis usually dark 

colored in adult specimens 99. 

Epidermis polished or rayed; epidermis usually, but not always, yellowish 


99. Cardinal teeth split up; practically no interdentum; Gulf States 

Glehida suhorbiculata (Lamarck) 
Glehula rotundata (Lamarck) 
Hinge not so 100. 

100. With practically no beak cavity; nacre usually purple; Mississippi 


Elliptio niger (Raf.) Elephant's Ear 
Elhptio crassidens (Lamarck) 
Beak cavity impressed; nacre white or pink lOL 

101. Shell almost circular; Vv'ithout a posterior ridge; east-central states 

Ohovaria suhrotunda. (Raf.) Round Nigger-head 
(Ohovana circulus (Lea)) 
Shell oval or triangular; with or without a posterior ridge 102. 

102. Shell irregularly triangular or arcuate in outline; posterior ridge moder' 

ate to strong; anterior cardinal of left valve directed to anterior half 

of or before the anterior muscle scar 103. 

Shell ovoid; posterior ridge rounded or low; anterior cardinal of left 

valve directed to middle or posterior part of the anterior muscle scar 


103. Shell triangular, with swollen umbones; anterior cardinal of left valve 

directed before the anterior muscle scar; east-central and central states 

^uadrula undata (Barnes) Pig-toe 

Fusconaia undata (Barnes) 
Shell more arcuate, with lower beaks; anterior cardinal of left valve 
directed to the anterior half of the anterior muscle scar 104. 

104. Hinge with a wide, heavy interdentum; shell becoming large and heavy; 

Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee drainages 

§^uadrida suhrotunda (Lea) Heavy Pig-toe 
Fusconaia suhrotunda (Lea) 
Hinge line thinner; shell more moderate; east-central and central states 
^uadrula fiava (Raf.) Wabash Pig-toe 
Fusconaia flava (Raf.) 

105. With a low, rounded posterior ridge; nacre white or pink; anterior 

muscle scars seldom iridescent; east-central and central states 
^uadrula coccinea (Conrad) Pink Nigger-head 
Pleurohema cordatum coccineum (Conrad) 
With a low, faintly double posterior ridge; nacre usually white 106, 

106. Base line almost straight; Virginia to North Carolina 

Pleurohema suhplanum (Conrad) 
Lexingtonia suhplanum (Conrad) 
Base line curved; Tennessee drainage 






^uadrula argentea (Lea) 
Pleurohema oviforme argenteum (Lea) 

107. Shell triangular or wedgC'shaped, often with many fine radial lines on 

a flattened posterior slope; epidermis usually semi'shining, with rays 
broken, spotted or wavy 108. 

Shell ovate; posterior slope usually rounded and without many fine 
radial lines; epidermis usually polished, with rays complete, sometimes 
wavy 118. 

108. Lateral teeth scarcely longer than the lateraMike cardinals; shell thin 

and usually rayless; becoming about five and onchalf inches long; 
Ohio River drainage 

Lampsilis ovata (Say) Ohio Pocketbook, Grandma 
Lateral teeth distinctly longer than, and unlike, the cardinals; usually 
rayed and smaller 109. 

109. Shell much flattened; hinge plate very heavy; epidermis yellow, with 

dark rays which may be broken up into square blotches; central and 
east-central states 

Plagiola hneolata (Raf.) Butterfly Shell 
Shell moderately swollen 110. 

110. Posterior ridge obscure or faintly double; rays usually wavy 111. 
Posterior ridge well developed 114. 

111. Hinge teeth heavy; muscle scars small and round 112. 
Hinge teeth moderate; muscle scars large 113. 

112. Beaks small, median; rays usually wavy; Ohio River drainage 

Lemiox fahahs (Lea) 
Micromya fahalis (Lea) 
Beaks more anterior; rays obscure; Tennessee drainage 
Lemiox rimosus (Raf.) 
Micromya caehtus (Conrad) 

113. Nacre purplish; ventral margin almost straight; Ohio River drainage 

Dysnomia sulcata (Lea) Cat's Paw 
Nacre white or salmon; ventral margin outcurved; Ohio Rjver drainage 
Dysnomia personata (Say) 

114. Rays obscure; shell much swollen, with the dorsal and posterior maf 

gins meeting at an angle of about 90°; Tennessee and Cumberland 

Dysnomia arcacformis (Lea) Sugar-spoon 
Rays usually broken; shell full, with a sloping posterior-dorsal margin 


115. Posterior muscle scars very deep; posterior ridge of female toothed and 

much inflated; Tennessee 

Dysnomia hrevidens (Lea) 
Posterior muscle scars shallow; posterior ridge of female not greatly 
expanded 116. 

116. Lower half of posterior ridge rounded; lunule often very wide; central 


Truncilla donaciformis (Lea) 


Posterior ridge sharp; lunule narrow; central and east-central states 117. 

117. With a radial depression before the posterior ridge; with a few radial 

lines on a flat posterior slope 

Truncilla truncata Raf. Deer-toe 
No radial depression before the posterior ridge; with many fine radial 
lines on a flattened posterior slope 

Dysnom\a triquetra (Raf.) 

118. Shell and hinge line thick and heavy; Mississippi River 

Lampsilis higginsii (Lea) Higgin's Eye 
Shell and hinge moderate to thin 119. 

119. Posterior ridge very sharp and posterior slope flat, so that the shell looks 

as if it had been sliced off posteriorly; Ohio River drainage 
Lampsilis ovata (Say) Ohio Pocketbook, Grandma 
Posterior ridge moderate or absent 120. 

120. Shell evenly marked with many fine wavy rays; small, seldom over three 

inches; Ohio River drainage 

Lampsilis fasaola Raf. Wavy-lined Pocketbook 
(Ligumia fasciola (Raf.)) 
(Lavipsihs miduradiata (Lea)) 
Rays usually irregularly distributed and of varying widths; becoming 
larger 121. 

121. With a moderate posterior ridge; nacre tinged with red or purple; At- 

lantic drainage only 

Lampsihs ochracea (Say) Red-lined Pocketbook 
Posterior ridge not well marked; nacre white or pinkish; Atlantic and 
Mississippi drainages 122. 

122. Cardinals of right valve long and thin, resembling the laterals; epidermis 

smoky, scarcely rayed; shell thin and very much inflated; southern 
Mississippi drainage 

Proptera capax (Green) Fat Pocketbook 
Cardinals tooth-like, rather than knife-like; epidermis yellow, usually 
rayed 123. 

123. Rays largely confined to the posterior slope; Atlantic drainage 

Lampsilis cariosa (Say) Eastern Pocketbook 
Rays usually scattered; Mississippi drainage 

Lampsilis cardium Raf. Common Pocketbook 
Lampsilis ventricosa (Barnes) 

Baker, F. C. 1911. The Lymnaeidae of North and Middle America. Chicago 
Academy of Science. Special Publication No. 3 

Baker, F. C. 1928. The Fresh-water Mollusca of Wisconsin. Two vols. Wis- 
consin Geol. and Nat. Hist. Surv., Bull. No. 70. 

Baker, F. C. 1939. Fieldbook of Illinois Land Snails. Illinois Natural History 
Survey, Manual 2. Urbana, Illinois 

Baker, F. C. 1945. The Molluscan Family Planorh^dae. Univ. of 111. Press. 


Binney, W. G. 1865. Land and Fresh Water Shells of North America. Parts 
2 and 3. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, No. 143 and 144. 

Binney, W. G. 1885. A Manual of American Land Shells. Bull. U. S. Nat. 
Mus., No. 28. 

Binney, W. G. and Bland, T. 1869. Land and Fresh Water Shells of North 
America. Part 1. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, No. 194. 

Call, R. E. 1900. A Descriptive Illustrated Catalogue of the MoUusca of In' 
diana. Twenty'fourth Annual Report, Department of Geology, State 
of Indiana. Indianapolis. 

Chamberlin, R. V. and Jones, D. T. 1929. A Descriptive Catalogue of the 
MoUusca of Utah. Bull, of the Univ. of Utah, Vol. 19, No. 4. (Bio- 
logical Series, Vol. 1, No. 1.) 

Coker, R. E. 1919. Fresh-water Mussels and Mussel Industries of the United 
States. Bull. U. S. Bureau of Fisheries, Vol. 36. 

Coker. R. E., Shira, A. F., Clark, H. W. and Howard, A. D. 1921. Natural 
History and Propagation of Fresh-water Mussels. Bull. U. S. Bureau 
of Fisheries, Vol. 37. 

Frierson, L. S. 1927. A Classified and Annotated Check List of the North 
American Naiades. Baylor University Press, Waco, Texas. 

Goodrich, C. 1932. MoUusca of Michigan. Michigan Handbook Series 5. 
Univ. Museum, Univ. of Mich. Ann Arbor, Michigan 

Henderson, J. 1924. MoUusca of Colorado, Utah, Montana, Idaho and 
Wyoming. Univ. of Colorado Studies, Vol. 13, No. 2. 

Henderson, J. 1929. Non-marine MoUusca of Oregon and Washington. 
University of Colorado Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2. 

Keep, J. (Revised by J. L. Bailey, Jr.) 1935. West Coast Shells. Stanford 
University Press, Stanford Univ., Cal. 

Morris, P. A. 1939. What Shell is That? D. Appleton-Century Co. N. Y. 

Ortmann, A. E. 1911-1919. A Monograph of the Naiades of Pennsylvania. 
Memoirs, Carnegie Museum, Vol. 4, No. 6, and Vol. 8, No. 1. PittS' 

Pilsbry, H. A. 1892-date. Manual of Conchology. Over 20 Vols. Acad, of 
Nat. Sci. of Phila. 

Pilsbry, H. A. 1939-41. Land MoUusca of North America. Monographs 
No. 3. 2 Vols. 4 parts. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., PhUadelphia. 

Rogers, J. E. 1908. The Shell Book. Doubleday, Page and Co. New York. 

Scammon, R. E. 1906. The Unionidae of Kansas. Part 1. Kansas Univ. 
Sci. Bull., Vol. 3, No. 9. (Whole series, Vol. 13, No. 9.) Lawrence 

Simpson, C. T. 1914. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Naiades or Pearly 
Fresh-water Mussels. In 3 parts. Bryant Walker, Detroit, Mich. (Ann 
Arbor Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan) 

Tryon, G. W., Jr. 1870. A Monograph of the Fresh-water MoUusca of the 
United States. 


Tryon, G. W., Jr. 1873. Land and Fresh-water Shells of North America. 
Part 4. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, No. 253. 

Tryon, G. W., Jr. 18864900. Manual of Conchology. Many vols. (Con- 
tinued by H. A. Pilsbry) . 

Utterback, W. I. 1915-16. The Naiades of Missouri. American Midland 
Naturalist, Vol. 4, Nos. 1-10. Notre Dame, Indiana. 

Walker, B. 1918. A Synopsis of the Classification of the Fresh -water Mol- 
lusca of North America, etc. Univ. of Mich., Museum of Zoology, Misc. 
Pub. No. 6. Ann Arbor, Mich. 

Walker, B. 1928. The Terrestrial Shell-bearing Mollusca of Alabama. Univ. 
of Mich., Museum of Zoology, Misc. Pub. No. 18. Ann Arbor, Mich. 

Woodward, S. P. 1880. A Manual of the Mollusca. London. 

The names of genera and species used as first choice in the section of the 
snail key devoted to land snails coincide with the classification in Pilsbry 's 
Monograph (1939-41). The names used as first choice in the clam key are 
those given in Frierson's Chec\ List. The unbracketed names given as second 
choice are accepted by many conchologists and are found in much of the litera* 



Chapter 7 

The group or phylum Arthro^oda consists of those invertebrates that have 
jointed appendages, and includes an immense number of diverse forms. Over 
three-fourths of a million species have been named and described, and about 
eighty-five per cent of all the known animals belong in this group. They are 
to be found wherever life is possible and consequently show remarkable adapta' 
tions. Practically all of them, however, possess jointed appendages, at least in 
the adult stages, and the body also is made up of a series of segments, usually 
from eighteen to twenty-three. Partial fusion often makes it difficult to dis- 
tinguish all, however, especially in the head region. Typically each body seg- 
ment bears a pair of appendages, but in most cases many of these appendages 
serve some other purpose than that of locomotion. Those on the head region 
have been especially modified and may even serve as jaws, so that the novice is 
surprised to find that the jaws of the crayfish or grasshopper work inward from 
each side instead of up and down like those of the vertebrates. The skin is 
hardened by secretions of chitin, an advantage in most respects but a decided 
disadvantage when growth occurs. Periodically the arthropod becomes too 
large for its skin, which must then be shed and replaced by one of a larger size. 
These cast-off skins are frequently encountered and are often perfectly com- 
plete, only a slit in the back indicating how the former occupant escaped. 

The scientist divides the Arthropoda into several groups. One of these, 
the Onychophora, is a resident of the subtropics, but is of much theoretical 
interest because its members combine several typically annelid structures with 
other equally typical arthropod structures and thereby form a connecting link 
between tw'o major groups. The other groups are generally distributed and are 
abundant in most parts of the United States. 

Practically every stream and pond contain representatives of the Crw 
stacea. This division of the Arthropoda is characterized by the presence of 
gills, usually concealed under an outgrowth of the exoskeleton, and by two 
pairs of antennae, in typical forms. The crayfish is our largest fresh-water 
example, but it is outnumbered by hosts of almost microscopic forms. Most of 
the Crustacea are essentially aquatic, while the great majority of the rest of 
the arthropods are land-dwelling animals or only temporary dwellers in the 

Another large group of the Arthropoda, the Arachyiida, is characterized 
by the lack of antennae. The majority of them have the head and thorax 


completely fused, so that only two body sections are apparent. The spiders, 
which are so often found as unwelcome invaders of our homes, belong to this 
group, and so do the mites, harvestmen, scorpions and their relatives. 

The Myriapoda, commonly called centipedes and millipedes or hundred' 
legs and thousand-legs, make up another division of the arthropods and are 
common in damp, dark places on land. 

The remaining division of the Arthropoda, the Insecta, has as almost its 
only common character the possession of six walking legs in the adult. It 
comprises such a gathering of almost innumerable kinds and forms that the 
study of them. Entomology, has attained an almost independent status, cor' 
responding somewhat to the position that Bacteriology holds in Botany. Studies 
of the methods of controlling insects are now occupying much attention, for 
it is estimated that insects take a toll of at least one-tenth of all food crops, 
and occasionally heavy infestations of insects destroy entire crops over large 
areas. In addition to the loss of food there are many insect-carried or insect- 
spread diseases, such as malaria and typhoid. 



Gill-breathing; usually with two pairs of antennae 

With tracheae, one pair of antennae, many similar legs 

No antennae ; with two main divisions, cephalothorax and abdomen 

With tracheae, book lungs or book gills 
Class INSECTA (or Hexapoda) 

With tracheae, one pair of antennae, three pairs of legs 




Without abdominal appendages; small, often minute 

Thoracic appendages flat and leaf-like 

Body distinctly segmented; with nine to forty pairs of ap- 

No distinct segmentation; usually with a bivalve carapace, which 
may or may not completely cover the body; seldom more than 
six pairs of appendages 



Thoracic appendages cylindrical; body more or less elongate and 
usually distinctly segmented 

Body without distinct segmentation and entirely enclosed in a bivalve 
carapace; with seven pairs of cylindrical appendages 

Small or large crustaceans with appendages on abdomen 

With a carapace over head and thorax; walking legs all biramose 

With a carapace over head and thorax; walking legs not biramose 
Suborder NATANTIA Shrimps and Prawns 

Shrimp'like; pleopods aid in swimming 
Suborder REPTANTIA Crayfishes 

Lobster- like; pleopods do not aid in swimming 

Body laterally compressed; no carapace 

Body flattened dorso-ventrally; no carapace 


Order SCORPIONIDA Scorpions 

Elongate, the tail-like abdomen bearing on its end a poisonous sting 
Order PALPIGRADI Microscorpions 

Minute; spider-like, but with a long, tufted and segmented tail 
Order PEDIPALPI Whip-scorpions 

First pair of legs much elongated; with or without a long, thread-like tail 
Order SOLPUGIDA Solpugids 

Head distinct from thorax and with very large, pinching structures 
Order CHELONETHIDA (or Pseudoscorpionida) False Scorpions 

Tiny, flattened forms, with relatively huge chelae 
Order PHALANGIIDA Harvestmen or Daddy-long-legs 

Body ovoid; legs very long and slender 
Order ARANEIDA (or Araneae) True Spiders 

Thorax and head completely fused, and distinct from the abdomen 
Order ACARINA Mites 

Body ovoid, cephalothorax and abdomen not distinct; legs short 
Order TARDIGRADA Water Bears 

Minute, usually aquatic; body and legs unsegmented 




Minute animals with three-branched antennae 

Minute animals with unbranched antennae 
Order DIPLOPODA MilHpedes 

Usually elongate-cylindrical, with two pairs of legs on most segments 
Order CHILOPODA Centipedes 

Elongate, flattened animals, with one pair of legs on most segments 


Order THYSANURA Bristle-tails and Silver-flsh 

Small, terrestrial, wingless insects; antennae long; with three, hair-like 
terminal appendages 

Order COLLEMBOLA Spring-tails 

Small, wingless insects; with moderately long antennae; with abdominal 
leaping appendage 

Order ORTHOPTERA Grasshoppers and Crickets 

Small to large insects; fore wings straight, narrow and stiff (Cock- 
roaches, Mantes and Walking-sticks are usually included here, but are 
regarded by some entomologists as forming three separate orders, the 
Blattariae, the Mantodea, and the Phasmatodea.) 

Order DERMAPTERA Earwigs 

Small to moderate insects; fore wings hardened, hind wings membran- 
ous, folded under fore wings when at rest; abdomen ending in a pair of 
prominent forceps 


Very small insects; with four narrow wings fringed with long bristles 

Order ISOPTERA Termites 

Colonial, polymorphic insects, somewhat ant-like, but with thorax 
broadly connected to abdomen 

Order CORRODENTIA Book-lice, Bark-lice 

Small, soft-bodied insects; wings, when present, relatively large 

Order MALLOPHAGA Bird Lice 

Small, wingless, external parasites of birds; body broad and flat; legs 
short; with biting mouth parts 

Order SIPHUNCULATA (or Anoplura) True Lice 

Small, wingless, external parasites of mammals; body flattened; with 
sucking mouth parts 


Order HOMOPTERA Cicadas, Leaf-hoppers, Aphids 

Small to moderate sized insects; with sucking mouth parts; wings not 

with basal part hardened 
Order HETEROPTERA (or Henuptera) True Bugs 

Small to large insects; with sucking mouth parts; basal portion of fore 

wing thickened, distal part membranous 
Order ODONATA Dragon-flies, Damsel-flies 

Large insects; abdomen elongate; wings not folded, all membranous; 

head freely movable 
Order EPHEMERIDA (or Pie ctopter a) May-flies 

Medium sized insects; head not freely movable; fore wings much larger 

than hind ones 
Order PLECOPTERA Stone-flies 

Moderate sized insects; hind wings larger than fore wings and folded 

when at rest 
Order NEUROPTERA Lace-wings, Ant-lions, Dobson-flics 

Small to large insects; wings similar in size; predatory insects with 

large eyes 
Order MECOPTERA Scorpion-flies 

Small to medium sized insects; head prolonged into a down-curved beak 

bearing chewing mouth parts; four wings alike, long and narrow; legs 

long and slender 
Order TRICHOPTERA Caddis-flies 

Small to medium sized insects; wings membranous, hairy 
Order LEPIDOPTERA Butterflies, Moths 

Small to large insects; wings with shingle-like scales; with sucking mouth 

Order DIPTERA Flies 

Small to medium sized insects; with one pair of wings, the second pair 

represented by knobbed structures called halteres; with sucking, pierc 

ing or lapping mouth parts 

Small, wingless, jumping insects with piercing and sucking mouth parts; 

body with bristles; antennae short; legs large and stout 
Order COLEOPTERA Beetles 

Minute to large insects; fore wings hardened, forming a cover for the 

folded, membranous hind wings; with biting mouth parts 
Order HYMENOPTERA Bees, Wasps, Ants 

Small to medium sized insects; wings, when present, membranous, the: 

fore wings larger; ovipositor usually sting-like 



1. Animal enclosed in a clam-like shell 

Not so 2. 

2. With no apparent antennae 3. 
With one or two pairs of antennae 6. 

3. Body almost cylindrical and divided into ring-like segments; with three 

pairs of segmented legs anteriorly or without legs 4. 

Body more spherical, or with four or more pairs of segmented legs 5. 

4. With three pairs of segmented legs anteriorly and with three pairs of 

undeveloped legs on the abdomen in the adult; rare (grouped indc 
pendently or with the Insecta or with the Arachyiida by various writers) 

M.yrientomata, (Order Protura) 
Larval forms; with or without legs 

Insecta or Hexapoda Insects 

5. With many pairs of body appendages 

With four pairs of legs 

Arachnoxdea, Subclass Arachnida Arachnids 

6. With two pairs of antennae 

With one pair of antennae 7. 

7. With three pairs of segmented legs; usually, but not always, with wings 

in the adult 

Insecta or Hexapoda Insects 
With more than three pairs of segmented legs; no wings 8. 

8. Body long and narrow, with regular segments most of which bear one 

or two pairs of legs 

Is/lyriapoda Myriapods 
Body divided into thoracic and abdominal regions; appendages often ir' 
regular in size, shape or distribution 



The Crustacea constitute one large class of the great phylum Arthropoda. 
They arc usually distinguished from the other arthropods by the presence of 
two pairs of antennae. Most of them breathe by means of gills and almost all 
of them are aquatic. The class is divided by many writers into two sections, 
the Malacostraca and the Entomostraca, the former usually being relatively 
large animals with appendages on the abdominal segments, while the latter are 
usually small and have no abdominal appendages. 

The term Entomostraca means creatures with insect-like shells or bodies 
and was applied by O. F. Miiller in 1785. Before that time they had been 


very little studied, largely because of their small size and the fact that micro- 
scopic study is usually necessary in order to determine specific differences. 
Authorities do not agree as to the division of the Entomostraca into orders and 
suborders. A common division makes three orders of the fresh-water forms: 
the Brayichiopoda or leaf-footed; the Ostracoda, with cylindrical appendages 
and bivalve shells; and the Copepoda, which have cylindrical appendages and 
no shcU-likc coverings. 

The Branchwpoda or leaf-footed Crustacea are further divided into two 
groups, one of which is characterized by an elongate, distinctly segmented body 
and the other by a short, indistinctly segmented body, usually partly covered 
by an apparently bivalve shell. The best known and most common members 
of the first group or Phyllopoda are the fairy shrimps, which sometimes appear 
in huge numbers in temporary ponds in early spring and disappear within a 
few weeks or even days. These dainty creatures, like most of the Phyllopoda, 
swim on their backs. The males have the second pair of antennae much enlarged 
to serve as clasping organs in mating. A study of these modified antennae is 
usually necessary in order to identify genera and species. The females are 
usually burdened with large sacs of eggs. These eggs soon fall to the bottom 
of the pond and are able to endure both desiccation and freezing before they 
hatch. Indeed it is reported that the eggs of some species will not hatch until 
such strenuous conditions have been met. The frequent abundance of fairy 
shrimps in small temporary ponds and their rarity in or absence from larger, 
more permanent ponds support this idea. 

The other suborder of Branchwpoda, the Cladocera, were observed by 
the naturalist Swammerdam in 1669, when the microscope was in its infancy. 
He called them "water fleas", a name which has since been incorporated into 
the scientific name of one of the most common forms, Daphnia pulex. In recent 
years the importance of these tiny Crustacea as food for small fish has been 
discovered, and the species of the genus Daphnja and other genera have been 
widely collected and grown in cultures as food for aquarium fishes. They are 
excellent subjects for examination under the low power of the microscope, for 
they are usually so transparent that the internal organs are easily seen. One 
striking feature is the brood case or space between the top of the body and the 
shell. Here the eggs undergo their development, so that often several well- 
developed young, miniatures of the parent, may be seen. During most of the 
year eggs are formed and develop without fertilization. As a matter of fact 
males are rare and in some species have never been observed. Sexual reproduc- 
tion appears to occur only when living conditions become unfavorable, and then 
only one or two eggs are produced, the shell of the parent becoming thickened 
and modified and being shed with the egg or eggs still in it. The eggs then lie 
dormant until the next favorable season arrives. 


The Ostracoda have bivalve shells that cover the whole animal and the 
legs are cylindrical rather than flattened. When inactive they look like tiny 
clams, hut in action the shell opens and the appendages flash out and perform 
their task of propulsion most efliciently. Like the Cladocera, the Ostracoda 
are abundant in most bodies of fresh water and play an important part as food 
for young fishes. 

The fresh-water Copepoda are mostly free-living, but a few are serious 
parasites upon fish. One of these parasitic forms, Argtthis, is commonly called 
the carp louse, but it is also common upon goldfish and some others. Its body 
is much modified and resembles a fish scale. It can swim well, but spends 
much of its time crawling upon or hanging in the gill chamber of fish, sucking 
the blood of its host. The other forms of parasitic Copepoda are, in the female, 
even more modified in body form and are incapable of swimming, as their legs 
are rudimentary. The mouth appendages are modified into sucking or clasp- 
ing organs. Their bodies are worm-like or sac-like. Two long sacs of eggs often 
hang from the rear. The free-living Copepoda are well represented by the 
common genus Cyclops, so named because of the single red eye in the center 
of its head. It has a pear-shaped body ending in a long tail, and a pair of large 
egg sacs are usually towed by the female. 

The Entomostraca are easily collected by means of a plankton net. Many 
of them will thrive and multiply in an aquarium, provided no small fish or 
hydra are present to devour them. Some magnification is necessary in order 
that their distinctive characters may be determined. If the animal is too active 
in a water mount under the microscope, a weak solution of glycerine may be 
used as a mounting medium to retard motion. The collector is often puzzled 
by a great variety of forms, which on close study may turn out to be immature 
stages of a few common forms. A young phyllopod or copepod usually hatches 
from the egg as a flat, oval body with three pairs of appendages, a state called 
the nauplius stage. As it grows a series of moults occurs, each one bringing it 
nearer to the adult condition in regard to the number of segments and develop' 
ment of appendages. Most of the parasitic copepods omit the earlier stages, 
hatching in forms much resembling Cyclops and then going through a process 
of degeneration. 

The Malacostraca or soft-shelled animals were so called by Aristotle, who 
used the term to separate them from the Mollusca or hard-shelled animals. Three 
groups are common in fresh water, and a fourth is represented by one fresh' 
water species, Mysis relicta, which is found in the Great Lakes. The name 
''relicta" was given to it because it was assumed to be a "marine relic", which 
implied that the great lakes of Europe and America in which it occurs had once 
been inland seas or inlets from the ocean. The other groups are the Decapoda, 
including the crayfish, shrimps and prawns; the Amphipoda or scuds; and the 


The latter group has some members that have started to develop a tracheal 
system for air-breathing and so have become able to leave the water and dwell 
in moist places on hind. They are often common in damp cellars and under 
bixirds or rocks in yards and gardens. Some of them can roll into a ball, when 
disturbed, and have received the name of pillbugs. The others are commonly 
called sovv'bugs or wood-lice. All are flattened dorso-ventrally, the aquatic 
Isopoda extremely so. These usually hide in and feed upon water plants and 
themselves are eagerly sought and eaten by fishes. Unlike the other groups 
of Malacostraca the Isopoda have no thoracic gills, but instead have the ab- 
dominal appendages especially modified to serve this function. 

The Aviphipoda are also flattened, but in the other dimension, so that 
they appear to have been designed to slip between the stems of water plants. 
The female amphipod (like the Isopoda) carries its eggs in a brood pouch 
formed by outgrowths from the thoracic appendages. The amphipods also 
make good food for young fishes. 

The Decapoda are the largest and most conspicuous of the fresh-water 
Crustacea. The crayfishes look much like miniature lobsters except that their 
chelae or large pinchers are alike. They are frequently miscalled crabs, but 
the crabs have ver>^ small abdomens carried tucked under the rounded cephalo- 
thorax and are to be found only along the coasts. The common name of cray- 
fish is probably derived from the more descriptive term of "crevice-fish'". They 
can retreat from danger with the greatest speed by flipping backwards, so that 
to "crawfish out" of a situation has become a common phrase in our language. 

Crayfishes are of much interest ecologically, since the various species show 
markedly ditFering preferences as to habitat, some living only in large streams, 
some only in still ponds, and some forsaking even these to live in muddy bur- 
rows often topped by five or six inch chimneys of excavated material. As 
much diversity is shown in reproduction, some species mating only in the 
autumn to produce young the next spring and some species apparently mating 
freely at any time of the year. Even the body color varies with the locality 
and the normal dull brown may be replaced by a decided blue or red. 

The identification of crayfish is complicated because the main distinguish- 
ing characters must be based on the sexual differences of the mature males. The 
sexually potent males, with horny tips on the first pair of abdominal appendages 
and with well developed copulatory hooks on the third segments of the second, 
third or fourth pair of legs, are said to be in the first form. In most crayfishes 
this form occurs in the autumn and winter, when copulation takes place. In 
spring and summer male crayfishes are in the second form, usually sexually 
impotent and with their sexual characters suppressed. 

The eggs are carried by the female on her abdominal appendages or swim- 
merettes, which she continually waves to aerate the eggs. She checks them 


over carefully and promptly discards any that fail to develop properly. Unlike 
the lobster and many other crustaceans, the crayfish does not go through a series 
of developmental stages that may recapitulate the evolutionary history, but 
starts its free life as a miniature of its parent. 

Crayfishes make interesting aquarium pets. Those from ponds or slowly 
moving water naturally live better under aquarium conditions than those from 
swift streams. For best results the container should be arranged so that the 
crayfish may emerge from the water when it so desires. As a matter of fact 
many crayfishes spend a good deal of the night at the very edge of the water 
or out on the mud flats. The raccoons know this and profit by it. As long 
as the gills remain moist the crayfish can survive, and most fishermen have 
learned to carry their bait crayfish in damp moss rather than in water. At 
the time of the shedding of the skin, which splits across the back and enables 
its occupant to "jack-knife'' out, a captive crayfish should be removed from 
its fellows, so that they cannot profit by its helplessness to make a meal of it. 

Crayfish are omnivorous and all is grist that comes to their mill, be it dead 
or alive, plant or animal. Undoubtedly they play an important part in the 
economy of nature, cleaning up all waste and becoming in their turn food for 
other animals. 


1. Small or microscopic animals; body without appendages on the abdomen 

or enclosed within a bivalve or apparently bivalve shell — Subclass 
Entomostraca 2. 

Large or small but not usually microscopic; with legs or modified ap' 
pendages on the thorax and the abdomen; no bivalve shell — Subclass 
Malacostraca 5. 

2. No bivalve shell; with cylindrical, twcbranched thoracic appendages 

(or much modified in parasitic forms) 
Copepoda Copepods 
With an actual or apparent bivalve shell or with flattened or simple 
thoracic appendages 3. 

3. With a bivalve shell enclosing the animal, resembling a tiny clam; less 

than four pairs of body appendages 
Ostracoda Ostracods 
No clam-like shell — or, if so, with five or more pairs of body appendages 


4. With five or six pairs of body appendages; body indistinctly segmented 

Branchwpoda, Suborder Cladocera Water Fleas 
With eight or more pairs of body appendages; body distinctly segmented 
Branchiopoda, Suborder Phyllopoda Phyllopods or Fairy 

5. No carapace or shell 6. 
With a carapace 7. 


F»R ST UtG- 

A B DO 5^ EN 


J NTE ^T\rv*t 



TER.^nl^sl AL C L Av/' 







6. Body flattened sideways; some of the body appendages much different 

from the others; often jumping animals 
Amphipoda Amphipods or Scuds 
Body flattened dorso-ventrally; legs (except first and last) practically 
alike; rarely jumping 

Isopoda Isopods, Sowbugs or Pillbugs 

7. Carapace joined to three or less thoracic segments; all of the thoracic 

appendages two-branched; eggs carried in an egg sac at the base of 
the peraeopods of the female 

Mysidacea, Mysis rehcta Loven Opossum Shrimp 
Carapace joined to all of the thoracic segments; most or all of the thoracic 
appendages single (do not consider opposing claws on ends as 
branches) ; eggs attached to the pleopods 

Decapods Crayfishes, Shrimps and Prawns 


1. With a shell or carapace 2. 
No shell or carapace — Anostraca 9. 

2. Shell in one piece; flattened dorso-ventrally, and covering only the an- 

terior part of the body — T^otostraca 3. 

Shell bivalve, flattened laterally, and enclosing the animal — Conchostraca 


3. With only two slender processes projecting from the end of the abdomen 

Apus Schaeffer (of Family Apodidae) 
With a central paddle-shaped appendage between the two slender prO' 
cesses projecting from the end of the abdomen 
Lepidurus Leach (of Family Apodidae) 

4. No concentric growth lines on the shell; Family Lynceidae 

Lynceus Miiller 
(Limnetis Loven) 
With concentric growth lines on the shell 5. 

5. With less than six concentric growth lines on the shell 

Enhynnadm Packard (of Family Limnadiidae) 
With more than fifteen concentric growth lines on the shell 6. 

6. With a frontal appendage on the head; shell covering head; Atlantic 


Limnadia Brongniart (of Family Limnadiidae) 
No frontal appendage (process between the antennae) 7. 

7. With a spine on the rostrum (Family Leptestheriidae) 

Leptestheria Sars 
(Estheria Riippcll (part) ) 
No spine on the rostrum; Family Caenestheriidae 8. 

8. With fourteen or fifteen segments in the flagellum of the second antenna 

Caenestheriella Daday 
(Estheria Riippell (part) ) 


With sixteen or seventeen segments in the flagcllum of the second antenna 
Cyzicus Adouin 
(Estheria Riiippell (part) ) 

9. Second (large) antennae of males threc'jointed 

Strcptocephalus Baird (of Family Streptocephalidae) 
Second antennae of males twO' jointed 10. 

10. Males without processes between the antennae (frontal appendages); 

Fa.mily Branchmectidae 11. 

With frontal appendages between antennae of males or with a flattened 

process from the inner side of the base of each second antenna of 

males; Family ChirocephaUdae 12. 

11. With eight segments to apparent abdominal region; found in salt lakes 

or salt evaporating basins 
Artemia Leach 
With nine segments to apparent abdominal region; fresh-water animals 
Branchinecta Verrill 

12. Most of abdominal segments fused together 

Thaynnocephahis Packard 
Abdomen completely segmented 13. 

13. Male frontal appendages long and irregularly twisted together 

Branchinella Sayce 
Male frontal appendages short or more regularly coiled 14. 

14. Male frontal appendages long and closely coiled 

Pristicephalus Daday 
(Euhranchipus Verrill (part ) ) 

Male frontal appendages shorter 
Euhranchipus Verrill 


Caiman, W. T. 1909. Crustacea. Lankester's Treatise on Zoology, Part 7, 

Fasc. 3. London and New York. 
Packard, A. S. 1883. A Monograph of the Phyllopod Crustacea of North 

America, etc. 12 Ann. Rept. U. S. Geol. Surv. 
Pearse, A. S. 1918. The Fairy Shrimps (Phyllopoda) Chap. 21 in Ward 

and Whipple's "Fresh-water Biology". John Wiley 6? Sons. New York. 


Body not enclosed in a shell (shell covering only the egg case) 2. 

Body enclosed in a shell (head usually protruding outside) 3. 

With four pairs of flattened feet; Family Polyphemidae 

Polyphemus O. F. Miiller 
With six pairs of cylindrical feet; Family Leptodoridae 

Leptodora Lilljeborg 


3. Antennae of the female with only one branch; entire animal, including 

the shell, enclosed in a bivalve, transparent case; Family Holopedidae 
Holopednim Zaddach 
Not so 4. 

4. Intestine only slightly curved 5. 
Intestine with one or more coils 18. 

5. Dorsal branch of antennae with two segments; Family Sididae 6. 
Dorsal branch of antennae with three or four segments 9. 

6. With a beak 7, 
No beak 8. 

7. Eye dorsal 

Latona Straus 
Eye ventral 

Pseudosida Herrick 

8. Eye ventral 

Dmphanosoma Fischer 
Eye dorsal 

Latonopsis Sars 

9. Antennules small in the female, scarcely descending below the tip of the 

head 10. 

Antennules large in the female 14. 

10. Body with a long slender projection from the middle of the posterior 


Daphnia O. F. Miiller (of Family Daphnidae) 
Body flattened, rounded or slightly pointed on posterior; a spine may 
project from the junction of the posterior and ventral margins 11. 

11. No beak in the female; usually rounded posteriorly 

Cenodaphnia Dana (of Family Daphnidae) 
With a beak in the female; usually flattened or slightly pointed pos' 
teriorly 12. 

12. Dorsal branch of antennae with three segments, ventral branch with two 


Sida Straus (of Family Sididae) 
Dorsal branch of antennae with four segments, ventral branch with three 
segments; Family Daphnidae (part) 13. 

13. Shell noticeably striated; posterior margin flattened and pointed above 

Simocephalus Schoedler 
Shell scarcely striated; with a spine projecting backwards from the junc 
tion of the posterior and ventral margins 
Scapholeheris Schoedler 

14. Antennules projecting from the lower side of the head behind the eye 15. 
Antennules projecting from the tip of the head before the eye 16. 

15. General shape triangular, with a flattened posterior margin meeting the 

dorsal margin at an angle 

Ilyocryptus Sars (of Family Macrothricidae) 
Posterior margin rounded or pointed 

Moina Baird (of Family Daphnidae) 





16. Antennules immovable in female; end of body flattened, with a spine 

projecting backwards from junction of posterior and ventral margins; 
Family Bosminidae 

Bosmina Baird 
Antennules movable in female; posterior margin usually rounded or 
pointed at top or middle; Family Macrothricidae (part) 17. 

17. Most of setae on antennae almost smooth or with a few spines or pro- 


Macrothrix Baird 
Setae feathery 

Lathonura Lilljeborg 

18. With long movable antennules projecting from tip of head; Family 

Macrothricidae (part) 19. 

Antennules usually short, projecting from behind a very pronounced 

beak; Family Chydoridae 23, 

19. Coil of intestine in posterior end of body, partly in the post-abdomen 20, 
Coil of intestine in about the middle of the body 21, 

20. With a flattened posterior margin 

Acantho/eberis Lilljeborg 
With a rounded or pointed posterior margin 
Strehlocerus Sars 

21. Posterior margin rounded; dorsal margin with a backwards projection in 

about the middle 

Drepanothrix Sars 
Posterior margin rounded or tube-like; dorsal margin even 22, 

22. Upper part of posterior margin pointed 

Ophryoxus Sars 
Posterior margin drawn out into a short tube 
Parophryoxus Doolittle 

23. Intestine ending at the end of the post-abdomen 

Eurycercus Baird 
Intestine ending well up on the post-abdomen 24, 

24. Rostrum not projecting downwards beyond antennules; each of two claws 

on post-abdomen with one or no spines 25. 

Rostrum distinctly longer, or else claw on post-abdomen with two or 

more spines, or both 30, 

25. Post-abdomen large, wide, and with numerous large spines 

Leydigia Kur^ 
Post-abdomen narrow or with short spines 26, 

26. Anterior margin of head and beak very slightly incurved or almost straight 

Graptoleheris Sars 
Anterior margin of head and beak curving outwards 27. 

27. Post-abdomen bent abruptly outwards and about twice as wide below 

end of intestine 

Dunhevedia King 
Post-abdomen not abruptly much wider below end of intestine 28, 


28. Post-abdomen long and narrow with nearly parallel sides and with spines 

along the side getting larger at the end and about one-half the si2;e 
of the terminal claw 

OxyureUa Dybowski & Grochowski 
(Odonta]ona Birge) 
Post-abdomen usually broad; with small spines of about equal si^e along 
the side 29. 

29. Spines along the edge of post-abdomen usually smaller than the row just 

back from the edge, if these are present 

Alonella Sars 
Spines along edge of post-abdomen usually larger than the row back from 
the edge, about one-half or more the si2,e of the spine at the base of the 
terminal claw 

Alona Baird (part) 

30. With a spine about the si^e of the basal spine of the terminal claw pro- 

jecting from the middle of the terminal claw on the post-abdomen 31. 
Not so -^5. 

31. Rostrum very narrow and somewhat longer than antennules (not count- 

ing setae of antennules) 

Kurzia Dybowski & Grochowski 
(Pseudalona Sars) 
(Alonopsis of some writers) 
Rostrum thick, about length of antennules 32. 

32. With a row of spines back from the edge of post-abdomen but no row 

along the edge 

Acroperus Baird 
With a row of spines along edge of post-abdomen, with or without a row 
back from the edge 33. 

33. Valves faintly marked with concentric lines; head small, with rostrum 

not descending half way down height of body 
Euryalona Sars 
Valves marked with lengthwise or oblique parallel lines; head large, with 
rostrum descending below mid-line of height of body 34. 

34. With a dorsal crest; post-abdomen slender 

Camptocercus Baird 
No dorsal crest; post-abdomen moderate to broad 
Alonopsis Sars 

35. Body almost round 

Chydorus Leach 
Body long oval or rectangular 36. 

36. With one spine at base of terminal claw on post-abdomen 

Rhynchotalona Norman 
With two spines or with one spine and a bunch of spicules at base of 
terminal claw- on post-abdomen 37. 

37. With one spine and a bunch of spicules at base of terminal claw 

Alona Baird (part) 
With two spines at base of terminal claw 
Pleuroxus Baird 



Birge, E. A. 1918. The Water Fleas (Cladocera). Chap. 22 in Ward and 
Whipple's "Fresh-water Biology". John Wiley ^ Sons. New York 

Herrick, C. L. and Turner, C. H. 1895. Synopsis of the Entomostraca of 
Minnesota. Second Report of the State Zoologist. Geol. & Nat. Hist. 
Surv. of Minn. 


1. Last pair of legs directed downwards and used in moving about 2. 
Last pair of legs directed backward and not used in moving about 

Family Cypridae 4. 

2. With two pairs of legs; Family Darwinulidae 

Darwinida Brady & Robertson 
With three pairs of legs; Family Cytheridae 3. 

3. Shell smooth and thin; parasitic on gills of Crustacea 

Entocythere Marshall 
Shell rough; not parasitic 

Limnocythere Brady 

4. Second antennae with spines and claws at tips but no swimming setae; 

non'swimming animals 
Candona Baird 
Second antennae with swimming setae and terminal spines and claws; 
swimming animals 5. 

5. Second leg ending in three tips, one or two of which are bent back to- 

wards the base of the leg 
Cypria Zenker 
Second leg ending in one or more short curved projections resembling a 
beak and one long spine or claw directed ahead away from the leg 6. 

6. Caudal ramus with one long slender tip, besides the short basal spine 

Cy pridopsis Brady 
Caudal ramus with terminal claws or setae or both 7. 

7. Swimming setae on second antennae as long as the terminal spines and 


Eucypris Vavra 
(Cypris Miiller) 
Swimming setae shorter 

Chlamydotheca Saussure 

Herrick, C. L. and Turner, C. H. 1895. Synopsis of the Entomostraca of 

Minnesota. Second Report of the State Zoologist. Geol. & Nat. Hist. 

Surv. of Minn. 
Hoff, C. C, 1942. The Ostracods of lUinois. Ill Biol. Monog. 19, Nos. 1 

and 2. 
Sharpe, R. W. 1918. The Ostracoda. Chap. 24 in Ward and Whipple's 

'Trcsh'water Biology". John Wiley & Sons. New York. 
Turner, C. H. 1899. Synopses of North American Invertebrates — Fresh 

Water Ostracods. Amer. Nat., Vol. 33. 



D» A PTO nu S 



COPE PODS (m^GN^^ltD^ 









1. Parasitic, usually on the gills of fish; mouth appendages adapted for suck' 

ing; body segments often reduced 2. 

Free-swimming; mouth appendages adapted for chewing; with five or six 

segments in the cephalothorax and three to five segments in the ab' 

domen 5. 

2. Body flattened, covered with a disc-shaped or oval carapace; no egg sacs; 

with a pair of compound eyes; Family Argnlidae 
Argulus Miiller 
Body usually more cylindrical or sac- like; females with egg sacs 3. 

3. Body resembling the free swimming Copepods; Family Ergasilidae 

Ergasilus Nordmann 
Body more worm-like or sac-like, more or less unsegmented or with the 
legs minute or absent 4. 

4. Usually with about four pairs of minute swimming legs; Family Lernaei' 


Lernaea Linn. 
With one or two pairs of minute legs or legs absent; Family Lernaeopodi' 

Salmincola Wilson 
(Lernaeopoda Nordmann (part) ) 

5. First antennae about as long as the body, of twenty or more segments 6. 
First antennae not longer than the cep^lothorax, of eighteen or less seg- 
ments 9. 

6. Endopodite (inner branch) of first pair of feet of only one segment; 

Family Temoridae 

Epischura Forbes 
Endopodite of first pair of feet of two or three segments 7. 

7. Endopodite of first pair of feet of two segments; Family Diaptomidae 

Diaptomus Westwood 
Endopodite of first pair of feet of three segments; Family Centra pagidae 


8. With twenty-three or twenty-four segments in antennae 

Osphranticum Forbes 
With twenty-five segments in antennae 
Lwinocalanus Sars 

9. With seven or eight segments in first antennae; cephalothorax and ab- 

domen about the same width; Family Canthocamptidae 10. 

With ten to seventeen segments in first antennae; abdomen distinctly 

and suddenly narrower than the cephalothorax; Family Cyclopidae 11. 

10. With two segments in the small branch of the second antenna 

Canthocamptus Westwood 
With one segment in the small branch of the second antenna 
Attheyella Brady 

11. With ten to tvv'elve segments in the first antennae 12. 
With seventeen segments in the first antennae 13. 


12. With ten or eleven segments in first antennae 

Ectocyclops Brady 
With twelve segments in the first antennae 
Eucyclops Claus 

13. With two plumes from the end of the fifth leg 

Mesocyclops Sars 
With one plume and one or two spines from the end of the fifth leg 14. 

14. With one plume and one spine from the end of the fifth leg 

Cyclops Miiller 
With one plume and two spines from the end of the fifth leg 
Macrocyclops Claus 


Coker, R. E. 1934. Contribution to Knowledge of North American Fresh- 
water Harpacticoid Copepod Crustacea. Jour. Elisha Mitchell Scientific 
Soc, Vol. 50, Nos. 1 and 2. Chapel Hill ,N. C. 

Forbes, E. B. 1897. A Contribution to a Knowledge of North American 
Fresh-water Cyclopidae. Bull. 111. Lab. Nat. Hist., Vol. 5. 

Herrick, C. L. and Turner, C. H. 1895. Synopsis of the Entomostraca of 
Minnesota. Second Report of the State Zoologist. Geol. and Nat. Hist. 
Surv. of Minn. 

Marsh, C. D. 1918. Copepoda. Chap. 23 in Ward and Whipple's ''Fresh- 
water Biology". John Wiley 6? Sons. New York. 

Wilson, C. B. 1903. North American Parasitic Copepods of the Family 
Argulidae. Proc. U. S. Nat. Museum, Vol. 25. 

Wilson, C. B. 1911. North American Parasitic Copepods Belonging to the 
Family Ergasilidae. Proc. U. S. Nat. Museum, Vol. 39. 


1. Last pair of peraeopods (legs on thora.x) shorter than the preceding pair; 

Family Lysianassidae 

Pontoporeia Kroyer 
Last pair of peraeopods longer than the preceding pair 2. 

2. Telson not spHt 3. 
Telson (central posterior appendage) partly or wholly split lengthwise 

Family Gammaridae 4. 

3. First pair of antennae without any small branch portion; with functional 

eyes; in rivers, ponds etc. ; Family Talitridae 
Hyalella Smith 
First pair of antennae with one very short branch from middle or from 
near end; blind; in caves or wells 

Crangonyx Bate (of Family Gammaridae) 

4. Telson almost wholly or completely split 

Gammarus Fabricius 
Telson split not more than three-quarters of its length 5. 










5. Outer division of third uropods (last of three pairs of tail appendages 
lateral to the telson) with two segments; blind; in caves of Tenn. 
Isliphargus Hay 
Outer division of third uropods with one segment; blind or not; more 
generally distributed 

Eucrangonyx Stebbing 


Holmes, S. J. 1903. Synopses of North American Invertebrates — -The Am' 
phipoda. Amer. Nat., Vol. 37. 

Ortmann, A. E. 1918. Higher Crustaceans (Malacostraca) . Chap. 25 in 
Ward and Whipple's 'Tresh-water Biology". John Wiley & Sons. New 

Weckel, A. L. 1907. The Fresh- water Amphipoda of North America. Proc. 
U. S. Nat. Museum, Vol. 32. 



1. Both pairs of antennae undeveloped; parasitic on gills of Crustacea; 

Family Bopyridae 

Prohopyrus Giard & Bonnier 
With one or two pairs of developed antennae; not parasitic 2. 

2. Both pairs of antennae apparent (more than three-jointed) ; water forms 


First pair of antennae obscure (not more than three-jointed) ; usually 

but not always land forms 7. 

3. Uropods lateral; Family Sphaeromidae 4. 
Uropods terminal; Family Asellidae 5. 

4. Outer side of outer branch of uropod serrate 

Sphaeroma Latreille 
Outer side of outer branch of uropod smooth 
Exosphaeroma Stebbing 

5. Head as wide as and longer than iirst segment of thorax; no eyes; in caves 

and wells 

Caecidotea Packard 
Head narrower or shorter; with eyes 6. 

6. Legs (except first pair) with one claw 

Asellus Geoifroy St.-Hillaire 
Legs (except first pair) with two claws 
Mancasellus Harger 

7. Uropods modified to form a flattened opercular covering for the ventral 

rear of abdomen; Family Tyhdae 
Tylos Latreille 
Uropods each with two branches projecting backwards 8. 


8. Uropods with two slender branches extending well posterior to the body 

and with the inner branch a little longer than the outer branch; Family 

Ligidium Brandt 
Uropods not so — either extending scarcely behind the body or with the 
outer branch a little longer than the inner branch 9. 

9. Uropods not extending backwards beyond the rear projections of the last 

segment of the abdomen; animal can roll itself into a ball 10. 

Uropods extending a little behind the rear projections of the last seg' 

ment of the abdomen; most species (but not all) cannot roll into a 

ball 11. 

10. Front margin of head indented in the middle; generally distributed; 

Family ArmadiUidudae 

Armadillidium Brandt 
Front margin of head straight; California; Family Cuharidae 
Cuharis Brandt 

11. Largest of antennal segments about one-half the length of the divisions 

of the thorax; mouth parts forming a very conspicuous mass; Family 

Trichoniscidae 12. 

Largest of antennal segments about as long as or longer than the divisions 

of the thorax; mouth parts not prominent 13. 

12. Abdomen about the same width as the thorax 

Haplophthahnus Schobel 
Abdomen abruptly narrower than the thorax 
Trichoniscus Brandt 

13. Abdomen abruptly narrower than the thorax; Family Oniscidae (part) 

Abdomen not abruptly narrower than the thorax 15. 

14. With three sections in antennal flagellum 

Philoscia Latreille 
With two sections in antennal flagellum 
Porcellionides Miers 
(Metoponorthus Buddc-lund) 

15. With two sections in antennal flagellum; Family Oniscidae (part) 16. 
With three or four sections in antennal flagellum 18. 

16. Body very convex; can roll into a ball 

Cyhsticus Schnitzler 
Body moderately convex; cannot roll into a ball 17. 

17. With white respiratory sacs on five pairs of pleopods 

Tracheoniscus Verhoeif 
(Trachehpus Budde-Lund) 
With white respiratory sacs on two pairs of pleopods 
Porcellw Latreille 

18. Posterior margin of last abdominal segment produced backwards in the 

middle to form a projection between the uropods 
Omscus Linn, (of Family Oniscidae) 
Posterior margin of last abdominal segment regularly curved 19. 


19. Front of head with a rounded lobe on each side; with four sections in 
antennal flagellum; Family Scyphac^dae 
Armadilloniscus Uljanin 
(Actoniscus Hargcr) 
Front of head with a horny tubercle on each side; with three sections in 
antennal flagellum 

AUomscus Dana (of Family Oniscidae) 


Hatch, M. H. 1947. The Chelifera and Isopoda of Washington. Univ. of 
Wash. Pub. in Biol, Vol. 10, No. 5. Pg. 155-274. 

Ortmann, A. E. 1918. Higher Crustaceans (Malacostraca). Chap. 25 in 
Ward and Whipple's 'Tresh-water Biology". John Wiley 6? Sons. New 

Richardson, H. 1900. Synopses of North American Invertebrates — The Isc 
poda. Amer. Nat., Vol. 34. 

Richardson, H. 1905. Monograph of the Isopods of North America. Bull. 
U. S. Nat. Museum, No. 54. 

Van Name, W. G. 1936. The American Land and Fresh'water Isopod 
Crustacea. Bull. Amcr. Museum of Nat. History, Vol. 71. New York. 

The names used as first choice in the Isopod key are those given in Van 
Name's Monograph. 


1. Carapace short and wide, much flattened dorso-ventrally, almost circular 

as view-ed from above; abdomen bent forwards under cephalothorax; 
marine species, some of which may invade fresh water or occur on land 
near the sea 
Carapace elongate, not so much flattened; abdomen extending backwards 


2. First two pairs of legs with opposing claws; mostly marine, but a few fresh' 

water species Shrimps and Prawns 3. 

First three pairs of legs with opposing claws; fresh- water species; Family 

Astacidae Crayfishes (Crawfishes, Crawdads, etc.) 6. 

3. With bunches of hairs on the ends of the claws; blind cave species; Ken' 

tucky; Family Atypidae 

Palaemon^as ganteri Hay Cave Shrimp 
With scattered hairs on the claws; Family Palaemonidae 4. 

4. With palps on mandible; second legs of male very long, with large claws; 

large enough to be used for food; Ohio and Mississippi Rivers 
Macrohrachium ohionis (Smith) Great Shrimp 
(Palaemon ohionis Smith) 
No palps on mandibles; claws of first two legs about equal; about one to 
two inches long 5. 





C H t LA 




B n EN 
T E L S N 




5. Blind species found in an artesian well in Texas 

Palaemonetes antrorum Benedict Texas Blind Shrimp 
With functional eyes; eastern states 

Palaemonetes exilipes Stimpson Common Shrimp or Prawn 

6. With a gill on each side (under carapace) of last segment of thorax; 

sexual characters not well developed (no seminal receptacle on ventral 
side of thorax of female; no hooks on third segments of walking legs 
of male; first appendages of abdomen (pleopods) of male simple) ; rC' 
stricted to the Pacific slope except for one species which extends into the 
Yellowstone region (C. clar\ii has been introduced into California) ; 
Subfamily Astacinae (Genus Astacus Fabricius (Potamohius Leach)) 

No gill on last segment of thorax; sexual characters well developed (in 
the female, a seminal receptacle, appearing as a round bony entrance, 
on ventral side of thorax; in the male, a hook or spine on third segments 
(counting from base of leg) of one or more pairs of walking legs; first 
appendages of abdomen (pleopods) of male with two or more tips) ; 
east of the Rocky Mountain region; Subfamily Camharinae (former 
genus Carnbcinis Erichson) 11. 

7. No spine on rear of postorbital ridge 8. 
With a spine or tubercle on rear of postorbital ridge 9. 

8. Sides of rostrum with fine serrations; Yellowstone region 

Astacus gamhelii (Girard) 
Sides of rostrum smooth; northwest coast 
Astacus \lamathensis Stimpson 

9. Sides of rostrum serrated 

Astacus nigrescens Stimpson 
Sides of rostrum smooth, except for a lateral spine on each side near 
tip 10. 

10. Distance from cervical groove to lateral spines of rostrum more than two 

times posterior section of carapace; tip of rostrum longer than distance 
between lateral spines 

Astacus leniusculus Dana 
Distance from cervical groove to lateral spines of rostrum about two times 
or less posterior carapace; tip of rostrum about equal to distance be' 
tween lateral spines 

Astacus trowhridgii Stimpson 

1 1 . First pleopod of male (of the first form) with more than two tips, or with 

the outer tip truncated and bearing several (one to three) short horny 

teeth or projections 12. 

First pleopod of male (of the first form) with two tips directed forwards 

or bent at right angles to the base 38. 

12. With a hook (spine or tubercle) on third segment of second and third 

legs (in males of the first form) ; first pleopod of male with three slender, 
straight tips; Louisiana 

Camharellus shufeldtii (Faxon) 
With a hook on third segment of third or of third and fourth legs (in 
males of the first form) ; first pleopod of male not so 13. 


13. Third maxilliped enlarged; no teeth along inner margin of third segment 

of third maxilliped, but with strong setae instead; with a hook on third 
segment of third and fourth legs (in males of the first form) ; small, 
transparent species with unpigmented eyes; caves near Gainesville, 

Troglocamharns maclanei Hobbs 
Third maxilliped normal; with teeth along inner margin of third segment 
of third maxilliped; with a hook on third segment of third or of third 
and fourth legs of male; Frocamharus Ortmann (includes subgenera 
Ortmnnmcus Fowler {Camharus Ortmann) and Procamharus Ort' 
mann) 14. 

14. Albinistic subterranean species, with eyes much reduced; Florida 15. 
Well pigmented species, with normal eyes 17. 

15. Hooks on third segments of third and fourth legs of male double tipped 

Procamharus acherontis (Lonnberg) 
Hooks on third segments of third and fourth legs of male simple pointed 


16. Movable claw of chela with about twelve tubercles on basal half of inner 


Procamharus pallidus (Hobbs) 
Movable claw of chela with about eighteen to twenty-one tubercles on 
basal half of inner margin 

Procamharus lucifugus (Hobbs) 

17. With hooks on third legs only (in males of the first form) 18. 
With hooks on the third and fourth legs (in males of the first form) 22. 

18. Areola not linear or obliterated 19. 
Areola linear or obliterated for part of length 21. 

19. First pleopod of male with three terminal processes; western species (N. 

Mexico, etc.) 

Procamharus simulans (Faxon) 
First pleopod of male with four terminal processes; in Florida 20. 

20. Chela of male with hairs on inner margin of palm 

Procamharus huhhelli (Hobbs) 
Chela of male without hairs on inner margin of palm 
Procamharus rathhunae (Hobbs) 

21. Anterior border of side of carapace angled below the eye; sides of ros' 

trum almost parallel; north'central states 

Procamharus gracilis (Bundy) 
Anterior border of side of carapace almost straight; sides of rostrum more 
definitely converging toward the tip; southern states 

Procamharus advena (Le Conte) 

22. Posterior section of carapace considerably less than one-half as long as the 

anterior section; southern states 23. 

Posterior section of carapace about one-half as long as the anterior section 


23. No spines on sides of carapace; rostrum without lateral spines; N. Caro- 






Procamharus pearsei (Creaser) 

With one or two spines on each side of the carapace just behind the cervi' 

cal groove (mid area, not at anterior extremity) ; usually with a spine 

on each side of the rostrum near the tip (sometimes lacking in P. fallax) ; 

southern states 24. 

24. With two spines on each side of the carapace just behind the cervical 

groove 25. 

With one spine on each side of the carapace just behind the cervical groove 


25. Sides of rostrum almost parallel; chela with many small tubercles 

Procamhdrus versutus (Hagen) 
Sides of rostrum more definitely converging; chela with scattered large 

Procamharn,s spiculifer (Le Conte) 

26. Rostrum almost flat above; areola about onchalf as wide as long 

Procamharus puhescens (Faxon) 
Rostrum concave; areola narrower 27. 

27. Sides of rostrum almost parallel 

Procamharus angiistatus (Le Conte) 
Sides of rostrum more definitely converging 28. 

28. Anterior section of carapace two and onc'half times as long as the pos' 

terior section 

Procamharus lecontei (Hagen) 
Anterior section of carapace two and one-third times as long as the pos' 
terior section 

Procamharus fallax (Hagen) 

29. Areola linear or obliterated; southern states 30. 
Areola not so 31. 

30. Rostrum short, flat, and with very small lateral spines (one on each side 

near tip) 

Procamharus troglodytes (Le Conte) 
Rostrum longer, concave, and with strong lateral spines 
Procamharus clar}{ii (Girard) 

3L Outer branch of first pleopod of male with three small projections 32. 

Outer branch of first pleopod of male with one or two rather plate-like 

projections 35. 

32. Anterior margin of carapace angled below the eye; first pleopod of male 

with moderate tips extending forwards; widely distributed 33. 

Anterior margin of carapace not angled; southern states 34. 

33. Sides of rostrum almost parallel, with a strong spine on each side near 


Procamharus hlandingii (Harlan) 
Sides of rostrum more sharply converging, with a weak spine on each side 
near tip 

Procamharus hlandingii acutus (Girard) 

34. Areola narrow, with much curved sides; chela long and narrow; first pleo' 

pod of male straight 


Procamharns hayi (Faxon) 
Areola wider, with slightly curved sides; chela wider at base; first pleopod 
of male hent 

Procaniharus fallax (Hagcn) 

35. Proximal segment of telson with three or four spines on each side of rear 

margin; inner branch of first pleopod of male longer than outer branch; 

Procaniharus aUeni (Faxon) 
Proximal segment of telson with two spines on each side of rear margin; 
inner branch of first pleopod of male not longer than outer branch 36. 

36. With tufts of hair on inner margin of chela; southeastern U. S. 

Procaniharus harhatiis (Faxon) 
(Procamharus penicillatus (Le Conte) ) 
No tufts of hairs on inner margin of chela 37. 

37. Rostrum flat, with depressed tip; inner branch of first pleopod of male 

pointing straight forward; Arkansas 

Procamharus viae-viridis (Faxon) 
Rostrum more elevated; inner branch of first pleopod of male oblique; 

Procamharus evermanni (Faxon) 

38. First pleopod of male with two tips, with one or both thickened and bent 

abruptly at right angles to base; with a hook (spine or tubercle) on third 
segment of third leg (in males of the first form) ; Camharus Ortmann 
(formerly subgenus Camharus Ortmann (Bartonius Ortmann) ) 39. 
First pleopod of male with two slender straight or curved tips; with a hook 
on third segment of third leg of male, sometimes on the fourth leg also; 
Orconectes Cope (formerly subgenus Faxonius Ortmann) 58. 

39. Blind cave species 40. 
With functional eyes 43. 

40. No marginal spines on rostrum (one on each side near tip) 41. 
Rostrum usually with marginal spines 42. 

41. In the Ozark region 

Camharus setosus Faxon 
In Florida 

Camharus cryptodytes Hobbs 

42. Areola linear in the middle; Ozark region 

Camharus ayersi Steele 
Areola wide; Tenn. and Alabama 

Camharus hamulatus (Cope 6? Packard) 

43. With lateral spines on the rostrum (one on each side near tip) 44. 
No lateral spines on the rostrum in the adult 48. 

44. No lateral spines on the carapace; Ozark region 

Camharus huhhsi Creaser 
With lateral spines on the carapace; southern states 45. 

45. Antenna long and flattened, hairy along inner surface 

Camharus cornutus Faxon 
Antenna smooth 46. 


46. Sides of areola much curved 

Camharus jordani Faxon 
Sides of areola not much curved 47. 

47. Claws of chela about as long as the basal portion; lateral spines of cara- 

pace strong 

Camharus extraneus Hagen 
Claws longer; lateral spines of carapace very small 

Camharus extraneus Hagen (var. giardianus) 

48. Part of areola obliterated 49. 
Areola not obliterated; eastern and central states to Texas 51. 

49. Claws not hairy at base; widely distributed 

Camharus diogenes Girard 
(Camharus ohesus Hagen) 
Inner claw hairy at base 50. 

50. Sides of rostrum converging; rostrum deeply hollowed out and with a 

lengthwise groove at base; widely distributed 
Camharus argillicola Faxon 
Sides of rostrum almost parallel; rostrum shallow and scarcely grooved at 
base; Maryland 

Camharus uhleri Faxon 

51. Areola narrow, onc'third or less as wide as the rostrum 52. 
Areola moderate to wide, usually more than one-half as wide as the ros' 

trum 55. 

52. Abdomen of normal length; thorax depressed 

Camharus latimanus (Le Conte) 
Abdomen much shorter than the cephalothorax ; thorax scarcely wider 
than deep 53, 

53. Sides of rostrum converging 

Camharus carolinus (Erichson) 
Sides of rostrum almost parallel 54, 

54. Tip of rostrum indistinctly defined; color usually blue 

Camharus monongalensis Ortmann 
Tip more distinct from rest of rostrum; color more often red 
Camharus duhius Faxon 

55. Margins of rostrum not swollen 

Camharus montanus Girard 
(Camharus hartoni acummatus (Faxon) ) 
Margins of rostrum swollen 56, 

56. With more than iive dots in the narrowest part of the areola 

Camharus longulus Girard 
With two to five dots in the narrowest part of the areola 57, 

57. Sides of carapace curved; claws gaping at base 

Camharus hartoni (Fabricius) 
Sides of carapace flattened; claws meeting throughout length 
Camharus hartoni rohustus (Girard) 


58. Tips of first pleopod of male very unequal in length, the inner tip being 

less than one-half the length of the outer tip; Miss, to Ala. and Okla. 
(Subgenus Faxonella Creaser) 

Orconectes clypeatus (Hay) 
Tips of first pleopod of male about equal 59. 

59. Blind cave species; Ind., Kentucky and Alabama 

Orconectes pellucidus (Tellkampf) 
(Includes O. inermis Cope) 
With functional eyes 60. 

60. With a hook (spine or tubercle) on third segment of third and of fourth 

leg (in males of the first form) ; Missouri 
Orconectes peruncus (Creaser) 
With a hook on third segment of third leg of male 61. 

61. Areola linear or partly obliterated; Tenn. south and v/est 62. 
Not so 66. 

62. Rostrum very long, making the anterior section of the carapace about 

three times as long as the posterior section 
Orconectes \anc\jer (Hagen) 
Rostrum shorter 63. 

63. No lateral spines on the rostrum in the adult; Miss. 

Orconectes mississippiensis (Faxon) 
With lateral spines on the rostrum (one on each side near tip) 64. 

64. First pleopod of male reaching only to third walking leg; basal part of 

first pleopod longer than tips 

Orconectes difficihs (Faxon) 
First pleopod of male longer, with the basal part about equal to or shorter 
than tips 65. 

65. Antenna a little shorter than length of animal; basal part of larger claw 

of chela thick 

Orconectes palmeri (Faxon) 
Antenna a little longer than body; basal part of larger claw of chela thin 
Orconectes palmeri (Faxon) (var. hngimanus) 

66. Both tips of first pleopod of male curving downwards in the same direc 

tion; with a tuft of hair at the inner base of chela (except in O. corw 

pressus and O. harrisom) 67. 

Tips of first pleopod of male either pointing straight ahead or not curving 

in the same direction 76. 

67. First pleopod of male much thickened, with short, stout tips; chela wide at 

base, with claws gaping; Missouri 

Orconectes harrisoni (Faxon) 
First pleopod of male deeply split and more slender 68. 

68. Inner claw of chela cut out at base; widely distributed 

Orconectes immunis (Hagen) 
Not so 69. 

69. Posterior section of carapace a little less than one-half as long as the an- 

terior section; southern states 70. 

Posterior section of carapace one-half or more as long as the anterior sec 


tion; rostrum short, with marginal spines (one on each side near tip) 
obscure or absent 72. 

70. No ridge on rostrum; areola very narrow; claws very long and slender, 

about three times as long as the basal part of chela; Kansas and Ark. 
Orconectes longidigitus (Faxon) 
With central lengthwise ridge on the anterior part of the rostrum; areola 
short and wide; claws broad; Alabama 71. 

71. No lateral spines on carapace; sides of carapace almost straight 

Orcoyiectes compressus (Faxon) 
With a small spine on each side of the carapace; sides of carapace curved 
Orcoyiectes alahamensis (Faxon) 

72. Sides of rostrum incurved, with lateral spines turned upwards; Arkansas 

Orconectes mee\i (Faxon) 
Sides of rostrum straight; lateral spines of rostrum not turned upwards 


73. Tips of first pleopod of male only slightly curved 74. 
Tips of first pleopod of male shorter and much curved 75. 

74. Areola narrow; rostrum hollowed out; Ala. 

Orconectes validus (Faxon) 
Areola broader; rostrum almost flat; central states 
Orconectes virihs (Hagen) 

75. Chela w'ith small hairs; Kansas 

Orconectes pilosiis (Hay) 
Chela without hairs, except for tuft at base; Kansas 
Orconectes nais (Faxon) 

76. First pleopod of male reaching to the base of the third leg 77. 
First pleopod of male reaching to the first or second leg 82. 

77. Tips of first pleopod of male rather thick and slightly split, tapering to a 

point 78. 

Tips of first pleopod of male deeply split and more slender throughout 80. 

78. Tips of first pleopod of male pointing obliquely in opposite directions; 

Kentucky, Ind. 

Orconectes sloanii (Bundy) 
Tips of first pleopod of male crossing each other 79. 

79. Sides of rostrum straight; sides of carapace before cervical groove spiny; 

widely distributed 

Orconectes limosus (Raf.) 
(Camharus affinis (Say) ) 
Sides of rostrum concave; sides of carapace granular; Ind. 
Orconectes indianensis (Hay) 

80. Rostrum almost flat, without a ridge; with a shoulder on anterior margin 

of first pleopod of male; N. Y., Penna. 
Orconectes ohscurus (Hagen) 
Rostrum somev;hat hollowed out; no shoulder on anterior margin of first 
pleopod of male 81. 


81. With a ridge on the rostrum; widely distributed 

Orconectes propinquus (Girard) 
No ridge on the rostrum; east-central states 

Orconectes propinquus sanhorni (Faxon) 

82. First pleopod of male reaching to the base of the second leg 83. 
First pleopod of male reaching to the base of the first leg 87. 

83. Chela wide, spotted, lengthwise grcxDved; bony entrance to seminal re' 

ceptacle of female nearly round; Arkansas 
Orconectes rnenae (Creaser) 
Not so 84, 

84. Outer tip of first pleopod of male blade-like; Ozark region 

Orconectes luteus (Creaser) 
Outer tip of first pleopod of male spine-like or setiform 85. 

85. Sides of rostrum almost parallel; outer tip of first pleopod of male taper' 

ing; Tenn. and Georgia 

Orconectes erichsonianns (Fa.xon) 
Sides of rostrum more definitely converging; outer tip of first pleopod of 
male uniformly slender throughout; east-central states 86. 

86. Rostrum with a faint ridge; tip not upturned 

Orconectes forceps (Faxon) 
No ridge on rostrum; tip of rostrum upturned 
Orconectes rusticus (Girard) 

87. Posterior section of carapace a little less than one-half the anterior section; 

southern states 

Orconectes spinosus (Bundy) 
Posterior section of carapace one-half or more as long as the anterior sec- 
tion 88. 

88. Sides of rostrum thickened, converging; Missouri 

Orconectes hylas (Faxon) 
Sides of rostrum scarcely thickened, parallel 89. 

89. Postorbital and lateral spines of carapace small or absent; with a promin' 

ent ridge on the rostrum; Mo., Colo. 
Orconectes neglectus (Faxon) 
With sharp postorbital and lateral spines on the carapace; with an obscure 
ridge on the rostrum; Ky., Ind. 

Orconectes putnami (Faxon) 


Faxon, W. 1885. A Revision of the Astacidae. Mem. Museum Comp. Zool., 
Vol. 10, No. 4. Cambridge. 

Faxon, W. 1898. Observation on the Astacidae, etc. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mu' 
seum, Vol. 20. 

Faxon, W. 1914. Notes on the Crayfishes in the U. S. National Museum, 
etc. Mem. Museum Comp. Zool. (Harvard), 40 (8), Pp. 351-427. 


Hagen, H. A. 1870. Monograph of the North American Astacidae. Illus. 
Cat. Museum Comp. Zool., No. 3. (Mem. Museum Comp. Zool., Vol. 2, 
No. 1.) 

Hay, W. P. 1899. The Astacidae of North America. The Amer. Nat., Vol. 

Hobbs, H. H., Jr. 1942. A Generic Revision of the Subfamily Camharinae. 
etc. Amer. Midi. Nat., Vol. 28, Pp. 334-357. 

Ortmann, A. E. 1905. The Mutual Affinities of the Species of the Genus 
Camharus. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc, 44 (180), Pp. 9M36. 

Ortmann, A. E. 1906. The Crawfishes of the State of Pennsylvania. Mem. 
Carnegie Museum, Vol. 2, No. 10. Pittsburgh. 

Ortmann, A. E. 1931. Crawfishes of the Southern Appalachians and the 
Cumberland Plateau. Annals of the Carnegie Museum, Vol. 20. PittS' 


The Arachnida are characterized by an absence of antennae and by four 
pairs of legs in the adult. Many people erroneously call them insects. 
Although there are many hundreds of species of Arachnida in the United 
States, little general information is available about many of them. In addi- 
tion to the spiders, the group contains the mites and ticks, the scorpions, and 
the harvestmen or daddy-long-legs. 

Sometimes also included with the Arachnida are the microscopic, aquatic 
creatures called Tardigrada or Water Bears. Their common name refers to 
the odd profile they sometimes present under the microscope. Actually they 
have cylindrical, unsegmented bodies and four pairs of short legs, each end- 
ing in several hooks or claws. They have no respiratory, circulatory or ex- 
cretory organs and are considered either the most primitive or the most de- 
generate of the Arthropoda. 

The mites are the most variable in structure of the Arachnida and many 
are peculiarly adapted to a semiparasitic or parasitic life upon other animals. 
The larger forms, usually called ticks, frequently carry and transmit protozoan 
diseases from one host to another. Most of the mites differ from the rest of the 
Arachnida in that they may have larval stages in v^'hich only six legs are 
present, a fact that often misleads the amateur taxonomist. One family of 
mites lives in the hair follicles of mammals and brings on the condition known 
as mange. The red "spider", which is often a serious pest in greenhouses, 
and the cheese mite are other examples of this group. The "jigger" or harvest 
mite is seldom seen but its effects on the human skin are only too evident. One 
family of mites lives in fresh water. 

The scorpions rate a position at the other end of the group, if we con- 


sider size, for they are the largest of the Arachnida, some tropical forms at- 
taining a body length of eight inches. The native species occur in the southern 
and western states. Their large, crab-like claws and the long abdomen end' 
ing in a poison sting identify them at once. Like many other animals possess- 
ing poison glands, they are not aggressive, but use their poison weapons only 
in self defense. They are nocturnal and carnivorous, feeding on insects and 
spiders. Unlike most of the other Arthropoda, they bring forth living young, 
which are carried for some time attached to the body of the mother. 

The harvestmen or daddy-long-legs are common all over the world. They 
spin no webs, as do most of the spiders, although they feed upon insects. Only 
three pairs of legs are commonly used for locomotion, the first pair apparently 
serving as sensory appendages or feelers. The ease with which they lose legs 
is familiar to every country child and may be a defensive mechanism. They have 
few natural enemies, however, for they excrete an ill-smelling fluid when dis- 
turbed. In the northern states the eggs are laid in the fall and hatch in the 
spring into small, white creatures with black eyes. 

The true spiders have two evident body divisions, the cephalothorax or 
fused head and chest, and the abdomen. Their elaborate webs are sure to at- 
tract attention even where the animals themselves are overlooked. Not all 
spiders spin webs, however. An interesting sequence may be arranged, start- 
ing with the spiders such as the crab and jumping spiders, which spin no webs. 
Then we may consider those that leave a guide line or safety thread wherever 
they travel. Other spiders weave silken tubes for retreats or hiding places. 
Still others extend this tube into a funnel, which functions as a trap for their 
prey. Some have carried the process further and make elaborate snares. Those 
of some species are like inverted bowls and catch insects as they fly upwards. 
Other webs are concave and are hung where aphids and other insects may drop 
into them. The orb spiders make the most attractive and geometrically perfect 

In addition to providing shelter and ensnaring food the silk often serves 
as a swing or even as a balloon and aids in the dispersal of spiders. Some are 
known to have landed with their delicate parachutes on ships far out at sea, and 
the presence of common spiders on widely scattered islands may be attributed to 
this efficient method of travel. Several attempts have been made to utilise 
spider silk for spinning. The silk, although much finer than that of the silk- 
worm, retains its elasticity well and can be woven into cloth. The chief argu- 
ment against its use lies in the difficulty in feeding spiders and in keeping many 
peaceably together. The silk, because of its fineness, is utilized for cross hairs 
in several types of surveying instruments. 

Contrary to general impressions the spiders are not naturally aggressive 
to man and only a few of them will bite, even when roughly handled. Only 
one of the common spiders, the black widow, is dangerously poisonous. This 


spider belongs to the Theridudae, or Comb-footed Spiders, which differ from 
all other families of spiders by the presence of a "comb" or regular row of 
serrated bristles along the inner side of the last segment of each hind leg. This 
comb is discernible only under a lens. The black widow may be distinguished 
from the other Comb-footed Spiders by having the eyes on each side well 
separated rather than adjacent, by its large globose abdomen and by its jet-black 
color. Most of these spiders have red and yellow markings on the abdomen, the 
most characteristic being an hour-glass shaped patch on the under side. These 
m.arkings vary, however, and may be completely absent. Adults are about one- 
quarter to one-half an inch long. They are most abundant in the southern 
states, but may occur anywhere in the United States. 

In most species of spiders the male is considerably smaller than the female 
and is a poor spinner. He may occasionally be found living as a dependent at 
one edge of the female's web and taking the leavings of her feasts. The female 
usually shows great solicitude for her young. A large mass of eggs is usually 
securely enclosed in a large "nest'' of silk, which may be spherical or discoidal. 
In most species the case is fastened in some sheltered location or placed under 
a rock or loose piece of bark. A few species carry their egg cases with them, 
either attached to the abdomen or clutched by the mouth appendages. 

The most spectacular of the spider group are those commonly called tarantu- 
las, many of which are dangerously poisonous. The most famous tarantula, the 
effects of whose bite could supposedly be warded off only by performing a 
vigorous dance which came to be called the tarantella, is a native of Europe. 
The large, hairy spiders of the southern and southwestern states have long at- 
tracted wide attention. The most remarkable of these are the trap-door spiders, 
which excavate in the soil deep burrows topped by hinged lids, line them with 
a plaster of saliva and earth, and usually add an additional lining of web. The 
members of another group are called the running tarantulas or bird spiders. 
They are the largest of the tarantulas, one South American species having a 
body two inches long and a leg span of seven inches. Some of the early descrip- 
tions of this spider record its ability to capture small birds. Although its usual 
fare consists of insects, and the capture of birds is probably rare, the more dra- 
matic event was naturally more noted and gave the spider its common name, 
as well as the generic name of Avicularia. A third group of the tarantulas spin 
webs. One of the most peculiar of these is the purse- web tarantula, which not 
only lines its burrow at the base of a tree with web, but also extends the web as 
a straight tube for about a foot above ground against the tree trunk. When 
some unwary insect uses this conveniently placed ladder, the spider runs up 
the inside of the tube and bites the unlucky insect through the web. It then cuts 
the web, sucks the juices of its prey, and patches up the trap ready for the next 


The unfortunate prejudice that exists against spiders in general is probably 
due to fear of tarantulas and to ignorance of their nature and habits. Wherever 
their presence and their webs are not objectionable, the spiders should be left 
undisturbed to play their part in destroying insects and other undesirable small 


1. Microscopic aquatic animals; legs without distinct segments; last pair of 

legs projecting from the posterior end of the body; (often grouped as 
a class by many writers) 

Tardigrada Water Bears 
Not usually microscopic; aquatic or terrestrial; legs segmented and on 
sides of body 2. 

2. Abdomen unsegmented 3. 
Abdomen segmented (sometimes evident only on under side) 4. 

3. Cephalothorax divided from the abdomen by a deep constriction through 

the middle of the body; with four pairs of legs 

Araneida or Araneae Spiders and Tarantulas 
Head and thorax not distinct from the abdomen; with two or four pairs 
of legs in the adult; usually with three pairs of legs in the young 

Acarina Mites, Ticks etc. 

4. With a tail-like projection from the end of the abdomen 5. 
Abdomen without any taiMike projection 7. 

5. With a sting; first pair of legs shorter than the rest 

Scorpionida Scorpions 
No sting; first pair of legs longer than the rest 6. 

6. Tail-like portion with bristles 

Palp}gradi or Microthely phonida Microscorpions 
Tail -like portion smooth 

Pedipalpi, Families Shizonotidae and Thelyphonidae Tailed 

7. Sides of animal outcurved or straight; pedipalps (second pair of mouth 

appendages) with or without opposing claws 8. 

With a constriction between head and thorax or between thorax and 

abdomen; no opposing claws on pedipalps 9. 

8. With opposing claws on pedipalps; animal long and narrow, wider pos- 

teriorly; legs moderate 

Chelonethida or Pseudoscorpwnida False Scorpions 
No opposing claws on pedipalps; animal ovoid; legs extremely long and 

Phalangnda Harvestmen or Daddy-long-legs 

9. Head constricted from thorax; body not flattened 

Solpugida Solpugids 
With a narrow constriction between the cephalothorax and the abdomen; 
body broad and flat 

Pedipalpi, Family TarantuUdae or Phrynidae 
Tailless Whip-scorpions (Not Tarantulas) 









1. With two eyes on each side of the cephalothorax (besides the ones near 

the mid'hne) ; Cal. 

Chactidae, Broteas Koch 
With three or more eyes on each side of the cephalothorax 2. 

2. Sternum triangular — Buthidae 3. 
Sides of sternum parallel 6. 

3. With oblique rows of tiny, spiny projections on the claws of the pedi' 

palps, with a row of smaller spines on either side and parallel to them; 
southern U. S. 

Centrums Ehrenberg 
With oblique rows of tiny, spiny projections on the claws of the pedi' 
palps, unaccompanied by parallel rows of smaller spines 4. 

4. No spine under sting; third and fourth legs with a spur at the distal end 

of the first tarsal segment; Texas, Cal. 
Uroplectes Peters 
With a spine under the sting; fourth legs without a spur at the distal 
end of the first tarsal segment 5. 

5. With the rows of spines overlapping; Fla. 

T-ityus Koch 
With the rows of spines almost end to end; Fla. to Cal. 
Isometrus Hemprich & Ehrenberg 

6. With one spur on the outside of the last segment of the last leg 

Scorpionidae 7. 

With one or two spurs on each side of the last segment of the last leg 

Vejovidae 8. 

7. With a knob below the sting; southern U. S. 

D}plocentrus Peters 
No knob below the sting; Fla. 

Opisthacanthus Peters 

8. Movable claw of chelicerae (first pair of mouth appendages) without 

teeth; southern states 
Vejovis Koch 
Movable claw of chelicerae with one or more teeth below 9. 

9. Middle area of combs (area between the "teeth" and the "back" of the 

combs, a pair of which are situated on the front of the lower side of 
the abdomen) composed of eight pieces each; southwestern states 
Hadrurus Thorcll 
Middle area of combs composed of six or less pieces 10. 

10. With three or less teeth on the movable claw of the chelicera; southwest' 
ern states 

Anuroctonus Pocock 
With four or more teeth on the movable claw of the chelicera; West 

Uroctonus Thorell 







F E n VJ R 
T \ B I A 


C H E L \ C E RA 



C 1^ B 

ST i N G- 






Banks, N. 1900. Synopses of North American Invertebrates — The Scorpions, 
Solpugids and Pedipalpi. Amer. Nat., Vol. 34 

Comstock, J. H. 1940. (Revised and edited by W. J. Gertsch.) The Spider 
Book. Doubleday, Doran and Co. New York. 

Ewing, H. E. 1928. The Scorpions of Western United States. Proc. U. S. 
Nat. Museum, Vol. 73. 


1. With the large basal segments of the chelicerae (first pair of mouth ap' 

pendages) projecting forwards and with the claws moving up and 
down parallel to each other; with two pairs of book lungs; mostly in 
the south — The Tarantulas 2. 

Basal segments of chelicerae usually projecting downwards and the claws 
moving in the same plane or somewhat obliquely towards and away 
from each other; only one pair of book lungs, except in one family 
with extremely long and slender legs; widely distributed — ■ 
The Spiders 5. 

2. Pedipalps (second pair of mouth appendages) each with a distinct en' 

dite (small lobe-like structure arising from the basal segment) 
Atyp-idae Purse-web Spiders 
Endites of pedipalps indistinct or wanting 3. 

3. With a rake on the chelicera (outer end of basal segment of chelicera 

armed with teeth) 

Ctenizidae Trap-door Spiders 
No rake on the chelicera 4. 

4. Ends of legs with two claws and a bunch of hairs 

Theraphosidae Bird Spiders 
Ends of legs v^'ith three claws and no bunch of hairs 
Dipluridae Funnel-web Tarantulas 

5. With four respiratory openings (either with two pairs of lung spiracles 

or with one pair of lung spiracles and one pair of tracheal spiracles) 6. 

With three respiratory openings (with one pair of lung spiracles and a 

single tracheal spiracle) 10. 

I 6. With two pairs of book lungs; legs very long and slender; Tennessee 
HypochxUdae Four-lunged Spiders 
With one pair of lung spiracles and one pair of tracheal spiracles 7. 

7. With eight eyes grouped together on a low median knob towards the 

front of the cephalothorax; with cribellum and calamistrum present (ex- 
cept in adult males) 

Filistaudae Filistatids 
With six eyes; cribellum and calamistrum absent 8. 

8. Basal segments of all legs short and stout 

Oonopidae Oonopids 
Basal segments of first two legs slender 9. 


L I P 



A B O O n t N 







P AT t LL A 
TIB 1 A 
POST A B D O M E rs 








9. Eyes in more or less circular arrangement 
Dysderidae Dysderids 
With three groups of two eyes each 
Segestriidae Segestriids 

10. Ends of legs with two claws and usually a bunch of hairs 11. 
Ends of legs with three claws and usually no bunch of hairs 20. 

11. With six eyes (all white) 

Sicariidae Sicariids 
Usually with eight eyes 12. 

12. Eyes in three (rarely four) rows (4'2'2 or 2'4'2) 13. 
Eyes in two rows (4-4 or 6-2) 16. 

13. Chelicera very large with a slender claw about as long as the basal por* 

tion; damp and dark places in the south 
Prodidomidae Prodidomids 
Chelicera moderate; claw shorter 14. 

14. Eyes in three or four rows, the last row situated one-third to onchalf 

way back from the front of the cephalothorax 
Saltiadae Jumping Spiders 
Eyes in three rows on the front of the cephalothorax 15« 

15. Eye formula 4-2 '2 

Zodariidae Zodariids 
Eye formula 2-4-2 

Ctemdae Wandering Spiders 

16. First pair of spinnerets long and well apart; legs about equal 

Drassodidae Drassodids 
First pair of spinnerets close together 17. 

17. Legs about equal; inner margin of groove of chelicera toothed 

Clubionidae Clubionids 
First two pairs of legs larger than the others and directed sideways, or 
inner margin of groove of chelicera smooth, or both Crab Spiders 18. 

18. Inner margin of groove of chelicera smooth; widely distributed 

Thomis^dae Crab Spiders 
Inner margin of groove of chelicera toothed; tropical species 19. 

19. Eye formula 6-2 (six eyes in first row, two in second row) 

Selenopidae Tropical Crab Spiders 
Eye formula 4-4 

Eusparassidae Giant Crab Spiders 

20. With six spinnerets in one transverse row 

Hahnudae Hahniids 
With six spinnerets normally arranged or rarely with only two spinner' 
ets 21. 


21. Eyes unlike in color or rarely absent 22. 
Eyes either all dark or all light ■ 34. 

22. Anal tubercle enlarged and fringed with long hairs 23. 
Anal tubercle normal 24. 

23. With a cribellum and calamistrum (except in adult males) 

Oecohiidae Oecobiids 
No cribellum and calamistrum 
Urocteidae Urocteids 

24. Tibia and metatarsus of lirst two legs with a regular row of alternating 

long and short spines (two long, several short, etc.) 
Mimetidae Mimetids 
Not so 25. 

25. Chelicerae joined together at base; tracheal spiracle situated slightly behind 

the lung spiracles 26. 

Chelicerae free; tracheal spiracle normally situated slightly before the 

spinnerets 27. 

26. Eyes grouped together on a low, median knob on the front of the cephalo' 


Filistatidae Filistatids 
Eyes in two to three rows; legs very long and slender 
Pholcidae Pholcids 

27. With a cribellum and calamistrum (except in adult males) 28. 
No cribellum and calamistrum 29. 

28. With a single row of hairs in the calamistrum 

Dictynidae Dictynids 
With a double row of hairs in the calamistrum 
Amanrobiidae Amaurobiids 

29. Tarsi without serrated bristles 30. 
Tarsi of some of the legs with serrated bristles 3 1 . 

30. No basal spot on the chelicera; spinnerets two or six 

Zodariidae Zodariids 
With a basal spot on the chelicera; spinnerets six 
Agalemdae Funncbweb Spiders 

31. Tarsus of fourth leg with a comb (a regular row of serrated bristles) on 

the inner surface 

Theridiidae Comb-footed Spiders 
Bristles, if present on the tarsus of the fourth leg, not so regularly ar' 
ranged 32. 

32. No stridulating organ on the chelicera; eyes eight; making orb webs 

Argiopidae Orb Weavers 
Outer side of the chelicera with a stridulating organ (rasp-like structure) ; 
eyes eight or rarely absent; making sheet webs 33. 

33. With spines on the legs 

Linyphiidae Sheet-web Spiders 


No spines on the legs 

Erigonidae Erigonids 

34. Eyes all white 35. 
Eyes all dark 39. 

35. Legs extremely long and slender (about four times the length of the body) 

and chelicerae each with tw^o short opposing claws 
Pholcidae Pholcids 
Not so 36. 

36. No bristles on tarsi; last pair spinnerets long and often two- jointed 

Agalenidae Funnebweb Spiders 
With serrated bristles on tarsi 37. 

37. Chelicerae joined together at base; eyes usually six 

Sicariidae Sicariids 
Chelicerae free; eyes six or eight 38. 

38. With six eyes 

Leptonetidae Leptonetids 
With eight eyes 

Argxopidac Orb Weavers 

39. With a cribellum and calamistrum (except in some adult males) ; pos- 

terior metatarsi with a series of curved spines below 
Vlohoridac Uloborids 
Not so 40. 

40. Trochanters each with a distinct, rounded notch in the outer, ventral 

margin 41. 

Trochanters not notched (except sometimes the fourth) 42. 

41. Eyes in three rows, the first row with four small eyes and the second and 

third rows each with two large eyes; hair on integument simple 

Lycosidae Wolf Spiders 
Eyes usually in two rows, with the posterior row only slightly recurved; 
hair on integument plumose; legs long 

Pjsauridae Nursery-web Spiders 

42. Eyes unequal in size 

Oxyopidae Oxyopids 
Eyes about equal 43. 

43. No spines on tarsi; posterior spinnerets long and often two- jointed 

Agalenidae Funnel-web Spiders 
Tarsi with serrated spines; posterior spinnerets not much longer than the 
anterior pair 

Argwpidae Orb Weavers 


Banks, N. 1905. Synopses of North American Invertebrates — Families and 
Genera of Araneida. Amer. Nat., Vol. 39. 



cone - FooTE d s p » d ers 






Comstock, J. H. 1940. (Revised and edited by W. J. Gcrtsch.) The Spider 
Book. Doubleday, Doran and Co. New York. 

Emerton, J. H. 1902. Common Spiders. Ginn and Co. Boston. 

EwincT, H. E. 1933. Afield with the Spiders. Nat. Geog. Mag., Vol. 64, 
No. 2. 

Gertsch, W. J. 1949. Amcriean Spiders. D. Van Nostrand Co. New York 

McCook, H. C. 1889-1893. American Spiders. 3 vols. Philadelphia. 

Passmore, L. 1933. California Trapdoor Spider Performs Engineering Mar' 
vels. Nat. Geog. Mag., Vol. 64, No. 2. 

Petrunkevitch, A. 1939. Catalogue of American Spiders. Trans. Conn. 
Acad, of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 33. New Haven, Conn. 

Savory, T. H. 1928. The Biology of Spiders. Macmillan. New York. 

Worley, L. G. and Pickwell, G. B. 1931. The Spiders of Nebraska. Univ. 
Studies, Vol. 27. Lincoln, Neb. 

The family names used as first choice in the spider key are those given in 
Petrunkevitch's Catalogue. 


The Myriapoda are known to most people as centipedes and millipedes or 
hundred-legs and thousand-legs, but their small economic importance and the 
difficulty of identification have left them generally disregarded. All of them 
are terrestrial, air-breathing animals. Representatives of the group are to be 
found in almost all parts of the world. A few, such as the house centipede, 
Scutigera, occasionally cause the housewife much consternation by unexpected 
appearances in bathtubs and sinks. Others are common in gardens, some feed' 
ing on plant roots and some preying on earthworms and insects. These are 
commonly called wireworms, a popular name which is frequently applied to 
the larval forms of several kinds of beetles. Many of the group are so small 
as to escape notice, and even the largest forms in the United States are seldom 
longer than six inches. 

The classification is not fully agreed upon and the term Myriapoda is rc' 
tained for the group largely as a matter of convenience rather than as imply- 
ing any close relationship between the four subdivisions it contains. Even the 
common names of millipede and centipede are unsatisfactory, as many of the 
centipedes actually have more legs than do the millipedes. 

Related to the Diplopoda or millipedes are two groups of small, soft-bodied 
forms, the Symphyla and the Pauropoda. The latter two are not good material 
for fossilization, but the Diplopoda are to be found as fossils in Carboniferous 
rocks and a few in Devonian sandstone. They seem to be most nearly related 
to the annelid worms and to be the most ancient of the Myriapoda. The Diplo' 
poda usually have two pairs of legs on each of most of the body segments and 


are commonly called millipedes or thousand-legs. Their bodies may be either 
cylindrical or flat and the chitin is usually reinforced with lime, as in the Crus^ 
tacea. They are protected from many of their natural enemies by the presence 
of ''stink glands", which in some forms are said to be so powerful that collectors 
may utili2,e one or two in a jar as an efficient, emergency "killing bottle" for 
other forms. They are generally herbivorous and some of them have become 
serious greenhouse pests, eating the roots of plants. 

The Chilopoda or centipedes are mainly carnivorous and many of them 
possess poison fangs. The larger, tropical species can inflict wounds that are 
dangerous even to man. Their internal anatomy shows them to be more ad' 
vanced than the Diplopoda and probably more nearly related to the insects than 
they are to the millipedes. The fossil record also indicates that they are of 
more recent origin than the millipedes, for they are first found in any quantity 
as fossils in the Oligocene amber. 


1. With branched antennae; animals very small 

Antennae not branched 2. 

2. With two claws on the end of each leg; animals very small 

With one claw on the end of each leg; animals occasionally minute 3. 

3. Opening to reproductive organs near the posterior end of the body; male 

gonopods (feet modified for copulation) inconspicuous or absent; with 
one pair of legs to most of the dorsal plates, except in one genus with 
very long legs, which has two 

Chilopoda Centipedes or Hundred Legs 
Openings to reproductive organs near the anterior end of the body; with 
one or both pairs of legs on the seventh segment of the male modified 
for reproduction; most of the segments with two pairs of legs in the 

Diplopoda Millipedes or Thousand Legs 


1 . Body over three times as long as wide 
Pauropus Lubbock 
Body less than three times as long as wide 
Eury pauropus Ryder 


L Dorsal plates rounded or emarginate behind; first pair of legs evident 
Scutigerella Ryder 




Diagram of the head of A millipede 





G- N PO D 




Dorsal plates with two points behind; first pair of legs reduced 
Scolopendrella Gervais 


L Integument soft; animals cannot roll into a hall or spiral 
Polyxen-idae, Polyxenns Latreille 
Integument stiff; usually capable of rolling into a ball or spiral 2. 

2. Mouth parts suctorial Polyzoniidae 3. 
Mouth parts biting 4. 

3. With eyes 

Polyzonium Brandt 
Without eyes 

Platydesmns Lucas 
(Brachycyhe Wood) 

4. With nineteen to twenty-one segments; body usually flattened; 

With more than twenty-five segments; body cylindrical IL 

5. With a deep transverse furrow on the dorsal plates 

Oxidus Cook 
(Paradesmus Saussure) 
No transverse furrows on dorsal plates 6. 

6. With a spine on the lower side of the base of each leg 

Fontaria Gray 
No spines on bases of legs 7. 

7. Anal segment truncate; body usually brightly spotted 

Eurynrus Koch 
Anal segment pointed behind 8. 

8. Tubercles absent or scattered on dorsal plates 9. 
Tubercles in two to five transverse rows on dorsal plates 10 

9. Back curved; color brown 

Leptodesynus Saussure 
Back more flattened; color white 
Chaetapsis BoUman 

10. With two or three rows of tubercles across the dorsal plates 

Scytonotus Koch 
With four or five rows of tubercles across the dorsal plates 
Polydcsmus Latreille 

1 1 . Segments twenty-six to thirty; anal segment ending in two papillae; 

Craspedosomidae 12. 

Usually with more than thirty segments; anal segment curved or ending 

in a spine 17. 

12. Adult segments twenty-eight 

Trichopetalum Harger 


(Craspedosoma Leach (part) ) 
(Scotherpes Cope (part) ) 
Adult segments thirty 13. 

13. With pronounced ridges or keels 14. 
Ridges or keels indistinct 15. 

14. Promentum triangular; ninth pair of legs of male with four joints and 

a claw 

Pseudotremia Cope 
Promentum indistinct ; ninth pair of legs of male with two joints and no 

Conotyla Cook & Collins 

(Craspedosoma Leach (part) ) 
(Scotherpes Cope (part) ) 

15. Eyes with thirteen ocelli; antennae rather stout; ninth pair of legs of 

male two'jointed 

Underwoodia Cook & Collins 
Eyes with twenty 'five to twenty 'seven ocelli; antennae very slender; ninth 
pair of legs of male five 'jointed 16. 

16. Length about threc'cighths of an inch; promentum indistinct 

Batropus Cook 6? Collins 
Length from onc'half to slightly over threcquarters of an inch; pro' 
mentum triangular 

Cleidogona Cook 6? Collins 
(Campodes Koch) 

17. Sternites (ventral plates) after the seventh free from the pleurites (later' 

al plates) ; only the first pair of legs on the seventh segment of the male 

Callipodidae, Callipus Risso 
(Lysiopetalum Brandt) 
Sternites after the seventh usually fused with the pleurites; both pairs 
of legs on the seventh segment of the male copulatory Julidae 18. 

18. First four segments with legs 

Spiroholus Brandt 
Legs absent on the third or on the fourth segment 19. 

19. Legs absent on the fourth segment 20. 
Legs absent on the third segment 21. 

20. Ocelli in several rows 

A[annoIene Bollman 
Ocelli in one row 

Camhala Gray 

21. With couplator)' legs on the seventh segment of the male 22. 
Copulatory legs hidden 23. 

22. Eyes with forty to sixty ocelli 

Parajulus Humbert C?* Saussure 
Eyes with eight to ten ocelli 

J^opoiulus Menge 
(J\lemasoma Koch) 



23. Segments thirty to thirty-five; color yellowish, with a dark mid-dorsal 


Brachyinlus Berlese 
(Julus Linn, (part) ) 
Segments thirty-five to sixty; color brownish to whitish or light mottled; 
with a dark band between the eyes 24. 

24. With thirty-five to forty-two segments 

Diplondus Berlese 

(Julus Linn, (part) ) 

With forty-nine to sixty segments 

Ophyiulus Berlese 

(Julus Linn, (part) ) 


1. With fifteen pairs of legs 2. 
With twenty-one or more pairs of legs in the adult IL 

2. With eight dorsal plates; legs very long 

Scutigeromorpha, ScuUgera Lamarck 
With fifteen leg-bearing segments; legs short Lithohiomorpha (or Litho' 
hiidae) 3. 

3. With one ocellus or with none 

Lamyctes Meinert 
(Hemcops Newport) 
Eyes with many ocelli 4. 

4. Coxal pores numerous, in three to five series; mostly west of the Rockies 

Bothropolys Wood 
(Eulithohius Stuxberg) 
Coxal pores not in several series 5. 

5. No articular spines on legs; southeastern states 

Watohius Chamberlin 
Legs with articular spines 6. 

6. Spines of one gonopod (foot of male modified for copulation) at an angle 

with the spines of the other, when viewed from the rear; southern 

states 7. 

Spines of both gonopods of a pair in the same horizontal plane; more gen' 

erally distributed 8. 

7. Antennae twenty-segmented 

Arenohius Chamberlin 
Antennae with more than twenty segments 
Gosihius Chamberlin 

8. Angles of dorsal plates not produced posteriorly 

ArchiUthohius Stuxberg 
Posterior angles of a few dorsal plates produced 9. 

9. Posterior angles of four dorsal plates produced (7, 9, 11 ^ 13) 

J\leolithohius Stuxberg 
Posterior angles of two or three dorsal plates produced 10. 










10. Posterior angles of two dorsal plates produced (11 ^ 13) 

Hemihthohius Stuxberg 
Posterior angles of three dorsal plates produced (9, 11 & 13) 
Lithohius Leach 

11. With twenty-one to twenty-three pairs of legs; with or without eyes — 

Scolopendromorpha (or Scolopendridae) 12. 

With thirty -one or more pairs of legs in the adult; without eyes — 

Geophilomorpha (or Geophilidae) 15. 

12. With eyes (four ocelli) 

Scolopendra Linn. 
Eyes absent or with only one ocellus 13. 

1 3 . With twenty-three pairs of legs 

Otocryptops Haase 
(Scolopocryptops Newport) 
With twenty-one pairs of legs 14. 

14. Anal legs much shortened and thickened 

Theatops Newport 
Anal legs longer 

Cryptops Leach 

15. Dorsal plates not furrowed 16. 
Dorsal plates with two lengthwise furrows 17. 

16. Head plate narrowed anteriorly 

Linotaenia Koch 
Head plate narrowed posteriorly 
Dicellophilus Cook 

17. Ventral pores scattered 

Gnathomerium Ribaut 
Ventral pores in definite clusters on the ventral plates, or absent 18. 

18. Ventral pores on the middle of the ventral plates, or absent 19. 
Ventral pores on the rear of the ventral plates 20. 

19. No ventral pores 

Escaryus Cook 6? Collins 
With ventral pores on the center of the ventral plates 
Schendyla Bergs. 

20. Last ventral plate narrow 

Pachymerium Koch 
Last ventral plate usually wide 21. 

21. With prehensile feet extending beyond the head 

Arenophilus Chamberlin 
Prehensile feet not extending beyond the head 
Geophilus Leach 


Bollman, C. H. 1893. The Myriapoda of North America. (Edited by L. M. 
Underwood.) Bull. U. S. Nat. Museum, No. 46. 


Chambcrlin R. V. 1910-1912. Chilopoda of California. Pomona Jour. Zool. 
Entom., 2, 3 and 4. (Three parts) 

Chamberlin, R. V. 1911. The Lithohiomorpha of the Southeastern States. 
Ann. Entom. Soc. Amer., Vol. 4. 

Chamberlin, R. V. 1912. The Geophiloidea of the Southeastern States. Bull. 
Mus. Comp. Zool, Vol. 54, No. 13. Cambridge, Mass. 

Cook, O. F. and Collins, G. N. 1895. The Craspedosomatidae of North 
America. Annals N. Y. Acad. Sci., Vol. 9. 

Gunthorp, H. 1913. Annotated List of the Diplopoda and Chilopoda, with 
a Key to the Myriapoda of Kansas. (Contains an extensive bibliography.) 
Kan. Univ. Sci. Bull., Vol. 7, No. 6. 

Williams, S. R. and Hefner, R. A. 1928. The Millipedes and Centipedes of 
Ohio. Ohio Biological Survey, Bull. 18 (Vol. 4, No. 3) (Ohio State 
Univ. Bull, Vol. 32^) 

Wood, H. C. 1865. On the Myriapoda of North America. Trans Amer. 
Phil Soc, Vol. 13. 


The Insecta comprise the largest single group of the animal kingdom, 
probably possessing more species than all the other groups together. They are 
also unique in their very wide distribution, being found wherever life is pos' 
sible, from mountain tops to subterranean caves and from the smallest ponds 
to the greatest oceans. As might be expected of such a large and widely dis' 
tributed group, there is great diversity of size and form. As one entomologist 
has written, some adult insects are smaller than the largest proto2;oans and some 
are larger than the smallest mammals. In regard to form we find some with two 
pairs of wings, some with one pair, and some with no wings at all. The only 
character at all constant in adult insects is the presence of six legs, so that the 
name Hexapoda is frequently applied to them. Even this distinction fails when 
we consider larval forms, however, and identification is often extremely 

The Insecta arc of very great economic importance. A few, like the bee 
and the silkworm, are of obvious benefit to man, who robs them to obtain food 
and clothing for himself. Bees and many other insects play a most important 
part in the economy of nature by carrying pollen from flower to flower, and so 
enable plants to produce seeds. The bright colors of many flowers, as well as 
their perfume, are adaptations to attract insects, and similarly remarkable adap' 
tations have developed in the insects. The reader is referred to Charles Dar' 
win's book, Oyi the Various Contrivances b>' which Orchids are Fertihzed b}) 
Insects, for a classic and scholarly account of these relationships. 


















On the other hand, many of the insects are harmful or dangerous enemies 
of man. Some are carriers or spreaders of diseases, such as malaria and typhoid, 
and some destroy crops. It has been estimated that the American farmer each 
year loses one-tenth of his crops to insect pests, and in occasional outbreaks, 
such as those of grasshoppers or chinchbugs, entire crops may be destroyed over 
large areas. The damage done to property by such insects as clothes-moths, 
carpet'beetles and termites is too well known to warrant discussion. 

Because of the immense numbers of insects, their universal distribution, 
and the economic importance of many forms the study of insects, or Entomob 
ogy, has developed into practically a science of its own. For this reason we do 
not attempt any but the most general discussion or keying of them here. Any 
of the standard entomologies can be used for a more comprehensive knowledge 
of this group. These books usually refer to more technical works for specialized 

The development of insects is an interesting subject for study. A few, 
like the silver-fish and springtails, undergo no marked changes as they grow. 
Most insects, however, have a complicated metamorphosis, the young of some 
not even remotely resembling the adults. Forms like the butterfly and the 
house'fly, which in their early stages are quite unlike the adults, are called 
larvae. Other forms, like the grasshopper and the dragon-fly, in which the 
young as they grow become more and more like the adults, are called nymphs 
or naiads. If each molt leaves the insect more like the adult than its preceding 
stage, the immature insect is called a nyynph. In some forms, such as stone-flies, 
may-flies, dragon-flies and damsel-flies, the immature insect has developed 
special structures adapting it for an aquatic life, which are lost when the insect 
becomes mature. In this case the immature insect is called a naiad. An insect 
has a non-living outer coat or exoskeleton, which it must shed periodically in 
order to grow. The period between each shedding is called an instar. The 
insects that undergo complete metamorphosis, such as butterflies and moths, 
acquire at about the fifth instar a form quite different from the earlier cater- 
pillar form. In this new condition the insect, now called the pupa, takes no 
food and shows little outward sign of life. The outer skin is called the chry^ 
salis. In some cases, especially in some of the moths, the caterpillar, as it 
prepares for the pupal stage, spins from its salivary glands a covering of silk 
threads called a cocoon and passes the pupal stage within this. Commercial 
silk is obtained from such a cocoon, spun by the silk-worm, a native of south- 
eastern Asia. Although apparently lifeless, the insect is now undergoing a 
great transformation. The caterpillar is being rebuilt into a totally different 
form. The pupal instar may last only a few weeks or it may extend over a 
winter. When it ends, the pupal skin splits and the insect emerges in the 
imaoQ or adult form. 


Just as man, largely because of his reasoning ability, is classed at the head 
of the vertebrates, so the insects, largely because of their extreme development 
of instinct, are regarded as the highest of the invertebrates. As the final tri' 
umph of instinct we find some of the insects organized into complicated com' 
munities where each individual plays some definite part in the affairs of the 
group and specialization and division of labor have reached remarkable heights. 
In the hive of the honey bee one female, called the queen, does all the egg' 
laying, while some fifty thousand others carry on all the other activities. The 
males are known as drones and the females, other than the queen, are called 
workers. Certain ones act as nurses for the young grubs, others build cells, 
others act as guards at the hive door, and so on. During the active season each 
worker serves at some one of these tasks for about two weeks and then devotes 
the rest of its short life to the main purpose of the hive, the gathering of honey. 
Only the queen lives for any length of time. If a new egg-laying female is 
raised, the old queen must fight to the death or leave with her attendants to 
establish a new home, a procedure known as swarming. Even more complicated 
but less fully known is the community life of the ant. The ants' use of plant'lice 
or aphids as '"'cows" and their constant attendance upon them has been noticed 
by many a gardener. He may be unaware, however, that the ants commonly 
take the female aphids into their own nests for the winter, care for their eggs, 
and establish more aphid colonies each spring. In warmer climates some kinds 
of ants cut leaves and build mushroom beds upon which they cultivate fungi 
for food. Certain of the ants regularly keep other species as slaves and may 
sometimes be seen making furious attacks upon the nests of other species in 
order to carry off larvae or pupae which may be reared to serve them. Even 
more elaborate is the community life of the termites, miscalled white ants. In 
their nests may be found several distinct forms, each serving a different pur- 
pose in the activity of the group. There are usually four or more of these 
"castes". Unlike the bees and the ants, each caste of termites contains both 
males and females. The harmonious adjustments of these social insects have 
long excited the attention, admiration and even the envy of man. The reader 
will find some of the popular accounts of insect life as entertaining as any books 
of adventure. 

Insects in general are considered to be terrestrial animals, but a great 
many of them are secondarily adapted for the water, especially in the immature 
stages. Because of their very great numbers, wide distribution and diversity 
of form they provide excellent material for the study of ecology. In fact 
many ecology courses deal almost exclusively with insect distribution, abund' 
ance and adaptation. Insects are so sensitive to changes in environment, such as 
light, temperature and the like, that many serve as ecological indicators. The 
rapidity of chirping of the cricket, for example, is said to be directly correlated 
with temperature. 


The person interested in insects should have no difficulty in finding speci- 
mens, even in his own home and garden. During a summer evening a light 
on an unscreened porch will attract almost innumerable forms. In the day 
time a sweep net can be swished back and forth through grass, bushes and 
other vegetation to gather many small terrestrial forms. In the ponds one can 
find insects running on the surface, swimming in the water, or crawling in the 
ooze on the bottom. Most of these aquatic forms can be collected by means 
of the common dip-net. Insects can be killed by the use of a prepared cyanide 
bottle or by a wide-mouthed bottle containing a little blotting paper saturated 
with carbon disulphide or tetrachloride. Large insects, such as beetles, butter- 
flies and moths, can be quickly killed by a drop or two of gasoline put on the 
abdomen of each by means of a small oil can. Most insects can be preserved 
dry, speared on non-rusting pins especially made for the purpose. Most en- 
tomology texts and handbooks give information concerning the proper way to 
mount, pin and label insect collections. Butterflies and moths can seldom be 
caught in perfect condition and so for collections are best reared in captivity 
from the caterpillar stage or collected as chrysalides or cocoons and preserved 
soon after they complete their development. Contrary to popular belief even 
an expert collector cannot make a fortune gathering butterflies for sale, as many 
rare and beautiful tropical forms seldom sell for more than four or five dollars 
apiece. Fleshy forms like caterpillars can he preserved dry only after rather 
difficult preparation, but can be preserved in a solution of one hundred parts 
of 95% alcohol to ten parts of glycerine. Almost all the other forms of insects, 
except butterflies and moths, can be so preserved and will remain sufficiently 
flexible so that, if desired, they can later be pinned out and dried. 


L Animal with functional wings (sometimes the outer pair are hard and 

leathery or horny, concealing and protecting the second pair when 

the animal is at rest) 2. 

Animal without functional wings 25. 

2. With one pair of transparent wings, the second pair being represented 

by minute knobbed structures called balancers or halteres 
Diptera Flies 
With two pairs of wings, the second pair sometimes completely covered 
by the first 3. 

3. First pair of wings horny or leathery and completely covering the second 

pair when the animal is at rest 4. 

First pair of wings not horny or leathery, or else not completely cover- 
ing the second pair 8. 

4. Front pair of wings thick at base, membranous and overlapping at tips 

Heteroptera True Bugs 
(Hemiptera (part) ) 












Front wings of about the same thickness throughout, not overlapping at 
tips 5. 

5. Front wings horny, not with a network of branching veins 6. 
Front wings leathery, with branching veins 7. 

6. With large structures resembling a pair of pinchers on the posterior end 

of the body 

Dermaptera Earwigs 
Without such pinchers 

Coleoptera Beetles 

7. Animal with a sucking beak on under side of head and usually folded 

against the body 

Heteroptera True Bugs 
(Hemiptera (part) ) 
Animal with definite chewing mouth parts 

Orthoptera Grasshoppers, Crickets, etc. 35. 

8. Very small, usually not over one-quarter of an inch; foot ending in a 

rounded knob 

Thysanoptera Thrips 
Larger; foot ending in one or more hooks 9. 

9. Wings at least partly shingled with minute scales 10. 
Wings not so shingled; network of veins visible 12. 

10. Largely nocturnal fliers; wings spread horizontally or folded roof 'like on 

abdomen when at rest; antennae usually feather-like 
Lepidoptera (part) Moths 
Largely diurnal fliers; wings folded together in vertical position over back 
when at rest; antennae thread-like and usually knobbed or club shaped 
at tip 11. 

11. Club on antennae partly or completely recurved 

Lepidoptera (part) , Hesperidae Skippers 
Club, if present, not recurved 

Lepidoptera (part) Butterflies 

12. With a piercing or sucking beak on underside of head, and not bee- or 


Homoptera Cicadas, Leaf -hoppers, Aphids, etc. 
(Hemiptera (part) ) 
With chewing or lapping mouth parts, or else definitely bee- or fly-like 13. 

13. Wings each with not more than seven long veins, and with the front 

wings larger than the back wings; mouth parts evident 14. 

Wings with more long veins, or else with back wings not smaller than 

the front wings 15. 

14. Very small, seldom over Vg"; wings held against sides so as to form a 

steep roof over the back 

Corrodentm, Psocidae Psocid Flies 
Larger; wings usually laid flat on back 

Hymenoptera Bees, Wasps, Ants, Saw-flies, etc. 

15. Wings with few cross veins 16. 
Wings with many cross veins 17. 










16. Hind wings folded like a fan 

Orthoptera, Gryllidae Crickets 
Wings not so folded; mouth parts not evident 
Trichoptera Caddis or Trout Flies 

17. With two or three, long, thread-like filaments extending from end of 

body and with wings held up vertically 
Ephemerida May-flies 
Without such long filaments 18. 

18. Not fly 'like; body wide and much flattened 

Orthoptera, Blattidae Cockroaches, Croton-bugs 
Fly-like; body little, if at all, flattened 19. 

19. Head lengthened to form a beak-like structure bearing biting mouth parts 

at the tips 

Mecoptera Scorpion Flies 
Without such a trunk 20. 

20. Antennae very short; wings long and narrow and with an apparent joint 

near the middle of the front edge 21. 

Antennae easily seen; wings without such joint 22. 

21. Wings held horizontally when at rest; hind wings larger than the front 


Odonata, Amsoptera Dragon-flies 
Wings held parallel with abdomen, or uptilted; fore and hind wings 
almost equal 

Odonata, Zygoptera Damsel-flies 

22. Body very long and slender; antennae enlarged at tips 

Jsleuroptera, Myrmelion:dae Ant-lions 
Body not extremely slender; antennae not enlarged at tips 23, 

23. Tarsus (end section) of last leg with five segments 

J\leuroptera Lace-wings, Dobson Flies or Corydalus 
Tarsus of hind leg with less than five segments 24. 

24. Thorax before wings about as wide as long; wings clear, with distinct 


Plecoptera Stone-flies 
Thorax before wings short, much wider than long; wings whitish, with 
indistinct veins 

Isoptera Termites or ''White Ants" 

25. With rudimentary or vestigial wings 26. 
With no indications of wings 39. 

26. With large structures resembling a pair of pinchers at the posterior end 

of the body 

Dermaptera Earwigs 
Without such structures 27. 

27. Living in water 28. 
Living on land 32. 






















28. No thread', leaf' or feather'like structures along sides or at the posterior 

end 29. 

With thread', leaf- or feather'like structures along the sides or at the 

posterior end of the body 30. 

29. With a hinged lower lip that can be extended considerably beyond the 


Odonata, Amsoptera Dragon'fly naiads 
Without such a lip 

Heteroptera Water Bug nymphs 
(Hemiptera (part) ) 

30. Without tufts on sides; usually with three, flat, leaf-like "tails" at end 

of abdomen 

Odonata, Zygoptera Damsebfly naiads 
With hair-like or feather-like tufts along the sides 31. 

31. With tufts of hair'like filaments behind each leg but with none on the 

abdomen; "tails" two 

Plecoptera Stone-fly naiads 
With such tufts along the sides of abdomen; usually with three "tails" 
Ephemerida May-fly naiads 

32. With mouth parts obviously designing for chewing 33. 
With sucking beak 38. 

33. Not over one-quarter of an inch, usually much smaller; no cross veins 

in wings; feeding on lichens and fungi 
Corrodentia Psocid Flies 
Usually much larger; with cross- veined or tough front wings or wing 
pads 34. 

34. With veinless wing covers; hind legs built for running 

Coleoptera Beetles (A few forms with degenerate wings) 
With net -veined wing covers; usually with hind legs built for jumping 
or with the front legs greatly modified 35. 

35. Hind legs adapted for jumping 

Orthoptera (part) Grasshoppers and Crickets 
Not so 36. 

36. Legs not specialized; body wide and flat 

Orthoptera (part) Cockroaches, Croton-bugs 
Front legs greatly modified 37. 

37. Front legs short and wide, specialized for digging 

Orthoptera (part) Mole-crickets 
Front legs long and held aloft, specialized for grasping prey 
Orthoptera (part) Praying Mantes 

38. Beak arising from lower front part of head 

Heteroptera True Bugs 
(Heyniptera (part) ) 
Beak rising from lower back part of head 

Homoptera Cicadas, Leaf-hoppers, Aphids 


39. Animal caterpillar-like (body more or less cylindrical) 40. 
Animal not so worm- or caterpillar-like 53. 

40. Living in water 41. 
Living on land 44. 

41. No legs present 

D\ptera Fly larvae, Maggots 
Legs present 42. 

42. Usually found within a case made of sticks, sand or leaf fragments 

Trichoptera Caddis worms 
Not in such a case 43. 

43. Body rather stout, slightly wider anteriorly; getting to be about three- 

quarters of an inch to three inches long 

T^europtera, Smhdae Alder Flies, Hellgrammite, Dobson or 
Body usually more slender, usually tapering in the neck region; usually 

Coleoptera Water Beetle larvae 

44. No definite head 45. 
With a definite head 47. 

45. In a small cell, usually of wax or mud, and often provided with pollen 

or insects for food 

Hymenoptera Bee and Wasp grubs 
Not in such a cell 46. 

46. Slug-like, dark-colored, or with tufts of spines; feeding on leaves 

Lepidoptera, Eudiidae Slug-caterpillars 
White or light colored; usually feeding on dead animal material 
Diptera Fly Maggots 

47. With legs on abdominal region 48. 
Without any abdominal legs or leg-like processes, except sometimes on 

the last segment 49. 

48. Not more than five pairs of abdominal legs, each usually ending in many 

minute hooks 

Lepidoptera Butterfly or Moth Caterpillars 
Six or more pairs of abdominal legs, without hooks 
Hymenoptera Sawfly Caterpillars 

49. With legs on the thoracic region 

Coleoptera Beetle Grubs 
Without thoracic legs 50. 

50. Animal minute, but with definite biting mouth parts, and not with a 

black head 

Siphonaptera Flea larvae 
Not minute, or else with blackish head 51. 

51. Small, slender, usually pointed at posterior end; head blackish 

Diptera Fly Maggots 
Up to two inches in length; head not especially evident 52. 


PRAY\b\& MA NT I 9 










D\ PT E R A 

TE Hn\T E 

^NT- \-\0^A 





52. Thorax thick and muscular; animal usually living in wood 

Coleoptera Borer Beetle Grubs 
Body soft and stout; animal usually living in nuts, fruits, or seeds 
Coleoptera Weevil Grubs 

53. Animal with little or no powers of locomotion; living on plants; scale- 

like or covered Vv'ith a cottony or mealy secretion 

Homoptera, Coccidae Scale Insects, Mealy Bugs, Bark Lice 
Animal not so 54. 

54. Ajiimal minute; abdomen of not more than six segments and bearing on 

the end a pair of appendages which are usually folded under the body 
and enable the animal to jump 
Collemhola Springtails 
Animal not so 55. 

55. Living in water 56. 
Living on land 63. 

56. Back extended to form a flattened oval shield which extends over and 

hides the rest of the animal 

Coleoptera, Psephemdae and Dryopidae larvae Water-pennies 
Not so 57. 

57. Mouth parts forming a sucking tube 58. 
Not so " 59. 

58. Parasitic in fresh-water sponges 

J\[europtera, Sisyridae Sponge-fly larvae 
Not so 

Heteroptera True Bug nymphs 
(Hemiptera (part) ) 

59. With a hinged lower lip that can be extended considerably beyond the 
head " 60. 
Not so 6L 

60. No tail-like processes from the end of the abdomen 

Odonata, Anisoptera Dragon-fly naiads 
Usually with three, flat, leaf-like "tails" 

Odonata, Zygoptera Damsel-fly naiads 

61. With sickle shaped mandibles (appearing like a pair of pinchers or tongs) 

adapted for sucking; usually without ''tails" 
Coleoptera Water Beetle larvae 
With biting or chewing mouth parts; usually with two or three "tails" 62. 

62. With tufts of hair-like filaments behind each leg but with none on the 

abdomen; "tails" two 

Plecoptera Stone-fly naiads 
With tufts along sides of abdomen; usually with three "tails" 
Ephemerida May-fly naiads 

63. Very small and much flattened laterally; jumping; parasitic on warm- 

blooded animals. 

Siphonaptera Fleas 












Not much flattened laterally or over one-quarter of an inch in length 64. 

64. Minute, soft and whitish; found in old books and papers 

CorrodenUa Book-lice 
Not so 65. 

65. Body much flattened dorso-ventrally 66. 
Body more circular in cross section 70. 

66. With large structures resembling a pair of pinchers on the posterior end 

of the body 

Dermaptera Earwigs 
Not so 67. 

67. Antennae long, from one-third to equal to the length of the body; with 

two or three, long, jointed, tail-like processes on the posterior end; not 
parasitic on animals 

Thysanura Silver-fish or Bristle-tails 
Antennae very short; no long, jointed, caudal appendages; parasitic on 
birds or mammals 68. 

68. With biting mouth parts; parasitic mostly on birds, a few species on 


Mallophaga Bird Lice or Biting Lice 
With sucking mouth parts; on mammals 69. 

69. Tarsus (last section of foot) with three segments, and ending in two 


Heteroptera, Cmiicjdae Bedbugs 
(Hemiptera (part) ) 
Tarsus with one segment and ending in a single hook which opposes a 
projection from the tibia or section above 
Siphunculata True Lice 

70. Parasitic on birds and mammals; antennae short 7L 
Not parasitic on animals; antennae long or short 72. 

71. With biting mouth parts; common on birds, occasional on mammals 

Mallophaga Bird Lice or Biting Lice 
With sucking mouth parts; common on mammals 
Siphunculata True Lice 

72. Body thickly coated with small scales or hairs 73. 
No thick coat of scales or hairs 74. 

73. Very small; usually found in groups; with beak-like sucking mouth parts 

Homoptera, Aphuiidae Woolly Aphids 
Usually about ^2" long; rarely in groups; mouth parts not evident 
Lepidoptera, Lxpandae and Geometndae (part) 

Female Tussock-moth, Female Canker-worm Moths 

74. With a pair of prominent, pincher-like mouth parts as long as, or longer 

than, the head 

J^leuroptera Ant-lion, Aphis-lion 
Not so 75. 


75. With beak'like, piercing and sucking mouth parts; not ant'Hke 76. 
With biting and chewing mouth parts; may or may not be ant-Hke 77. 

76. Beak arising from back of lower side of head 

Homoptera Cicada, Tree and Leaf Hoppers, Frog'spit, Aphids 
(Hemiptera (part) ) 
Beak arising from front side of lower part of head 

Heteroptera True Bugs 
(Hemiptera (part) ) 

77. Body narrow and elongated; legs long, about one-half as long as the body 

Orthoptera, Phasmidae and Mantidae 
Walking-sticks and Praying Mantes 
Body not markedly elongate; legs long or short 78. 

78. Hind leg long and specialized for jumping, or else with the front legs 

very short and stout and modified for digging 79. 

Neither hind nor front legs showing any marked specialization 80. 

79. Jumping animals 

Orthoptera; Acrididae, Tettigoniidae and Gryllidae 
Grasshoppers and Crickets 
Digging animals 

Orthoptera; Grylhdae (part), Gryllotalpinae Mole-crickets 

80. Not ant-like; no narrow ''waist"; color not yellowish or very light brown 

Coleoptera Beetles 
Ant-like; either with a very narrow "waist" or else yellowish or very 
light brown in color 81. 

81. No marked "waist"; antennae not abruptly bent; color yellowish or very 

light brown 

Isoptera Termites, "White Ants" 
With a very narow "waist" or constriction of the anterior part of the 
abdomen; antennae usually with an abrupt bend 82. 

82. With an upturned ridge or knob on "waist"; never hairy 

Hymenoptera, Formicidae True Ants 
No knob or ridge on "waist"; sometimes covered with velvety hairs; 
sometimes with red and yellow markings 

Hymenoptera, MutiUidae Velvet Ants 


Blatchley, W. S. 1910. An Illustrated Descriptive Catalogue of the Coleop- 
tera or Beetles. Nature Publishing Company, Indianapolis, Ind. 

Brues, C. T. and Melander, A. L. 1932. Classification of Insects. Bull. 
Mus. Comp. Zool. (Harvard), Vol. 73. Cambridge, Mass. 

Chu, H. F. 1949. How to Know the Immature Insects. Wm. C. Brown Co. 
Dubuque, Iowa. 

Comstock, J. H. 1925. An Introduction to Entomology. Comstock Pub- 
lishing Company, Ithaca, N. Y. 

Essig, E. O. 1926. Insects of Western North America. Macmillan, N. Y. 











Fernald, H. T. 1921. Applied Entomology. McGraw-Hill, New York. 

Herrick, G. W. 1926. Insects Injurious to the Household and Annoying 

to Man. Macmillan, New York. 
Holland, W. J. 1933. The Butterfly Book. DouhledayDoran, Garden City, 

N. Y. 
Holland, W. J. 1933. The Moth Book. Doubleday, Doran, Garden City, 

N. Y. 

Howard, L. O. 1902. The Insect Book. Doubleday, Page, New York. 

Kellogg, V. L. 1908. American Insects. Holt and Co., New York 

Klots, A. B. 1932. Directions for Collecting and Preserving Insects. Ward's 
Natural Science Establishment, Rochester, N. Y. 

Lutz, F. E. 1935. Field Book of Insects. 3rd Edition. Putnam's Sons. New 

Macy, R. W. and Shepard, H. H. 1941. Butterflies. Univ. of Minn. Press. 

Mann, W. M. 1934. Stalking Ants, Savage and Civilized. National Geo- 
graphic Magazine, Vol. 66, No. 2. Washington, D. C. 

Metcalf, C. L. and Flint, W. P. 1928. Destructive and Useful Insects. Mc- 
Graw-Hill Book Co., New York. 

Metcalf, Z. P. and Metcalf, C. L. 1928. A Key to the Principal Orders and 
Families of Insects. Published by the Authors. Urbana, Illinois. 

Needham, J. G. and Needham, P. R. 1930. A Guide to the Study of Fresh- 
water Biology. Comstock Publishing Co., Ithaca, N. Y. 

Packard, A. S. 1878. Guide to the Study of Insects. Holt and Co. N. Y. 

Sharp, D. 1895 and 1899. Insects. (Cambridge Natural History, Vols. 5 
and 6) Macmillan, New York. 

Showalter, W. J. 1927. Strange Habits of Familiar Moths and Butterflies. 
National Geographic Magazine. Vol. 52, No. 1. Washington, D. C. 

Showalter, W. J. 1929. Exploring the Wonders of the Insect World. Na- 
tional Geographic Magazine, Vol. 56, No. 1. Washington, D. C. 

Swain, R. B. 1948. The Insect Guide. Doubleday 5? Co. Garden City, N. Y. 

Wellhouse, W. H. 1926. How Insects Live. Macmillan, New York. 

Wheeler, W. M. 1910. Ants, Their Structure, Development and Behavior. 
Columbia University Press, New York. 



The fishes rival the birds and the mammals in popular appeal and com' 
prise one of the three major groups of the animal kingdom generally affected 
by the game laws. The sale of fishing equipment each year is enormous, and 
sporting books and magazines devote countless pages to discussions of the 
paraphernalia and technique of the angler. The familiar game fishes, however, 
make up only a small proportion of American fresh-water fishes. The recent 
popularity of home and public aquaria has created a fancy for other interest' 
ing or beautiful species. Although the popular tropicals come from Central 
and South America, several of the forms commonly sold in pet shops are native 
to the southern states. It is a surprise to many people to learn that there are 
also many attractive and interesting small fishes in northern ponds and rivers. 

Not true fishes but related to them are the lampreys, frequently called 
lampreyeels. As a matter of fact the eel is a true fish which, by the loss of 
some structures, has come to resemble the lamprey slightly. The latter can 
be distinguished from eels and all other fishes by a row of gill openings on 
each side, its lack of paired fins and its jawless, and usually round, mouth. 
From this round mouth is derived the scientific name of the group to which it 
belongs, the Cydostomes. All lampreys start their lives in fresh water, hatch' 
ing from eggs their parents have deposited and covered with sand or gravel in 
nests in the river or lake bed. Lampreys have a larval stage, called the am- 
mocoete, corresponding somev.'hat to the tadpole stage of the frog. The ex' 
ternal differences between larvae and adults are not very marked, but the dif' 
ferences in internal anatomy are great. The chief external difference lies in 
the mouth region, the larva having a pair of lips overhung by a hood as wide 
as the body. In the adult the hood is gone and so are the lips, only a circular 
depression, which becomes armed with epidermal ''teeth", remaining. Few 
people besides the fishermen who gather them for bait ever see the larval lam' 
preys, for they live concealed in burrov^s in the sand or gravel and feed on 
minute organisms which the water brings to them. Two or more years are 
passed in this secluded existence before the animals transform into adults. It 
is known that some species are unable to feed as adults, living on material 
stored in their tissues until they reproduce. Others prey on fish and may live 
for several years as adults before reproducing. With the disc'like structure 
around the mouth acting as a suction cup, the parasitic lamprey attaches itself 
to a fish, rasps a hole in the body wall by means of its epidermal teeth, and 


sucks its fill of blood. A special secretion from buccal or mouth glands keeps 
the blood from clotting until the lamprey has finished its meal — a development 
also found in the blood-sucking leeches. Once satisfied, the lamprey leaves its 
host, attaches itself to a rock and digests its meal before it again attacks a fish. 
The sea lampreys swim up the rivers to spawn in fresh water. Some of the 
lampreys develop spectacular orange coloring at spawning time, but this is not 
constant, as some dark and some brightly colored individuals may be seen in 
the same run, and some years very few colored ones are to be found. It seems 
probable that none of the adults of any species survive the spawning period, as 
the digestive tract is almost completely degenerated and there is no trace of 
any second crop of eggs. It is possible to collect larval lampreys from suitable 
gravel bars in lakes or rivers, by means of a wire strainer, and those about to 
transform will live for some time in a shaded aquarium. 

One group of fishes appeals to the layman because of its peculiarities and 
to the scientist because of the light it throws on taxonomic and evolutionary 
problems. The species of this group have heterocercal tails and a number of 
internal anatomical pecularities which place them as primitive fishes, inter' 
mediate between sharks and the true bony fishes. Here we find the gars, 
widely distributed fishes with long, almost cylindrical bodies and peculiar, dia' 
mond'shaped scales, so hard as to lead the pioneer naturalist, Rafinesque, to 
state that they would turn a musket ball. A long mouth, resembling a duck's 
or a heron's beak but full of needle-like teeth, completes the pirate's make-up. 
Another odd fish is known, because of its huge spatulate snout, as the paddlefish 
or spoon-bill. This species was formerly very common, and is still fairly abund- 
ant, in the Mississippi River and its larger tributaries. It has an inferior mouth 
like that of a shark, soft flaps for gill covers, and no evident scales. Although 
it may reach a length of six feet and a weight of one hundred and fifty pounds, 
it lives almost entirely on microscopic organisms, and is supposed to use its huge 
paddle as a spoon to stir up and concentrate these minute morsels. A very 
similar fish, probably its only living near relative, is found in the Yangtse River 
in China. A third division of this group of primitive fishes contains the stur- 
geons, which have reduced the number of their scales and fused some to form 
huge, bony dermal plates. These plates usually lie in rows on each side, so that 
protection is obtained without the sacrifice of flexibility. As the sturgeon ma- 
tures, it often loses these bony shields. Some species become five or six feet 
long. Mature female sturgeons are highly prized for the roe, which is known 
as caviar when properly prepared. The roe of the paddlefish also makes good 
caviar, but that of the gar, strangely enough, is reported to be toxic. These 
fishes — gars, paddlefish and sturgeons, together with the bowfin or river dogfish 
— are often referred to as the Ganoids, although only the gars have well de- 
veloped ganoid scales. They are the survivors of a once very numerous group, 
well represented in fossil beds. 


The largest family of fishes found in the United States is the minnow 
family, the Cyprinidae. The recent check list of fishes records almost three 
hundred native species. Most of them seldom get to be more than a few 
inches long, but some of the minnows of the western states, of which the Gila 
Trout is an example, become a foot or more long. The largest native minnow, 
Ptychocheiliis lucius, may attain a length of five feet. Two introduced Asiatic 
members of the minnow family, the carp and the goldfish, get to be over a 
foot long. The carp has been generally blamed for the decrease in number 
of many of our best native fishes, but the truth seems to be that man, by pol- 
luting the streams, has himself killed otf many native forms, Vv-hile the hardier 
carp survives and multiplies. Its habit of grubbing in the mud, however, does 
result in the uprooting of aquatic vegetation and the destruction of the eggs 
of some of its rivals. The goldfish often escapes from captivity, and, especially 
if it has failed to make the change from its original olive gray to the more 
familiar gold, may escape its enemies and attain a si2,e far greater than that of 
more closely confined specimens. Minnows are always a bugbear to the ama- 
teur, for the differences between the species are not well marked and are often 
based on pharyngeal teeth and internal characters. Also there are so many 
species that a reading of the minnow section of the check list is likely to leave 
one with the impression that every stream, tributary and pond has its own 
individual species. ''Minnows of Michigan'', by Hubbs and Cooper, is an 
excellent introduction to a study of the family and should serve as a model 
for similar surveys in other states. 

Another large family, the suckers or Catostomidae, all have extensible 
sucking mouths, specialized for drawing insects and worms from under stones. 
Their peculiar method of feeding reminds one of the action of a vacuum 
cleaner. The fish hovers just in front of its prey, which, drawn by the powerful 
suction, suddenly appears to leap into the waiting mouth. Some genera of 
suckers resemble carp quite closely, except for their lips and the absence of a 
dorsal and an anal spine, and are sometimes sold as "winter carp" in fish mar- 
kets. Like carp, when taken from cold running waters their flesh is fairly 
palatable, although the many small bones are a nuisance. In warm waters the 
flesh becomes soft and oily. Suckers are among the fishes that make spectacular 
runs up streams during the spawning season. They do a great deal of splashing 
at the surface at this time, especially over the gravel beds where they drop their 
eggs. Since the suckers are largely insectivorous they compete with the game 
fishes for food and so are unpopular with sportsmen and fish culturists. 

Another large family, second only to the minnows in number of native 
species, is that of the darters, the Etheostomidae, for which the check list records 
over a hundred species occurring within the United States, none west of the 
Rockies. These fishes, having small or no air bladders, cannot float in the water, 
but lie on the bottom v^'hile at rest, and make sudden dashing excursions from 


place to place. This peculiar movement accounts for their common name. Their 
large paired fins, both in the thoracic region, give these small fishes a striking 
appearance. Many of them are beautifully and brilliantly colored. Un- 
fortunately, like most dwellers in swiftly running water, they need an abund- 
ance of oxygen and therefore seldom live long in aquaria where we might 
admire and study them. 

A few fishes make long journeys for egg-laying. The Atlantic and the 
Pacific salmon return from their feeding grounds at sea to deposit their eggs 
in the headwaters of streams. Studies indicate that some return to the same 
stream, and even to the same tributary, in which they hatched and from which 
they migrated three or four years before. The Pacific salmon use all their 
energy in this migration and die shortly afterwards. The Atlantic salmon 
apparently survive, return to sea, and live to make more spawning trips in 
other years. Along our coasts each spring multitudes of shad come hurling 
themselves into the mouths of fresh-water streams to spawn, often in such 
numbers that they force one another out of the water in their frenzied leapings. 
Early settlers along the Atlantic coast were observant enough to notice the 
coincidence of the spring runs of shad with the flowering of a common native 
shrub, which they called the shadbush. In recent years power dams have kept 
the shad from their old spawning grounds in many localities. Shad is still sold 
commercially, however, and shad roe is considered a delicacy. The fishes 
which come from salt to fresh water to spawn are called anadromous. 

The eel has reversed this process, the females growing to maturity in 
fresh water but descending streams and going to sea to spawn. They are termed 
catadromous. As they journey toward the sea their color changes from black 
to shining white, and they reach the ocean as what the fishermen call "silver 
eels". Here they join the males, which stay in brackish or salt water, and make 
a pilgrimage to the South Atlantic, in the region of the Sargasso Sea. The 
parents do not survive the egg laying. The baby eel is a flattened, ribbon-like 
creature which, when it was first discovered, was taken for a small, adult, marine 
fish. After about a year in this stage the American eel becomes more cylindri- 
cal, takes to living near the surface, and continually swims toward our coasts. 
It reaches them when it is only about three inches long. The males usually re- 
main in brackish water, but the females continue their migrations, traveling by 
night and resting by day, until they distribute themselves all through the 
streams. The European eel migrates to almost the same breeding grounds as. 
does the American species. 

Most fishes lay large numbers of eggs, those of most species being unpig- 
mented, but some, like those of the sturgeon, being colored. A few fishes^ 
Gamhusia, for example, bring forth living young. The males of many species 
become more attractive during the breeding season, developing brilliant colors 
on the body or, as in some of the minnows, pearl organs on the head. FertiUa- 


tion is external in most egg-laying forms. If any nest is built or care exercised 
over the young, it is usually the male that assumes most of the responsibility. 
Many of the marine fishes lay eggs of the floating or pelagic type. These, being 
exposed to many dangers, are produced in immense numbers. It is estimated 
that the average adult codfish produces about nine million eggs at one time. 
Most of the fresh'V/ater fishes lay eggs of the sinking or demersal type. A fif' 
teen pound carp lays about two million eggs, which are allowed to fall among 
vegetation, to which they adhere. A salmon of about the same si2;e buries its 
crop of about 17,000 eggs in the gravel of a stream, where they will be fairly 
secure from predators and yet be well aerated. Some fishes, such as the sun- 
fishes, clear out circular depressions on the floor of the lake and stand guard 
over the eggs as they develop. The male will bite vigorously at anything that 
intrudes, but it is a poor sportsman indeed who will profit by this habit to get 
a string of fish. A few moments spent in watching the nest will convince the 
observer that minnows and snails make the job of guard no easy one and that 
the batch of eggs would have little chance of survival if the gallant defender 
were removed. The common sunfish produces about 5,000 eggs. Catfishes 
generally lay their eggs in a hollow sunken log or in a hole in the bank. The 
male watches over the eggs and later takes the school of young out on excur' 
sions as they begin to travel. A few fishes, such as the sticklebacks, build 
elaborate nests, much like those of birds, among the water weeds. In general, 
greater parental care in selecting the nesting site or caring for the young com- 
pensates for a reduction in the number of eggs, the end result being that each 
group maintains its numbers in the biotic equilibrium. 

Fishes afford good material for the study of biological problems. A few 
fields of investigation in which our knowledge is still incomplete are suggested 
Weberian apparatus — comparative studies of its development in different 

species; tests on its functions. 
Air bladder — exchange of gases; gas content under various environmental 

Migration — tagging experiments on (a) random wandering and its relation to 

natural restocking of areas depleted by temporary pollution or overfishing; 

(b) directed movements — migration for reproductive purposes or with 

seasonal changes. 
Distribution — limitation of ranges through natural barriers and through fail- 
ure in adaptation. Recent changes due to intentional introduction or to 

accidental introduction as bait or by canals and floods. 
Species — limits of species, relation to subspecies. Ecological varieties. Natural 

Growth — determination by scales and otoliths. Correlation of growth rate 

with environmental conditions — food supply, pollution, limitation of 


movement by dams, etc. Problems of relative growth and change in 

Life Histories — many forms are still not completely studied. 
Conservation — Fishways, their operation and limitations. Stream improve- 
ment by construction of small dams and pools to promote aeration and 


Practical basis of legal restrictions— closed seasons, bag limits, si2;e limits, 

methods of fishing. 

Control of native and introduced forms. 

Pollution — maximum amount of organic pollution consistent with fish 

maintenance; industrial wastes. 

Hatchery problems — embryology; effect of varying conditions. 

Stocking streams — survival of eyed eggs, fingerlings, older fish. 

As stated before, classification is dependent upon a complete knowledge 
of the anatomy, physiology and ecology of the organism. Obviously the be- 
ginner must expect to devote much serious study to any group before he can 
understand the reasons for the assignment of an animal to some special tax' 
onomic postion. Even after an animal has been known and studied for years, 
some new discovery may necessitate a change in its classification. When ex' 
perts sometimes fail to agree, the beginner can hardly expect to escape making 
some errors in the identification of animals. To aid him in the use of the 
following key and in beginning a study of fish taxonomy the following descrip' 
tions and suggestions are offered. 

Capturing Fish 

Small fishes may be taken with a dip-net, minnow trap or seine. Larger 
ones may be taken in nets of various types as used by commercial fishermen 
or, if time permits, by hook and line. The game laws should be checked care- 
fully. Some states require one to take out a fishing license before he may 
catch or have in his possession a native fish of any kind, even a minnow. Special 
licenses are often required for the use of seines and other types of nets, and the 
si2;es of mesh and net are limited. Since violators may be fined a certain amount 
for each fish held illegally, a bucket of minnows might cost one a small fortune. 

Preserning Fish 

If possible, the live fish should be drowned in strong formalin, and then 
promptly transferred to 5% formalin for storage. This procedure results in 
the extension of fins, which is of much help to the student later, when fin-rays 
may have to be counted and measured. If the fish is large, 10% formalin 
may be injected, by means of syringe and hypodermic needle, into the body 
cavity. A penciled or India ink label, giving full particulars of season and 
place of capture, should always be packed with each group. If several groups 


are placed in one container, each may be wrapped in cheesecloth and another 
label tied to each bundle. Colors bleach out under any condition, but more 
rapidly if the specimens are exposed to light or preserved in alcohol. Im' 
properly cared for specimens which have dried up can be partially restored 
by soaking them in 2% solution of potassium hydroxide, but close watch must 
be kept or they will disintegrate or become transparent. They should be 
thoroughly washed before they are returned to a preservative. 


Fishermen usually consider the length as the over'all measurement. The 
scientist measures from the tip of the nose to the root of the tail, the fin portion 
of the tail not being included. The depth or height is the next most common 
measurement, being the greatest vertical distance from dorsal — usually the base 
of the dorsal fin — to the ventral side. These measuremicnts are often expressed 
as proportions. Thus we might say that the black bass has its depth 3 in length 
and some of the darters have depth 6 or more in length. The length of the 
head, from the tip of snout to the back of the stiff part of the operculum, is 
another useful measurement. The snout is measured from the tip of the head 
to the front of the eye. Always take actual measurements. Markings and 
structures create optical illusions, and an estimate is seldom reliable. 

The Tail 

The ganoid group of fishes has an asymmetrical and primitive type of tail, 
resembling that of sharks. The vertebral column extends at least slightly into 
the upper lobe of the tail fin, a condition called heterocercal. 

Most of the bony fishes have a superficially symmetrical tail, the homO' 
cereal, the end of the backbone being formed by a large bone called the uro' 
style. Actually, as Louis Agassi^ pointed out, this is an extreme development 
of the heterocercal tail, the end of the vertebral column being turned still 
further upward, the upper lobe of the tail fin disappearing and the lower lobe 
spreading to form the apparently complete symmetrical one. This process is 
recapitulated in the early development of many teleosts. In the Cod family, 
(Gadidae), a truly symmetrical tail known as isocercal has been developed 
through the loss of the original one and the meeting of parts of the dorsal and 
anal fins. 

The Fins 

The fins fall into tVv'O categories: the unpaired, consisting of the dorsal and 
anal; and the paired, which correspond in a general way to the limbs of higher 
animals. In the more primitive fishes the fins are supported only by rays — soft, 
segmented, and more or less branched structures. More specialized fishes have 
also unsegmented and unbranched spines. In technical descriptions the spines 
are referred to by Roman numerals, the rays by Arabic, so to an ichthyologist 


Perca jiavescens D. XIII, 14 means that the dorsal fin of the yellow perch 
usually has thirteen spines and fourteen rays. The spiny portion of the dorsal 
fin is usually partly, sometimes wholly, separated from the rayed portion. Since 
the rays are branched, care must be taken to count the bases. In the spinyfinned 
fishes there are usually spines in the anal, and often in the pectoral, fins. The 
Ameiuridae, Salmonidae and a few other families have an additional dorsal fin, 
posterior to the rayed one and unsupported, in native species, by any rays or 
spines. This is called the adipose fin. Sometimes its posterior margin is adnate 
or joined to the fish's back, in which case the student may overlook it or mistake 
it for part of the tail fin. Of the paired fins, the position of the pelvics is most 
helpful in identification. Regardless of their position antericposteriorly, they 
are always more ventral than the pectoral fins, and arc sometimes called the 
ventral fins. It is well to remember this, for m some families, including the 
cods (Gadidae) , they are actually anterior to the pectoral fins. This position 
is described as jugular. If they lie almost directly below the pectorals, as in the 
darters (Etheostoviidae) they are said to he thoracic. In the minnow and 
sucker families (Cyprmidae and Catostomidae) they are quite posterior and 
are said to be abdominal in position. In the sticklebacks (Gasterosteidae) , the 
pelvic fins are usually almost central, but are called subabdominal. 

Lateral Line 

The lateral line is the external indication of a complicated sense-organ 
system of canals covering the head and extending along the sides of the body. 
Small openings from each canal are usually shown by small openings or tubes 
in some of the scales. The line so formed may be evident along the whole side 
and even on the tail, or it may be only partially evident. On some fishes it 
forms a relatively straight line, while on others it may curve up or dov/n, 
possibly to avoid water currents produced by the pectoral fins Care must be 
taken to avoid confusing the lateral line with a pigmented lateral stripe often 


The ganoid type of fish scale, a very hard, shining, rhombic one, is now 
developed among North American fishes only by the gars as a complete cov 
ering and by the sturgeons as a small patch on the upper lobe of the tail. Two 
types of scales are found on the higher fishes. One type, the cycloid, is fairly 
regularly oval. The other type, the ctenoid, has its free edge toothed. It 
has been suggested that the type of scale might serve as a basis for classifica- 
tion but, unfortunately for the idea, intermediate forms are found and in one 
family one may find both types of scales. 

The number of scales is often useful as a diagnostic character, and a 
system of recording has been developed. For example, 8'45'10 means that the 
fish has 45 scales in the lateral line row or in a line from head to tail, eight 


rows counted diagonally from the lateral line to the base of the dorsal fin, 
and ten rows from the lateral line down to the base of the anal fin. 


The position of the mouth, terminal, superior or inferior, is important. 
The bones which normally form the margin of the upper jaw are the pre- 
maxillary and the maxillary. These should be carefully located. In some fishes 
the prcmaxillary is long and underlies the maxillary, forming the entire mar' 
gin of the jaw, while in other fishes both bones reach the margin. In some 
fishes both bones are hinged at the front, free at the back, and, when swung 
forward, support skin folds to form a tube with which food can be sucked up. 

The opercular bones should be located and their names learned. Varia' 
tions in their shapes and even in their number are found. In the catfish family, 
Ameiuridae, for example, the subopercular is not developed. 

Gill Membranes 

These are the folds of skin which form the floor of the gill chamber, and 
which are usually supported by cartilaginous or bony bars called the branchio' 
stegal rays. The membrane from one side may extend almost directly across 
to, and fuse with, the corresponding one on the other side, or both may extend 
far forward before joining. The fused membranes may or may not be joined to 
the isthmus or section of the body directly beneath them. 


Teeth may be found not only on the jaws but also on the roof of the 
mouth and on the tongue. Many fishes have teeth on the pharyngeal bones 
behind the last gill arch, even though they may not have any in the mouth. 
These pharyngeal teeth are often of great importance in taxonomic work, es- 
pecially in the minnow family, Cypnnidae. The pharyngeal bones may be 
removed by reaching in under the operculum with small forceps. The bones 
lie directly behind the gills and correspond to a fifth gill arch. If they are 
carefully removed, cleaned and dried, the teeth may be examined under a 
lens. The bones from both sides should be examined, as they are not always 
alike. The lower pharyngeals are the most highly specialized and most com- 
monly used in identification. The tooth formula is usually given for both 
members of a pair: thus 4 - 4 means one row of four teeth on the right and 
left pharyngeals, 2-4-4-1 means that there are two rows on each, the left 
with two in the outer and four in the inner row, the right with four in the 
main or inner row and one in the outer row. The nature of the surface of 
the pharyngeal teeth is also important and gives a clue to the food habits. 

Gill R.'\kers 

The gill arches carry, in addition to the double row of gill filaments on the 


outer side of each, a double row of projections on the inner side. These are 
called the gill rakers, and apparently serve to keep particles of food or other 
matter from entering the gill chambers. In the fish'cating fishes the gill rakers 
are usually very short, in the plankton eaters they are usually numerous and 

Air Bladder 

The air bladder or swim bladder lies in the upper part of the body cavity, 
usually directly beneath the backbone. In the less specialized teleosts an open 
duct connects it with the gullet. In the more specialized forms the duct is 
vestigial or absent, the gases in the air bladder being received from the blood. 
In either case, the air bladder apparently serves as a reservoir of oxygen which 
can be withdrawn into the blood and replaced by carbon dioxide or by relative 
ly inert gases such as nitrogen. The air bladder is probably not to be regarded 
as an ancestral form of lung but as a parallel development. Sharks and lam' 
preys show no indication of it. In the gars and river dogfish it is usually two 
lobed. In the higher fishes it may be constricted to form an anterior and a 
posterior chamber. A few fishes, especially those like the darters which have 
become adapted to life in swift streams, have the air bladder much reduced or 

Weberian Apparatus 

The characins, minnows, suckers and catfishes have a peculiar modifica- 
tion of the first four vertebrae. These are usually partly fused and sections 
of them form a linked chain of bones connecting the air bladder with the canals 
of the inner ear. When first discovered, these bones were regarded as equiva' 
lent to the auditory ossicles of the mammalian middle ear, but that has since 
been disproved. The function of the Weberian apparatus is still uncertain. 
The suggestion that it affords the owner information as to depth and pressure 
of water seems to be discounted by the fact that no marine fishes, which might 
move in greatly different depths, have this apparatus. 


In scientific studies of fishes a knowledge of the fish skeleton, as well as 
the rest of its anatomy, is desirable. The bones of the skull and shoulder 
girdle differ decidedly among the different families and frequently form the 
basis for taxonomic arrangement. 


Class CYCLOSTOMI (or Cydostomata) Lampreys 

With funnel-shaped buccal cavity; no jaws; no bones; no operculum; no 
paired fins 


Class PISCES True Fishes 

With bony jaws; with gill cover or operculum; usually with paired fins 
Super-order GANOIDEA Ganoid Fishes 

Tail heterocercal; notochord present although restricted; cranium partly 

Mouth inferior and tube -like; several rovv-s of large bony plates on 
sides, sometimes shed in old age; operculum not bony 
Family ACIPENSERIDAE Sturgeons 

Snout prolonged into a broad flat paddle; operculum not bony 
Family POLYODONTIDAE Paddlefish 

Scales rhombic; jaws elongate; vertebrae opisthocoelus 

Scales cycloid; with a large gular plate between the rami of the 
lower jaw 

Family AMIIDAE Bowfin, River Dogfish 
Super-order TELEOSTEI Bony Fishes 

Tail homocercal; notochord never complete; cranium completely ossified 

No spines in fins; pelvic fins abdominal; air bladder open to gullet 
Family HIODONTIDAE Mooneyes 
Family CLUPEIDAE Herrings 
Family DOROSOMIDAE Gizzard Shad 
Family SALMONIDAE Salmon, Trout 
Family COREGONIDAE Whitefish 
Family THYMALLIDAE Graylings 
Family OSMERIDAE Smelts 

Body elongate, cylindrical; no pelvic fins; no true fin spines; scales, 
when present, minute and deeply embedded 
Family ANGUILLIDAE True Eels 
(Several marine families) 

Fins soft; with four anterior vertebrae partly fused and with Web- 
erian ossicles; pelvic fins abdominal; brain case not extending be- 
tween orbits 

Family CHARACINIDAE Characins 
(Several tropical genera and species) 







che: L K 







B A R B E L 



PE L N/ It Fin 





Diagram of a F\sh 



As Heterognathi, but with hrain case produced between orbits 

Family CATOSTOMIDAE Suckers 

Family CYPRINIDAE Minnows 

Family MEDIDAE Desert Minnows 

Scaleless; the first four vertebrae coossified with the Weberian 


Family AMEIURIDAE Catfishes 

Soft-rayed fishes, with no mesocoracoid; pelvic fins abdominal; 

maxillary forming side of upper jaw 

Family ESOCIDAE Pikes 

Family UMBRIDAE Mud-minnows 

Family NOVUMBRIDAE Western Mud-minnow 

As in Haplomi, but with the side of upper jaw formed by the pre- 



Family EMPETRICHTHYIDAE Death Valley Minnow 

Family POECILIIDAE Top-minnows 

Family AMBLYOPSIDAE Cave Blindfishcs 

Pelvic fins abdominal; dorsal and anal fins without spines; dorsal 

fin much posterior; air bladder ductless; lateral line forming a ridge 

along side of belly 

Family BELONIDAE Needlefishes 
(Many marine genera and species) 

Pelvic iins jugular; dorsal fin extending almost the length of the 

back; tail isocercal; scales small or absent 

Family GADIDAE Codfishes 

(Many marine genera and species) 

Dorsal fin with two spines; adipose fin present; head naked; air 

bladder with rudimentary duct 

Family PERCOPSIDAE Trout-perch 

With a spiny dorsal fin; anus jugular; scales ctenoid 

Family APHREDODERIDAE Pirate-perch 

Cranium twisted anteriorly; both eyes on the same side of the 


head; body deep and much compressed 

Family ACHIRIDAE Soles 

(Many marine genera and species) 

Sides more or less covered with bony plates; pelvic fins subab- 


Family GASTEROSTEIDAE Sticklebacks 

With spiny fins; premaxillary forming whole border of side of 

upper jaw; no Weberian apparatus; air bladder typically without 

duct; lower pharyngeals usually separated 

Family ATHERINIDAE Silversides 

(Several tropical or marine genera and species) 

Family PERCIDAE Perches 


Family CENTRARCHIDAE Black Basses and Sunfishes 

Family ELASSOMIDAE Pigmy Sunfishes 

Family MORONIDAE White Basses 

Family SCIAENIDAE Drums or Croakers 
(Several tropical or marine genera and species) 

A bony process (suborbital stay) extending from below eye across 

cheek (usually concealed by skin) ; pelvic fins thoracic or lacking 

Family COTTIDAE Sculpins 
(Many marine genera and species) 

Resembling Percomorphi, but viviparous and with lower pharyu' 

geals united 

Family EMBIOTOCIDAE Surf-fishes 
(Several marine genera and species) 

Resembling Percomorphi, but with the lower pharyngeals united 

and with a single nostril opening on each side 

Family CICHLIDAE Cichlids 
(Many tropical genera and species) 

Pelvic fins thoracic, close together or joined; usually no air blad' 

der; no pyloric caeca; superficially like Etheostornidae, but without 

lateral line and with gill membranes joined to isthmus 

Family ELEOTRIDAE Sleepers 

Family GOBIIDAE Gobies 

(Many marine species in tropical waters) 




Position oF lowELR pharyno-eal BonE 
Shoulder G-iRDlE 


THE phar^nO-eal teet« 




r»n o u T H 
L ATE R AL tooth 


FiS>H - Roof of mouth 

LAMPREY — Buccal d\Sc 









1. Body snakc'like, long and cylindrical; scales never evident 2. 
Body not snake-like; scaled or scaleless 11. 

2. Gills covered by the operculum; bony jaws present; ascending streams 

from the Atlantic; Family Anguillidae 

Angwlla rostrata (LeSueur) American Eel 
Angiulla hostomensis (LeSueur) 
(Anguilla chrysypa Raf.) 
With several external gill openings; no operculum; mouth round, with' 
out bony jaws; often parasitic on fishes; marine or fresh water; Family 
Petromyzonidae Lampreys 3. 

3. Teeth evenly distributed in radiating series around the mouth opening 4. 
Teeth placed in groups around the mouth opening 6. 

4. Dorsal fin in two separate portions; Atlantic states, ascending streams 

from the sea 

Petromyzon inarinns Linn. Sea Lamprey 

Dorsal fin continuous, although often deeply notched in the middle; 

central states (For revision of Genus Ichthyomyzon see Hubbs and 

Trautman, 1937, Univ. of Mich. Museum of Zoology Misc. Pub. 

No. 35) 5. 

5. Sucker around the mouth wider than the body, when expanded; para' 

sitic on fishes; Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley 

Ichthyomyzon concolor (Kirtland) Silver Lamprey 
Ichthyomyzon unicuspis Hubbs 
(and related species) 
Sucker around the mouth narrower than the body, when expanded; not 
parasitic; Great Lakes region and the Mississippi Valley 
Reighardina imicolor (De Kay) Lake Lamprey 
Ichthyomyzon fossor R. 5? C. 
(and related species) 

6. With a row of small teeth below the mouth opening, connecting the 

large lateral teeth (all within the ring of marginal teeth) ; dorsal fins 

separate 7. 

No row of small teeth connecting the lateral teeth below; dorsal fins 

separate or connected 9. 

7. With three large bicuspid teeth on each side of the mouth opening; 

northeastern and north'Central states 

Lethenteron appendix (De Kay) Eastern Brook Lamprey 
Entosphenus lamottenii (LeSueur) 
(Lampetra wilderi Gage) 
With four large teeth on each side of the mouth, the first and last bicus' 
pid, the middle two tricuspid; ascending streams from the Pacific 8. 

8. With 57 to 67 muscle segments from the gills to the anus; color greenish; 


Entosphenus ciUatus (Ayres) Green Lamprey 
With 68 to 74 muscle segments from the gills to the anus; color brown' 
ish; West Coast 

Entosphenus trideyitatus (Gairdner) Western Lamprey 


9. Area directly before the mouth (within the marginal ring of teeth) 

toothless, with two small teeth on each side of this area; with 50 to 62 

muscle segments from the gills to the anus; Ohio and Potomac Valleys 

OWelhergia lamotteni (LeSueur) Ohio Lamprey 

Lampetra aepyptera (Abbott) 

Area directly before the mouth toothed; with 57 to 70 muscle segments 

from the gills to the anus; western North America 10. 

10. Dorsal fins well separated; parasitic 

Lampetra ayresii (Giinther) Western Brook Lamprey 
Lampetra fluviatihs (Linn.) 
Bases of dorsal fins connected; not parasitic 

Lampetra planeri Bloch Western Brook Lamprey 

11. Tail heterocercal (backbone ending above the center of the root of the 

tail fin or extending into the upper portion of the tail) ; large fishes 12. 

Tail homocercal (backbone ending at the center of the root of the tail 

fin) ^ 24. 

12. No scales or with rows of large bony plates 13. 
With regular scales 20. 

13. No plates or shields: with two very tiny barbels beneath the paddlclike 

snout; Mississippi River; Family Polyodontidae 

Polyodon spathula (Walbaum) Paddlefish, Spoonbill 
With a series of large bony plates, except in old fishes; with four distinct 
barbels on the lower side of the upper jaw before the mouth; Family 
Acipenseridae Sturgeons 14. 

14. No spiracular opening; caudal peduncle almost cylindrical, without 

plates 15. 

With a small spiracular opening before and above each opercular open' 

ing; caudal peduncle flattened, covered with bony plates 16. 

15. Belly with subrhombic plates: with 28 or 29 rays in the dorsal fin; Mis' 

sissippi drainage platorynchus (Raf.) Shovel-nosed Sturgeon 
Belly without plates; with 35 to 43 rays in the dorsal fin; Mississippi 
and Missouri rivers; rare 

Parascaphvrhynchus alhns F. 6? R. White Sturgeon 

16. Dorsal fin with more than forty rays 17. 
Dorsal fin with less than forty rays 18. 

17. With about forty plates along each side of the body; Pacific slope 

Acxpenser transmontanus Richardson Pacific White Sturgeon 
With about thirty plates along each side of the body; ascending streams 
from the Atlantic 

Acxpenser hrevirostris LeSueur Short-nosed Sturgeon 

18. With very many tiny plates between the dorsal plates and the row of 

enlarged lateral plates; Mississippi Valley; Great Lakes 
Acipenser fulvescens Raf. Lake Sturgeon 
{Acipenser ruhicundiis LeSueur) 
With five to ten rows of small plates so situated 19. 


19. Color grayish; ascending streams from the Atlantic 

Acipenser oxyrhynchus Mitchill Common Sturgeon 
Color greenish, with a stripe lengthwise along each side and along the 
mid'ventral line; ascending streams from the Pacific 
Acipenser acutirostris Ayres Green Sturgeon 
{Acipenser medirostris Ayres) 

20. Scales rounded; eastern and central states; Family Amiidae 

Amia calva Linn. River Dogfish, Bowfin 
Scales rhombic; mouth in the form of a narrow beak full of sharp teeth; 
Family Lepisosteidae Gar Pikes 21. 

21. With two rows of large teeth on each side of upper jaw in adults; tail 

fin with many small dark spots; south-central states 

Atractosteus spatula (Lacepede) Alligator Gar 
(Atractosteus tristoechus (B. &? S.) ) 
Adults with one row of large teeth on each side of upper jaw; tail fin 
with several large dark spots (about the si2;e of the eye) 22. 

22. Least width of beak less than one-fifteenth of its length; caudal peduncle 

longer than depth of body; eastern and central U. S. 
Lepisosteus osseus (Linn.) Long-nosed Gar 
Least width of beak more than one-tenth of its length, in the adult; 
caudal peduncle as long as depth of body; Mississippi Valley 23. 

23. Top of head spotted; usually less than fifty-nine scales in the lateral line 

Cyhndrosteus agassmi Dumeril Spotted Gar 
Lepisosteus productus Cope 
No spots on top of head; usually more than fifty-nine scales in lateral 

Cyhndrosteus platostomus (Raf.) Short-nosed Gar 
Lepisosteus platostomus Raf. 

24. With both eyes on one side of the head; body m.uch flattened sideways, 

with one side dark colored and one side light colored; ascending 
streams from the Atlantic and Gulf coasts; Family Achiridae 
Achirus fasciatus Lacepede Sole 
Not so 25. 

25. With a median chin barbel; dorsal fin extending almost the length of the 

back and divided into a short anterior and a long posterior section; 
pelvic fins inserted before the pectorals; northeastern and north-central 
states; Family Gadidae 

Lota maculosa (LeSueur) Burbot, Ling, Fresh-water Cod 

Lota lota maculosa (LeSueur) 
Not so 26. 

26. With an apparently scaleless skin and with four to eight long barbels 

around the mouth; Family Ameiuridae Catfishes 27. 

Not so 46. 

27. Posterior margin of adipose fin (a small flap of skin without any support- 

ing rays, between the dorsal fin and the tail) joined to back 28. 

Posterior margin of adipose fin free 35. 






LEthenteroki appendix 

A AA 1 A C A L VA 


28. Band of premaxillary teeth with a narrow backwards extension on each 

side; adipose fin separated from the tail fin by a distinct notch; spine 
in the pectoral fin almost smooth behind; about nine inches long; 
Great Lakes to Texas 

Tsloturus flavus Raf . Stone Cat 
Band of premaxillary teeth sharply truncated on each side; not with the 
combination of other characters as above; not over five inches, except 
R. ins}gnis The Mad Toms 29. 

29. Pectoral spine smooth behind or with a few weak serrations near base 30. 
Pectoral spine serrate, the serrations being about one-third or more the 

diameter of the spine 32. 

30. Jaws equal; eastern and central U. S. 

Schilheodes gyrinus (Mitchill) Tadpole Cat 
Schilbeodes mollis (Hermann) 
Lovv'er jaw definitely shorter than the upper 31. 

31. Head wide; color dark, sprinkled with black spots; fins with pale edges; 

Mississippi Valley 

Rahida nocturna (J. & G.) Freckled Stonecat 
Schilheodes nocturnus (J. &' G.) 
Head longer than wide; color yellowish; Gulf States 

Rahida leptacantha (Jordan) Yellow Madtom 
Schilheodes leptacanthus (Jordan) 

32. Pectoral spine strongly serrate behind, the serrations being almost as 

long as the diameter of the spine; with a distinctly mottled color pat- 
tern 33. 
Pectoral spine less strongly serrate behind, the serrations being shorter 
than onc'half the diameter of the spine; color more even 34. 

33. Distance from end of snout to the base of the dorsal fin less than one and 

onC'half times the distance from the notch between the adipose and the 
tail fin and the end of the tail fin; with a dark blotch extending to the 
edge of the adipose fin; Mississippi Valley and streams flowing into 
Lake Michigan 

Rah-ida miura (Jordan) Brindled Stonecat 

Schilheodes miurus (Jordan) 
Distance from end of snout to the base of the dorsal fin more than one 
and one-half times the distance from the notch between the adipose 
and the tail fin to the end of the tail fin; with a dark blotch on the 
base of the adipose fin; southeastern and south-central states, north 
to Indiana 

Rahida eleuthera (Jordan) Furious Mad Tom 

Schilbeodes eleutherus (Jordan) 
(Includes R. furiosa (J. & M.) ) 

34. With a dark blotch around the front of the dorsal fin; jaws nearly equal; 

Wisconsin to Kansas 

Rabida exilis (Nelson) Slender Stonecat 

Schilheodes insignis (Richardson) 
Anterior part of back uniformly colored; upper jaw projecting; N. Y. to 
S. C; common east of the Alleghenies 


Rahida insignis (Richardson) Mad Tom 
Schilheodes viarginatus (Baird) 

35. Rays of anal tin less than sixteen; lower jaw longer than upper; band 

of premaxillary teeth with a narrow backwards extension on each 
side; Mississippi Valley and Gulf States 

OpJadelus olivans (Raf.) Mudcat, Yellow Cat 
Pilodictis olivaris (Raf.) 
(Leptops olivaris (Raf.) ) 
Rays of anal fin sixteen or more; jaws equal or with the upper longer 
than the lower; band of premaxillary teeth without narrow backwards 
extensions 36. 

36. Tail well forked; color bluish or silvery; bony bridge from head to dorsal 

fin complete (except in H. lacustris and H. catus, which have a small 
gap) 37. 

Tail fin rounded or only slightly forked; color brownish or yellowish; 
with a gap in the bony bridge between the head and the dorsal fin 
(may be felt through the skin) 4 1 . 

37. Anal fin long, usually with 30 to 35 rays; eye low, below the middle of 

the side of the head; Mississippi Valley and Gulf States 

Ictalurus furcatus (C. 6? V.) Blue Cat, Fork-tail Cat 
Anal fin shorter, usually with less rays; eye above the middle of the side 
of the head 38. 

38. Anal fin with nineteen or twenty rays, with its base much shorter than 

the head; N. Y. to Texas, in coastal streams 

Haustor catus (Linn.) White Cat 

Ictalurus catus (Linn.) 
Anal fin with twenty-three to thirty rays, with its base about as long as 
the head 39. 

39. Area between the eyes concave, with a groove running back to the dorsal 

fin; Mississippi Valley 

Ictalurus anguilla E. &'K. Eel Cat 
Area between the eyes flattened or slightly convex 40. 

40. Bony bridge from head to dorsal fin complete; length of head about one 

and one-half times the width; body with irregular dark spots; tail fin 
deeply forked, with the upper lobe smaller and more pointed than 
the lower; Great Lakes to the Gulf 

Ictalurus punctatus (Raf.) Channel Cat 

Ictalurus lacustris punctatus (Raf.) 
Usually with a gap in the bony bridge from head to dorsal fin; head 
wider; body spotted or plain colored; tail fin less deeply and more 
regularly forked; Great Lakes area 

Haustor lacustris (Walbaum) Lake Cat 

Ictalurus lacustris lacustris (Walbaum) 

4L Eyes rudimentary, covered by skin; cave streams of eastern Pennsyl- 

Gronias nignlabris Cope BHnd Cat 
Eyes normal 42. 


42. Body slender; length over five times depth; upper jaw strongly project' 

ing; southeastern U. S. 

Ameiurus platycephalus (Girard) Brown Catfish 
Depth more than one-fifth of length; jaws various 43. 

43. Anal rays 23 to 27; chin barbels whitish; Great Lakes and southwards 

Ameiurus natalis (LeSueur) Yellow Bullhead 
Anal rays 17 to 25; chin barbels gray to black 44. 

44. Pectoral spines short, slightly over one-third length of head, almost 

smooth; anal fin with light rays contrasting with dark membranes; 
jaws almost equal; New England to Neb. and southwards 
Ameiurus melas (Raf.) Black Cat 
Pectoral spines longer, almost one-half length of head, serrate in A. 
nehulosus; fins more uniformly colored; upper jaw projecting in 
A. nehulosus 45. 

45. Color usually mottled or blotched; upper jaw longer than lower; Maine 

to N. D. and southwards 

Ameiurus nehulosus (LeSueur) Common Bullhead, Horned Pout 
Color usually plain dark above; jaws almost equal; southeastern U. S. 
Ameiurus erehennus Jordan Black Cat 

46. With an adipose fin (a small flap of skin without any supporting rays, 

between the dorsal fin and the tail) 47. 

No adipose fin 74. 

47. With three branchiostegals (rays in each gill membrane ventral to the 

operculum) ; no pseudobranchiae (small gills on the under side of the 
operculum); southern Texas; Family Characinidae (mostly tropical 

Astyanax mexicanus (Filippi) Characin 
With four or more branchiostegals; with pseudobranchiae 48. 

48. Pectoral fins extending well back beyond the insertion of the pelvic fins; 

with two spines in the anterior end of the dorsal fin; Family Per cop' 

sidae Trout-perch 49. 

Pectoral fins not extending back beyond the insertion of the pelvics; no 

spines in the dorsal fin Trout, Salmon, Whitefish and Graylings 50. 

49. Dorsal spines weak; lateral line complete; northeastern and north-central 


Percopsis omiscomaycus (Walbaum) Trout-perch, Sand-roller 
(Percopsis guttatus Agassiz) 
With two strong dorsal spines; lateral line more or less incomplete; Pa- 
cific Slope 

Columhia transmontana E. 6? E. Western Trout-perch 

50. Lower jaw articulating under or before the eyes; with less than one hun- 

dred scales in the lateral line 51. 

Lower jaw articulating behind the eyes; scales very small, more than one 

hundred in the lateral line; Family Salmonidae Trout and Salmon 62. 

51. With nineteen to twenty-two rays in the dorsal fin; upper Missouri val- 

ley; Family Thymallidae Graylings 

Thymallus montanus Milner Grayling 


With fifteen or less rays in the dorsal fin 52. 

52. With eight to ten branchiostegals; seldom over twelve inches long; as' 

cending streams from the Atlantic and Pacific; Family Osmeridae 
Smelts 53. 

With ten or more branchiostegals; often larger; lake species; Family 
Coregonidae Whitcfish and Lake Herrings 55. 

53. With twenty-one rays in the anal fin; northern Pacific slope 

Thaleichthys paaficus (Richardson) Candlefish 
With fourteen to si.xteen rays in the anal fin 54. 

54. Pectoral fins reaching about to the insertion of the pelvic fins; ascending 

streams from the Pacific 

Spirinchus thaleichthys (Ayres) Pacific Smelt 
Pectoral fins much shorter; ascending streams from the Atlantic, often 

Osmerus mordax (Mitchill) American Smelt, Icefish 

55. Upper jaw extending scarcely, if any, beyond the lower jaw; Great 

Lakes and surrounding territory Lake Herrings (Several species, 
only the most common of which are given here. For details of this 
group, see Koelz, 1931, Papers Mich. Acad. Sci., Arts and Letters, 13 
(1930) ) 56. 

Lower jaw conspicuously overhung by the upper which has the pre' 
maxillaries turned downwards 59. 

56. Lower jaw projecting noticeably beyond the upper; tip of lower jaw 

usually with a symphyseal knob 

Leucichthys hoyi (Gill) Cisco, Bloater 
Jaws almost equal 57. 

57. Usually with less than forty gill rakers on the gill arch; lower jaw pale 

Leucichthys zenithicus (J. 6? E.) Short-jawed Chub 
Usually with more than forty gill rakers on the gill arch; lower jaw pig' 
mented, at least toward the tip 58. 

58. Body deepest anteriorly 

Leucichthys nigripinnis (Gill) Blackfin 
Body deepest through the middle 

Leucichthys artedx (LeSueur) Common Lake Herring 

59. With 17 to 20 gill rakers on the lower section of the first gill arch 

(below the bend) ; body much compressed; Great Lakes 
Coregonus clupeaformis (Mitchill) Whitefish 
With 12 to 16 gill rakers on the lower section of the first gill arch; 
body not so much compressed 60. 

60. Base of adipose fin as long as the base of the anal fin; Columbia River 


IriUion oregonius (J. ^ S.) Chisel-mouth Jack 
Base of adipose fin shorter (Several species, of which the two most widely 
distributed are given) 61. 

61. Upper jaw not reaching to below the front of the eye; New England to 

the Great Lakes 


Prosopium quadrilaterale (Richardbon) Frostfish, Pilot 
Prosopium cylindraceum quadrilaterale (Richardson) 
Upper jaw reaching below the front of the eye; western states 

Prosopium wiUiamsoni (Girard) Rocky Mountain Whitefish 

62. Anal fin with thirteen to seventeen rays; ascending streams from the Pa' 

cific; breeding males usually with red coloring 63. 

Anal fin with less than thirteen rays 67. 

63. Scale count over 170; tail with oval dark spots in adults 

Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (Walbaum) Humpback Salmon 
Scale count less than 160; tail with or without spots 64. 

64. With 30 to 40 gill rakers on the first gill arch; color blue above, un- 


Oncorhynchus ner\a (Walbaum) Sockeye, Blueback 
With 20 to 25 gill rakers on the first gill arch 65. 

65. Head depressed, snout produced, with eye about midway in head; with 

or without fine dots, but no definite dark spots 

Oncorhynchus \eta (Walbaum) Dog Salmon 
Head conical; eye anterior in head; back often spotted 66. 

66. Usually with 15 to 17 rays in the anal fin; back and tail well spotted 

Oncorhynchus tschawytscha (Walbaum) Chinook, King 
Usually with 13 or 14 rays in the anal fin; back often spotted, tail usually 
less so 

Oncorhynchus \isutch (Walbaum) Silver Salmon, Coho 

67. Sides with some red or orange spots (red lost in preserved specimens) ; 

pectoral and pelvic fins with white outer rays or borders (Only the 
most common species are given here) 68. 

Spots yellowish or dark; with or v/ithout red blotches or a red band 
along each side; no white outer borders to pectorals and pelvics (Only 
widely distributed species are included) 71. 

68. Scale count about 120; with inconspicuous white borders to the pectoral 

and pelvic fins; usually with some of the spots cross or star-shaped; an 
introduced European species 

Salmo trutta Linn. Brown Trout 
Salmo trutta fario Linn. 
{Trutta eriox (Linn.) ) 
Scale count usually over 200; with conspicuous white borders to the 
pectoral and pelvic fins; dark spots usually not cross or star-shaped; 
native species Charrs 69. 

69. Back pale-spotted above; western species 

Salvelinus malma spectabilis (Girard) Dolly Varden Trout 
Back not pale-spotted above; eastern species 70. 

70. Back marbled with dark coloring in adults; maxillary extending well be 

yond the eye; eastern states, and introduced into some western states 

Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchill) Brook Trout 
Back not marbled with dark; maxillary extending scarcely beyond the 
eye; N. H. and Vermont 

Salvelinus aureolus Bean Golden Trout, American Saibling 


71. Back dark, with numerous small yellowish spots; northern states 

Cristivomer namaycush (Walbaum) Lake Trout, Togue 
Spots darker than body color 72. 

72. Scale count about 120; males with red blotches; breeding males with the 

lower jaw strongly hooked upwards; north Atlantic, entering rivers 
south to Cape Cod 

Salmo salar Linn. Atlantic Salmon 
(Landlocked subspecies "sehago") 
Scale count more than 130; western species, also introduced into the 
eastern states 73. 

73. With a red streak on each side of the lower jaw along the inner sides 

of the mandibles; males sometimes with red coloring on the sides; tail 

Salmo clar\\i (Richardson) Cutthroat Trout 
(Trutta clar\ii (Richardson) ) 
No red streaks so situated; usually with a reddish band along each side; 
tail not spotted in young (Formerly considered to be two species, the 
silvery, sea^going "Steelhead" and the heavily spotted, fresh-water 

Salmo gairdnern (Richardson) Rainbow Trout or Steelhead 
(Licludes Salmo shasta (Jordan) or Salmo irideus Gibbons) 

74. Anus jugular 75. 
Anus in the normal position before the anal fin 81. 

75. Pelvic fins thoracic; eyes normal; about seven to eight inches long; N. Y. 

to Texas; Family Aphredoderidae 

Aphredoderus sayanus (Gilliams) Pirate-perch 
Pelvic fins absent or else very small and abdominal; eyes very small or 
absent; less than six inches long; Family Amhlvopsidae Cave Fishes 


76. With small eyes; body colored; no pelvic fins 77. 
Eyes concealed; body colorless; with or without pelvic fins 79. 

77. Sides brown, unstriped; underground streams of Kentucky 

Forhesella agassizii (Putnam) Kentucky Cavefish 
With three dark stripes on each side 78. 

78. With ridges of sensory papillae on the sides of the body; in Illinois caves 

Forhesella papillifera (Forbes) Illinois Cavefish 
No sensory papillae on sides of body; in swamps of southern states 
Chologaster cornutus Agassiz; Rice-ditch Fish 

79. With small pelvic fins; caves of Kentucky and Indiana 

Amhlyopsis spelaeus De Kay Mammoth Cave Blindfish 
No pelvic fins 80. 

80. Pectoral fins not reaching back to the anal fin; cave streams from Indiana 

to Alabama 

Typhhchthys suhterraneus Girard Small Blindfish 
Pectoral fins reaching back to the insertion of the anal fin; caves of Mis' 
souri and Arkansas 

Troglichthys rosae (Eigenmann) Missouri Cavefish 


81. No spines in the dorsal fin; pelvic fins absent or abdominal (first ray or 

spine nearer to the first soft ray of the anal fin than to the union of or 
line between the lower corners of the gill membranes) 82. 

Dorsal fin with or preceded by one or more spines, which sometimes ap' 
pear as a soft'spined finlet preceding the dorsal fin or as an anterior 
dorsal fin; pelvic fins jugular, thoracic, abdominal or absent 272. 

82. Lateral line running along each side of the belly; mouth in the form of a 

narrow beak full of sharp teeth, resembling a gar's; Atlantic and Gulf 
coasts, ascending streams; Family Belonidae (many marine species) 
Strongylura marina (Walbaum) Garfish, Billfish 
Lateral line, if present, running along each side of the body; mouth not 
so 83. 

83. Head with scales (sometimes minute, best seen by scraping the head 

gently towards the front) ; either with the jaws flattened and shaped 
somewhat like a duck's beak, or else small fishes, with the tail scarcely 
or not emarginate 84. 

Head without scales; jaws not as above in most species; tail usually dis' 
tinctly emarginate or forked (except in one introduced species. Tinea 
tinea Linn.) 114. 

84. Jaws shaped like a duck's beak; lateral line present, although sometimes 

faint; tail forked; Family Esoeidae Pikes 85. 

Jaws not so; no lateral line or with merely a few scattered pores (a dark 

lateral stripe may or may not be present) ; tail scarcely or not emargin- 

ate; seldom over six inches long 89. 

85. No scales on lower half of cheek; branchiostegals (rays in each gill mem- 

brane below the operculum) seventeen to nineteen; (sides dark barred 
or spotted in subspecies ohiensis, plain colored in subspecies immaeula^ 
tus or Great Northern Pike) ; Ohio Valley, Wisconsin and Minnc 
sota; Chautauqua Lake, N. Y. 

Esox masquinongy Mitchill Muskallunge, Great Pike 
Cheeks wholly scaled; with eleven to sixteen branchiostegals 86. 

86. No scales on the lower half of the operculum; with rows of light spots 

along the sides; northern states (An unspotted variety called the "Sil' 
ver Pike" is found in Minnesota) 

Esox estor LeSueur Common Pike, Pickereb 
Esox lucius Linn. 
Operculum all scaled; sides with dark markings 87. 

87. With fourteen rays in the dorsal fin, thirteen in the anal; scale count 

over 115; with a network of dark lines on the sides; Atlantic and Gulf 

Esox niger LeSueur Chain Pickerel, Common Eastern Pickerel 
(Lucius retieulatus (LeSueur) ) 
Dorsal and anal fins each with eleven or twelve rays; scale count less than 
115 88. 

88. Usually with irregular dark markings; tributaries of the eastern Great 

Lakes and the Mississippi Valley 

Esox vermieulatus LeSueur Grass Pickerel, Little Pickerel 


Usually with about twenty dark bars on each side; east of the Alleghen' 
ies (Possibly a variation of E. vermiculatus) 

Esox americanus Gmclin Barred Pickerel 

89. Upper lip protractile, separated from the forehead by a distinct groove 

Top-minnows and Killifishes 90. 

Not so Mud-minnows 112. 

90. Pelvic fins usually absent; desert species of the southwest 91. 
Pelvic fins usually present 93. 

91. Sides of female with obscure dark bars; males blue; depth of body almost 

one-half the length; jaw teeth with three points 

Cyprinodon nevadensis Eigenmann (of Family Cyprinodontidae) 

Sides blotched or mottled; body less deep; jaw teeth conical or with two 

points 92. 

92. Sides dark mottled; jaw teeth conical; Family Empetrichthyidae 

Empetrichthys merriami Gilbert Death Valley Minnow 
Sides v.'ith dark blotches arranged in lengthwise rows; jaw teeth with 
two points 

Cyprinodon haileyi Gilbert (of Family Cy prinodontidae) 
Crenichthys haileyi (Gilbert ) 

93. Anal fin of male long and sword-shaped; body of female enlarged 

through the region of the abdomen; viviparous species; Family 

Poeciliidae 94. 

Anal fin normal; abdomen more compressed; not viviparous; Family Cy- 

prinodontidae 97. 

94. Dorsal fin with about fifteen or sixteen rays; anal fin of female with 

about eight rays; southern states to Texas 

Mollienesia latipinna LeSueur Mudfish, Mollie 
Dorsal fin with about seven to nine rays; anal fin of female with about 
six to ten rays 95. 

95. Dorsal fin starting above or before the beginning of the anal fin; Colora- 

do River basin 

Poeciliopsis occidentalis (B. £«? G.) 
Dorsal fin more posterior than the anal fin 96. 

96. Lower jaw weak; teeth movable; southern states 

Heterandna formosa Agassis Top-minnow 
Lower jaw projecting; teeth slightly movable; southern Atlantic and 
Gulf coasts and lower Mississippi Valley 

Gamhusia patruelis (B. & G.) Viviparous Top-minnow 
Caynhusia affinis (B. 6? G.) 

97. Dorsal fin more posterior than the anal fin, with eleven or less rays 98. 
Dorsal fin usually starting above or before the beginning of the anal fin, 

with nine or more rays 102. 

98. Dorsal fin with nine or ten rays; sides plain colored or each with a dark 

lengthwise band 99. 

Dorsal fin with seven or eight rays; sides barred or striped or with length- 
wise rows of dark spots 100. 


99. With a dark hand lengthwise along each side; central states 
Zygonectes notatus (Raf.) Striped Top'minnow 
Fundulns notatus (Raf.) 
Plain greenish colored; S. D. to Colorado 

Zygonectes sciadicus (Cope) Western Top-minnow 
(Fundulus sciad]cus Cope) 

100. Fins red; with about fifteen faint cross bars; N. Y. to Florida 

Zygonectes cmguhtus (C. & V.) Banded Top-minnow 
(Fundulus cingulatus C. 6? V.) 
Fins not red; with nine to twelve cross bars or with lengthwise stripes or 
rows of spots 101. 

101. Scales dark-edged, with these spots arranged in lengthwise rows; Gulf 


Zygonectes guttatus Agassis Spotted Top-minnow 
(Fundulus guttatus (Agassiz) ) 
Male with rows of dark spots and with dark bars; female with dark 
stripes; central states 

Zygonectes dispar Agassiz; Starhead Top-minnow 
Fundulus dispar Agassiz 

102. Depth of body almost one-half the length, with the anterior area elevat' 

ed; females dark barred; males blue above, yellow to red below 103. 
Body more slender 104. 

103. In the Atlantic and Gulf states 

Cyprinodon variegatus Lacepede Sheephead Minnow, 
Pursy Minnow 
Desert species of the southwest 

Cyprinodon macularius B. ^ G. Desert Minnow 

104. Scale count usually over forty or length about five times depth or both 

Scale count usually less than forty; body less slender 108. 

105. Body orange spotted 106. 
Sides with dark bars 107. 

106. Scales with orange spots forming rows; south-central states and Ozark 


'X.enisma catenatum (Storer) Studfish 
Body irregularly orange spotted; Alabama river system 
%enisma stellifer Jordan Alabama Studfish 

107. Body slender, being almost five times as long as deep; scale count 35 to 

55; eastern and north-central U. S. (Subspecies menona is the west' 
ern subspecies distinguished by having diifuse bars forming a length' 
wise stripe toward the tail) 

Zygonectes diaphanus (LeSueur) Menona Top-minnow 
Fundidus diaphanus (LeSueur) 
Body less slender; scale count about 60; S. D. to New Mexico 
Plancterus zebra (Girard) Zebra Top-minnow 
(Fundulus zehrinus J. & G.) 


108. With one row of teeth in each jaw; usually with nine to twelve rays in 

the dorsal fin; scale count 25 to 32 109. 

Teeth in two or more rows; usually with eleven to thirteen rays in the 

dorsal fin; scale count 34 to 39 110. 

109. Depth of body about one-fourth of length; with a dark stripe along each 

side ending in a spot at the base of the tail fin; Florida everglades 
Chriopeops goodei (Jordan) Florida Killifish 
(Lucania goodei Jordan) 
Depth of body about one-third of length; sides and back greenish; with 
a dark spot at the base of the dorsal fin; Atlantic and Gulf coasts 
Lucania parva (B. ^ G.) Rainwater Fish, Little Killifish 

110. Fins plain colored; dorsal fin usually with thirteen rays; sides of male 

dark barred; southern West Coast 

Fundidus parvipmms Girard Western Killifish 
Fins with light or dark spots; dorsal fin usually with eleven or twelve 
rays; Atlantic and Gulf coasts 111. 

111. Snout short, about equal in length (before eye) to the diameter of the 

eye; fins usually pale spotted; females mostly plain colored; males with 
silvery bars on sides; Atlantic and Gulf coasts 

Fundidus hetcrochtus (Linn.) Common Killifish, Mummichog 
Snout longer; fins usually dark blotched; with dark bars (males) or dark 
stripes; Atlantic coast 

Fuyidulus viajahs (Walbaum) Mayfish 

112. Scale count about 30 to 60; with 18 to 25 rays in the pectoral fins; sides 

dark barred, faintly dark striped in the breeding season; northwestern 
U. S.; Family T^ovumhridae 

T^ovumhra hubbsi Schultz; Western Mud-minnow 
Scale count about 30 to 40; with about 14 rays in the pectoral fins; sides 
dark barred or dark striped; eastern and central states; Family Uw 
hridae 113. 

113. With transverse bars; northeastern and north-central states 

Umbra limi (Kirtland) Eastern Barred Mud-minnow 
With lengthwise stripes; Atlantic slope 

Umbra pygmaea (De Kay) Eastern or Striped Mud-minnow 

114. Gill membranes (thin wall of skin closing the gill chamber below) free 

from the isthmus (fleshy part between the gill openings), so that they 

appear split far forvv'ard and meeting at an acute angle below the chin; 

jaw teeth may or may not be present 115. 

Gill membranes broadly joined to the isthmus; no teeth on the jaws 121. 

115. Lateral line present; Family Hiodontidae 116. 
No lateral line 117. 

116. With nine rays in the dorsal fin; Ohio Valley and Great Lakes 

Amphiodon alosoides Raf. Goldeyes 
With twelve rays in the dorsal fin; Mississippi Valley 

Hiodon tergisus LeSueur Mooneye, Silver Bass 

117. Last ray of dorsal fin much elongated; eastern and central states; Family 



Dorosoma cepedianum (LeSueur) Gizzard Shad 
Dorsal fin not so; Family Clupeidae Herrings 118. 

118. Toothless; upper jaw appearing notched at tip 119. 
With weak teeth; upper jaw not notched 120. 

119. With one or more small dark spots behind the operculum; ascending 

streams from the Atlantic; introduced on the Pacific slope 
Alosa sapidissima (Wilson) Common Shad 
Without such spots; Ohio River, Mississippi Valley 
Alosa ohiensis Evermann Ohio Shad 

120. With a small black spot behind the operculum; Atlantic states 

Poynolohus pseudoharengus (Wilson) Alewife 
No such spot; Mississippi Valley and Gulf 

Pomolohus chrysochloris Raf. Skipjack, Blue Herring 

121. Dorsal fin with more than ten rays (rarely as few as nine) or else with 

the lips thick, wrinkled, and covered with minute projections; with 
numerous pharyngeal teeth in a comb'like series; Family Catostomidae 
Suckers 122. 

Dorsal fin with not more than ten rays; lips usually thinner; edge of 
upper jaw formed by the premaxillaries alone; with less than ten teeth 
on each pharyngeal bar; Family Cyprinidae Minnows 157. 

122. Dorsal fin long, with twentythree to forty rays 123. 
Dorsal fin shorter, with nine to twenty rays 130. 

123. Scales small, about fifty-six in the lateral line; eye behind middle of 

head; Mississippi Valley 

Cycleptus elongatus (LeSueur) Blackhorse, Missouri Sucker 
Scales larger, not over forty-five in the lateral line; eye before middle of 
head 124. 

124. Longest ray of dorsal fin usually shorter than one-half the base of the 

dorsal fin; anterior fontanelle (on front of skull) reduced or absent; 

Mississippi Valley 125. 

Longest ray of dorsal fin usually one-half or more as long as the base of 

the fin; with a well developed anterior fontanelle 127. 

125. Mouth terminal, very oblique, about on a level with the lower margin 

of the eye; gill rakers on first arch, counted from posterior face, almost 

Megastomatohus cyprinella (C. & V.) Common Buffalo 
Mouth subterminal to inferior, less oblique; upper lip below the level of 
the lower margin of the eye; gill rakers so situated less than 60 126. 

126. Back with a high elevation; depth of body more than one-third the length 

Ictiohus huhalus (Raf.) Small-mouth or Razor-back Buffalo 
Back only slightly elevated; depth of body about one-third the length 
(Not clearly distinct from the preceding species) 

Ictiohus urns (Agassiz) Mongrel or Black Buffalo 
Ictiohus niger (Raf.) 

127. Longest ray of dorsal fin almost as long as the base of the fin; about a foot 

long 128. 










noxosTonA sp. 


Longest ray of dorsal fin about half as long as the base of the fin; often 
larger 129. 

128. Mouth mostly before a vertical from the nostrils; Mississippi Valley to 

the Rio Grande 

Carpiodesvelifer (Raf.) Quillback 
Carpiodes cyprinus (LeSueur) 
Mouth farther back, the nostrils being very near the end of the snout; 
Ohio Valley and westward 

Carpiodes dijformis Cope Blunt'nosed River Carp 
Carpiodes velifer (Raf.) 

129. Mouth mostly before a vertical from the nostrils; Nebraska area 

Carpiodes thompsoni Agassiz Lake Carp 
Carpiodes forhesi Hubbs 
Mouth farther back, the nostrils being very near the end of the snout; 
Ohio Valley to Texas 

Carpiodes carpw (Raf.) Common River Carp 

130. Scales small, with the scale count more than fifty-five 131. 
Scales larger, with the scale count less than fifty-five 148. 

131. With a large hump back of the head; Colorado River basin 

Xyrauchen texanus (Abbott) Humpback Sucker 
(Xyrauchen cypho (Lockington) ) 
Not so ' ^ 132. 

132. Upper lip thin; mouth terminal; western states 133. 
Upper lip thick; mouth inferior 138. 

133. Scale count about 65; Utah and Nevada 134. 
Scale count 70 to 80; vicinity of Klamath Lakes, Oregon 136. 

134. Lips with numerous tubercles; Utah Lake 

Chasmistes fecundus (C. 5? Y.) Webug Sucker 
Lips not tuberculate 135. 

135. End of nose high; Utah Lake 

Chasmistes liorus Jordan June Sucker 
Nose less prominent; Pyramid Lake, Nevada 

Chasmistes cujus Cope Couia, Kweewee, Quiwee 

136. Snout short and even 

Chasmistes hrevirostris Cope Yen, Tswam 
Spines of premaxillaries projecting to form a knob on top of snout 137. 

137. Dark spotted above 

Deltistes luxatus (Cope) Lost River Sucker 
Chasmistes luxatus Cope 
Dusky above 

Chasmistes stomias Gilbert Klamath Lake Sucker 

138. Head depressed, transversely concave between the eyes; eye well behind 

middle of head; scales even; scale count 45 to 55; eastern and north' 
central states 

HypenteUum nigricans (LeSueur) Hog Sucker 
Head less depressed; position of eye various; scale count often greater; 
scales smaller and crowded anteriorly 139. 


139. Posterior fontanelle (on top of skull) obliterated by the junction of the 

parietal bones in adult specimens; head 4^2 to 5 in length; eye usually 
behind middle of head; scale count over sixty'five; pelvic fins inserted 
below/ the posterior end of the base of the dorsal fin; Rocky Mountain 
region Mountain Suckers 140. 

With a large posterior fontanelle; head 4 to 41/2 in length; eye usually 
about midway in head; other characters various; generally distributed 


140. Scale count about 80 141. 
Scale count 90 to 100 143. 

141. With less than 25 scales before the dorsal fin; brown above; Gila Basin 

J\[otolepidomyzon clar^i! (B. 6? G.) Gila Sucker 
(Pontosteus cJar\ii (B. 6?G.) ) 
With 28 to 50 scales before the dorsal fin 142. 

142. Body slender, about five times as long as deep; male with a red stripe 

along each side; about eight inches long; Colorado Basin 

Jsiotolepidoviyzon generosus (Girard) Mountain Sucker 

(Pantosteus generosus (Girard) ) 
Body stouter; male with orange markings; about twelve inches long; Rio 
Grande Valley 

Jslotolepidomyzon plebius (B. ^ G.) Rio Grande Sucker 

(Pantosteus plebius (B. 5? G.) ) 

143. Tail slender; males with reddish coloring on the sides; tributaries of the 


Pantosteus delphinus (Cope) Bluehead Sucker 
Tail peduncle stout; male with an orange stripe along each side; north' 
western species 

Pantosteus jordani Evermann 

144. Scale count more than eighty 145. 
Scale count less than eighty 146. 

145. Fins ver>' large, the pectorals reaching to below the front end of the 

base of the dorsal fin, the pelvics reaching almost to the anal fin; upper 
lip very thick, with five or six rows of small tubercles; lower Colorado 

Catostomus latipinnis B. 6? G. Flannel-mouthed Sucker 
Fins much smaller; upper lip thinner, with about three rows of small 
tubercles; northern states 

Catostomus catostomus (Forster) Long-nose or Northern Sucker 

146. Scale count 55 to 70; length four to five times depth; Mass. to Colorado 

Catostomus commersonii (Lacepede) Common Sucker 
Scale count usually over 70; usually more slender, depth being about 
five in length 147. 

147. Upper lip full and overhanging, with six to eight rov^-s of papillae; Co- 

lumbia River Basin 

Catostomus macrocherlus Girard Biglip Sucker 
Upper lip thinner, with five or six rows of papillae; California 
Catostomus occidentalis Ayres Sacramento Sucker 


148. No indication of lateral line 149. 
Lateral line present, although sometimes broken 150. 

149. Body compressed, about three times as long as deep; with 38 or less 

evenly arranged scales along the side; west to Texas 

Erimyzon sucetta (Lacepede) Chub Sucker, Creek Fish 
Body longer, less compressed; with 39 or more irregularly arranged 

scales along the side; eastern and central states (Considered by some 

to be a subspecies of the preceding) 

Erimyzon ohlongus (Mitchill) Chub Sucker, Mullet 

150. Lateral line broken; Great Lakes area to Montana 

Minytrema vielanops (Raf.) Spotted Sucker 
Lateral line complete 151. 

151. Upper lip not protractile; lower lip in two separate lobes; formerly most 

of central U. S., possibly extinct 

Lagochila lacera J. 6? B. Rabbit-mouth or Harelip Sucker 
Upper lip protractile; lower lip entire or more or less lobed 152. 

152. Head transversely concave between the eyes; eye very far back in head; 

lower lip tuberculate, very thick, with two almost separate lobes; snout 
much produced downwards; eastern and north'central states 
Hypentdium nigricans (LeSueur) Hog Sucker 
Head flat above or slightly convex; eye somewhat nearer middle of head 


153. Eye somewhat behind middle of head; no posterior fontanelle, the parie- 

tal bones being united in this region (on top of skull) ; restricted region 
of Virginia and W. Virginia in mountain headwaters 
Thoburnia rhothoeca (Thoburn) 
Eye about midway in head; with a large posterior fontanelle 154. 

154. Mouth large, oblique; with six to ten large cylindrical teeth on the 

lower part of the pharyngeal bar; Michigan to Georgia and Arkansas 
Placopharynx carinatus Cope Big-jaw Sucker 
Mouth smaller, horizontal; pharyngeal teeth all small 155. 

155. Dorsal rays 12 to 15; under fins often red; getting to be over a foot 

long in most species; usually found in rivers and ponds (A difficult 
group. Revised by Hubbs, 1930, Univ. of Michigan Museum of Zool. 
Misc. Pub. No. 20. A representative species is given here.) ; eastern 
and central U. S. 

Moxostoma aureolum (LeSueur) Common Redhorse 
Dorsal rays 10 to 12; under lins not much reddish; small suckers usually 
found in mountain streams; south Atlantic states 156. 

156. Scales pale spotted in lengthwise rows 

Scartomyzon cervinus (Cope) Jumping Mullet, Crawl-a-bottom 
Back dusky 

Scartomyzon rupiscartes (J. & J.) Jumprocks 

157. With a barbel present on the maxillary (minute and usually concealed 

by the fold near the corner of the mouth) 158. 

No trace of maxillary barbel 182. 


158. Tail fin slightly emarginate; a moderately large European species intrc 

duced into the eastern states 
Tinea tinea Linn. Tench 
Tail fin distinctly emarginate or forked 159. 

159. Upper lobe of tail fin longer than the lower lobe, in adult specimens; 

about twelve inches long; California 

Pogonichthys macrole pi dolus (Ayres) Splittail 
Lobes of tail fin equal 160. 

160 With two barbels on each side of the mouth; two inches long; Arkansas 
and Kansas 

Extrarius tetranemus (Gilbert) 
With one barbel on each side of the mouth 161. 

161. Premaxillaries not protractile 162. 
Premaxillaries protractile 164. 

162. Scale count about 50; lips thick; eastern states 

Parexoglossum laurae Hubbs Eastern Tonguetied Minnow 
Scale count 60 to 70; lips thin 163. 

163. Snout projecting considerably beyond the mouth; color dark; widely dis' 

tributed over northern U. S., south to North Carolina 

Rhimchthys cataractae (C. 6? V.) Long-nosed Dace 
Snout projecting very little beyond the mouth; with a dark band along 
each side; Maine to Minn, and southwards 

Rhinichthys atronasus (Mitchill) Black-nosed Dace 
B.himchthys atratulus (Hermann) 
(Includes R. meleagns Agassiz) 

164. Barbel situated before the end of the maxillary 165. 
Barbel situated at the end of the maxillary, at the junction of the upper 

and lower lip 167. 

165. Dorsal fin with a distinct black blotch at the base, from the first to the 

third ray; Maine to N. J. and Wyoming 

Semotilus atromaculatiis (Mitchill) Horned Dace 
No such fin spot 166. 

166. Scale count about 45 ; east of the AUeghenies 

Leucosomus corporalis (Mitchill) Fallfish 
Scale count 50 to 75; with scattered dark-colored scales forming a spotted 
pattern above; Lake Erie and southwards 

Margariscus margarita (Cope) Pearl Minnow 

167. Scales small, 58 to 90 in the lateral line 168. 
Scales larger, 35 to 56 in the lateral line 176. 

168. Pharyngeal teeth thick, blunt, scarcely hooked, 5-5 in the main row; 

scale count about 75; with two dark bands along each side; about a 
foot long; northwestern U. S. 

Mylocheilus lateralis A. ^ P. Columbia River Chub 

Mylocheilus caurinus (Richardson) 
Pharyngeal teeth slender, hooked, 4-4 in the main row; smaller fishes 169. 

169. Barbels well developed; pharyngeal teeth 2-4-4-2; lateral line complete; 

northern states 


Couesius plumheus (Agassiz) Chub Minnow 
Barbels minute; pharyngeal teeth 4-4 or 1'4'4'1; lateral line incomplete 
in some species 170. 

170. Pharyngeal teeth in one row (4-4); scale count over 80; Gila River 


Agosia chrysogaster Girard 
Pharyngeal teeth in two rows (1'4'4'1) ; scale count under 80, except in 
A. oscula 171. 

171. With ten or eleven rays in the dorsal fin 172. 
With eight rays in the dorsal fin 173. 

172. Scale count over 60; inner rays of pelvic fins not joined to body; Idaho 

Apocope umatilla (G. &? E.) 
Scale count under 60; inner rays of pelvic fins joined to body; Columbia 
River Basin 

Apocope falcata (E. & E.) 

173. Scale count over 80; color greenish, with red patches about the head; 

Colorado and Gila Rivers 

Apocope oscula (Girard) 
Scale count under 80 174. 

174. Scale count under 70; with one dark band on each side; Columbia River 

basin and coastwise streams of Wash, and Oregon 
Apocope nuhila (Girard) 
Scale count 70 to 80; Colorado River Basin 175. 

175. With two dark bands on each side 

Apocope yarrowi (J. & E.) 
Dusky above 

Apocope couesii Yarrow 

176. Head flattened; scale count about 50; headwaters of the Missouri River 

and surrounding territory 

Platygohio gracilis (Richardson) Flat-headed Chub 
Head not so much flattened above; scale count various 177. 

177. Mouth terminal; eye shorter than upper jaw 178. 
Mouth distinctly overhung by snout; eye longer than upper jaw, except 

in M. aestivalis 179. 

178. With a round dark spot at the base of the tail fin; northward and east- 

ward from the 02;arks 

Jslocomis \entuc\iensis (Raf.) Hornyhead Chub 
l\locomis higuttatus (Kirtland) 
Caudal spot irregular and indistinct; eastern and east-central U. S. 
7<locomis micropogon (Cope) River Chub 

179. Not spotted; pharyngeal teeth in two rows (1-4-4-1 or 1-4-4-0); eastern 

and central U. S. to Oklahoma 180, 

Body with dark spots; pharyngeal teeth in one row (4-4) 181. 

180. Plain silvery colored 

Erinemus storerianus (Kirtland) Silver Chub 
Hyhopsis storerianus (Kirtland) 


With a dark band along each side 

Hyhopsis amblops (Raf.) Bigeye Chub 

181. Eye very large, its diameter being more than one-third as long as the 

head; north-central states 

Erimystax dissimiUs (Kirtland) Spotted Shiner 
Eye small; found in the region between the Mississippi and the Rockies 
Macrhyhopsis aestwahs (Girard) Speckled Dace 
Extrarius aesUvaUs (Girard) 

182. Pharyngeal teeth 6-6 or 6-5; no pseudobranchiae; scale count about 100; 

over a foot long; California 

Orthodon microlepidotus (Ayrcs) Blackfish 
Pharyngeal teeth usually 5-5, 5-4, or 4-4 in the main row; with fewer 
scales in most species 183. 

183. First ray of dorsal fin thickened and separated from the rest by a mem' 

brane (often difficult to distinguish); pharyngeal teeth 4-4; scale 

count usually under 50 184. 

First ray of dorsal fin slender and closely attached to the next 187. 

184. Peritoneum black; intestine more than twice as long as body; belly often 

appearing swollen 185. 

Peritoneum light; intestine less than twice as long as body; belly usually 

narrower 186. 

185. Lateral line more or less incomplete; with a faint to distinct dark lateral 

stripe; N. Y. to Texas 

Pimephales promelas Raf. Fathead 
Lateral line complete; usually with a dark lateral stripe; Dakotas south 
and east 

Hyhorhyyichus notatus (Raf.) Blunt-nosed Minnow 

186. Anal region with dark pigment; with a vertically oval dark spot on the 

base of the tail fin; Ozark region 

CeraUchthys tenellus (Girard) Mountain Minnow 
Anal region unpigmented; with a round dark spot on the base of the tail 
fin; central states to Okla. and Texas 

Ceratichthys vigilax B. & G. Bullhead Minnow 
Ceratichthys perspicuus (Girard) 
(Includes Cochlognathus ornatus B. ^ G.) 

187. Lower lobe of tail fin longer than the upper; snout like a pickerel's; 

pharyngeal teeth 4-5 or 5-5, thick, blunt, scarcely hooked; about three 
feet long; Cal. and Oregon 

Mylopharodon conocephalus (B. fe? G.) Kaweah Chub, Hardhead 

Lobes of tail fin about equal or with the upper slightly longer than the 

lower; other characters various 188. 

188. With a sharp horny plate on each jaw; scale count about 85; pharyngeal 

teeth 4-5; about a foot long; northwestern U. S. 
Acrocheilus alutaceus A. & P. Chiselmouth 
Not so 189. 

189. Caudal peduncle very long and slender, almost round; pharyngeal teeth 

4-5 or 5-5; about a foot long; western species 190. 


Caudal peduncle less extreme 192. 

190. Scale count about 65; California 

Lavinia exilicauda B. & G. Hitch 
Scale count about 80; Gila and Colorado Rivers 191. 

191. Scales scarcely overlapping, much reduced on back and belly; about a 

foot long 

Gila elegans B. &? G. Bonytail, Gila Trout 
Scales slightly overlapping, not so much reduced on back and belly; 
somewhat larger in the adult 

Gila rohusta B. 5? G. Roundtail 

192. Snout very long, resembling a pickerel's, with the distance from the eye 

to the end of the snout more than twice the diameter of the eye; phar' 

yngeal teeth 4-5 or 5'5; very large fishes, getting to be three to five 

feet long; western species 193. 

Snout shorter; si2;e smaller 194. 

193. Body slender, more than five times as long as deep; getting to be five feet 

long; Colorado River Valley 

Ptychocheilus lucius Girard White Salmon 
Body not so slender; getting to be somewhat over three feet long; Pacific 

Ptychocheilus oregonensis (Richardson) Squawfish, Chappaul 

194. Premaxillaries not protractile 195. 
Premaxillaries protractile 197. 

195. Lips thin; scale count over 60; Maine to Minn, and southwards 

Rhinichthys atronasus (Mitchill) Black-nosed Dace 
Rhinichthys atratulus (Hermann) 
(Includes R. meleagris Agassiz,) 
Lips thick or lobed; scale count less than 60 196. 

196. Lips thick but not lobed; eastern states 

Parexoglossum laurae Hubbs Eastern Tongue-tied Minnow 
Lower lip with a fleshy lobe on each side; N. Y. to Virginia 
Exoglossum maxillingua (LeSueur) Cut-lips 

197. Lower lip with a fleshy lobe on each side; central states 

Phenacohius mirahihs (Girard) Sucker-mouthed Minnow 
Lower lip not lobed 198. 

198. Intestine wound spirally around the air bladder; ridge of lower jaw 

separated by a distinct groove from the lower lip; color brownish; 
N. Y. to Texas 

Campostoma anomalum (Raf.) Stone-roller 
Intestine not so; ridge of lower jaw usually less set off from lip; color 
various 199. 

199. Herbivorous or mud-eaters; intestine more than twice as long as the body, 

the contents often visible through the body wall as a dark mass; lining 
of body cavity usually dark; belly often appearing swollen 200. 

Carnivorous; intestine less than two times the body length; lining of 
body cavity pale in most but not all species; belly usually narrower 



200. With two dark stripes along each side; lateral line incomplete or lack' 

ing; pharyngeal teeth 4'5 or 5-5; scale count usually over 50 201. 

With one or no stripe on side; lateral line complete; pharyngeal teeth 

4-4; scale count under 50 204. 

201. Stripes on sides not extended to form dark spots on tail; S. D. and 


Chrosomiis da\otensis E. & C. 
One or both stripes on each side extended to form a spot on the tail fin 


202. Both lateral stripes on each side united on the tail; Susquehanna River 


Chrosomus eos Cope 
With one stripe on each side extending on to the tail 203. 

203. With the lower lateral stripe extending on to the tail; breeding males 

with red bellies and yellow fins; Colorado to the St. Lawrence River 
Chrosomus erythrogaster Raf . Red-bellied Dace 
With the upper lateral stripe extending on to the tail; upper Roanoke 

and Tennessee Rivers 

Chrosomus areas Cope 

204. Color greenish, with a dark lateral stripe from snout to tail; no sym' 

physeal protuberance; Illinois to Wyoming and the Ozarks 
Dionda nuhila (Forbes) 
Color gold or silvery, unstriped; with a prominent hard protuberance at 
the tip of the inside of the lower jaw 205. 

205. Sides with a golden sheen; dorsal fin evenly rounded; N. Y. to Montana 

and southward westerly to Colorado 

Hyhognathus han\insoni Hubbs Brassy Minnow 
Sides silvery; posterior rays of dorsal fin abruptly shorter than anterior 
rays; eastern and central states to Texas 

Hyhognathus nuchahs Agassiz Silvery Minnow 
(Includes H. regius Girard) 

206. Abdomen between the pelvic fins and the anal fin compressed to a keel' 

like edge, which is unsealed (difiicult to see in young specimens) ; anal 
rays eleven to fourteen; scale count about fifty; pharyngeal teeth 5 '5; 
six to eight inches long; (fins red in subspecies crysoleucas, the eastern 
form, not red in subspecies auratus, the western form) ; Maine to Texas 

l\[otemigonus crysoleucas (Mitchill) Golden Shiner 

J\lotemigonus auratus Raf. 
Abdomen not so; anal rays twelve or less; other characters various 207. 

207. Teeth on the pharyngeal bar 4-5 or 5-5 in the main row; scale count 

usually over 40, often over 50 (35 to 45 in a few species with extreme' 
ly small mouths or with the lateral line incomplete to absent) ; size 
various 208. 

Main row of pharyngeal teeth 4-4; scale count less than 60, usually less 
than 50; lateral line incomplete in a few species; usually small fishes 


208. With three pharyngeal teeth in the smaller row; a moderate sized Eu' 

ropean species introduced into the eastern states 


Idus idus Linn. Golden Ide 
Pharyngeal teeth in one row or with one or two teeth in the smaller 
row 209. 

209. Mouth extremely small, not extending past a vertical from the nostrils; 

scale count about 40 210. 

Mouth somewhat larger; scale count over 40 in most but not all 

species 212. 

210. Lateral line almost absent; with a distinct black blotch at the base of the 

tail fin; southern states 

Opsopoea hollmani (Gilbert) 
Lateral line variously incomplete to complete; black blotch at base of tail 
fin obscure or absent 211. 

211. Lateral line almost complete; usually with a dark lateral stripe, with dark 

spots above and below; southeastern U. S. 

Opsopoeodus emiliae Hay Southern Pug-nosed Minnow 
Opsopoeodus emiliae emiliae Hay 
Lateral line variously incomplete; sides plain; Great Lakes area to Texas 
Opsopoeodus megalops (Forbes) Northern Pug-nosed Minnow 
Opsopoeodus emiliae megalops (Forbes) 

212. Teeth on the pharyngeal bar in one row; anal rays seven or eight; lateral 

line incomplete or decurved Roaches 213. 

Teeth on the pharyngeal bar in two rows; anal rays seven or more; later' 

al line various Daces 215. 

213. Mouth scarcely oblique; scale count about 54; sides dark spotted or dark 

striped; about five inches long; Gal. and Nevada 

Hesperoleucus symmetricus (B. 5? G.) Roach 
(Rutilus symmetricus (B. &' G.) ) 
Mouth very oblique; often larger 214. 

214. Color plain or spotted; scale count about 56; about a foot long; Cal. and 


Siphateles olivaceus (Cope) 
(Rutilus olivaceus (Cope) ) 
With a dusky band along each side; scale count about 48; about eight 
inches long; Oregon and California 

Siphateles hicolor (Girard) Roach 
(Rutilus hicolor (Girard) ) 

215. Lateral line absent or incomplete (do not confuse with lateral band or 

stripe) 216. 

Lateral line complete 219. 

216. No trace of lateral line; with a dark lateral stripe; scale count 35 to 40; 

about an inch and a half long; Utah 

lotichthys phlegethontis (Cope) Little Dace 
(Leuciscus phlegethontis (Cope) ) 
Usually with some lateral line 217. 

217. With scattered dark scales forming a spotted pattern; scale count about 

50 to 75; Lake Erie and southwards 

Margariscus margarita (Cope) Pearl Minnow 


With a dusky or dark band or stripe along each side; scale count not so 


218. Scale count about 80; peritoneum black; three inches long; northeastern 

and north-central states 

Pfnlle neogaea (Cope) Bronze Minnow 
Scale count about 40 to 45; about two and one-half inches long; Tennes' 
see Valley 

Hermtremia vittata Cope 

219. Lower jaw projecting well beyond the upper; color greenish, with a 

dark band along each side; males acquiring red coloring in the breed' 

ing season; about five inches long; eastern and central U. S. 220. 

Jaws almost equal or with the upper longer than the lower; color various; 

western species 221. 

220. Scale count about 50; Atlantic states 

Clmostomus vandoisulus (C. 5? V.) Rosy Dace 
Scale count about 70; upper Mississippi Valley area 

Clinostomus elongatus (Kirtland) Red-sided Shiner 

221. Eye large (head less than four and one-half times as long as the diameter 

of the eye) ; anal fin long, often with more than nine rays; adults three 

to six inches long 222. 

Eye smaller in proportion to head; anal fin short, often with less than 

nine rays; about a foot long 225. 

222. Anal rays usually sixteen; with a dark band along each side; breeding 

males with red coloring; Montana westward 

Richardsomns balteatus (Richardson) Red-sided Bream 
(Leuciscus balteatus (Richardson) ) 
Anal rays usually about eleven; color various 223. 

223. Scale count about 80; color olivaceous and silvery; Utah 

Cheonda copei J. & G. Leather-sided Minnow 
(Leuciscus copei (J. ^ G.) ) 
Scale count 50 to 60 224. 

224. With two dark bands along each side, with a reddish one between; 

Nevada to California 

Cheonda egregia (Girard) 
(Leuciscus egregia (Girard) ) 
With silvery bands along each side, with a red (males) or dark band 
between; Utah and Idaho area 

Cheonda hydrophlox (Cope) Po-he-wa 
(Leuciscus hydrophlox (Cope) ) 

225. Caudal peduncle about as deep as the head; color brownish, white spot- 

ted; California 

Sihoma crasskauda (B. &' G.) Sacramento Chub 
Caudal peduncle less deep in proportion to head; color blackish, white 
spotted; Utah and Yellowstone area (Several species, of which the 
most widely distributed is given.) 

Tigoma atraria (Girard) Great Chub 
(Leuciscus lineatus (Girard) ) 


226. With the lower portion of the head appearing swollen; mucous channels 

visible through the operculum as light streaks; scale count about 33; 
Michigan to Florida and Kansas 

Ericymba huccata Cope Silvery-mouthed Minnow 
Not so (Over a hundred species of the former genus T^otropis, the exact 
identification of which requires dissection and technical knowledge. 
These are divided into many genera in Jordan, Evermann and Clark's 
Check List, now mostly restored to the genus 7S[otrop!S. Some of the 
common species are given here.) 227. 

227. Lateral line usually incomplete; with a more or less distinct dark lateral 

band 228. 

Lateral line usually complete 233. 

228. Anal rays usually nine to eleven; pharyngeal teeth typically 2'4'4'2; 

chin black; N. Carolina (If top of head is almost evenly dark, see N- 
scepticus under Choice 259.) 

Hydrophlox altipinnis (Cope) 

J\lotropis altipinnis (Cope) 
Anal rays usually seven or eight; pharyngeal teeth typically less than 
2'4'4'2, except in 7\[. chalybaeus 229. 

229. Mouth very oblique, with jaws equal; with dark bars on the scales above 

the lateral line alternating with black spots on the scales of the lateral 
line to form a zigzag pattern; northern states from N. Y. to N. Dakota 

Hybopsis heterodon (Cope) Black-chinned Shiner 

J\lotropis heterodon (Cope) 
Mouth less oblique, with the lower jaw slightly shorter than the upper; 
color not so 230. 

230. Dark lateral band passing forward across mouth and chin 23 L 
Lateral band, consisting of fine dark cross bars across lateral line pores, 

passing forward just above the mouth 232. 

23 L Usually with seven rays in the anal fin; north-central states 

Hybopsis heterodon richardsoni (H. & G.) Northern Weed 
Tsjotropis xaenocephalus richardsoni (H. d? G.) Shiner 
Usually with eight rays in the anal fin; Mississippi Valley, N. J. to Texas 
Hydrophlox chalybaeus (Cope) L'oncolor Shiner 
J^lotropis chalybaeus (Cope) 

232. Dorsal fin inserted over pelvic fins; Maine to N. Y. and Virginia 

Hybopsis bifrenata Cope Brindled Minnow 
7^otrop}s bifrenatus (Cope) 
Dorsal fin starting behind beginning of pelvic fins; Mississippi Valley 
and Great Lakes region 

Hybopsis heterolepsis (E. 6? E.) Blacknose Shiner 
7\[otrop!S heterolepsis E. & E. 

233. Pharyngeal teeth typically less than 2-4-4-2 (1-4-4-2, 1-4-4-1, 1-4-4-0, 

or 4-4) 234. 

Pharyngeal teeth typically 2-4-4-2 251. 

234. Anal rays ten or eleven; with a dark band at the base of the dorsal fin; 

dorsal and tail fin with red color; N. and S. Carolina 


Erogala pyrrhomelas (Cope) 
(7\[otropis pyrrhomelas (Cope) ) 
Anal rays seven to nine 235. 

235. Mouth very oblique; peritoneum black 236. 
Not so 237. 

236. Lateral stripe obscure; eye very large in head; central states 

Hyhopsis hoops Gilbert Bigeye Shiner 
Jslotropis boops Gilbert 
(Includes H. schumardi (Gilbert) ) 
Lateral stripe conspicuous; eye less conspicuous; northern states from 
N. Y. to N. Dakota 

Hyhopsis anogenus (Forbes) Pugnose Shiner 
T^otropis anogenus Forbes 

237. Anal rays usually seven 238. 
Anal rays usually eight or nine 24 L 

238. Length about three and one-half times depth; pharyngeal teeth 4-4; S. D. 

to Kansas 

Codoma tope\a (Gilbert) 
Jsiotropis tope\a (Gilbert) 
Length about five times depth 239. 

239. With a fine dark lateral stripe; pharyngeal teeth 4-4; N. Y. to N. 


Hyhopsis procne (Cope) Swallowtail Minnow 
7\[otropsis procne (Cope) 
Lateral stripe very faint to absent 240. 

240. Pharyngeal teeth in one row (4'4) ; dorsal fin beginning before start of 

pelvics; N. Y. to Minn, and southward to Texas 

Hyhopsis deliciosa (Girard) Straw-colored Minnow 
'Xlotropis deliciosus (Girard) 
Pharyngeal teeth 1-4-4-2; dorsal fin above pelvics; N. D. to Penna. and 


Hyhopsis hlennius (Girard) River Shiner 

241. With a dark spot at the base of the tail fin 242. 
No dark spot at the base of the tail fin 245. 

242. Length over five times depth; Tennessee River system 

Hyhopsis spectrunculus Cope 
(hlotropis spectrunculus (Cope) ) 
Length less than five times depth 243. 

243. Dorsal fin plain colored; N. Y. to N. D. and southwards 

Hudsonius hudsonius (Clinton) Spottail 
Klotropis hudsonius (Clinton) 
With a dark band at base of the dorsal fin 244. 

244. Dorsal fin of males red; length four and one-quarter times the depth; 

Alabama River valley 

Erogala trichroistia (J. 6? G.) 
(hlotropis trichroistia (J. d? G.) ) 









Fins whitish or yellowish; length four and three-quarters times the depth; 
Gulf States 

Erogala cercostigma (Cope) Spotted Tail 
(7\[ot?opis cercostigma (Cope) ) 

245. With a dark spot or bar on the dorsal fin 246. 
Dorsal fin without a dark spot or bar 248. 

246. Base of tail fin yellow; south-central states 

Erogala galactura (Cope) 
A[otropis galacturus (Cope) 
Not so 247. 

247. Usually with nine anal rays; posterior half of dark lateral stripe about 

midway in depth; central states east of the Alleghenies 

Erogala analostana (Girard) Satinfin 

']\lotropis analostanus (Girard) 
Usually with eight anal rays; posterior half of dark lateral stripe nearer 
ventral outline; N. Y. to Minn., southward to Alabama and Arkansas 

Erogala whipplii (Girard) Steel-colored Minnow, Spot-fin 

Tsjotropis spilopterus (Cope) 

248. Depth of body over one-third the length; fins red; S. D. to Illinois and 


Moniana lutrensis (B. & G) Redfin 
l^lotropis lutrensis (B. &' G.) 
Depth of body considerably less in proportion to length 249. 

249. Anal rays usually nine; Kansas to Texas 

Cypr]nella macrostoma Girard 
(Tsjotropis macrostomus (Girard) ) 
Anal rays usually eight 250. 

250. Mouth small, equal to the diameter of the eye; pharyngeal teeth 4-4; 

N. Y. to Texas 

Hyhopsis volucella (Cope) Mimic Shiner 
Jslotropis volucellus (Cope) 
Mouth larger; pharyngeal teeth 1-4-4-1; N. Y. to Colorado 
Hvbopsis gilbert! (J. 6? M.) Bigmouth Shiner 
l^lotropis dorsalis (Agassiz) 

251. Dorsal outline of head raised so that the eye is about equi-distant be 

tween the dorsal and ventral margins; color plain, pale; Rio Grande 
Orcella orca (Woolman) 
(]\lotropis orca Woolman) 
Eye slightly nearer the dorsal than the ventral margin; color various 252. 

252. With 23 to 30 scales before the dorsal fin 253. 
With less than 23 scales before the dorsal fin 256. 

253. Dorsal fin over pelvic fins; states east of the Rockies except the south 

Atlantic and Gulf states 

Luxilus cornutus (Mitchill) Northern Common Shiner 
J\lotropis cornutus frontalis (Agassiz) 
Dorsal fin behind area over pelvic fins 254. 


254. No dark spot on dorsal fin; with two black crescents between nostrils; 

length about five and onchalf times depth; Mich, to N. Carolina 
'J\lotropis photogenis (Cope) Silvery Minnow 
With a dark spot on the dorsal fin; length about four to four and one' 
half times depth 255. 

255. With a dark spot on the upper part of the front of the dorsal fin; fins 

red; Gulf states 

Lythrurus roseipinnis (Hay) Southern Redfin 
(J\lotropis roseipmnis Hay) 
With a dark spot at the base of the dorsal fin; fins red; N. Y. to Minn, 
and southward to Arkansas 

Lythrurus umhratilis (Girard) Northern Redfin 
7\[otropis umhratilis (Girard) 

256. With a dark spot at the base of the tail fin 257. 
No dark spot at the base of the tail fin 264. 

257. Usually with ten or eleven rays in the anal fin 258. 
Usually with seven to nine rays in the anal fin 261. 

258. No dark band across middle of dorsal fin 259. 
With a dark band across middle of dorsal fin 260. 

259. Length about five times depth; sides silvery, with scales dark edged; east' 

central states to the Ozarks 

J^otropis micropteryx (Cope) 
Length about four times depth; with a dark stripe along each side; chin 
and top of head dark (If top of head before eyes has light coloring, see 
A[. altipinms under Choice 228.) ; Carolinas 

'Slotropis scepticus (J. ^ G.) 

260. With a horizontal dark band on dorsal fin; blue above, with some red 

on fins and cheeks; length about three and onchalf times depth; 
Georgia area 

Coccotis zonistius (Jordan) 
(7\[otropi5 zonistius (Jordan) ) 
With an oblique dark band on dorsal fin; brown above, with a reddish 
stripe along each side; length about five times depth; Georgia and 

J^otropis metalhcus J. &' M. 

26L With a red stripe along each side; fins with red bars; Alabama Valley 
Hydrophlox chrosomus (Jordan) 
{J^otropis chrosomus (Jordan) ) 
Lateral stripe obscure or purplish 262. 

262. Anal rays seven; fins of male red; Gulf States 

Hydrophlox roseus (Jordan) Rosy Fin 
(J\[otropis roseus (Jordan) ) 
Anal rays usually eight 263. 

263. Lateral stripe obscure; fins pale; length four to four and onchalf times 

depth; N. Y. to N. D. and southwards 

Hudsonius hudsonius (Clinton) Spottail 
l^otropis hudsonius (Clinton) 


With a purplish band along each side; base of dorsal fin red in males; 
length about five times depth; Tennessee Valley 
Islotropis leuciodus (Cope) 

264. Usually with ten rays in the anal fin; dorsal fin starting above posterior 

end of base of pelvic fins 265. 

Usually with seven to nine rays in the anal fin; dorsal fin starting above 

pelvic fins 266. 

265. Lateral band obscure; eye about as long as snout; length about five and 

onC'half times depth; Great Lakes, south and west 

J\lotropis athermoides Raf. Emerald Shiner 
Lateral band dark posteriorly; snout longer than eye; length somewhat 
less than five times depth; N. Y. to Kansas 

T^otropis ruhrifrons (Cope) Rosy'faced Minnow 

l^otropis ruhellus (Agassiz) 

266. Lower jaw projecting; no distinct dark lateral bands 267. 
Jaws about equal 268. 

267. Outer half of dorsal fin dark; length slightly less than four and onchalf 

times depth; Cumberland region 
Coccotis coccogenis (Cope) 
(Jslotropis coccogenis (Cope) ) 
Fins plain; length slightly more than four and one-half times depth; 

Coccotis macdonaldi (J. fe? J.) 
(T^otropis macdonaldi J. & J.) 

268. Usually with seven rays in the anal fin; with a silvery stripe along each 

side; Penna. to Kansas 

Paranotropis jejunus (Forbes) 
(]\[otropis jejunus (Forbes) ) 
Usually with nine rays in the anal fin 269. 

269. No red color; with about fifteen scales before the dorsal fin; length four 

and one-half to five times depth; Ohio and Tennessee Valleys 
Paranotropis ariommus (Cope) 
(l\lotropis ariommus (Cope) ) 
Males with much red coloring; with fifteen to twenty-two scales before 
the dorsal fin; length three and one-half to four and one-half times 
depth " 270. 

270. Mouth rather large, with maxillary reaching to a point beyond front of 

eye; with a dark stripe along each side; Tennessee and Savannah Rivers 
Hydrophlox ruhricroceus (Cope) Red Fallfish 
(J\[otropis ruhricroceus (Cope) ) 
Mouth smaller, maxillary not reaching eye; peritoneum black 27 L 

27 L With a fine dark stripe between the broad lateral stripe and the mid' 
dorsal band; young with two dark crescents betw^een nostrils; 02,ark 

CoccoUs zonatus (Agassiz) Striped Minnow 
(T^iotropis zonatus (Agassiz) ) 
Dark stripes and bands less distinct; no dark crescents between nostrils; 


area east of the Rockies except extreme northern U. S. 

Luxilus cornutus chrysocephalns (Raf.) Central Common 

7\[otropis cornutus chrysocephalus (Raf.) 

272. With two to eleven free spines before the dorsal fin; Family Gasteros' 

teidae Sticklebacks 273. 

With spines contained in the anterior part of the dorsal fin or in a finlet 

preceding it 276. 

273. With seven to eleven free spines before the dorsal fin; north Atlantic 

coast and Great Lakes region 

Pungxtius pungitius (Linn.) Nine-spined Stickleback 
With two to six free spines before the dorsal fin 274 

274. With small bony plates on the sides; ascending streams from the Atlantic 

and Pacific 

Gasterosteus aculeatus Linn. Common Stickleback 
(Includes Gladiunculus hispinosus (Walbaum) ) 
No such plates 275. 

275. With three free dorsal spines; north Atlantic coast 

Apeltes quadracus (Mitchill) Four-spined Stickleback 
With four to six free dorsal spines; N. Y. to Kansas, in fresh water 
Eucalia inconstans (Kirtland) Brook Stickleback 

276. With one or two spines in the anterior end of the dorsal fin 277. 
Dorsal fin with an anterior spinous portion containing four or more 

(rarely three) spines 284. 

277. Outline of tail convex; Florida (a killifish, Family Cyprinodontidae) 

Jordanella floridae G. & B. Florida Killifish 
Tail fin forked 278. 

278. With one dorsal spine, which is strongly serrate behind; this spine may 

or may not be preceded by a smooth spine; adult fishes eight inches 
or more long; introduced species which have become established in 
ponds and streams; Family Cyprinidae (part) 279. 

Dorsal spine double, the posterior one fitting into a groove in the an- 
terior one; very small fishes; mostly confined to the southwest (Colora- 
do, Nevada and Ari2,ona) ; Family Medidae 28 L 

279. With two barbels' on each side of the upper jaw; an introduced Asiatic 

species, which has become well established 
Cyprinus carpio Linn. Carp 
No barbels; an introduced genus common in pet shops and frequently 
becoming large and established from escapes; adults gold or remaining 
greenish throughout life 280. 

280. Scale count twenty-seven or less; with seven or eight rays in the anal fin 

Carassius auratus (Linn.) Japanese Goldfish 
Scale count twentyeight or more; with five or six soft rays in the anal 

Carassius carassius (Linn.) European Goldfish 

28 L Body with scales 282. 

Body scaleless 283. 







S AX AT \ L\S 







282. Mouth almost hori2;ontal 

Lepidomeda jarrovii Cope 
Mouth obhque 

Lepidomeda vittata Cope 

283. With a small barbel at each corner of the mouth 

Plagopterus argentissimus Cope 
No maxillary barbels 

Meda fulgida Girard 

284. Body scaleless or with bony plates; Family Cottidae Sculpins 285. 
Body scaled 295. 

285. Gill membranes almost free from the isthmus (fleshy part between the 

gill openings), making a fold across it; spinous portion of dorsal fin 
well in advance of soft portion; in deep water of some of the Great 

Triglopsis thompsoni Girard Lake Sculpin 
With a wide isthmus between the gill membranes, with no fold across 
it; spinous and soft dorsal fins adjacent 286. 

286. In the eastern and central states, northwestward through Minnesota 287. 
In the western states 289. 

287. Lateral line complete; Great Lakes area 

Cottus ricei (Nelson) 
Lateral line incomplete; northeastern and north-central states 288. 

288. No teeth on the palatine bones (in roof of mouth) ; usually evenly 


Cottus gracilis Heckel Miller's Thumb, Rock Cusk 

Cottus cognatus gracilis Heckel 
With teeth on the palatines; with dark mottlings, often forming vertical 
bars on the sides 

Cottus ictalops (Raf.) Miller's Thumb, Toe-biter 

Cottus hairdii Girard 

289. With teeth on the palatine bones (in roof of mouth) ; preopercle with 

one large spine turned upwards and two or three smaller spines turned 

downwards below it 290. 

No teeth on the palatines; preopercle with one large spine at its tip 292. 

290. With 12 to 14 rays in the anal fin; Rocky Mountain region 

Cottus semiscaber (Cope) Rocky Mountain Bullhead 
With 15 to 18 rays in the anal fin; Pacific coastal streams 291. 

291. Anus more than halfway back from end of snout to base of tail fin; seven 

inches long in the adult 

Cottus gulosus (Girard) Rifflefish 
Anus halfway between end of snout and base of tail fin; getting to be a 
foot long 

Cottus asper Richardson Prickly Bullhead 

292. Posterior nostrils with tubes; dorsal fins connected 293. 
No tubes in posterior nostrils; dorsal fins not connected 294. 

293. Lateral line incomplete; Klamath Lakes, Oregon 


Cottus l{lamathensis Gilbert Klamath Muddler 
Lateral line practically complete; Pacific States 
Cottus aleuticus Gilbert Coast Sculpin 

294. With a mottled pattern; Colorado Valley 

Cottus annae J. & S. Colorado Muddler 
With dark cross bars; Columbia Valley 

Cottus heldingii E. & E. Columbia Muddler 

295. With two dorsal fins distinctly separate from each other, or else small 

fishes, under three inches, with the body depth less than one-fourth 
the length 296. 

With one dorsal fin, sometimes with the spiny portion almost separated 
from the soft portion by a deep notch, but retaining some connection 


296. Pelvic fins abdominal; seldom over three and one-half inches long; Fam' 

ily Athenmdae Silversides (many marine species) 297. 

Pelvic fins jugular or thoracic 298. 

297. Jaws long and flat, like a pickerel's; N. Y. to Florida and Texas 

Lahidesthes sicculus (Cope) Brook Silversides 
Jaws not so; mouth small; in fresh and brackish waters of the Atlantic 
and Gulf coasts 

Menidia heryllina (Cope) Silverside 

298. Lateral line absent or almost so 299. 
Lateral line more or less complete 304. 

299. Tail fin slightly emarginate; not over two inches long; in fresh water; 

Family Etheostomidae (part) Darters 300. 

Tail fin rounded or pointed; usually in brackish water or in fresh water 

near the coast 302. 

300. With one anal spine; Arkansas to Texas 

Alvarius fonticola J. & G. Midget Darter 
With two anal spines 301. 

301. Cheeks scaly; Alabama and Mississippi 

Mtcroperca proeharis Hay 
Cheeks not scaly; Arkansas to Minn, and Michigan 

Microperca punctulata Putnam Least Darter 
iVlicroperca microperca (J. 6? G.) 

302. Pelvic fins separate; adults one to two feet long; southern Atlantic and 

Pacific coasts; Family Eleotridae (species mostly marine) 

Dormitator maculatus (Bloch) Striped Sleeper, Guavina 
Pelvic fins united; usually only a few inches long; Family Gobiidae 
Gobies (many marine species) 303. 

303. Scales minute, inconspicuous, smooth edged; California 

Eucyclogohnis newherryi (Girard ) 
Scales larger, rough edged; Gulf coast 
Rhinogobius shufeldti (J. 6? E.) 
(Gobius shufeldti J. & E.) 

304. With three or more spines in the anal fin (anterior spine often minute) ; 


body fairly deep, lengthwise striped; Family Moronidae (part) River 

Bass 305. 

With not more than two spines in the anal fin 306. 

305. With seven or eight stripes on each side; Atlantic slope; introduced into 


Roccus saxatilis (Walbaum) Striped Bass 
With five or six stripes on each side; Mississippi Valley 
Lepihema chrysops (Raf.) White Bass 
(Roccus chrysops (Raf.) ) 

306. Preopercle finely serrate behind and below; belly evenly scaled; adults 

ten inches or more; Family Percidae Perch 307. 

Preopercle not serrate, or else with the belly unevenly scaled; small, seb 
dom reaching eight, more often about three inches; Family Etheostomi' 
dae Darters (About a hundred species, only the most common of 
which are given here) 310. 

307. Body fairly deep; no canine (longer conical) teeth; sides with dark bars; 

eastern and north-central states 

Perca flavescens (Mitchill) Yellow Perch 
Body elongate and almost cylindrical; canine teeth present; sides mottled 


308. With rows of dark spots on both dorsal fins; usually with a dark blotch 

at the base of the pectoral fin; cheeks closely scaled; posterior dorsal 
fin with 17 to 20 rays; northern states 

Cynoperca canadensis (Smith) Sauger, Sand Pike 
Stizostedion canadense (Smith) 
Anterior dorsal fin with a large black spot on the posterior part; no dark 
blotch at the base of the pectoral fin; cheeks sparsely scaled; posterior 
dorsal fin with 19 to 22 rays 309. 

309. Body yellow mottled; lower fins yellow; eyes almost as far apart as the 

diameter of one eye; Great Lakes region, south and east 

Stizostedion vitreum (Mitchill) Walbeyed Pike, Pikcperch 

Stizostedion vitreum vitreum (Mitchill) 
Body grayish; lower fins bluish; eyes much closer together; Great Lakes 

Stizostedion glaucum Hubbs Blue Pike 

Stizostedion vitreum glaucum Hubbs 

310. Belly partly scaleless or with scales on the mid-ventral line larger than 

those on the rest of the body, plate-like, or sometimes shed, leaving a 

bare area 311. 

Belly scales not noticeably different from the rest 327. 

311. Premaxillaries protractile, usually with a groove between them and fore- 

head; dorsal spines 7 to 11 312. 

Premaxillaries not protractile; no groove between them and forehead; 

dorsal spines 10 to 15 317, 

312. Body elongate; depth one-eighth to one-tenth the length; dorsal spines 

7 to 10 313, 

Body deeper; dorsal spines 9 to 11 315, 




F L O R \ DAN A 


\ NC \ SO R 




313. With two spines in the anal fin; Maryland, Virginia and N. C. 

loa vitrea (Cope) 
With one spine in the anal fin 3 14. 

314. Sides of body poorly scaled; Gulf States 

Ammocrypta heanii Jordan Sand Darter 
Sides of body more or less regularly scaled; Mississippi Valley to Texas 
Vigil pellucidus (Baird) Sand Darter 

315. Cheeks scaled; Michigan to Kentucky and Arkansas 

Imostoma shumardi (Girard) Shumard's Darter 
Cheeks not scaled 316. 

316. With four dark bars on the back and with several smaller dark blotches 

along each side; Ind. to Ala. and Arkansas 

Cottogaster uranidca (J. 65? G.) 
Brownish above; each side with a continuous series of dark blotches; 
N. Y. to Missouri 

Cottogaster copelandi (Jordan) Copeland's Darter 

317. With one soft anal spine; body depth one'Seventh to one-eighth of 

length; scale count over 80; with several dark bars across back and a 
dark band made up of a series of blotches along each side; Ind. to Ala. 
and Arkansas 

Crystallaria asprella (Jordan) 
With two anal spines (anal spines soft in P. caprodes) ; other characters 
various 318. 

318. Head broad; space between the eyes more than one-fifth the length of the 

head; snout much overhanging mouth; scale count about 90; with dark 
upright bars on the body and a dark spot at the base of the tail fin; 
west to Texas 

Percina caprodes (Raf.) Log-perch, Hogfish 

Head narrower, with the space between the eyes smaller; mouth almost 

terminal; scale count less in most but not all species; color various, 

many of the species having confluent dark blotches along the sides 

Black-sided Darters 319. 

319. Pelvic fins about as far apart as the base of one pelvic fin 320. 
Pelvic fins closer together 325. 

320. Gill membranes well connected with each other across the isthmus; cheeks 

well scaled; spinous dorsal fin with an orange band just within margin, 
this fin separated from the soft dorsal about the width of the eye; Ohio 
to Oklahoma 

Alvordius phoxocephalus (Nelson) Slender-headed Darter 
Hadropterus phoxocephalus (Nelson) 
Gill membranes scarcely connected; cheeks somewhat less scaled to bare 


321. Dorsal spines 13 to 15; dorsal fins almost contiguous; scale count usually 

over 58 322. 

Dorsal spines 11 or 12; dorsal fins various; scale count usually under 

65 323. 


322. Cheeks and opercles scarcely scaled; Penna. southwards 

Alvordius macrocephalus (Cope) Big-headed Darter 
(Hadropterus macrocephalus (Cope) ) 
Cheeks and opercles scaled; north-central states 

Alvordms maculatus Girard Black-sided Darter 

Hadropterus macidatus (Girard) 
(Hadropterus aspro (C. ^ ].) ) 

323. Pectoral fins shorter than the head, scarcely reaching opposite tips of 

pelvics; Penna. to S. Carolina 

Alvordms peltatus (Stauffcr) Shielded Darter 
(Hadropterus peltatus (Staulfer) ) 
Pectoral fins about as long as the head, reaching to tips of pelvics or 
further 324. 

324. Dorsal fins almost contiguous; with much yellow in coloring; with an 

orange band across first dorsal fin; Virginia to N. Carolina 
Alvordius roano\a (J. & ].) Roanoke Darter 
(Hadropterus roano\a J. &? J.) 
Dorsal fins separated by about the diameter of the eye; color plainer; 
upper fins light and dark barred; Ind. to Arkansas 

Alvordius ouachitae (J. & G.) Ouachita Darter 
(Hadropterus ouachitae (J. &? G.) ) 

325. Gill membranes not joined; with about ten rays in second dorsal fin; 

no palatine teeth; color yellow, with dark markings; upper fins orange; 
N. Y. to N. C. and Oklahoma 

Ericosma evides (J. & C.) Gilt Darter 
Hadropterus evides (J. ^ C.) 
Gill membranes united across the isthmus; usually with more than ten 
rays in second dorsal fin; with palatine teeth 326. 

326. Preopercle with fine serrations behind; color yellowish, with dark mark' 

ings; upper fins dark; Ind. to Texas 
Serraria sciera (Swain) 
(Hadropterus scierus Swain) 
Preopercle smooth edged; color dark greenish, with dark markings; S. C. 
to Louisiana 

Hadropterus nigrofasciatus Agassiz Crawl-a-bottom 

327. Lateral line noticeably incomplete (usually over nine pores missing) 328. 
Lateral line almost complete (less than seven pores missing) 343. 

328. Premaxillaries protractile (usually with a groove between them and fore' 

head); head flattened and depressed behind the eyes 329. 

Premaxillaries not protractile; no groove between them and forehead; 

head compressed and elevated behind the eyes 330. 

329. With one anal spine; sides dark mottled; with dark bars on dorsal and 

tail fins; Ind. to Texas 

Vadlantia camura (Forbes) Blunt-nose Darter 
Boleosoma chlorosomum (Hay) 
With tv/o anal spines; with W-shaped markings along the sides; first 
dorsal fin with an orange band; Georgia to Tenn. and Arkansas 
Ulocentra stigmaea (Jordan) Speck 
(Doration stigmaea (Jordan) ) 


330. With one anal spine 331, 
With two spines in the anal fin 332. 

331. Dorsal fins with nine or ten spines and eleven to thirteen rays; head 

scaled; Alabama 

Psychromaster tuscumhia (G. &' S.) Tuscumbia Darter 
Dorsal fins with seven or eight spines and eight to ten rays; head bare; 
Ark. to Texas 

Alvarius fonticola J. & G. 

332. Gill membranes broadly joined across the isthmus (fleshy part between 

the gill openings) ; usually with an enlarged black scale on the shoulder 

Gill membranes scarcely connected 334. 

333. Lower jaw projecting much beyond the upper; colors rather plain; dorsal 

spines of male with fleshy knobs at their tips; New England to N. C. 
and Arkansas 

Catonotus flahellaris (Raf.) Fan-tailed Darter 
Poecihchthys flahellaris (Raf.) 
Jaws about equal; with red or orange spots on sides and with bands on 
the fins; no fleshy knobs on dorsal spines; Arkansas valley 
Claricola whipplii (Girard) Whipple's Darter 
(Poecilichthys whipplii (Girard) ) 

334. Lateral line arched upwards anteriorly; first dorsal fin over three'fourths 

height of second dorsal fin 335. 

Lateral line fairly straight; dorsal fins various 339. 

335. Shortest distance from lateral line to mid'dorsal area about oncfifth 

depth of body 336. 

Shortest distance from lateral line to mid-dorsal area about one-sixth 

depth of body 337. 

336. Lateral line ending below first dorsal fin, which has a broad orange band; 

with an orange lateral band on body; N. Y. to Colorado 
Oligocephalus iowae (J. ^ M.) Iowa Darter 
Pocc\l\ch.thys exilis (Girard) 
Lateral line ending below second dorsal fin; first dorsal fin with a fine 
orange line; body colors plainer; Michigan to Texas 

Oligocephalus jessiae (J. 5?B.) Jessie's Darter 
Poecilichthys jessiae J. &" B. 

337. Parietals (on top of head behind eyes) scaled; body dark brown and 

green; southeastern U. S. 

Hololepis harratti Holbrook 
Parietals scaleless 338. 

338. Gill membranes little connected; breeding males with a red band on first 

dorsal fin; Indiana to Texas 

Boleichthys gracilis (Girard) 
Hololepis gracilis (Girard) 
Gill membranes somewhat more connected; with yellow rather than red 
in coloration; eastern states 

Boleichthys fusiformis (Girard) Fusiform Darter 
Hololepis fusiformis (Girard) 


339. No enlarged black scale on shoulder; first dorsal fin over three-fourths 

height of second dorsal fin; cheeks blue; sides with blue and orange 

bars; fins blue and orange 340. 

Usually with an enlarged black scale on the shoulder (at base of peC' 

toral fin); first dorsal fin often lower 341. 

340. Gill membranes very slightly connected; males with red coloring on anal 

and tail fins; N. Y. to Minn, and southward in the Mississippi Valley 
almost to the Gulf 

Oligocephalus caerulens (Storer) Rainbow Darter 
Poecihchthys caerulens (Storer) 
Gill membranes slightly overlapping anteriorly; no red coloring on anal 
and tail fins; Mich, to Virginia and Kansas 

Poecihchthys spectabihs Agassiz, Orange-throat Darter 

341. Scale count usually over 60; gill membranes not connected; belly red; 

Ozark area 

7^^sl^vicola punctulata (Agassiz) 
(Poecihchthys punctulatus Agassiz) 
Scale count usually less than 60; gill membranes very slightly connected 


342. With small dark spots along the middle of each side; fins with reddish 

coloring; Colorado and Kansas to the Rockies 

Islivicola cragini (Gilbert) Cragin's Darter 
(Poecihchthys cragim (Gilbert) ) 
Sides almost plain except for very fine dots and mottling; no red or blue 
coloring; Ind. to Florida 

Claricola squamiceps (Jordan) 
(Poecihchthys squayniceps (Jordan) ) 

343. Head flattened and depressed behind the eyes 344. 
Head compressed and elevated behind the eyes 352. 

344. Premaxillaries more or less protractile (protractile downwards, groove 

not evident from above, in E. hlennioides) ; anal fin with one or two 

spines and six to nine rays 345. 

Premaxillaries not protractile (no groove between them and forehead) ; 

anal fin with two spines and ten to twelve rays 349. 

345. With one soft spine in anal fin; usually with eight or nine dorsal spines; 

snout moderately sharp; color usually brownish, often with M or W' 
shaped lateral markings 346. 

With two spines in anal fin; usually with ten to fourteen dorsal spines; 
snout blunt; color mostly greenish, with dark lateral bands extending 
down from a dark dorsal area or with more or less diamond shaped 
markings 347. 

346. Cheeks scaly; second dorsal fin with fine dark markings; eastern and 

central states to Colorado 

Boleosovia nigrum (Raf .) Johnny Darter 
Boleosoma nigrum nigrum (Raf.) 
Cheeks without scales; second dorsal fin with dark bands; east of the 
AUeghenies southward to N. Carolina 

Boleosoma olmstedi (Storer) Tessellated Darter 
Boleosoma nigrum olmstedi (Storer) 


347. Profile very convex; with twelve to fourteen spines in the first dorsal 

fin; N. Y. to Kansas 

Etheostoma hlennioides Raf. Green-sided Darter 
Profile not so convex; usually with less than twelve spines in the first 
dorsal fin 348. 

348. Operculum scarcely scaled; dorsal fin barred; Ind. to Arkansas 

Ulocentra histrio (J. & G.) 
Operculum scaled; dorsal fin spotted; Kentucky southwards 
Ulocentra simotera (Cope) 

349. Gill membranes broadly connected across the isthmus; Tennessee Valley 

Swainia squamata (G. £«? S.) 
Gill membranes scarcely connected 350. 

350. Operculum and breast bare; males with red coloring; O^ark region 

Hypohomus nianguae (G. d? M.) Niangua Darter 
Poecilichthys nianguae (G. £s?M.) 
Operculum and breast with small scales 351. 

351. With a row of dark blotches joined along each side; dorsal spines fifteen; 

Tennessee Valley 

Hypohomus aurantiacus (Cope) 
With two light streaks with darker color between along each side; dorsal 
spines twelve to fourteen; Missouri 

Hypohomus cymatotaenia (G. ^ M.) 

352. Gill membranes broadly joined across the isthmus; pelvic fins well 

separated 353. 

Gill membranes scarcely or not joined; pelvic fins close together 354. 

353. Anal fin about as large as the soft dorsal fin; Ohio Valley 

Poecihchthys variatus (Kirtland) 
Anal fin much smaller than the soft dorsal; central states (Several 
species, of which the most widely distributed is given) 
l\lanostoma zonale (Cope) Banded Darter 
Poecilichthys zonalis Cope 

354. No scales on the operculum; brilliantly colored fishes with the fins dark 

edged; Illinois to Penna. and N. Carolina 

J^lothonotus camurus (Cope) Blue-breasted Darter 
Poecilichthys camurus Cope 
With scales on the operculum 355. 

355. With dark cross bands; shoulder with a large dark scale; Alabama 

T^othonotus jordani (Gilbert) Jordan's Darter 
(Poecilichthys jordani (Gilbert) ) 
Coloration spotted or striped; no large dark scale on the shoulder 356. 

356. Usually with more than 55 scales in the lateral line; fins not red bordered; 

Ala. to Ohio and Indiana 

Tslothonotus maculatus Kirtland 
(Poecilichthys maculatus Kirtland) 
Usually with less than 50 scales in the lateral line; fins red bordered; 
Cumberland, Tennessee and Green Rivers 


T^othonotus rufilineatus (Cope) 
(Poecilichthys rufilineatus Cope) 

357. With sixteen to eighteen dorsal spines 358. 
With less than fourteen dorsal spines 359. 

358. Spinous portion of the dorsal lin higher than the soft portion; California; 

Family Embiotocidae (About twenty species, mostly marine) 
Hysterocarpus tras\i Gibbons Surf-fish 
Spinous portion of dorsal lower than the soft portion; Rio Grande Val' 
ley; Family Gchlidae (Many tropical species) 

Herichthys cyanoguttatus B. & G. Cichlid 
(Heros cyanoguttatus (B. 6? G.) ) 

359. Lateral line pores extending on to the tail fin; Great Lakes to Texas; 

Family Sdaenidae (Many marine species) 

Aplodinotus grunniens Raf. Sheephead, Drum, Thunderpumper 
Lateral line pores not extending on to the tail fin 360. 

360. Spinous portion of dorsal fin almost disconnected from, and equal to or 

higher than, the soft portion 36 L 

Spinous portion of dorsal fin confluent with or lower than the soft por- 

tion 363. 

36L Mouth very large, reaching below the back of the eye in the adult; with 
a broken dark band along each side; Great Lakes to Texas; introduced 
into many other localities; Family Centrarchidae (part) 

Huro fior^dana (LeSueur) Large-mouthed Black Bass, 

Green Trout 
Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede) 
Mouth smaller, reaching below the front of the eye; sides plain or with 
six or seven dark stripes; Family Moronidae (part) 362. 

362. With six or seven black stripes, interrupted posteriorly; lower Mississippi 


Chrysoperca interrupta (Gill) Yellow Bass 
hlorone interrupta Gill 
No dark stripes; Atlantic Slope 

Morone americana (Gmelin) White Perch 

363. No lateral line; outline of tail convex; less than two inches long; Family 

Elassomidae 364. 

Lateral line half or more complete; tail various; si2;e various; Family 

Centrarchidae Sunfishes and Basses 365. 

364. Scale count more than 34; 111. to Ala. and Texas 

Elassoma zonatum Jordan Pigmy Sunfish 
Scale count less than 34; Georgia and Florida 

Elassoma evergladei Jordan Everglades Pigmy Sunfish 

365. With five to eight anal spines; dorsal fin somewhat elongate, but not 

twice as long as anal 366. 

With three (rarely four) spines in the anal fin; dorsal fin more elongate, 

often more than twice as long as the anal 37 L 

366. Dorsal spines five to eight 367. 
Dorsal spines ten to fourteen 368. 


367. Dorsal spines usually six; distance from eye to dorsal fin definitely longer 

than base of dorsal fin; body with dark spots arranged in bars; Great 
Lakes to Texas, and introduced into many other localities 

Pomoxis annularis Raf . White Crappie, SaC'a'lait 
Dorsal spines usually seven or eight; distance from eye to dorsal fin 
about equal to base of dorsal fin; body with dark spots; Great Lakes 
to Florida and Texas; introduced on the Pacific Slope and elsewhere 

Pomoxis sparo-ides (Lacepede) Calico Bass, Black Crappie 

Pomoxjs nigro-maculatus (LeSueur) 

368. Dorsal fin only slightly longer than the anal; anal spines seven or eight, 

anal rays fifteen; small, becoming six inches; sides with lengthwise 
rows of dark spots; southeastern states and lower Mississippi Valley 
Centrarchus macropterus (Lacepede) Round Sunfish, Flier 
Dorsal fin decidedly longer than the anal; anal spines five to seven, anal 
rays ten 369. 

369. Tail fin convex in outline; anal spines five; small, becoming six inches; 

sides obscurely striped; Atlantic Slope 

Acantharchus pomotis (Baird) Mud Sunfish 
Tail fin emarginate; anal spines six or seven; larger 370. 

370. Sides with lengthwise rows of dark spots; getting to be a foot long; New 

England south and west to Arkansas 

Ambloplites rupestris (Raf.) Rock Bass, Redeye 
Sides with dark bars; getting to be almost two feet long; California 
Archoplites interruptus (Girard) Sacramento Perch 

37 L Outline of tail convex; two to five inches long; Atlantic Slope 372. 

Tail emarginate or forked 374. 

372. With ten somewhat graduated spines in the dorsal fin, the fourth and 

fifth definitely longer than the eighth, ninth and tenth; pectoral fins 
reaching about to the front of the anal fin; about four inches long; 
N. J. to Maryland 

Mesogonistius chaetodon (Baird) Black-banded Sunfish 
With nine dorsal spines, the fourth and ninth about equal; pectoral fins 
reaching back about to the middle of the anal fin 373. 

373. Black spot on the operculum more than one-half the size of the eye; 

about five inches long in the adult; Mass. to Florida 

Enneacanthus ohesus (Girard) Little Bream 
Black opercular spot less than one-half the size of the eye; not over three 
inches long; N. Y. to Florida 

Enneacanthus gloriosus (Holbrook) Blue-spotted Sunfish 

374. Depth usually less than two-fifths the length (not including the tail fin) 

in the adult; operculum with two blunt points behind; mouth reaching 
under or behind the eye; adults two feet or more long Basses 375. 
Depth seldom less than two-fifths the length in the adult; operculum with 
an unnotched flap behind; mouth large or small; small to moderately 
sized fishes; often brilliantly colored Sunfishes 378. 

375. Dorsal fin with a deep notch; mouth extending to a point slightly behind 

the eye in adult specimens; soft dorsal and anal fins not scaly; with a 


broken dark hand along each side; Great Lakes to Texas; widely intro- 
duced elsewhere 

Huro fiondana (LeSueur) Large-mouthed Black Bass 
Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede) Green Trout 
Dorsal fin with a slight notch; mouth not extending behind the eyes; 
soft dorsal and anal fins scaly near base 376. 

376. With dark spots forming an obscure dark band along each side; south' 

central states, north to Ohio; introduced elsewhere 

Micropterus pseudophtes Hubbs Kentucky or Spotted Black 

Micropterus punctulatus (Raf.) 
Sides with faint barring 377. 

377. With fine dark lengthwise streaks on lower part of each side; lobes of 

tail fin scarcely barred; Alabama and Georgia 

Micropterus coosae Hubbs 6? Bailey Redeye Bass 
No fine dark lengthwise streaks so situated; lobes of tail fin dark barred 

in young; west to Oklahoma 

Micropterus dolomieu Lacepede Small-mouthed Black Bass 

378. Mouth extending to below the rear margin of the eye; with teeth on the 

tongue; west to Texas and the Dakotas 

Chaenohryttus gulosus (C. 6? V.) Warmouth Bass 
Chaenohryttus coronarius (Bartram) 
Mouth usually smaller; no teeth on the tongue 379. 

379. Lateral line extending about halfway back; tail fin very slightly emargin- 

ate; scale count about 35; not over three inches long; III. to La. and 

Apomotis symmetricus (Forbes) Little Sunfish 
(Lepomis symmetricus Forbes) 
Lateral line almost or quite complete; tail fin distinctly emarginate or 
forked; scale count greater in most, but not all, species; size various 


380. With one or two small dark spots on each scale; gill rakers about half as 

long as the gill filaments; scale count 45 to 55; S. Carolina to Florida 
Apomotis punctatus (C. & V.) Spotted Bream 
(Lepomis punctatus (0. 6? V.) ) 
Color not so; other characters various 38L 

381. Dark opercular spot situated on the bony part of the operculum; pec- 

toral fins much rounded; mouth rather large, almost to below the 
middle of the eye; color usually greenish, with a small light spot on 
each scale; Great Lakes region to the Rio Grande 

Apomotis cyanellus (Raf.) Green or Blue-spotted Sunfish 
Lepomis cyanellus Raf. 
Dark opercular spot largely on the soft flap extending back from the 
operculum; not with the preceding combination of other characters 


382. Black spot on the operculum longer than the eye in adult specimens; 

length of longest dorsal spine about one and one-quarter times the 
diameter of the eye; gill rakers on the first gill arch very short and 
stumpy, about one-fifth as long as the gill filaments 383. 


Black opercular spot not longer than the eye; length of longest dorsal 
spine one and one-half to two times the diameter of the eye; gill rakers 
various 385. 

383. Opercular spot usually deeper than the eye; gill rakers soft; pectoral 

fins pointed; Michigan to Minn., south to S. C. and Texas; introduced 

Xenotjs megalotis (Raf.) Long-eared Sunfish, Sun Perch 
(Lepomis megalotis (Raf.) ) 
Opercular spot usually not as deep as the eye; gill rakers stiff; pectoral 
fins broadly rounded 384. 

384. With a dark blotch on the posterior end of the dorsal fin; lower fins yel- 

low; Virginia to Louisiana 

Lepomis solis (C. fe? V.) Southern Long-eared Sunfish 
No dark blotch on the dorsal fin; lower fins red; Maine to Virginia 

Lepomis auritus (Linn.) Yellow-bellied or Eastern Long-eared 

385. Gill rakers long and slender, about one-half as long as the gill filaments; 

opercular bone (not flap) pliable behind 386. 

Gill rakers shorter and stouter; opercular bone stiif behind 387. 

386. With a diffuse black blotch on the lower half of the last four or five 

rays of the dorsal fin; operculum scarcely light margined behind; sides 
dark barred; Great Lakes to Florida and the Rio Grande; introduced 

Hehoperca incjsor (C. fe? V.) Bluegill 

Lepomis macrochirus Raf. 
(Lepoyms paUidus of many writers) 
No black blotch so situated; with three-quarters of the opercular spot on 
the soft flap, the other quarter made up of the greenish or dark hard 
point of the operculum; opercular flap light margined behind, often 
tinged with red; sides with orange spots; not over three and one-half 
inches long; Dakotas to Alabama and Texas 

AlloUs humilis (Girard) Orange-spotted Sunfish 

Lepomis humihs (Girard) 

387. Opercular flap scarcely light margined behind; pectoral fins shorter than 

head; with teeth on vomer and palatines (in roof of mouth) ; sides 
with rows of squarish orange spots; lower Mississippi Valley 

Sclerotis miniatus (Jordan) Scarlet Sunfish, Stump Perch 
(Lepomis miniatus (Jordan) ) 
Opercular flap orange or red bordered; pectoral fins as long as or longer 
than head; no teeth on palatines; sides spotted to plain 388. 

388. With a definite red spot on the opercular flap (faded to yellowish in 

preserved specimens) ; cheeks with greenish stripes; Atlantic States, 
Great Lakes region and upper Mississippi Valley 

Eupomotis gibhosus (Linn.) Pumpkinseed 

Lepomis gibhosus (Linn.) 
Opercular flap orange or red margined behind; cheeks less definitely 
striped 389. 

389. Usually with 42 or more scales in the lateral line, and with six or seven 

rows between the lateral line and the dorsal fin; Virginia to Florida 


EupomoUs holhroo\ii (C. &' V.) Strawberry Bass, Eastern 

Lepomis microlophus (Gunther) 
Usually with 40 or less scales in the lateral line, and with four or five 
rows of scales between the lateral line and the dorsal fin; 111. to Florida 
and Texas 

Eupomotis heros (B. 6? G.) Western Shellcracker, Redear 

Lepomis microlophus (Giinther), subspecies 


Adams, C. C. and Hankinson, T. L. 1928. The Ecology and Economics of 
Oneida Lake Fish. Roosevelt Wild Life Annals, Vol. 1, Nos. 3 and 4. 

Bean, T. H. 1902. Food and Game Fishes of New York. Seventh Report 
of the N. Y. Forest, Fish and Game Commission. 

Blatchley, W. S. 1938. The Fishes of Indiana. Nature Publishing Co., In' 
dianapolis, Indiana. 

Burr, J. G. 1932. Fishes of Texas. Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commis' 
sion, Bull. No. 5. Austin. 

Churchill, E. P. and Over, W. H. 1933. Fishes of South Dakota. S. D. Dept. 
of Game and Fish. 

Coker, R. E. 1930. Studies of the Common Fishes of the Mississippi River at 
Keokuk. U. S. Bureau of Fisheries, Document No. 1072 from Bull, of the 
Bureau of Fisheries, Vol. 45, 1929. Washington. 

Durand, D. E. 1911. Fisheries of the United States. Dept. Commerce and 
Labor, Bureau of the Census. Special Rep. Fisheries of the U. S. 1908. 

Eddy, S. and Surber, T. 1947. Northern Fishes, with Special Reference to 
the Upper Mississippi Valley. Univ. Minnesota Press. 

Ellis, M. 1914. Fishes of Colorado. Univ. of Colo. Studies, Vol. 11; pp 5' 

Eigenmann, C. H. 1918. The Aquatic Vertebrates. Chap. 30 of Ward and 
Whipple's 'Tresh'water Biology". John Wiley ^ Sons. New York. 

Forbes, S. A. and Richardson, R. E. 1909. The Fishes of Illinois. Vol. 3 of 
the Final Reports on the Nat. Hist. Surv. of 111. (Second edition in 1920.) 
Urbana, 111. 

Fowler, H. W. 1945. A Study of the Fishes of the Southern Piedmont and 
Coastal Plain. Phila. Acad. Sci. 408 pp. Philadelphia. 

Goode, G. B. 1903. American Fishes. Dana Estes and Co. Boston. 

Gowanloch, J. N. 1933. Fishes and Fishing in Louisiana. State of La. Dept. 
of Conservation, Bull. No. 23. New Orleans. 

Hubbs, C. L. and Cooper, G. P. 1937. The Minnows of Michigan. Cran' 
brook Inst, of Science, Bull. No. 8. Bloomfield Hills, Mich. 

Hubbs, C. L. and Lagler, K. F. 1947. Fishes of the Great Lakes Region. 
Cranbrook Inst, of Science, Bull. No. 26. Bloomfield Hills, Mich. 


Jordan, D. S. and Evermann, B. W. 1896-1900. The Fishes of North and 
Middle America. Bull. U. S. Nat. Mus. No. 47. Four parts. 

Jordan, D. S. and Evermann, B. W. 1902. American Food and Game Fishes. 
Doubleday, Page 6? Co. New York. 

Jordan, D. S., Evermann, B. W. and Clark, H. W. 1930. Check List of the 
Fishes and Fishlike Vertebrates of North and Middle America. Report 
of the U. S. Comm. Fisheries for 1928. Part 2. 

La Gorce, J. O. (Editor) and Others. 1939. The Book of Fishes. Nat. Geog. 
Soc. Washington, D. C. 

LaMonte, F. 1945. North American Game Fishes. Doubleday, Doran. Gar- 
den City, N. Y. 

Nichols, J. T. 1918. Fishes of the Vicinity of New York City. Amer. Mus. 
of Nat. Hist. Handbook Series No. 7. New York. 

Osburn, R. C. 1901. The Fishes of Ohio. Ohio State Acad, of Sci., Special 
Paper 4. 

Schrenkeisen, R. (Edited by J. T. Nichols and F. LaMonte.) 1938. Field Book 
of Fresh-water Fishes of North America North of Mexico. G. P. Put' 
nam's Sons. New York. 

Sette, O. E. 1926. Fishery Industries of the United States, 1925. U. S. Bur. 
Fisheries, Append, to Rep. for 1926, Doc. 1010. 

Simon, J. R. 1946. Wyoming Fishes. Bull. Wyo. Game and Fish Dept., 
No. 4. 

Smith, H. M. 1907. The Fishes of North Carolina. N. C. Geol. and Econ. 
Surv., Vol. 2. 

Trautman, M. B. 1946. Artificial Keys for the Identification of the Fishes of 
the State of Ohio. (Mimeographed.) The Franz; Theodore Stone Lab- 
oratory, Put-in-Bay, Ohio. 

Truit, R. v., Bean, B. A. and Fowler, H. W. 1929. The Fishes of Maryland. 
State of Maryland Conservation Dept., Conservation Bull. No. 3. (May, 

Walford, L. A. 1931. Handbook of the Common Commercial and Game 
Fishes of California. Division of Fish and Game of California, Bureau of 
Commercial Fisheries. Fish Bull. No. 28, Contr. No. 102 from the Cal. 
State Fisheries Lab. 

Wickliff, E. L. and Trautman, M. B. 1931. Some Food and Game Fishes of 
Ohio. Bull. Ohio Dept. of Agri., 7. (May, 193 1.) 

The names used as first choice in the fish key are those given in the Check 
List by Jordan, Evermann and Clark. In accordance with our general policy 
we have used the latest available check list for our first choice of names. There 
is, however, some disagreement among experts in fish taxonomy concerning the 
validity of some of these names (See Copeia — 1935, No. 4, Pages 196-197). 
The unbracketed names given as second choice are used in much of the current 


Chapter 9 

Salamanders have long held a place in popular superstition. The famous 
fire salamander of Europe is reputed to have such an asbestos constitution that 
it seeks out the heart of a fire in which to bask. The author once had a prac 
tical demonstration of the way in which this superstition may have arisen. Hav 
ing used some old fence rails for a campfire, he was surprised to see several of the 
common red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, hastily emerging from 
the fissures of the rails as the fire burned. Needless to say, the salamanders 
lost no time in leaving the scene, since, unHke lizards, they carr>^ on much of 
their respiration through the skin, which must be kept moist. 

The nature of the skin is one of the best distinguishing characteristics be- 
tween salamanders and lizards. Most salamanders have moist, scaleless skins, 
while all but a few degenerate members of the lizard group have dry, scaly 
skins. In regions where lizards are scarce or unknown, the term "lizard"" is 
commonly misapplied to the local salamanders. 

Although limited to moist situations, salamanders have become adapted 
to a variety of habitats. Even in cave pools and artesian wells they are some' 
times found, usually as blind or colorless forms. The European salamander of 
the genus Proteus has been frequently described and pictured in textbooks. 
Several equally modified or degenerate forms are found in America. In large 
streams and rivers may be found our largest or giant salamanders, such as 
l^ecturus, Cry ptohranchus and Amphiuma, the latter reaching a length of 
about three feet. The only close relative of Cry ptohranchus, found, strangely 
enough, in China and Japan, is the largest of living salamanders and reaches 
the imposing length of five feet. In muddy lakes of the southern states occurs 
the siren, an eel-like salamander that has lost all vestiges of hind legs and re 
tains only a very small pair of front legs. In swift mountain brooks may be 
found the genera Desmognathus, Eurycea, Pseudotriton, Gyrinophilus and 
others. In order to maintain themselves in the swiftly flowing water, these 
forms have given up their buoyant lungs and, in the adult, carry on respiration 
through the skin and the lining of their mouths. In quiet ponds with much 
submerged vegetation live the newts of the genus Triturus, the common species 
of which are attractive, red-spotted, greenish or brownish animals with flat' 
tened tails and large hind feet. Usually these newts spend much of their second 
year of life on land, as red efts, but return to the water and to a more somber 
color for their adult life. Some salamanders have taken up a terrestrial exist' 


ence, although most of them are still restricted to damp situations. Those of 
the genus Amhystoma migrate to the ponds for egg-laying, but the Plethodons 
are completely emancipated and pass even their larval stages on land. The 
tree salamander, Aneides luguhr^s, a native of California, is our only truly ar' 
boreal salamander, with habits of climbing trees and making homes in their 

Details of reproduction vary in different forms. A few foreign species 
bring forth living young. Most of the Amhystomidae lay masses of pigmented 
eggs in water, each egg having one or more gelatinous envelopes and the whole 
bunch having a common envelope. The egg-laying usually occurs in the spring, 
but the marbled salamander, Amhystoma opacum, lays its eggs in the autumn, 
under the moss and leaves of areas which will be the floors of temporary ponds 
in the spring. Hatching is delayed until favorable conditions arrive. Many of 
the Plethodontidae lay at the edge of the water or on land, usually under moss 
or rocks in damp locations. Their eggs are usually without pigment and are 
suspended individually by slender, gelatinous stalks. The tree salamander, 
Aneides luguhris, often lays its eggs in the cavity of the tree it uses for a re' 
treat. Members of this family and some of the others have been reported as 
brooding, or at least staying by, their developing eggs. It is possible that by 
doing so they aid in maintaining the proper conditions of moisture, but it seems 
probable in many cases that the eggs are deposited in the usual retreat of each 
female, which it continues to use after the eggs have been laid. The latter idea 
seems a likely explanation of reports of brooding by such an aquatic form as 
T^lecturus, unless it may possibly stay by its eggs to protect them from destruc- 
tion by other aquatic animals. The common newt deposits its eggs separately, 
usually wrapping each in the leaf of some water plant. Triturns torosus, the 
California newt, lays its eggs in small bunches much like those of the Amhy- 
stomidae. The giant salamanders, Amphiuma, Cry ptohranchns and 7\[ecturiis, 
deposit unpigmented eggs in water. The first two lay numbers of eggs con- 
nected by slender strings of jelly. J\[ecturus suspends its eggs separately from 
the under sides of submerged rocks or logs. One of the Amhystomidae, Am- 
hystoma tigrmum, the tiger salamander, may under certain conditions remain 
in the larval stage and reproduce without losing its gills and transforming into 
the typical adult form. This peculiar stage is called the axylotl, the name by 
which it is known (and eaten) by the natives of Mexico. The mudpuppies (of 
the family 7S(ecturidae) are forms in which this condition of arrested develop- 
ment in everything but reproduction has become firmly established. A few of 
the Plethodontidae also retain gills and other larval characteristics throughout 

For purposes of illustration it seems best to give a more extended account 
of the reproduction and development of one of the most commonly studied 
salamanders, Amhystoma maculatum. Because of the great variation of breed' 




EQrCr r^ A S S 

Young- larvae 

ing habits among salamanders, the actions of this form cannot be considered 
typical of the group. A discussion of its behavior may, however, familiarize 
the reader with generali2;ed salamander development. This animal, commonly 
known as the spotted salamander, breeds in the spring — about the first of April 
in our northeastern states. It spends its adult life on land, except during the 
breeding season. As soon as the ground thaws sufficiently in the spring, great 
numbers of these animals travel by night to the ponds to breed. A warm rain 
will greatly speed up and concentrate this spring migration. Often the males 
enter the ponds somewhat before the females. The former deposit small, whitish, 
cone'like objects with gelatinous bases and tips of sperm, known as spermatO' 
phores, on the submerged vegetation. These are not usually deposited, how 
ever, until after the arrival of the females and are usually associated with court' 
ship or Liehesspiel. During the courtship activity, which occurs at night, the 
male rubs the top of the head against the ventral surface of the female, usually 
starting at the cloacal region and working forwards toward the throat. At 
frequent intervals the male moves away to deposit a spermatophore on nearby 
vegetation. The female finally becomes sufficiently excited to approach a 
spermatophore, placing her cloaca above it. At this time some of the sperm 
from the tip of the spermatophore enter the cloaca of the female. This be- 
havior may be repeated several times. The eggs are usually not laid for several 
hours thereafter. They are deposited in masses averaging fifty to one hundred 
eggs per bunch, each female averaging two or three bunches. The egg masses 
are attached to submerged sticks or growing vegetation a few inches below the 
surface of the water. The period of migration and egg'laying usually lasts 
about two or three weeks, after which the salamanders return to a terrestrial 
life. The eggs take about ten days or two weeks to hatch, the speed of de- 
velopment being directly proportional to the temperature of the water. The 
very young larvae have ''balancers" on the head and are without legs. The 
gills are present from hatching time until transformation. Presently, as the 
balancers disappear, the front legs grow, then the hind legs. The young feed 
voraciously upon small aquatic animals, being particularly fond of wood frog 
tadpoles. About three or four months usually elapse before metamorphosis, 
this period also varying with the temperature of the water. Gradually the head 
becomes more pointed and the gills begin to disappear. The young salamanders 
seek the edge of the water. Later they crawl out of the water altogether and 
finally take up an adult terrestrial existence. 

Most salamanders produce skin secretions that lubricate the surface of the 
body or prove distasteful or irritating to their enemies. From this habit arose 
the popular belief that salamanders are poisonous to the touch, an erroneous 
idea as applied to our native species. Many salamanders shed the skin periodi- 
cally, some in small pieces, others as whole, transparent sheets. An entire shed 
skin, floated in water, shows the perfect outlines of the body, even to the tiny^ 


glove'like hands and feet. The common newt, Hke some of the other salaman' 
ders, eats the skin immediately after it is shed, shaking it vigorously from side to 
side as it is engulfed. 

Salamanders are chiefly carnivorous, snapping greedily at small moving 
objects when hungry. The larvae will eat each other, if they are much crowd' 
ed. Newts do not hesitate to attack small iish, biting at their eyes and fins, 
and are also clever at extracting frog eggs from the jelly envelopes that baffle 
almost all other enemies. The terrestrial salamanders feed largely upon earth- 
worms, snails and insects. 

Most salamanders can be easily kept in captivity, although all but the 
newts are too shy to be very entertaining. They do well in tilted tanks, with 
sphagnum or other moss at the water-line, where they usually gather. Most 
forms require little food if they are kept in a cool, shaded place, a few DrosO' 
phila or other insects once or twice a week usually sufficing them. Newts and 
the giant salamanders are greedy feeders, however, and require worms or mor- 
sels of raw meat every day or two. 

Salamanders are best preserved for scientific purposes by drowning them 
in strong (70-95%) alcohol and then transferring them, within half an hour, 
to five per cent formalin. They regain and keep their original plumpness, if so 
treated. For aid in identification it is advisable to prop their mouths some- 
what open while they are still flexible. 

While many field and experimental studies have been made, there remain 
many interesting problems. A few are suggested here. 

Distribution This is especially interesting, since the salamanders seem very 
poorly equipped for migrations of any great extent and completely barred by 
salt water and arid land barriers. Yet we find such peculiar distributions as 
that of Cryptohranchus, confined to the eastern United States, and the form 
which most closely resembles it, Megalohatrachus, found in China and Japan. 
E. R. Dunn's introduction to The Salamanders of the Family Plethodontidae 
contains an excellent critique of the usual criteria for determination of place 
of origin and paths of dispersal. The study of local distribution also affords a 
good lesson in adaptation. Most localities within the United States harbor 
several genera of salamanders, each usually so well fitted to its particular type 
of habitat that it comes into little or no competition with the others. Brook, 
river, pond, lake and forest each have their forms, some well adjusted to live 
their whole lives in one area, others still making somewhat of a pilgrimage to 
find different conditions in which their larvae can develop. 
Life Histories Much remains to be discovered about the life histories of 
many of our salamanders. Where and under what conditions do they hiber- 
nate? How long does it take them to reach maturity? What factors govern 
their choice of a breeding site? How long does the breeding season last? What 
is their courtship behavior? Even such an apparently minor question as the 


last has been shown by the late G. K. Noble to throw much light on the re- 
lationship of species. 

Embryology Since egg-laying can often be induced by pituitary implants, 
it is possible to follow the embryological development at other times than the 
normal mating season. Even gross studies are of value. Correlations between 
temperature and other environmental conditions and the rate of development 
can be determined. Presence of balancers and their degree of development 
at hatching time, size and form of external gills, and development of limbs are 
characters by which one might be able to identify eggs and larvae at different 
ages. All these should be determined and recorded for each species. 

A survey of the technical characters which separate families and genera 
of salamanders will reveal that most of the distinctions are based on the skele- 
ton. If serious study of the group is intended, the student should master the 
technique of the alizarin bone stain and the potash clearing methods. A brief 
account of the structural characters used in the key follows. 


The members of one family, Plethodontidae, are unique in possessing a 
naso'lahial groove running from each nostril vertically to the mouth. On the 
adult this is plainly visible, since there is no pigment along its course. Its 
function is apparently to drain the water quickly from the nasal area as the 
animal emerges from the water, probably a matter of importance to a lungless 
animal which uses its mouth for respiration (bucco-pharyngeal respiration). 
Two genera, Desmognathus and Leurognathns, have the lower jaw rigid, the 
mouth being opened by lifting the upper jaw and head. This stiffness ap- 
parently enables the animal to push its way more readily under rocks and 
debris. It also gives the animal a characteristic profile, of aid in identifica- 
tion. The attachment of the tongue varies in different forms, some having it 
attached at the front, some at the back, and some with a median attachment, 
both ends being free. The patches of teeth on the roof of the mouth are also 
important in taxonomy. The diagrams should be consulted and the location 
and different arrangements of vomerine or vomer o- palatine and parasphenoid 
teeth noted. Below the chin a fold of skin, the gular fold, is present in some 


Along the sides of the body and tail of many of the salamanders a number 
of folds or line-like, vertical depressions may be seen. These mark the posi- 
tions of the ribs and are called costal grooves. The number of these on each 
side between the fore and hind limbs, including those directly at the point of 
attachment of the limbs, often aids in determining the identity of a salamander. 



The number of fingers and toes sometimes aids in identification. Klec 
turns, for example, has four toes while the axylotl, which sometimes much re 
sembles it, has five. The thickened pads on hand and foot, palmar and plantar 
tubercles, vary in different species. Some of the specialized forms show vary 
ing degrees of webbing of the toes. 


In general, the more aquatic species have flattened or finned tails, the 
more terrestrial ones have more cylindrical tails. The terrestrial species some' 
times show a constriction area at the base of the tail, which usually indicates 
the ability of the animal to snap off^ its tail when threatened, the twitching 
tail often serving as a decoy while its owner slips quietly away. A tail so 
lost is gradually replaced, but the second is seldom as well developed. 


There is much variation in color pattern, both between individuals and 
in the same individual during its growth. Spotted or plain colored adults may 
have striped or barred larvae. Young mudpuppies {J^ecturus maculosus) 
show lengthwise stripes, young of the black Jefferson and narrow-mouthed 
salamanders, Amhystoma jejfersomanum and Amhystoma texanum, have a dis- 
tinct pattern of cross bars. The young of Eurycea may go through a bewilder- 
ing series of spotted or striped markings before assuming adult coloration. The 
adults of some species show great variation. Amhystoma tigrinum, the tiger 
salamander, varies from mostly black to mostly yellow. The common newt, 
Triturus viridescens vindescens, has a greenish water stage and a red land stage. 
In preserved specimens red color usually disappears completely and yellows and 
blacks fade considerably. The key is based on average adult specimens. 


Order CAUDATA (or Urodela) of Class AMPHIBIA 

Tail retained throughout life; pectoral and pelvic girdles unspecialized 
Suborder PROTEIDA 

With external gills throughout life; no maxillary; short series of 
teeth on premaxillary; complete row of teeth on vomero-palatine 
and pterygoid; with four digits on each limb 
One genus — J^ecturus (7 species) Mudpuppies 

One pharyngeal gill slit on each side; limbs present but much 


reduced; not over three digits on each limb; row of teeth on vomer 
paralleHng those on the maxillary 
One genus — Amphiuma ( 1 species) Congo Snakes 

Body flattened, wrinkled; one pharyngeal gill slit on each side (in 
native species) ; limbs well developed; row of teeth on vomer 
paralleling those on the maxillary 

One genus — Cryptohranchus (2 species) Helbbender 
(One other genus, Megalohatrachus, is found in Asia) 
Family SALAMANDRIDAE (or Pleurodehdae) 

Teeth on diverging posterior extensions of the vomero-palatines, 
which extend over the parasphenoids; no parasphenoid teeth 
One genus — Triturus (7 species) Newts 

With one transverse row of vomero'palatine teeth; no paras' 
phenoid teeth 

Three genera — Dicamptodon (1 species) 
Rhyacotriton (1 species) 
Amhy stoma (12 species) 

With nasO'labial grooves; large patches of teeth on parasphenoid 
Seventeen genera — 

Desmognathus (5 species) Haideotriton (1 species) 

Leurognathus (1 species) Stereoch-ilus (1 species) 

Plethodon (17 species) Typhlotriton (1 species) 

Ensatina (3 species) Ty phlomolge (1 species) 

Hemidactylium (1 species) Gyrinophilus (4 species) 

Plethopsis (1 species) Pseudotriton (2 species) 

Batrachoseps (2 species) Eurycea (8 species) 

Aneides (4 species) Manculus (1 species) 

Hydromuntes (1 species) 
Suborder MEANTES 


Body elongate, snake-like; no hind limbs; front limbs much re 
duced; premaxillary and dentary with horny sheaths; large patches 
of teeth on vomer 
Two genera — Siren (2 species) Sirens 

Pseudohranchns (1 species) Striped Siren 


1. With but one pair of legs; aquatic; Family Sirenidae 2. 

With two pairs of legs in the adult 4. 






\NrEF,NAL Nostril 





Cr \LL c, 






OF T A\ L 




2. With three toes on each foot; sides lengthwise striped; about six to eight 
inches long; in swamps of S. C, Georgia and Florida 

Pseudohranchus striatus (Le Conte) Little Striped Siren 
With four toes on each foot; color plain; larger 3. 

3. With 3 1 to 36 costal grooves; adults usually from twelve to eighteen inches 
long; 111. to Florida and Texas 

Siren intermedia Le Conte Dwarf Siren 
With 36 to 39 costal grooves; adults often over two feet long; Florida 
north to D. C. 

Siren lacertina Linn. Giant Siren, Mud Eel 

4. Adults with external gills 5. 
Adults without external gills IL 

5. Body white; blind forms found in wells and caves; Family Plethodontidae 

(part) 6. 

Body usually pigmented; eyes developed 7. 

6. Gills very long, reaching back to well behind the insertion of the fore 

limbs; from a well at Albany, Georgia 

Hmdeotriton uxillacei Carr Georgia Blind Salamander 
Gills shorter; from artesian wells and cave streams of Texas 

Typhlomolge rathhuni Stejneger Texas Blind Salamander 

7. With four toes on the hind foot; with three pairs of bushy, red gills; 

aquatic; adults about six to eighteen inches long; Family 7\[ecturidae 
(Proteidae) (Seven species, of which the four most common and 
widely distributed are given here) 8. 

With five toes on the hind foot; gills not so; aquatic or terrestrial; often 
smaller 14. 

8. Back uniformly dark colored or with a few light spots; belly mostly 

without spots; Carolinas and Georgia 

7\[ecturus punctatus (Gibbes) Carolina Waterdog 
(Menohranchus punctatus Gibbes) 
Back with dark spots or markings; belly with or without spots 9. 

9. Tail strongly keeled, deeper than body; with a wide dark bar from 

nostril through eye on each side of head; young with dorsal stripes; 
adults spotted above; adults about ten to seventeen inches long; eastern 
and central states 

J^ecturus maculosus (Raf.) Common Mudpuppy, Waterdog 
(J^ecturus maculatus (Raf.) ) 
Tail less strongly keeled; dark bar through eye narrower, indistinct, or 
not reaching nostril; both young and adults spotted above; adults 
about six to ten inches long; southeastern states 10. 

10. Back and belly fairly evenly colored and regularly spotted with scat' 

tered dark spots; N. Carolina 

l^ecturus lewisi (Brimley) Lewis's Mudpuppy 
Back and belly distinctly different in appearance, the belly usually lighter 
colored or with smaller dark spots; Florida to Louisiana 

J^ecturus hey eri Viosca Southern Mudpuppy 

11. Body eel'like; legs very small and weak, with two or three toes on each 


ALL E C-A N\Eb4 S » S 


T » C- B » N UM 





foot; about thirty-five inches long; aquatic; Family Amphiumidae 12. 
Body less extreme; with more toes on each foot 13. 

12. With two toes on each foot; southeastern states 

Amphiuma means means Garden Congo Snake or Eel, Blind Eel 
With three toes on each foot; Missouri and Kentucky to Louisiana and 

Amphiuma means tridactylum Cuvier Three-toed Congo Snake 

13. Body heavy and much depressed, with a conspicuous, wrinkled fold of 

skin along each side; about two feet long; aquatic; Family Crypto^ 

Cryptohranchus allegay^iensis (Daudin) Hell-bender 
No folds of skin so situated; smaller 14. 

14. Costal grooves (vertical creases along the sides of the body between the 

fore and hind limbs) absent or almost so; vomerine teeth (on roof of 

mouth) in two long convergent or nearly parallel, lengthwise rows; 

no parasphenoid teeth; Family Salamandridae Newts 15. 

Costal grooves present; teeth not so 22. 

15. Back uniformly brown to black; West Coast 16. 
Back greenish, brownish, or orange -red, usually with spots or stripes; 

east of the Rockies 18. 

16. Back very dark brown to black; belly red; eyes dark brown; northern 


Triturus rividaris Twitty Red-bellied Newt 
Back variously brown; belly yellow or orange; eyes not so 17. 

17. Vomerine teeth in a V-shaped pattern, diverging posteriorly; California 

northward through Oregon 

Triturus granulosus (Skilton) Oregon Newt 
Vomerine teeth in two nearly parallel rows, bent abruptly sideways pos' 
teriorly; California 

Triturus torosus (Rathke) Giant California Newt 
(and related species) 

18. With a broken or entire red stripe along each side of back 19. 
Not so 20. 

19. Red stripes bordered with black; N. and S. CaroHna 

Triturus viridescens dorsalis (Harlan) Carolina Newt 
(Triturus viridescens symmetrica (Harlan) ) 
Red stripes often dusky but not definitely black bordered; Georgia and 

Triturus perstriatus Bishop Striped Newt 

20. With black-edged red spots in a row on each side of the back (water 

stage has back greenish, land stage red or orange) ; west to Illinois and 
south to Georgia 

Triturus viridescens viridescens (Raf.) Common Newt or 

Red Eft (Land stage) 
(Diemyctylus viridescens of Cope) 
Spots plain red or black 21. 


21. With black spots dorsally; Texas 

Tnturus meridionaUs (Cope) Black-spotted Newt 
With small black dots and scattered reddish spots dorsally; Wis. to 
Florida and Texas 

Triturus viridescens louisianensis (WolterstorfF) Louisiana Newt 

22. With an exceedingly fine, unpigmented groove (or sometimes apparently 

a ridge) running from nostril to mouth almost vertically; with a gular 
fold; with parasphenoid teeth; Family Plethodontidae 23. 

No naso'labial grooves; often lacking a gular fold; no parasphenoid 
teeth; vomerine teeth running crosswise or slightly obliquely; Family 
Amhystomidae 89. 

23. Tongue attached at the anterior margin 24. 
Tongue free at the anterior margin (attached in the middle) 65. 

24. A blind, white, cave form found in Missouri and Kansas to Oklahoma 

Typhlotnton spelaeus Stejneger Cave Salamander 
With functional eyes; pigmented 25. 

25. Hind foot with four toes only 26. 
Hind foot with five toes, one of which may be very small 29. 

26. With fourteen costal grooves; with a row of black spots on each side of 

belly; eastern and central states 

Hemidactylium scutatum (Schlegel) Eastern Four-toed 
With sixteen or more costal grooves; West Coast 27. 

27. Toes half webbed; body moderately stout; Oregon 

Plethops^s wrighti Bishop Wright's Four-toed Salamander 
Toes scarcely or not webbed; body worm-like 28. 

28. Belly finely and evenly reticulated with black; with a light mid-dorsal 

stripe; West Coast 

Batrachoseps attennatus (Eschscholtz) Western Worm Salaman' 
Belly unevenly black dotted; mid-dorsal stripe faint to absent; California 
Batrachoseps paaficus (Cope) California Worm Salamander 

29. With two tubercles on the palm of each front foot; tail constricted at 

base; with eleven to thirteen costal grooves; West Coast 30. 

No tubercles on palms; tail not constricted at base; with eleven to twenty 

one costal grooves 33. 

30. Back uniformly brownish above; West Coast 

Eyisatma eschscholtzii eschscholtzii Gray Western Red 
Back irregularly colored 31. 

31. Back light brownish, with darker spots and markings; Cal. and Oregon 

Ensatma eschscholtzii picta Wood Western Painted Salamander 
Back dark brown to black, with yellow spots or blotches 32. 

32. With large yellow blotches on back, often joined above to form cross 

bands; tail barred above; legs yellow; Cal. 

Ensatina croceater (Cope) Western Yellow-barred Salamander 




ANE > DE. S 





RU 6 t P. 


With smaller, irregular, yellow blotches along sides; hack and tail less 
definitely barred; legs yellow, with dark blotching; Cal., in the Sierras 
Ensatina sierrae Storer Sierra Marbled Salamander 

33 Lower jaw immovable, the mouth being opened by lifting the top of the 

head 34. 

Lower jaw moving in the normal fashion 42. 

34. No light line from eye to mouth; nostril openings into the roof of the 

mouth inconspicuous and twice as far apart as the external nostrils; 
color usually blotched; N. Carolina and Tenn. 

Leurogyxathus marmorata Moore Moore's Salamander 
With a light line from the eye to the corner of the mouth; internal nos- 
trils conspicuous and about the same distance apart as the external 
nostrils; color various 35. 

35. Tail cylindrical or squarish along most of length 36. 
Tail compressed or triangular, narrow above 38. 

36. Front corner of upper eyelid not grooved; with a dark bar through eye 

to nostril; belly light colored; light dorsal band variably irregular; Mts. 
of N. C, Tenn. and Virginia 

Desmognathus wrighti King Wright's Desmognathus 
Front corner of upper eyelid grooved; belly often darker, or light dorsal 
band with smooth edges 37. 

37. Belly faintly pigmented; light dorsal band, if present, with smooth edges; 

northern Appalachian Mountains 

Desmognathus ochrophaeus ochrophaeus (Cope) 
Allegheny Salamander 
Belly quite dark; light dorsal band, if present, with irregular edges; 
southern Appalachian Mountains 

Desmognathus ochrophaeus caroUnensis Dunn 
Carolina Mountain Salamander 

38. Belly practically plain colored 39. 
Belly finely mottled or speckled 40. 

39. Belly very dark; mountains from Vir. to Georgia 

Desmognathus quadramaculatus (Holbrook) Black-bellied 
Belly light; mountains from Penna. to Georgia 

Desmognathus phoca (Matthes) Seal Salamander 

40. Belly dark, mottled or speckled with white; Virginia to Florida and Miss. 

Desmognathus fuscus auricuhtus (Holbrook) Southern Dusky 
Belly light, usually finely mottled or speckled with dark 4L 

41. Typically with a lighter dorsal band and without light spots along the 

sides; west to Illinois 

Desmognathus fuscus fuscus (Raf.) Dusky Salamander 
Typically with the dorsal band obscure to absent and with light spots 
along the sides; Ark. to Texas and Okla. 

Desmognathus fuscus hrimleyorum (Stejneger) 
Brimley's Dusky Salamander 


42. Head with conspicuous large pores; vomerine and parasphenoid teeth 

in continuous series; tail flattened and finned toward the tip; back 
brown; belly yellowish, usually with fine brown markings; Virginia 
to Georgia 

Stereochilus marginatus (Hallowell) Margined Salamander 
Head without conspicuous pores; vomerine and parasphenoid teeth not 
in continuous series 43. 

43. Ends of fingers and toes very slightly expanded and indented; with slight' 

ly projecting teeth confined to the front part of the upper jaw; sides 

of upper jaw thin and sharp 44. 

Ends of fingers rounded or tapering; teeth on upper jaw usually incon' 

spicuous and not confined to the front 47. 

44. Coloration blotched; back dark, with patches of lighter color 45. 
Back dark, usually with a few small light spots or dots 46. 

45. Back black, with yellow markings; W. Virginia to Ala. and Georgia 

Aneides aeneus (Cope) Green Salamander 
Back brown, with grayish-yellow blotching; West Coast 
Aneides ferrens Cope Rusty Salamander 

46. Back black, with a few light dots; tail rather stout throughout; Cal. 

Aneides flavipunctatus (Strauch) Black Shasta Salamander 
Back brownish, with a few small yellowish spots; tail somewhat prehen- 
sile, becoming quite slender distally; Cal. 

Aneides luguhns (Hallowell) Tree Salamander 

47. With 20 to 23 costal grooves, and with nine or ten costal grooves between 

toes of front and hind legs pressed toward each other along the sides; 
back dark, with light dots, with or without an obscure mid'dorsal light 
band; belly dark, with scattered light dots; Penna., W. Va., Ohio and 

Plethodon richmondi N. 6? M. Richmond Salamander 
Usually with less than 20 costal grooves and with less than nine costal 
grooves between appressed toes, or belly light, mottled 48. 

48. Belly finely and closely mottled or spotted 49. 
Belly practically plain colored, except for scattered dots or large pale 

blotches in some species 52. 

49. Costal grooves 16 to 20; eastern species 50. 
Costal grooves 14 to 16; Wash, and Oregon 51. 

50. Dorsal stripe, if present, usually 2,ig2;ag; sides and belly mottled gray 

and brown; Penna. to Ind. and Ala. 

Plethodon cinereus dorsalis Cope Red'backed Salamander, 

Gray Salamander 
(Salamandra erythronota Green) 
Dorsal stripe, if present, with straight edges; sides and belly mottled gray 
and white; Minn, southward and eastward 

Plethodon cinereus cinereus (Green) Red-backed Salamander, 

Gray Salamander 
(Salamandra erythronota Green) 

51. With about four costal grooves between appressed toes; sides mottled 


up to the area of the dorsal band 

Plethodon dunni Bishop Dunn's Salamander 
With five or six costal grooves between appressed toes; sides less mottled 
toward the region of the dorsal band, which may be obscured 
Plethodon vehiculum (Cooper) Western Red'backed 

(Plethodon mtermedius Baird) 

52. With five or more costal grooves between appressed toes; costal grooves 

between fore and hind limb 16 to 19 53. 

With four or less costal grooves between appressed toes; costal grooves 

between fore and hind limb 13 to 16 55. 

53. Usually with a brownish mid-dorsal band; Cal. and Oregon 

Plethodon elongatus Van Denburgh California Plethodon 
Back uniformly dark; eastern states 54. 

54. Costal grooves 17 to 19; belly dark gray; sides with yellowish flecks; W. 


Plethodon nettingi Green West Virginia Plethodon 
Costal groves 16 or 17; belly light gray; sides with whitish spots and 
streaks; N. Y. to Ohio and W. Virginia 

Plethodon wehrlei Fowler and Dunn Wehrle's Salamander 

55. With a well defined yellowish or reddish mid-dorsal band or with a 

white stripe along each side or with two rows of red spots dorsally 56. 

Not so; sometimes with frosting or blotches concentrated in a mid-dorsal 

band with indefinite edges 59. 

56. With 13 or 14 costal grooves; dorsal band yellowish 57. 
With 15 to 17 costal grooves; dorsal band reddish-brown 58. 

57. Belly light colored; Washington 

Plethodon vandy\ei Van Denburgh Van Dyke's Salamander 
Belly dark colored; Idaho, Coeur d'Alene Lake 

Plethodon idahoensis Slater and Slipp Idaho Plethodon 

58. Belly light, somewhat blotched; back sometimes with two rows of red 

spots; mountains of N. C. and Virginia 

Plethodon yonahlossee Dunn Yonahlossee Salamander 
Belly dark, like the back; with a white stripe along each side; Ark. and 

Plethodon ouachitae Dunn and Heintze Ouachita Salamander 

59. With red legs or cheeks; N. C. to Tenn. 60. 
No red coloring 61. 

60. With red color on upper surfaces of legs; N. C. 

Plethodon glutinosus shermani Stejneger Red-legged Salamander 
With red cheeks; mountains of N. C. and Tenn. 

Plethodon jordani Blatchley Red-cheeked Salamander 

61. Throat and belly dark; back with small white spots; N. Y. and Wis. to 

Florida and Texas 

Plethodon glutinosus glutmosus (Green) Slimy Salamander 
Throat light colored 62. 


62. Back mostly plain dark colored; Virginia to Georgia and Alabama 

Plethodon metcalfi Brimley Metcalf 's Salamander 
Back frosted or blotched with lighter color 63. 

63. Belly very dark; S. C. 

Plethodon clemsonae Brimley Jocassee Salamander 
Belly gray 64. 

64. Costal grooves 14 or 15; New Mexico 

Plethodon hardii Taylor New Mexico Plethodon 
Costal grooves 16; mountains from Virginia to N. C. 

Plethodon welleri Walker Weller's Salamander 

65. With four toes on the hind foot; N. C. to Florida and Texas 

Manculus quadridigitatus (Holbrook) Dwarf Four'toed 
With five toes on the hind foot, one of which may be very small 66. 

66. Toes well webbed; California, Sierra Nevadas 

Hydromantes platycephalus (Camp) Mt. Lyell Salamander 
Toes scarcely or not webbed 67. 

67. Retaining gills throughout life; yellowish above, with dorsolateral light 

spots 68. 

Adults losing gills 70. 

68. With 19 or 20 costal grooves; Proctor, Oklahoma 

Eurycea tynerensis Moore and Hughes Oklahoma Salamander 
With 15 to 17 costal grooves 69. 

69. Under side of tail pale; Bexar County, Texas 

Eurycea neotenes Bishop and Wright Bexar County Salamander 
Under side of tail pigmented; San Marcos, Texas 

Eurycea nana Bishop San Marcos Salamander 

70. Vomerine and parasphenoid teeth not in continuous series; tail half or 

more total length in most but not all species; usually grayish or yellow 
ish above or with dark pigment spots in more or less well defined rows 
or stripes 71. 

Vomerine and parasphenoid teeth in continuous series; tail usually less 
than half total length; general color brownish or reddish; dark pig' 
ment spots, if present, usually scattered over the body 79. 

71. With 19 or 20 costal grooves 72. 
Costal groves less than 18 73. 

72. Grayish above; belly evenly dark; Gore, Okla. 

Eurycea griseogaster Moore and Hughes Gray'bellied Eurycea 
Brownish above; yellow bclov^'; Mo. to N. M. 

Eurycea multiplicata (Cope) Many-grooved Salamander 

73. Back orange, with scattered dark spots; W. Virginia to Alabama and 


Eurycea luc^fuga Raf. Spotted-tailed Salamander 
(Gyrinophilus maculicaudus of Cope) 
Back yellowish, with dark pigment spots in more or less well defined rows 
or stripes 74. 


74. Pigment on body in dorsolateral line a definite stripe 75. 
Pigment so situated broken up or in spots 77. 

75. Dorsolateral line usually extending to the end of the tail; costal grooves 

14; sides of naso-labial groove in the male forming a free projection 
on each side of the upper lip; Tenn. to Florida and Louisiana 

Eurycea bislineata arrigera (Green) Southern Two-lined 

(Spelerpes cirrigera Green) 
Pigment broken up or absent on half of tail toward tip; costal grooves 
15 or 16; nasclabial grooves not so extended 76. 

76. Sides dark-spotted below dark stripe; Virginia to Tenn. and Georgia 

Eurycea bislineata wilderae Dunn Wilder's Two-lined 
Sides gray-mottled below dark stripe; northeastern states 

Eurycea bislineata bislineata (Green) Two-lined Salamander 

77. With a black stripe down the middle of the back; Virginia to Georgia 

and Louisiana 

Eurycea longicauda guttolineata (Holbrook) Three-lined or 

Striped Salamander 
(Spelerpes guttolmeatus of Cope) 
Middle of back usually spotted 78. 

78. With black bars on sides of tail; N. Y. to Georgia and Arkansas 

Eurycea longicauda longicauda (Green) Long-tailed 

Tail clouded on sides; Missouri to Texas 

Eurycea longicauda melanopleura (Cope) Southern Long-tailed 


79. With a ridge marked by a light line running from eye to nostril; a dark 

line may or may not be present just below and parallel to this ridge 80. 

No ridge or light line from eye to nostril; a dark line may or may not 

run from eye to nostril 82. 

80. Light line from eye to nostril gray bordered below; back dark clouded or 

with a few scattered dark spots; northeastern states to Kentucky 
Gyrinophilus porphyrxticus (Green) Northern Purple Sala- 
mander (and varieties) 
With a dark line from eye to nostril just below the light ridge; back and 
sides finely and closely dark dotted; Blue Ridge Mountain area 81. 

81. Belly dark dotted 

Gyrinophilus danielsi (Blatchley) Blue Ridge Purple Salamander 
Belly practically clear 

Gyrinophilus dunni Mittleman and Jopson Carolina Purple 

82. Back brownish, with yellow flecks and clouding; Florida 

Fseudotriton montanus ^oridanus Netting and Coin Florida 
Red Salamander 
Back dark spotted or dotted 83. 

83. Back, sides and tail dark dotted rather than dark spotted; Georgia to 









Psendotrjton montanns fiavissunus (Hallovvell) 
Gulf Red Salamander 
Back and sides dark spotted or blotched; tail spotted or clear 84. 

84. Back with several well separated dark spots 85. 
Back with many dark spots closer together 86. 

85. Back reddish'brown, much clouded with dark; N. Y. to Georgia, west' 

ward to Tcnn. 

Pseudotnton montanus montanus (Baird) Mountain Red Sala- 
mander, Spring "Lizard'" 
Back red to brownish, unclouded; Ohio to Virginia and Tenn. 

Pseudotriton montanus diastictus Bishop Cave Red Salamander 

86. Back dark blotched or with irregular spots tending to fuse in old speci- 

mens; belly usually spotted 87. 

Back with distinctly separate and more regular dark spots; belly usually 

clear 88. 

87. Legs spotted below; with light dots on snout; Georgia to Louisiana 

Pseudotriton ruber luoscai Bishop Viosca's Red Salamander 
Legs unspotted below; snout not light dotted; N. Y. to Georgia and 

Pseudotriton ruber ruber (Sonnini) Northern Red Salamander 

88. Chin black; tail unspotted toward the tip; southern Blue Ridge Mountain 


Pseudotriton ruber scheyic}{i (Brimlcy) Southern Blue Ridge 
Red Salamander 
Chin light, sometimes dark dotted; tail almost free from spots; northern 
Blue Ridge Mountain area 

Pseudotriton ruber mtidus Dunn Northern Blue Ridge Red 

89. Back brown, marbled with darker color; costal grooves obscure; tail very 

thin and keeled toward the tip; Washington to Cal. and Idaho 

Dicamptodon ensatus (Eschscholtz) Brown Shasta Salamander 
Color not so; costal grooves more distinct; tail stouter 90. 

90. With a broad, light, mid-dorsal band; Washington to Cal., eastward to 


Ambystoma macrodactylum Baird Western Long-toed Sala- 
Light color, if present on back, in spots, blotches or cross bars or in dor 
solateral series 91 

91. Dorsal light color forming some bars on back or sides 92 
Dorsal light color, if present, generally distributed in spots or blotches 

on back or sides or concentrated in dorsolateral series 95 

92. With whitish cross bars 93 
With yellowish cross bars 94 

93. With 11 or 12 costal grooves on each side; with broad, white cross bars, 

often joined on the sides and ladder-like in appearance; N. H. to 
Florida and Texas, and northward in the Mississippi Valley to Il- 


Amhystoma opacum (Gravenhorst) Eastern Marbled Sak' 

(Salamandra fasciata of De Kay) 
With 13 or 14 costal grooves; with white frosting, appearing as bars on 
sides and often forking toward the belly; S. C. to Florida and Alabama 
Amhystoma cingulatum Cope Frosted Salamander 

94. With 14 or 15 costal grooves on each side; belly grayish, with white 

spots; Arkansas to Missouri 

Amhystoma annulatum Cope Eastern Barred Salamander 
(Linguaelapsus annulatus (Cope) ) 
With 12 to 14 costal grooves; belly usually yellow, with dark spots, or 
else dark, with yellow blotches, bands or bars 102. 

95. Eye as long as distance from it to end of snout; back brown, with light 

or dark flecks; belly orange; not over four and onc'half inches long; 
Washington to California 

Rhyacotnton olympicus (Gaige) Olympic Salamander 
Eye shorter than snout; color various; size various 96. 

96. Back dark spotted; sometimes retaining gills throughout life 97. 
Spots, if present on back, light rather than dark 98. 

97. Back well spotted with dark; dark spots on belly often lengthened cross' 

wise; N. Dakota 

Amhystoma tigrinum diaholi Dunn Devil's Lake Tiger Sala' 
mander (Axylotl (with gills) ) 
Back less spotted with dark; belly irregularly dark spotted; Nevada to 
N. M. 

Amhystoma tigrinum nehulosum Hallowell Clouded Tiger Sala' 
mander (Axylotl (with gills) ) 

98. Light dorsal spots yellowish in color 99. 
Light dorsal spots, if present, whitish 104. 

99. Back with few yellow spots about the size of the eyes, which tend to form 

dorsolateral series 100. 

Back or belly generally well spotted or blotched 101. 

100. With two tubercles on the sole of the hind foot; yellow spots usually 

in dorsolateral series and also along the lower part of each side; belly 
grayish to yellowish; Cal. 

Amhystoma tigrinum califormense Gray California Spotted 

(Amhystoma calif omiense Gray) 
With one or no tubercles on the sole of the hind foot; dorsal yellow spots 
primarily in dorsolateral series only; belly gray; Maine to Wisconsin, 
south to Florida and Texas 

Amhystoma macidatum (Shaw) Eastern Spotted Salamander 
(Amhlystoma punctatum of Cope) 

101. Usually with two tubercles on the sole of the hind foot; belly usually yeb 

low with dark markings, sometimes marbled or barred dark and light; 

sometimes retaining gills throughout life 102. 

With one or no tubercles on the sole of the hind foot; belly spotted or 

tinged with lighter color 104. 


102. Back with many yellowish blotches which tend to fuse; Washington 

Amhystoma tigrmum melanostictum (Baird) Northwest Tiger 

(Amhystoma tigrinum slateri Dunn) 
Yellow blotches quite distinct 103. 

103. Yellow blotches few and rather large, tending to form bars to the mid' 

dorsal and often to the mid-ventral line; Kansas to N. M. 

Amhystoma tigrmum mavortium Baird Barred Tiger Salaman' 
der (Axylotl (with gills) ) 
With many small yellow blotches, which may form bars on the sides; 
generally distributed except for New England 

Amhystoma tigrinum tigrinum (Green) Common Tiger Sala' 
mander (Axylotl (with gills) ) 

104. With a raised parotoid gland on each side of the head behind the eye; 

dorsal edge of tail more swollen than ventral edge; back brown, some 
times sprinkled or spotted with yellow; Washington to Cal. 
Amhystoma gracile (Baird) Toad Salamander 
(Amhystoma paroticum Baird) 
No noticeable parotoid glands; dorsal edge of tail usually thinner than 
ventral edge; color various 105. 

105. With a median groove in the tongue; back usually well spotted or frosted 

with lighter color; costal grooves 13 to 15 106. 

No median groove in the tongue; central area of back often less evidently 

marked with lighter color; costal grooves 10 to 14 108. 

106. With light frosting on back and sides, often appearing as light bars on 

the sides; S. C. to Florida and Alabama 

Amhystoma cingulatum Cope Frosted Salamander 
With light spots or lichen-like markings 107. 

107. Costal grooves 13; with one row of teeth on edge of jaw; N. and S. Caro' 


Amhystoma maheei Bishop Mabee's Salamander 
Costal grooves 14 or 15; with two or three rows of teeth on edge of jaw; 
Nebraska to W. Virginia, south to Georgia and Texas 

Amhystoma texanum (Matthes) Narrowmouthed Salamander 

108. Tail about one-third total length; head noticeably large; costal grooves 

10; southeastern states to 111. and Okla. 

Amhystoma talpoideum (Holbrook) Mole Salamander 
Tail longer; head smaller; costal grooves 1 1 to 14 109. 

109. With two tubercles on the sole of the hind foot; sometimes retaining 

gills throughout life; generally distributed except for New England 
Amhystoma tigrinum (Green) Tiger Salamander. (Axylotl 

(and varieties) (with gills) ) 

With one or no tubercles on the sole of the hind foot 110. 

110. Fingers and toes long and slender, longer than the respective palms and 

soles; Maine to Wisconsin and Kentucky 

Amhystoma jejfersonianum (Green) Jefferson Salamander, 

Eastern Long-toed Salamander 
(Salamandra granulata of De Kay) 


Fingers and toes shorter; northwestern Washington 

Ambystoma decorticatum Cope Washington Salamander 


Bishop, S. C. 1943. Handbook of Salamanders. Comstock Publishing Co. 
Ithaca, N. Y. 

Brimley, C. S. 1939-1941. The Amphibians (and Reptiles) of North Caro- 
lina. Carolina Tips, Vol. 2-4. Carolina Biological Supply Co., Elon 
College, N. C. 

Conant, R. 1947. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Northeastern States. 
Zoological Society of Philadelphia. 

Cope, E. D. 1889. The Batrachians of North America. Bull. U. S. Nat. Mu- 
seum, No. 34. 

Dunn, E. R. 1926. The Salamanders of the Family Plethodontidae. Smith 

College 50th Anniv. Publication, 7. 
Mellen, I. 1927. The Amphibians. Bull. N. Y. Zool. Soc, Vol. 30, No. 6. 

Slevin, J. R. 1928. The Amphibians of Western North America. Occ. 
Papers Calif. Acad. Sci., Vol. 16. 

Smith, H. M. 1934. The Amphibians of Kansas. Amer. Midland Naturalist, 
Vol. 15, No. 4. 

Stejneger, L. and Barbour, T. 1943. A Check List of North American Am- 
phibians and Reptiles. Fifth edition. Harvard Univ. Press. Cambridge, 

The names used as first choice in the salamander key are those given in 
the fifth edition of Stejneger and Barbour's Check List. 


Chapter 10 

Frogs and toads belong to a division of the Arnphibm known as Sahentia, 
the "■jumpers", or as Anura, the "tailless ones". The aptness of these terms is 
not apparent in the young or tadpole stage, which is characterized hy a fat 
body, a fin-like tail and absence of limbs. As development progresses, how 
ever, limbs appear, first the posterior and then the anterior pair, and the tail 
is gradually absorbed. The tail is absent from the adult stages of all native 
frogs and toads except one northwestern species, Ascaphus truei, the male of 
which retains a short tail throughout life. 

Frogs and toads are better known to most people by their songs than by 
sight. The calls of the various species differ decidedly from each other and are 
seldom heard except at the breeding season. Since one species or another is 
reproducing from the time the ice breaks up on the ponds until late summer, 
however, frog music is not rare. The performers are males, which reach the 
ponds first or first feel the reproductive urge and apparently attempt to attract 
the females by their siren songs. Strangely enough, the most penetrating cry is 
that of one of the smallest frogs, the spring peeper, Hyla crucifer. This minia- 
ture frog invades almost every puddle and, unlike most species, individuals 
differ considerably in the time they reproduce, so that the call may be heard 
from early spring until midsummer. The trill of the American toad, the low 
pitched ''chung" of the green frog and the "jug-o-rum" of the bullfrog are 
familiar to most country dwellers. It is worth the effort to stalk one of these 
singers at night with the aid of a flashlight, as at night most animals are less 
easily alarmed than in daylight. The Hylas and Bufos inflate their throats into 
huge, balloon-like sacs as they sing. The Ranas are less spectacular when in 
action, as they have smaller sacs, and some, such as R. pipiens, the meadow 
frog, and R. palustns, the upland frog, have one on each side of the neck, 
instead of a single large one in the throat region. Frog calls are fully as hard 
to describe as bird songs. They have been compared to almost every sound 
produced by animal or machine, but most descriptions, like the phrases used in 
describing bird songs are of much more use in enabling one to remember the 
calls than in aiding the beginner to identify them. One frog, Hyla avwoca, 
owes its specific name, meaning "bird-voiced", to its call, and several have re' 
ceived their common names from their calls. Examples of these are the bull- 
frogs, peepers, cricket frogs and barking frogs. Probably more attempts have 
been made to describe the mating call of the spadefoot toad than any other, and 


comparisons include such intriguing ones as a steam calliope, the groan of a 
deep-voiced man having a tooth pulled, the squawk of a big rooster caught in the 
night, the distant honking of geese, and the cawing of young crows. 

When the females have entered the ponds, a peculiar mating called 
amplexus takes place. A male grasps a female with his fore limbs, in most cases 
gripping her just behind her arms, and swims with her. This embrace may help 
to force the eggs from the body of the female. At the same time the male 
ejects sperm, which fertilize the eggs as they are discharged into the water. In 
the spadefoot toads the embrace is not axillary but inguinal, the female being 
grasped at the waist. A small pond full of mating frogs or toads is literally a 
battleground, for the males compete vigorously for their amatory privileges. 
Sometimes an unfortunate female is gripped by as many as three or four persist- 
ent males, so that she is submerged beneath the surface of the water by the com- 
bined weights of her admirers. Apparently the males distinguish the females 
by a process of trial and error, for a pursuing male will grasp a female or an- 
other male with equal readiness. A captured male's protesting croak, the slim- 
ness of his body, or some other indication warns the captor that he has made 
a mistake, whereupon the latter quickly relinquishes his hold to try his luck 

The eggs make only a small mass when first laid, but the almost invisible 
coating of jelly around each egg quickly takes up water and swells until it 
is at least as thick as the width of the enclosed egg, trebling the diameter of 
the total. The dark colored eggs absorb heat readily and the jelly envelope or 
envelopes around each egg act as tiny greenhouses, trapping the heat of the sun, 
so that development proceeds even among fragments of floating ice. Most 
frogs lay their eggs in clumps. The spring peeper and the cricket frog usually 
scatter their eggs singly among the submerged vegetation. The true toads de- 
posit long, curling strings of jelly containing the eggs in approximately linear 

In the northeastern states the wood frog, Rana sylvatica, is usually one 
of the first to lay. This species is peculiar in that the majority of the frogs 
in the pond deposit their eggs in the same spot, and, where the terrain is such 
that the spring thawing releases most of the frogs from their land hibernation 
quarters at one time, the egg-laying period lasts for only a few nights. In a 
large pond it is not unusual to find almost all the bunches of wood frog eggs 
clustered in a circle about ten feet across. Naturally, in more rugged country 
cut by shaded ravines, the release from under frozen debris is more gradual and 
the frogs are not all able to reach the pond at the same time. In that case the 
egg masses are less likely to be grouped in one part of the pond. Both the wood 
frogs and the peepers most often deposit their eggs in temporary ponds, and 
their tadpoles develop rapidly and transform into frogs by mid-summer, when 
the pond usually dries. This selection of temporary ponds frees the tadpoles 


from dangers from fish and some other enemies, but has its disadvantages in 
times of drought. Upland or pickerel frogs and meadow or leopard frogs lay 
a little later and in more permanent ponds. The former deposit eggs brown 
above and yellowish below, the latter black and white eggs, which also transform 
the same season. The American toad lays a bit later and prefers small ponds, 
often adopting garden lily ponds. Fowler's toad lays about three weeks later, 
and prefers more water, often utilizing quiet shallows of large lakes or streams. 
The males of both species may be heard trilling at intervals during the summer. 
The sluggards of the frog world are the green frog and the bullfrog, which do 
not reproduce until early summer. Both produce large floating sheets of eggs. 
Those of the green frog are usually among growing vegetation near shore, those 
of the bullfrog among brush or twigs near the center of the pond. In both 
cases the tadpoles pay the penalty for their parents' late appearance, the green 
frog spending one winter and the bullfrog two or even three winters in the 
tadpole stage. Eleutherodactylus ricordu, the robber frog of southern Florida, 
and probably some of the frogs of the southwest, like a number of more south- 
ern and tropical ones, lay their eggs on land, the tadpole stage being passed 
within the egg. These frogs lay fewer and larger eggs than the water-laying 

Variations and sexual diiferences are marked among frogs. Coloration is 
an unsatisfactory guide for identification. Many frogs become almost black 
in dull weather or in dark surroundings and light or brightly colored in sun- 
shine. The tree frogs are extreme in this regard, rivaling the chameleon. Im- 
mature frogs are frequently spotted or marked differently from adults. The 
green frog has an especially bewildering range of markings in its youth. Bufo 
amencaniis and Bufo foiulen intergrade as far as markings and colors are con- 
cerned, their voices being the best distinguishing characters. Several of the 
other species of Bufo merge so that it is frequently very difficult or often im- 
possible to tell certain specimens of one species from those of another. Many 
colors, especially the reds and yellows, fade or disappear entirely in preserved 
specimens. Sexual differences also exist. In most of the anurans the female 
becomes larger than the male. In some of the Ranas the tympanum or outer 
ear drum of the male is much larger than that of the female. In some frogs 
and toads the male has a colored or dark throat, while the throat of the female 
is usually white. The males of the true toads and of the spadcfoot toads have 
a dark or black callus on each of the first two fingers. During the breeding 
season the males of the Ranidae have the thumbs greatly enlarged. 

From time to time the American public is offered a "gold brick" in the 
form of an opportunity to invest in frog farms. Frogs' legs arc an important 
item of diet, but so far the market has been dependent upon the natural v.'ild 
supply. Unfortunately the bullfrog, the only species that attains sufficient 
size to be really desirable for food, takes from one to three years in the tadpole 


stage and from two to three more years to attain adult size in most sections 
of the country, so that commercial production offers many difficulties. 

Frogs and toads are of far greater value as insect destroyers than as food. 
With the exception of the bullfrog and his near relatives, all of them do more 
or less hunting on land. The toads, especially, are frequent tenants of gardens 
and no caterpillar is too hairy or cutworm too bitter for their taste. One of 
the creatures in action makes a grotesque spectacle. Slowly and solemnly it 
walks on tiptoe around an earthworm or insect larva until it finally determines 
to its own satisfaction which end represents the head. Then with deliberate 
aim it shoots out its tongue, which is attached in front so that it may be pre 
jected to a surprising distance to adhere to its prey. The captive morsel is 
speedily retrieved, after which the animal sits quietly and appears to meditate 
for a few moments. Suddenly the eyes roll and seem to sink into the head as 
they help to push the food down the creature's throat. Frogs and toads, like 
birds, should be protected because of their economic value as insect destroyers 
as well as for sentimental and other less practical reasons. 

The toads have been the victims of several unfortunate and erroneous 
superstitions. The idea that handling toads will cause warts on human hands 
is without foundation. The warts of the toad, however, mark the position of 
glands that secrete an acrid fluid when the animal is greatly alarmed or injured. 
A puppy, after having picked up a toad and mouthed it a bit, will drop it 
abruptly and show considerable distress for an hour or more. Even toad eggs 
contain this bitter substance, as a courageous investigator can quickly verify. 
Dried and powdered toads were an ancient ingredient used by apothecaries of 
former days. Recent studies have shown some scientific basis for this use. An' 
other popular but false idea is that toads can live entombed in rock or sealed 
in corner-stones for centuries. A toad seeking hibernation quarters can work 
itself into small crevices, but cannot survive a summer without food or even a 
few days without moisture. Stories of toads buried deep in the soil have some 
basis. All toads bury themselves for the winter, digging deeper and deeper 
in order to keep below the frost line. They also bury themselves in summer to 
escape drought. The spadefoot toads, especially, are known to attain depths 
of several feet. 

Frogs or toads kept as pets are best confined in a terrarium built up with 
moss, liverworts and other hardy woodland plants. A small dish filled with 
water and sunken in the vegetation provides moisture and adds greatly to the 
attractiveness of such a display. Small flying insects, insect larvae and earth' 
worms appeal to most frogs. Many learn to jump for bits of raw meat dangled 
on the end of a string. The Hylas make especially interesting pets and show 
intriguing changes and variety of color. An educational exhibit can be main' 
taned by raising young frogs from eggs up through the tadpole stages. The 
tadpoles should be removed from the original container as they hatch, so that 

they will not be poisoned by disintegrating egg-jelly, and placed in a balanced 
aquarium. After the first few days, when they begin to swim actively about 
in search for food, a little powdered dog biscuit or fish food may be added. 
Many tadpoles appreciate tiny worms or bits of raw meat. Care should be 
taken not to overfeed. In order to keep the v^ater fresh, uneaten fragments 
should be quickly removed. As the hind limbs become well developed and the 
nose of each tadpole takes on a more pointed shape, the water level should be 
lowered and the aquarium tilted, making it possible for the tadpoles to lie with 
their bodies partly exposed. This is necessary because the arms have grown 
into the gill chambers, intcrfermg materially with the gills, so that the action 
of the developing lungs must be supplemented by respiration through the skin. 
As soon as the fore limbs appear externally, the creatures may be removed to 
a tcrrarium. Small insects, such as fruit flies of the genus DrosophiJa, make 
excellent food at this time. 

In general, the remarks on study methods made at the end of the sala- 
mander chapter hold also for frogs. There is much need for study of life 
histories under natural conditions. Much of the descriptive work has of neces- 
sity been based on collections made by some biologist during a brief trip into 
a new area. Such observations may lead to errors. For example, if one finds 
two size groups of one species he may infer that they represent the year-old 
and the two-year-old groups, when they might equally well be from two 
spawnings during one year. Some forms, such as the spadefoot toad, have 
been reported to spawn at three different times in one year, even in northern 
states. A collector visiting the ponds and finding well grown tadpoles shortly 
after the third spawning was reported, and unaware of the earlier spawnings, 
might easily be deceived into thinking that development was remarkably rapid. 
Continuous studies, such as those made by the Wrights on the frogs of the 
Ithaca region, are needed for all forms. Methods of marking individuals, by 
tattooing or some method not likely to handicap the animal, would make it 
possible to check on the rate of growth, seasonal migration, age at which sexual 
maturity is reached, and length of life under normal conditions. 

Hibernation offers another challenge. Where and how far do the animals 
go in search of suitable hibernation quarters? How do they avoid freezing 
and how much cold can a dormant frog endure? How great is the mortality 
during hibernation? 

Choice of breeding sites also is in need of study. How far do the animals 
go in search of a suitable site? Do they return to the place in which they 
developed? Do they return to the same place each year? Why is one pond 
selected in preference to another? Why do the American and Fowler's toads 
of the same area usually select different spawning sites? Is egg-laying cor- 
related with certain air and water temperatures? 

These are but a few of the questions upon which we need more data and 


which the amateur can help solve hy observations in his own home territory. 
A good indication of the need for study on frogs is the fact that even in the 
southeastern states, where biologists have lived and studied for over two hun' 
dred and fifty years, two species of frogs, both of good size and one almost as 
large as the bullfrog, were overlooked and not even named until very recently 
(Hyla avxvoca by Viosca in 1931 and Kana hec\scheri by Wright in 1924). 
The characters used in the key need little explanation. 


This measurement is of the head and trunk, the hind legs not being in- 
cluded. Length of the head is taken from the tip of the snout to the rear 
margin of the tympanum. 


On the side of the head, behind the eye, is usually a smooth disc, the 
tympanuyn, tympanic membrane, or ear drum. Amphibians have no outer 
chamber to the ear. On top of the head in some forms are two structures 
useful in identification. One of these, present in the Bufonidae and most 
Scaphiopodidae, consists of a pair of elevated glands, the parotoids. They, 
with other glands, secrete a bitter fluid Vv'hich protects the possessor from many 
enemies who might otherwise eat him. Some snakes devour toads in spite 
of this protection, however. The other head character, developed only in 
some of the Bufonidae, consists of cranial crests or raised folds of skin on the 
top of the head and sometimes extending behind the eyes. The shape of the 
eye pupil is a useful character in the identification of living specimens but seb 
dom of value with preserved ones. The Scaphiopodidae have contractile pupils, 
which close vertically in the daytime like those of a cat. The Ascaphidae, also, 
have elliptically vertical pupils. The other frogs and toads have elliptically 
horizontal pupils. 


The surface of the ventral side — granular in most climbing frogs and in 
the toads, smooth in most aquatic frogs — aids in identification. In some of the 
Ranidae preservation may bring out granules that do not appear on the living 
animals. The Ranidae are relatively smooth bellied and have no toe discs, a 
combination of characters that sets them apart from most other frogs. The 
dorsolateral ridges, folds of skin separating the back from the sides, vary in 
their degree of development. For example, in the m.eadow frog these folds 
run the full length of the trunk, in the green frog they extend about halfway 
back, and in the bullfrog they are not developed at all. 


The enlarged thumb on the forelimb of the male Ranidae is characteristic 


of that family. The presence or absence of discs on the ends of fingers and 
toes indicates cHmbing abiHty or lack of it. The Acris and Pseudacris groups 
have this structure much reduced, so it pays to use a hand lens in examining 
fingers and toes on small frogs. These toe discs are circular in the Hylidae, 
transversely oval in most of the Lel^todactylidae. The amount of webbing is 
fairly well correlated with habitat. It oftens calls for close examination to 
determine the particular toe joint to which the web extends. 

Beginners sometimes fall into error when femur or tibia is to be examined. 
It should be remembered that the femur is the section of the hind leg nearest 
the body, the tibia (or tibio-fibula) the second, and that the third segment, 
sometimes mistaken for the tibia, is an elongated section of the tarsus or ankle. 


The identification of tadpoles is rather difficult and should be undertaken 
by the beginner only when mature tadpoles — with hind legs but without visible 
fore legs — are available. At that stage the epidermal teeth around the mouth 
are at their best stage of development and their examination under a lens will 
reveal their shape and arrangement. A knowledge of the habitat and life 
histories of local frogs will be of considerable aid. For example, the tadpoles 
of wood frogs would almost always be found in temporary ponds, while tad' 
poles of green or bullfrogs would rarely be found except in permanent ponds. 
Size differences and differences in time of metamorphosis also are of much aid 
in the identification of tadpoles. A collection of mature tadpoles, complete 
with data on habitat and time of collection, would be of much value to research 


Time of year, place and manner of deposition of eggs, and the number 
and arrangement of the jelly membranes are all useful in identification. The 
excellent descriptions and illustrations by the Wrights should be carefully 
studied. For later study, eggs are best fixed in Smith's fluid, which keeps both 
egg and membranes in good condition. Freshly laid eggs should be used, if 
possible, as the jelly layers become less distinct as the egg develops. Smith's 
fluid consists of 

Potassium bichromate 0.5 grams 

Formalin (comm.) 10.0 cc. 

Water 87.0 cc. 

Glacial acetic acid 2.5 cc. 

The acetic acid should not be added much before the fixative is to be used, 
as it may cause some deterioraticMi of the fluid during storage. The eggs should 
be fixed in this fluid for 24 hours, washed in running water for 6 hours, and 
then put in 3 or 4% formalin (not stronger) for storage. The formalin should 
be changed at intervals until it no longer becomes discolored. 



Order SALIENTIA (or Anura) of Class AMPHIBIA 

Tail not retained by adult; pectoral and pelvic girdles specialized 
Family ASCAPHIDAE (or Discogloss^dae) Bell or Ribbed Toads 

With tail-like process (male) or short anal tube (female) ; pupil 

vertical (by day); no visible tympanum; ribs present; upper jaw 

with teeth 

One genus — Ascaphus (1 species) 
Family SCAPHIOPODIDAE (or Pelohatidae) Spadefoot Toads 

Pupil vertical (by day); upper jaw with teeth; parotoid glands 

round or indistinct; no cranial crests; with a large, horny digging 

process on heel 

One genus — Scaphiopus (6 species) 
Family BUFONIDAE True Toads 

No teeth in jaws; parotoid glands oval or reniform; cranial crests 

usually present; with a small digging process on heel 

One genus — Bufo (17 species) 
Family HYLIDAE Tree Frogs 

With circular discs on ends of digits; skin of belly usually granular; 

upper jaw with teeth; no parotoid glands or cranial crests; thumbs of 

males not enlarged 

Three genera — Acris (2 species) 

Pseudacns (6 species) 
Hyla (12 species) 
Family LEPTODACTYLIDAE Barking or Robber Frogs 

Ends of digits T-shaped (with transverse discs) ; skin of belly usually 

smooth; otherwise much like the HyUdae 

Three genera — Leptodactylus (1 species) 

Eleutherodactylus (2 species) 
Syrrhophus (2 species) 
Family RANIDAE Common Frogs 

Upper jaw with teeth; without toe discs or parotoid glands; toes well 

webbed; thumb of male enlarged at base; tympanum evident 

One genus — Rana (17 species) 
Family BREVICIPITIDAE Narrow-mouthed Frogs 

No teeth in jaws; head very small; no tympanum visible 

Two genera — Gastrophryne (3 species) 
Hypopachus (1 species) 


1 . Tadpole stage completed in the egg jelly 

Family Leptodactylidae Robber Frogs 



l.AB\A\. TEtTH 

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With a free-swimming tadpole stage 2. 

2. Spiracle situated in the mid'ventral line 3. 
Spiracle situated on the left side 4. 

3. No labial teeth; spiracle next to the anus; usually with some white color 


Family Brevicipitidae Narrow-mouthed Toads 
With labial teeth; spiracle near the middle of the belly; body dark 
Family Ascaphidae Bell Toad 

4. Anus situated in the mid-line 5. 
Anus situated slightly to the right of the base of the tail 6. 

5. With three to six rows of labial teeth above (these rows may or may not 

be broken) ; with four to six rows of labial teeth below 

Family Scaphiopodidae Spadefoot Toads 
With two rows of labial teeth above; with three rows of labial teeth 

Family Bufonidae True Toads 

6. Tail crest high and extending far forward on the body; with two rows 

of labial teeth above; with two or three rows of labial teeth below 

Family Hylidae Tree Frogs 
Tail crest usually not high or extending much forward on the body; with 
two or more rows of labial teeth above; with three or more rows of 
labial teeth below 

Family Ramdae True Frogs 


1. Head and mouth noticeably small in proportion to the body; no visible 

tympanum; with a fold of skin running crosswise behind the eyes; 

Family Brevicipitidae Narrow-mouthed Toads 2. 

Not so 5. 

2. With two large tubercles on the sole of the hind foot; Texas 

Hypopachus cuneus Cope Taylor's Toad 
With one small tubercle on the sole of the hind foot 3. 

3. Belly plain; body slender, greatest width being one-half or less the length; 

Kansas to Texas 

Gastrophryne olivacea (Hallowell) Western Narrow-mouthed 

Microhyla olivacea (Hallowell) 
(Gastrophryne texensis (Girard) ) 
Belly spotted; body stout, greatest width being more than one-half the 
length 4. 

4. Usually with a dark stripe or band running obliquely down each side of 

back; skin relatively smooth; length of leg to heel equals the length of 
the body from the insertion of the arm backwards; Indiana to Florida 
and Texas 

Gastrophryne carolinensis (Holbrook) Eastern Narrow-mouthed 

Microhyla carohnensis (Holbrook) 





Al^ P LE X US 





Back gray, marhlcd with darker color; skin of back pustular; legs shorter; 

Castrophryne areohta (Strecker) MitchilFs Narrow'mouthed 

Microhyla areohta (Strecker) 

5. With parotoid glands or with a large, black, cutting tubercle on the sole 

of the hind foot, or both; pupil of eye vertical, round or horizontal 6, 

No parotoid glands; tubercles on the soles of the hind feet small or light 

colored; pupil never vertical 32. 

6. Belly smooth or wrinkled but not definitely granulated; pupil of eye 

higher than wide in bright light 7. 

Belly granulated; pupil of eye slightly wider than high; Family Bufonidae 

True Toads 13. 

7. Inner tubercle on the sole of the hind foot small; toes only slightly webbed; 

male with a short tail; Washington to Montana and California, in 
mountain streams; Family Ascaphidae 

Ascaphus truei Stejneger Bell Toad 
Inner sole tubercle large; toes well webbed; no tail in the adult; Family 
Scaphiopodidae Spadefoot Toads 8. 

8. Parotoid glands absent; skin loose over top of head; back blackish, with 

scattered, irregular tubercles; Subgenus Spea 9. 

Parotoid glands present, although indistinct in S. cottchn; skin tightly ap- 
plied to top of head; back brownish to greenish, with many small, uni' 
form tubercles; Subgenus Scaphiopus 11. 

9. Skin almost smooth; with a bony elevation between the eyes; Texas to 

N. D. and Idaho 

Scaphiopus homifrons Cope Western Plains Spadefoot 
Skin well sprinkled with tubercles or warts; area between the eyes smooth, 
lengthwise ridged, or with a glandular elevation 10. 

10. Area between the eyes flat and smooth; West Coast, and southeastward 

to Ariz, and Texas 

Scaphiopus hammondii Baird Western Spadefoot 
Area between the eyes lengthwise ridged or with a glandular elevation; 
Great Basin, Ariz, to Idaho and Washington 

Scaphiopus mtermontanus (Cope) Great Basin Spadefoot 

11. Parotoid gland and tympanum indistinct; back usually marbled with 

lighter color; Texas to N. D. and Idaho 

Scaphiopus couchii Baird Couch's Spadefoot 
Parotoid gland and tympanum distinct; light color on back usually as 
two more or less distinct Icngthv^'ise stripes 12. 

12. Mid-area of top of head just behind the eyes (frontoparietal) elevated 

and tubercular; end of snout truncated, not extending beyond the 
mouth; Okla. to Ark. and Texas 

Scaphiopus hurterii Strecker Hurter's Spadefoot 
Frontoparietal area not noticeably elevated or tubercular; end of snout 
more rounded, overhanging mouth; Mass. to Florida and Texas 
Scaphiopus holbroo^n (Harlan) Eastern Spadefoot 


13. Cranial crests present 14. 
No cranial crests or with very obscure indications of them 23. 

14. Lower edge of parotoid gland below the middle of the tympanum, usually 

level with the lower margin or below 15. 

Lower edge of parotoid gland above the middle of the tympanum 17. 

15. Parotoid glands enormous, triangular, about as large as the sides of the 

head; color usually brownish; the largest native toad, getting to be 
eight inches long; southern Texas 

Bufo marinus (Linn.) Giant Toad 
Parotoid glands smaller, oval 16. 

16. With conspicuous glands on tibia and femur; cranial crests curved around 

behind the eyes posteriorly; color greenish; California 

Bufo alvarius Girard Colorado River Toad 
No such glands; cranial crests straight, inconspicuous; color grayish to 
brownish, usually with a light mid-dorsal stripe; the smallest native 
toad, getting to be one and oncquarter inches long; N. C. to Florida 
and Louisiana 

Bufo quercicus Holbrook Oak Toad 

17. With a transverse ridge joining the posterior ends of the parallel cranial 

crests and extending obliquely sideways scarcely behind the eyes, ending 
abruptly; usually with a dark band, bordered with light below, along 
each side; North Dakota 

Bufo hemiophrys Cope Northern Toad 
No transverse ridge joining the cranial crests posteriorly; color various 18. 

18. With widely divergent cranial crests joining anteriorly in a conspicuous 

boss or knobby elevation; body skin enclosing femur; Minn, to Calif. 
Bufo cognatus Say Plains Toad 
Cranial crests not so; body skin enclosing half or less of femur 19. 

19. Cranial crests almost as far apart as the parotoid glands; parotoid glands 

triangular; both sole tubercles inconspicuous; with an oblique light 
band along each side; Louisiana to New Mexico 
Bufo valliceps Wiegmann Mexican Toad 
Cranial crests much nearer together; parotoid glands oval; inner sole tU' 
bercle enlarged and with a narrow cutting edge; color various 20. 

20. Cranial crests elevated posteriorly and swollen into knobs; parotoid glands 

short-oval; N. C. to Florida and Louisiana 

Bufo terrestris (Bonnaterre) Southern Toad 
(Bufo lentiginosus lentiginosus of Cope) 
Cranial crests not so; parotoid glands long-oval 21. 

21. With a short ridge or crest passing backwards from the postorbital crest 

(transverse ridge behind the eye) to the parotoid gland; parotoid glands 
usually nearer together than the length of one gland; belly often more 
or less spotted; eastern U. S. to Oklahoma 

Bufo americanus Holbrook American Toad 
No ridge or crest so situated; parotoid glands usually farther apart; ventral 
spots, if present, usually restricted to a small area on the breast 22. 




B U F f^A R \ N US 




22. End of nose flattened; length more than four and one-half times the length 

of the head (to the rear margin of the tympanum) ; general color brown- 
ish; warts large and usually only one or two to a color spot; adults often 
over four inches long; western states to Iowa 

Bufo ivoodhousii woodhousn Girard Rocky Mountain Toad 
End of nose rounded; length less than four and one-half times the length 
of the head; general color grayish; warts small and usually several to a 
color spot; adults seldom much over three inches long; Maine to 
Georgia, and westward to Michigan. Iowa and Texas 

Bufo woodhousn fowleri Hinckley Fowler's Toad 

23. Parotoid gland as large as the side of the head and descending on the side 

below the tympanum 24. 

Parotoid gland smaller and higher 25. 

24. Nostrils at tip of snout; dark color on back in a more or less reticulated 

pattern; Kansas to Texas and N. M. 

Bufo msidior Girard Reticulated Toad 
Nostrils not quite at tip of snout; back usually dark dotted; Texas 
Bufo dehilis Girard Little Green Toad 

25. Parotoid glands almost evenly round or triangular, about the size of the 

eyes; Kansas to Texas and California 

Bufo punctatus B. & G. Canyon Toad 
Parotoid glands definitely longer or larger 26. 

26. No definite, light, mid-dorsal streak; belly usually plain; no gland on 

tibia 27. 

With a light mid-dorsal streak; belly usually spotted; an enlarged gland 

on the tibia 28. 

27. Body skin enclosing femur; Nevada to Okla. and Texas 

Bufo compactilis Wiegmann Compact Toad 
Body skin about half enclosing femur; California 

Bufo calif ornicus (Camp) Southern California or Arroyo Toad 

28. Space between the parotoid glands slightly less than the width of one 

gland; Sierra Nevadas, California 

Bufo canorus Camp Yosemite Toad 
Space between the parotoid glands greater than the width of one gland 29. 

29. Black markings on belly about half obscuring light color; rear parts black, 

with light tubercles; restricted to springs in Inyo County, California 
Bufo exsul Myers Black Toad 
Dark markings on belly fewer and more restricted; rear parts gray 30. 

30. Limbs very short; elbow and knee do not meet when pressed toward each 

other along the side; southern Nevada 

Bufo horeas nelsoni Stejneger Nelson's Toad 
Limbs longer; elbow and knee of appressed fore and hind limbs meeting 
or overlapping 3L 

31. Belly usually well spotted with dark; nose pointed and sloping; Colorado 

to northern California, and northward 

Bufo horeas horeas (B. 5? G.) Northwest Toad 
Belly usually scarcely dark spotted; nose short and steep; Cal. and Nevada 
Bufo horeas halophilus (B. ^ G.) California Toad 


32. Belly granulated or pebbled; with large or small circular pads or discs on 

the ends of fingers and toes; Family HyUdae Tree Frogs 33. 

Belly smooth; fingers and toes with small, transversely oval pads or with' 

out pads or discs 63. 

33. Webs between the toes minute or absent; mostly under two inches long 

(head and body) 34. 

Fourth toe of hind foot half or more webbed; size various 44. 

34. Color on hack in two more or less well defined stripes or rows of spots, 

one on each side of the mid'line, which may or may not bend toward 
the mid'line and join in a cross-shaped pattern 35. 

With a dark stripe or row of spots down the middle of the back (some- 
times obscure to absent) , with or without another stripe or row of dark 
spots on each side 37. 

35. Thighs yellow behind; back usually with a dark band on each side, these 

tending to bend toward the mid-line and join in a cross-shaped pattern; 
Ohio to Maryland 

Pseudacris hrachyphona (Cope) Mountain Chorus Frog 
Thighs spotted with yellow behind; back usually with dark blotches or 
with obscure dark stripes 36. 

36. Vomerine teeth between the internal nostrils; dark band through the tym- 

panum extending back above the arm; N. C. to Florida and Louisiana 
Pseudacris ornata (Holbrook) Ornate Swamp Frog 
(Chorophdus ornatus of Cope) 
Vomerine teeth behind the internal nostrils; dark band through the tym- 
panum ending just before the arm; Texas 

Pseudacris strec\eri Wright 6? Wright Texas Chorus Frog 

37. Jaw pointed; with only one dark stripe or row of dark spots (often absent) 

down back, (not counting the dark band on each side back through the 
tympanum); with a light line down the outer side of the tibia; getting 
to be a little over one-half an inch long; southeastern states 
Pseudacris ocularis (Holbrook) Little Chorus Frog 
Jaw rounded; with three dark stripes or rows of blotches down back (be- 
sides the tympanic stripes) ; larger; getting to be more than three- 
quarters of an inch long 38. 

38. Usually with lengthwise dark markings on the hind legs; dark band back 

through the tympanum usually more conspicuous than the other mark- 
ings on the back; Virginia to Georgia 

Pseudacris brimleyi Brandt and Walker Brimley's Chorus Frog 

Usually with transverse dark marking on the hind legs; dark band back 

through the tympanum not conspicuously more distinct than the other 

markings on the back; P. nigrita complex 39. 

39. Legs very short; length of leg to heel scarcely extending forward to the 

posterior margin of the tympanum; northwestern U. S. 

Pseudacris nigrita septentrionalis (Boulenger) Northwest 
Chorus Frog 
Legs longer 40. 


40. Length of leg to heel (when extended forward) equal or less than the 

distance from the eye backwards 41. 

Length of leg to heel longer than the distance from the eye backwards 42. 

4 1 . Color on back in dark blotches; Kansas to Texas 

Pseudacris nigrita clar\ii (Baird) Clark's Chorus Frog 
Color on back arranged as more or less well defined stripes; N. Y. to 
to Ari2;ona and Idaho 

Pseudacrjs nigrita triseriata (Wied) Striped Tree Frog 

42. Color on back usually in dark lengthwise bands; back smooth; Penna. to 


Pseudacris feriarum (Baird) Eastern Swamp Cricket Frog 
Color on back usually as rows of spots; back tubercular 43. 

43. With a light line along the upper jaw; S. C. to Florida and Mississippi 

Pseudacris nigrita nigrita (Le Conte) Swamp Cricket Frog 
Upper jaw spotted or barred; Florida 

Pseudacris nigrita verrucosa (Cope) Florida Swamp Cricket 

44. With inconspicuous pads on ends of fingers and toes; rear of thigh with 

alternating light and dark bars; back with lengthwise dark markings; 
adults seldom much over an inch long 45. 

Pads on ends of fingers and toes more distinct; rear of thigh without al' 
ternating light and dark bars; size larger, except for H. crucifer, which 
has a dark, cross'shaped marking on the back 46. 

45. Web on hind foot extending almost to the end of the longest toe; length 

of leg to heel (when extended forward) shorter than head and body; 
east of the Rockies 

Acris crepitans Baird Cricket Frog 
Web on hind foot shorter; length of leg to heel extending forward to 
beyond snout; coastal regions from Virginia to Louisiana 

Acris gryllus (Le Conte) Southern Cricket Frog 

46. Discs on the fingers extremely large, quite as large as the tympanum; skin 

of the head grown to skull; southern Florida 

Hyla septentrionahs Boulenger Giant Tree Frog 
Not so 47. 

47. With very short webs between the fingers 48. 
No webs between the fingers 56. 

48. Back coarsely granulated, like the belly; Tenn. and S. C. to Florida and 


Hyla gratwsa Le Conte Barking Tree Frog 
Back smooth or rough, but not with the same granulated structure as the 
belly 49. 

49. Body extremely slender; length three times or more width through the 

area of the tympanum; back plain green or with a few light spots 62. 
Body moderately slender; back with changeable dark markings 50. 

50. No dark band back through the tympanum; rear of thighs plain yellowish; 

Utah to Cal. and Texas 

Hyla arenicolor Cope Canyon Tree Frog 



TP>» SE a\ATA 





With a dark band on each side of the head back through the tympanum; 
rear (concealed) surfaces of thighs Hght spotted or with dark blotches, 
frosting or network 51. 

51. No light spot below the eye; rear of thigh usually light spotted or plain 


Usually with a distinct light spot below each eye; rear of thigh usually 

spotted or reticulated with dark, which may give the appearance of 

light spots on a darker background 53. 

52. Rear of thigh brown, with definitely rounded yellow or orange spots; legs 

short; length of leg to heel scarcely reaching forward to the eye; Vir' 
ginia to Florida and Texas 

Hyla femoralis Latreille Pine Woods Tree Frog 
Rear of thigh usually plain yellowish; legs longer; length of leg to heel 
reaching forward to a point before the eye; Arizona and New Mexico 
Hyla wrightorum Taylor Wrights' Tree Frog 
(Hyla eximia Baird (part) ) 

53. Dark band through the tympanum turning downward on the shoulder; 

with a white ring around the insertion of the arm; southern Texas 
Hyla haudinii haudinii (D. &? B.) Mexican Tree Frog 
Dark band through the tympanum not turning downward on the shoul' 
der 54. 

54. Thighs greenish, with a darker network; eyes protruding well beyond the 

line of the jaw when viewed from above or below; voice like a bird's 
whistle; 111. and Tenn. to Florida and Louisiana 

Hyla avivoca Viosca Bird-voiced Tree Frog 
Thighs with yellow and brown reticulation; eyes scarcely protruding 
beyond the line of the jaw; voice a trilling croak 55. 

55. Back almost smooth; rear of thigh typically with small yellow spots on a 

brown background ; Arkansas to Texas 

Hyla versicolor chrysoscelis (Cope) Cope's Tree Toad 
Back usually with small warts; rear of thigh typically with a brown net' 
work on a yellow background; Maine to Minn., and southward to 
Florida and Texas 

Hyla versicolor versicolor (Le Conte) Common Tree Toad, 
Rain Toad 

56. With a dark band back through the area of the tympanum 57. 
No such dark band 61. 

57. Back green, with a white border along each side; posterior (concealed) 

surfaces of thighs purplish, spotted with yellow or orange; N. J. to 
N. C. 

Hyla andersonii Baird Cedar Swamp Tree Frog 
Back with dark color markings, which may vary or disappear in some 
specimens; rear of thighs yellowish or brownish, dark dotted or plain 58. 

58. With a more or less definite cross'shaped marking on the back; rear of 

thighs usually dark speckled; not over one and one-half inches long 59. 

Back with changeable dark spots or stripes, which may be absent; rear of 

thighs usually plain yellow; adults larger 60. 


59. With a dark line along the margin of the upper jaw; belly almost plain; 

Maine to N. D., southward to Florida and Kansas 
Hyla crucifer crucifer Wicd Spring Peeper 
(Hyla pic}{ermgu of Cope) 
With dark spots along the margin of the upper jaw; belly dark spotted; 
Georgia to Florida 

Hyla crucifer hartramiayia Harper Southern Peeper 

60. Posterior half of edge of upper jaw dark; dark band back through the 

tympanum usually continuing along the side as a series of dark spots; 
westward from Montana and Arizona to the coast 

Hyla regilla B. 5? G. Pacific Tree Frog 
With a light line along the upper jaw back to the shoulder or beyond; 
dark band through the tympanum continuing back to the shoulder; In' 
diana to Florida and Texas 

Hyla squirella Latreille Southern Oak Tree Frog 

61. Frog moderately slender; length less than three times width through the 

area of the tympanum; back with changeable dark markings, which 
may be absent; rear of thighs yellowish, usually unspotted; Indiana to 
Florida and Texas 

Hyla squirella Latreille Southern Oak Tree Frog 
Frog very slender; length greater in proportion to width; back pale green 
or with a few light spots; rear of thighs purplish, usually unspotted 62. 

62. With a distinct light band as a border between the darker color of the 

back and the light under surface; back yellowish'green; Florida to Vir' 
ginia and Texas; northward to Illinois 

Hyla cinerea cinerea (Schneider) Green Tree Frog 
No distinct light border between the color of the back and the under sur- 
face; color bluish-green; Virginia 

Hyla cinerea evittata (Miller) Marsh Tree Frog 

63. Webs between the toes minute or absent; with or without small transverse 

discs on the ends of fingers and toes; Family Leptodactylidae Robber 

Frogs 64. 

Toes of hind feet well webbed; no discs on ends of fingers and toes; 

Family Ranidae True Frogs 68. 

64. Fingers and toes without pads or discs; with a dorsolateral and a lateral 

fold on each side; southern Texas 

Leptodactylus lahialis (Cope) White-lipped Frog 
(Leptodactylus alhilahris (GiJnther) ) 
With small, transversely oval pads or discs on the ends of fingers and 
toes; no folds on sides 65. 

65. Legs short; length of leg to heel, when extended forward, equal to the 

distance from the tympanum backwards; with reddish dorsolateral lines 
and snout: Florida 

Eleutherodactylus ricordn (D. £2? B.) Florida Robber Frog 
(Eleutherodactylus planirostris (Cope) ) 
Legs longer; length of leg to heel reaching jforward to the eye or anterior 
to it; color not so; Texas 66. 


66. With a ventral disc; tympanum a little higher than wide; thighs not spot' 

ted behind; voice like a bark 

Eleutherodactylus latrans (Cope) Texas Cliff Frog 
(Lithodytes latrans Cope) 
No ventral disc; tympanum round; thighs spotted behind; voice like a 
cricket's song 67. 

67. Diameter of the tympanum about half or less the diameter of the eye 

Syrrhophus marnoc\ii Cope Marnock's Frog 
Diameter of the tympanum more than half the diameter of the eye 
Syrrhophus campi Stejneger Camp's Frog 

68. Dorsolateral ridges broken or absent or extending only half way back 69. 
With an unbroken dorsolateral ridge extending the length of each side of 

back 75. 

69. Tympanum inconspicuous, about half the si2;e of the eye, or covered with 

small tubercles; throat coloring not different in the two sexes 75. 

Tympanum smooth, usually quite conspicuous, that of the female being 
about the si2,e of the eye, that of the male larger; throat of the male 
usually yellow, or gray tinged with green, and usually of a different or 
deeper color than that of the female 70. 

70. First finger distinctly longer than the second; belly usually mostly dark; 

throat of male usually gray, tinged with green; S. C. to Florida and 

Rana hec\scheri Wright River-swamp Frog 
First finger about equal to or shorter than the second; belly usually mostly 
light colored; throat of male usually yellow 71. 

71. With two joints of fourth toe free of web; dorsolateral folds absent or 

extending about half way back 72. 

With one or no joint of fourth toe free of web; dorsolateral folds absent 

or interrupted 73. 

72. Dorsolateral folds extending about half way back; with much green about 

the head; west to Texas; introduced into Washington 

Rana clamitans Latreille Green Frog, Spring Frog 
Dorsolateral folds absent; usually with dorsolateral light stripes; N. J. 
to Georgia 

Rana virgatipes Cope Striped Sphagnum Frog, Carpenter Frog 

73. Body narrow; length of head and body more than two and one-half times 

width; fourth toe fully webbed; Georgia to Florida and Louisiana 
Rana grylio Stejneger Southern or Lake Bullfrog 
Body stout; length less than two and one-half times width; with one joint 
of fourth toe free of web 74. 

74. Belly light yellow, unspotted; head narrow; length of head and body 

more than three times the width of the head; northern states from 
Maine to Minn. 

Rana septentrionahs Baird Mink Frog 
Belly silvery, faintly mottled with brown; head broad; length of head and 
body less than three times the width of the head; our largest frog, get- 



H^\^^ svv.vavT\ca s\lvat\ca 


H^NA P\P\ 6.NS 



ting to be eight inches long (head and body) ; east of the Rockies, and 
introduced on the West Coast 

Rana catesheiana Shaw Common Bullfrog, Jumbo Frog 

75. Either with a dark patch from the cheek back through the tympanum, or 

with the under parts red, or both 76. 

No dark cheek patch; under parts white or yellow posteriorly (Sometimes 
the under parts are red as the result of a diseased condition. Frogs hav 
ing the under parts naturally red are found in the United States only in 
the Rocky Mountain region and westward.) 81. 

76. Under parts white or greenish; with a dark cheek patch; northern and 

eastern species 77. 

Under parts red or yellow posteriorly; dark cheek patch present or absent; 

western species 78. 

77. Back almost uniformly colored; breast scarcely spotted; Maine to S. C. 

and Arkansas 

Rana sylvatica sylvatica (Le Conte) Eastern Wood Frog 
Back with a wide, dark, mid-dorsal band and often with a fine, light, mid' 
dorsal stripe; breast well spotted; Michigan north and west 

Rayia sylvaUca cantahngensis Baird Northern Wood Frog 

78. Length of leg to heel reaching forward to the eye; cheek patch indistinct 

to absent; dorsolateral ridges often absent 87. 

Length of leg to heel reaching forward to the nostril; cheek patch usually 

more distinct; dorsolateral ridges usually present 79. 

79. Under parts yellow posteriorly; Wash, and Idaho 

Rana aurora cascadae Slater Cascade Frog 
Under parts red posteriorly 80. 

80. Skin of back smooth; West Coast, south to northern California 

Rana aurora aurora (B. ^ G.) Oregon Red-legged Frog 
(Rana agilis of Cope) 
Skin of back rough or tubercular; California; introduced into Nevada 
Rana aurora draytonii (B. 6? G.) California Red-legged Frog 
8L Back with lengthwise ridges between the dorsolateral ridges; usually with 
a light line along the upper jaw; back usually with the dark spots about 
the size of the eyes in two or three rows between the dorsolateral ridges 


Back smooth between the dorsolateral ridges, or with the dorsolateral 

ridges obscure to absent; color various 84. 

82. Dark spots on back between dorsolateral ridges squarish and closely 

spaced in two lengthwise rows; color brownish; under parts bright yel- 
low posteriorly; west to Oklahoma 

Rana palustris Le Conte Upland or Pickerel Frog 
Dark spots on back usually more rounded and about as far apart as one 
average sized spot; general color usually greenish; under part usually 
paler 83. 

83. Snout acute; length (head and body) about two and one-half times the 

length of the head to the posterior margin of the tympanum; typically 
with a distinct, rounded, white spot in the center of the tympanum; 
southeastern states to Texas 

Rana pipiens sphenocephala (Cope) Southern Leopard Frog 


Snout less acute; length about three times the length of the head; if a 
white marking is present on the tympanum, this is typically a blotch 
and not a definitely rounded spot; widely distributed (For a discussion 
of the R. pipiens complex, see Wrights' HANDBOOK, page 498.) 
Rana pipiens pipiens Schreber Meadow or Leopard Frog, 

Grass Frog 
(Rana virescens of Cope) 

84. Web on hind foot very broad, extending to the ends of the toes except 

the fourth, which may have one joint free; dorsolateral folds often ob' 
scure or absent 85. 

Web more moderate, extending not farther than the second joint of the 
fourth toe (excepting a very narrow line of web parallel with the sides 
of the toe, which may extend slightly farther) ; dorsolateral folds entire 


85. Under parts white, except for dark clouding on the throat and a touch of 

yellow on the hind feet; Ari2;ona and N. M. 

Rana tarahumarae Boulcngcr Mexican Frog 
Under parts yellow or red posteriorly; throat or breast often spotted or 
mottled 86. 

86. Length of leg to heel extending forward to the eye; tympanum smooth; 

usually with a light line along the upper jaw, with or without dark 
mottling; under parts orange to red posteriorly 87. 

Length of leg to heel extending forward about to the nostril; tympanum 
often with small tubercles; upper jaw usually conspicuously mottled; 
under parts yellow posteriorly 88. 

87. Spots on the back about the size of the eyes; upper jaw practically plain, 

except for the light line; with two tubercles on the sole of the hind 
foot; Montana to Arizona, and westward 

Rana pretiosa pretiosa B. & G. Western Red-legged Frog 
(Rana temporana pretiosa of Cope) 
Spots on back usually smaller and more numerous; upper jaw much spot- 
ted and mottled, and v/ith a light line; with one tubercle on the sole of 
the hmd foot; Nevada into Oregon and Idaho 

Rana pretiosa luteiventris Thompson Nevada Red'legged Frog 

88. With a light spot on top of the head; Oregon and Cal. 

Rana boylii hoylii Baird Western Yellow-legged Frog 
Not so 89. 

89. Tympanum with many small tubercles; Cal. 

Rana boylii mucosa Camp California Yellow-legged Frog 
Tympanum scarcely tubercular; Cal. and Nevada 

Rana hoylii sierrae Camp Sierra Yellow-legged Frog 

90. Upper jaw almost uniformly colored; skin of back smooth; Nevada 

Rana fisheri Stejneger Nevada Spotted Frog 
(Rana onca Cope) 
Upper jaw conspicuously spotted or mottled with dark; skin of back 
usually somewhat tubercular 9L 

9L With many small dark spots on the throat region; dark spots on back 
(about size of eye) irregular in shape and scarcely light bordered 92. 


Central throat region unspotted; dark spots on back regularly light bof 
dered 93. 

92. Skin of back scarcely tubercular; dark spots of back distinct against a 

light background; N. C. to Florida 

Rana capito Le Conte Pale Southern Gopher Frog 
(Rana aesopus (Cope) ) 
Skin of back very tubercular; dark spots of back obscure against a dark 
background; Ala. to Louisiana 

Rana sevosa G. 6? N. Dusky Southern Gopher Frog 

93. Skin of back scarcely tubercular; Ark. to Okla. and Texas 

Rana areolata areolata B. & G. Texas Gopher or Crayfish' Frog 
Skin of back very tubercular; Ohio to Miss, and Okla. 

Rana areolata circulosa R. ^ D. Northern Gopher or Crayfish 


Allen, A. A. 1950. Voices of the Night. Nat. Geog. Mag., Vol. 97, No. 4. 

Brand, A. R. (Bird Song Foundation) Cornell Univ. 1945. Voices of the 
Night. Comstock Publishing Co. Ithaca, N. Y. 

Cochran, D. M. 1932. Our Friend the Frog. Nat. Geog. Mag., Vol. 61, 

No. 5. 

Cope, E. D. 1889. The Batrachians of North America. Bull. U. S. Nat. 
Museum, No. 34. 

Dickerson, M. C. 1906. The Frog Book. Doubleday, Page &' Co. New 
York. (Reprinted in 1933.) 

Kellogg, R. 1932. Mexican Tailless Amphibians in the U. S. National Mu' 
seum. Bull. U. S. Nat. Museum, No. 160. 

Mellen, L 1927. The Amphibians. Bull. N. Y. Zool. Soc, Vol. 30, No. 6. 

Slevin, J. R. 1928. The Amphibians of Western North America. Occ. 
Papers Cahf. Acad. Sci., Vol. 16. 

Smith, H. M. 1934. The Amphibians of Kansas. Amer. Midland Natural' 
ist. Vol. 15, No. 4. 

Stejneger, L. and Barbour, T. 1943. A Check List of North American Am' 
phibians and Reptiles. Fifth edition. Harvard University Press. Cam' 

Storer, T. L 1925. A Synopsis of the Amphibia of California. Univ. of 
Cal. Pub. in Zoology, Vol. 27. Univ. of Cal. Press. Berkeley. 

Wright, A. H. 1914. North American Anura. (Life-histories of the Anura 
of Ithaca, N. Y.) Published by the Carnegie Institution of Washington. 

Wright, A. H. 1932. Life Histories of the Frogs of Okefinokee Swamp, 
Georgia. The Macmillan Co. New York. 

Wright, A. H. and Wright, A. A. 1949. Handbook of Frogs and Toads. 
The Comstock Publishing Co. Ithaca, N. Y. 

The names used as first choice in the frog and toad key are those given 
in the fifth edition of Stejneger and Barbour's Check List. 



Chapter 11 

In folk-lore and mythology dragons play an important part. It is an 
interesting conjecture that prehistoric man may have seen giant lizards and 
handed down the story. Although the dinosaurs, which belong to a different 
subclass of reptiles from the lizards, had probably all perished several million 
years before man arrived, very large lizards may have still survived. To drag' 
ons were attached most of the wild-animal horror tales of imaginative travelers. 
The dragons of many of these stories were not extremely big, however, as the 
hero could and often did slice off the head of a dragon with one blow. In 
Raphael Sanzio's famous painting of St. George and the Dragoyi, the latter is 
pictured as about ten feet long. Lizards as long as this still survive in the 
Dutch East Indies. The Douglas Burden Expedition, collecting for the Ameri' 
can Museum of Natural History, captured several of these dragon-lizards, 
Varanus \omodoens\s, and recorded that one damaged a horse so severely that 
the injured animal had to be shot, and another lizard swallowed the whole hind 
quarters of a deer. Fortunately for the beautiful maidens in distress, most of 
the "dragons" of today are small, and the great majority of North American 
species are less than a foot long. Alligators, anatomically different from lizards 
and belonging to a different order of reptiles, attain considerably greater size, 
and individuals of fifteen feet in length were fairly numerous in Florida before 
unrestricted hunting greatly thinned their ranks. 

In many parts of the country where lizards are scarce or rare, the term 
"lizard" is applied to the local salamanders. The latter are readily distinguished 
from lizards by their complete lack of scales and by their moist skins which 
confine them to damp habitats. A very few of the native lizards apparently 
lack scales, but have external ear openings not possessed by salamanders. Some 
of the legless lizards, such as the glass snake, are often confused with snakes, but 
may be identified as lizards by the presence of more than two scales or plates 
before the anal opening. 

Lizards, more than most reptiles, are adapted for living in a warm climate. 
Therefore, most of the native species are found in the southern states. When 
kept as pets, they lose all ambition and usually refuse to eat after summer tern' 
peratures no longer prevail. In keeping with their love of sunshine many 
lizards have become desert dwellers, burrowing into the sand for warmth as 
soon as the sun begins to sink. If the midday heat becomes excessive, however, 
they then also retreat to their sand burrows. As with snakes, recent studies 
have shown that even the desert-dwelling forms cannot survive long exposures 


to noonday heat and sunshine, but do make frequent excursions from one shady 
spot to another. The casual observer may easily mistake a temporary stop in 
bright sunlight for the commonly described but apparently rare ''basking in 
hot sun'\ Many of them enjoy exposure to mild sunshine, and most of them 
have fairly high optimum temperatures. The Crocodilians share this preference 
for high temperatures. A growth of about a foot a year has been recorded for 
captive alligators kept at the optimum temperature of about 80° Fahrenheit. 

Although lizards are generally feared by people unacquainted with their 
habits, only one species, the Gila monster, is poisonous. This animal, which 
gets to be about two feet long, is found in southwestern United States and 
Mexico. It is usually vicious and untrustworthy, when first captured. Since 
its poison glands are in its lower jaw, so that the poison cannot be efficiently 
ejected unless the animal turns upon its back, and since its poison 'Conducting 
teeth are grooved, instead of hollow needles as in most of our poisonous snakes, 
its bite is not always attended with serious consequences to humans. Its poison 
is said to be as powerful as that of the rattlesnake, however, and no chances 
should be taken. Unlike the poisonous snakes, the Gila monster retains its 
hold with great tenacity, so that it is almost impossible to shake it off. 

Most lizards feed on insects. A few devour other lizards. The Gila 
monster, in captivity, takes readily to hens' eggs and at liberty would probably 
devour any available birds' eggs. The chuckawalla is herbivorous and is used 
by the Indians for food. Many lizards have thick, fleshy tongues and capture 
their prey by sudden rushes. The horned "toads" resemble toads in eating 
habits as well as in appearance, for they have extensible tongues, which can 
be projected to adhere to insects and retrieve them. The striped lizards have 
narrow, forked tongues much like those of snakes. 

Most of the lizards are oviparous. Many bury their eggs, often in warm, 
damp sand, and pay them no further attention. Some species deposit eggs 
in rotting logs, damp moss and similar places and remain with them to help in- 
cubate or protect them. The glass snake is one of the lizards that broods its 
eggs. It is possible that the brooding habit is more general among lizards than 
has previously been supposed. A few lizards, such as the horned toads, pro- 
duce living young, retaining their eggs within the body until time for hatching. 
The alligator lays eggs about the size and shape of goose eggs in a piled-up 
mass of decaying vegetation in a swamp or similar habitat. It is reported to 
watch over its eggs and to open up the nest when they hatch. It seems probable 
that it guards its young for some time thereafter. 

Color variations often puzzle the collector and taxonomist and may be 
correlated with emotional state, sex and age. The American chameleon, Anolis, 
popularized by circus hawkers, turns from a dull brown to a vivid green when 
excited and often when sleeping. Environment affects its color only indirectly, 
for there is little attempt to match body color with surroundings. The true 


chameleon, a native of Africa, is a creature of far different build and greater 
range of color change. Sexual differences in color are often marked among 
lizards. Anohs males, when excited, often distend a throat fold so that bright 
red skin shows between the scales. A local name of "blood-swallowers" is 
based on this habit. In most of the swifts the males have patches of bright 
blue on the sides of the abdomen and sometimes on the throat, which color 
markings are often absent from the females. Age differences in lizards are also 
noticeable. The striped lizards, Teiidae, may lose their stripes and develop 
spots or cross bars as they age. Some species of fivc'lined skink have yellow 
stripes and bright blue tails in youth. In maturity they take on a more uniform 
brown. The adult males of some species develop bright red about their heads. 

An odd physical peculiarity of many lizards is familiar and annoying to 
the collector. It consists of the ability to break off the tail, which continues 
to writhe and twitch for some time, while the rest of the animal slips quietly 
away to regenerate its lost parts. The muscles contract so that there is prac' 
tically no bleeding and apparently no pain. The extreme development of this 
caudal autotomy is reached in the so-called glass snake, which, when roughly 
handled, casts off one section after another, until it has lost practically all of 
its tail, well over half the total length. Needless to say, the popular super- 
stition that the animal returns and reconnects the cast-off sections has no 
foundation in fact. Lizards, like snakes, shed their skins, but, unlike snakes, 
usually in patches or small pieces, rather than as complete skins. 

The alligator is unique among North American reptiles in possessing 
definite vocal powers. The mating song of the male alligator is a loud bellow- 
ing that sounds much like the lowing of a bull and may be heard for about 
a mile. Voice sacs, one on each side of the throat region, are inflated as he 
calls. The other native reptiles are limited to grunts and hisses, a surprising 
contrast to the vocal endowments of their lower relatives, the frogs. 

Since lizards are frequently kept as pets, or attempts are made to keep 
them, a few pointers may be useful. None of them live on sweetened water, 
as is often stated. They will usually eat insects, such as the beetle larvae called 
meal worms. All of them, even desert forms, need water, which should be 
sprinkled around in the cage, where they can lick it up like dew. Most of 
them will take water greedily in this way, but seem unable to learn to drink 
from a dish. Warm water for bathing should also be available. They must be 
kept warm. If once chilled, they often stop eating and soon die. Sand, shade 
and sunshine should be freely available. Baby alligators, like lizards, must be 
kept in an even, warm atmosphere. They prefer to take their food under water 
and will usually eat raw, lean meat, fish or frogs. Experiments indicate that 
small amounts of cod or halibut liver oil may help to take the place of native 
sunshine in keeping pet lizards in good condition . 




The illustration showing the arrangement and names of the scales, es' 
pecially those on the head, should be studied carefully. Since the names and 
positions of several of the head scales are the same as those of the snakes and 
correspond to the bones of the mammal skull, this is not a very difficult task. 
Some li2;ards have bead'like scales on the body, others have smooth but polished 
ones, and others have rough scales with projecting rear edges. Some forms 
have large scales above and small ones on the belly, while others reverse the 

Pattern is somewhat variable and depends partly upon age. Colors also 
vary, frequently with the emotional condition of the animal, and usually fade 
very badly in preserved specimens, which are commonly as disappointing as 
a collection of preserved fish. Many museums find colored casts much more 
useful for educational purposes than the best preserved or mounted originals. 

Measurement of total length needs no explanation. However, the loss 
of part of the tail frequently detracts from the usefulness of this character. 
The length of the head is the straight distance from the tip of the snout to 
the rear of the ear opening or of the tympanum, that of the tail from anus 
to tip. 

General habits. 

The studies now in progress on optimum and maximum temperatures for 
difi"erent reptiles are yielding rather surprising results, and should be checked 
in various localities. Food preferences also need study. Some lizards are rc' 
corded as insectivorous, some as carnivorous, and some as herbivorous. These 
records may be correct, but observations on free animals and those on caged 
animals often show great differences. A captive animal may have little choice 
except to eat the food offered it or to starve. Since birds have enjoyed legal 
protection, we have developed more humane methods of bird study, and it 
is well to remember that field glasses and Indian-type stalking may be used 
on other animals besides birds. Banding could doubtless be adapted to lizards, 
to learn their individual ranges and life spans. Other problems will soon 
suggest themselves. For example, one might check the often repeated state- 
ment that scalation on a regenerating tail, if different from the original pat- 
tern, resembles that of a more primitive group of lizards. Voice is also of 
interest. Some writers state that the geckos are the only lizards with any 
vocal powers beyond a hiss or grunt. Barking lizards are mentioned in travelers' 
stories. Do other lizards '"hark"", or are the voices those of small rodents which 
may share the burrow or retreat? 


Breeding habits. 

Courtship and mating habits of h'zards are not well known. It is thought 
that in the Amphibia these habits offer indieations as to the relationship of 
species, and this presumably may also be true for lizards. Time and place 
selected for egg-laying, length and temperature of incubation period, any brood' 
ing of the eggs, and any indications of parental care should be recorded. The 
old natural history books often show pictures of a lizard and her family, but 
these were probably made from captive specimens where parent and offspring 
had no choice but to stay together. 



Order LORICATA (or Crocodilm) (of Class REPTILIA) 

With two temporal openings on each side of skull, one above and one 
below the squamosal-postorbital bar; ribs with uncinate processes; epi' 
pubic bones present 
Family CROCODYLIDAE Crocodilians 

Back covered with rows of bony plates; teeth peg-like, set in 
sockets; bony palate extending to back of throat; quadrate bone 
rigidly attached to skull 
Two genera — Crocodylns ( 1 species) 
Alligator (1 species) 

With one temporal opening on each side, between parietal and the 
squamosal-postorbital bar; with one occipital condyle; no uncinate pre 
cesses on ribs; no epipubic bones 
Suborder SAURIA Lizards 

Brain case not completely ossified in front; four limbs usually present 
Family GEKKONIDAE Geckos 

Pupil vertical; eye covered by rigid, transparent eyelid; scales 
minute; tail short and thick; digits usually widened into discs 
Two genera — Phyllodactylus ( 1 species) 
Coleonyx (2 species) 

Head and body scales all small; teeth fused to inner edge of 
jaw; tongue thick, not protractile 
Thirteen genera — Anolis (2 species) 

Ctenosaura ( 1 species) 
Dipsosaurus (1 species) 
Crotaphytus (4 species) 


Sauromalus (1 species) 
Callisaurus (2 species) 
Uma (3 species) 
Holhroo\ia (6 species) 
Sceloporus (17 species) 
Uta (1 species) 
Urosaurus (2 species) 
Streptosaurus (1 species) 
Phr^'nosoma (9 species) 
Family ANGUIDAE Plated Lizards 

Scales large and smooth, squarish; with a fold of skin length- 
wise along each side; tongue long and deeply forked, protrac' 
tile; legs small or absent 
Two genera — Ophisaurus (1 species) 
Gerrhonotus (5 species) 

Legless; eye a narrow slit 
One genus — Anniella (1 species) 

Scales bead-like; tail short and thick; teeth hooked; lower jaw 
with grooved poison fangs 
One genus — Heloderma (1 species) 

Pupil vertical; back and sides with granular scales; abdomen 
with plates 

One genus — Xantusia (4 species) 

Tongue long, narrow and deeply forked, protractile; scales 
granular above 

One genus — Cnemjdophorus (7 species) 
Family SCINCIDAE Skinks 

Scales large and smooth, rounded; no folds of skin on sides; 
legs small 

Three genera — Leiolopisma (1 species) 
Eumeces (16 species) 
7S[eoseps (1 species) 

No visible eyes or ears; limbs absent or vestigial; scales not 
overlapping, arranged in rings around the body 
One genus — Rhineura ( 1 species) 
(Genus Bipes is found in Lower California) 












1. Without legs 2. 
With legs 5. 

2. No external ear openings or eyes; body apparently scaleless, with ring- 

like creases like an earthworm; Florida; Family Amphishaenidae 

Rhineura floridana (Baird) Florida Worm Lizard 
Either with external ear openings, eyes or visible scales 3. 

3. With ear openings; eyes with movable lids; tail longer than body (when 

complete) ; Virginia to Wisconsin, southward to Florida and N. M. 
Ophisaurus ventralis (Linn.) Glass Snake 
(of Family Anguidae) 
Without ear openings; eyes covered with thin skin; tail shorter than 
body; California; Family Anniellidae 4. 

4. Back silvery or buff 

Anniella pulchra pulchra Gray Silver California Worm Lizard 
Back dark brown 

Anniella pulchra nigra Fischer Black California Worm Lizard 

5. With but one pair of legs, placed anteriorly; restricted to Lower Cali' 

fornia; Family Amphishaenidae (part) 

Bipes hiporus (Cope) Two-legged Lizard 
With two pairs of legs 6. 

6. Anus running lengthwise; Family Crocodylidae (of Order Loricata) 

Crocodilians 7. 

Anus running crosswise 8. 

7. Snout very narrow and pointed; Florida; almost exterminated 

Crocodylus acutus Cuvier Crocodile 
(Crocodilus americanus (Laurenti) ) 
Snout wider and rounded; N. C. to Florida and Texas 
Alligator mississipiensis (Daudin) Alligator 

8. Body very fat, toad-Hke; head with spines or knobby tubercles; Family 

Iguanidae (part) Horned Lizards (Frogs, Toads) 9. 

Body more slender, lizard-like; head without spines or tubercles (the 

neck may or may not be spiny) 17. 

9. Sides relatively smooth; tympanum or ear membrane covered with scales; 

Ariz, to Texas 

Phrynosoma modestum Girard Little Homed Lizard 
(Anota modesta of Cope) 
With one or two rows of enlarged scales along each side; tympanum 
hidden or variously exposed 10. 

10. Head spines obsolete; scales of belly well keeled; S. Ariz. 

Phrynosoma ditmarsi Stejneger Ditmars' Horned Lizard 
Head spines present; scales of belly variously keeled to smooth 11. 






11. With four large spines at the back of the head (occipital region) form' 

ing a continuous series with the three large temporal spines on each 

Phrynosoma solare Gray Regal Horned Lizard 
(Phrynosoma regale (Girard) ) 
With two occipital spines at the back of the head between the temporal 
spines 12. 

12. Chin with three or four rows of enlarged scales on each side (of mid' 

line, within the row of spines on the angle of the lower jaw) 13. 

Chin evenly scaled or with one row of enlarged scales so situated 14. 

13. Scales on top of the head between the eyes smooth; S. Cal. 

Phrynosoma hlainvillii blainvillii (Gray) San Diego Horned 

(Phrynosoma coronatum hlamvillii (Gray) ) 
Scales on top of the head between the eyes rough or striated; Cal. 
Phrynosoma hlainvUhi frontale (Van Denburgh) California 

Horned Lizard 
(Phrynosoma coronatum frontale (Van Denburgh) ) 

14. With two rows of enlarged scales or spines along each side; head spines 

rather long 15. 

With one row of spines along each side; head spines moderate to short 16. 

15. Tympanum exposed; with a light mid'dorsal line; Colo, to Ark. and 

Ariz., and southwards into Mexico 

Phrynosoma cornutum (Harlan) Texas Horned Lizard 
Tympanum covered by scales; with a dark mid-dorsal line; Ariz, and 

Phrynosoma m'callii (Hallowell) MacCalFs Horned Lizard 

16. With a single large temporal spine on each side of and evenly spaced 

with the two occipital spines (in the middle of the back of the head) ; 
chin shields (on angle of lower jaw) conspicuous and larger posterior' 
ly; Wash, and Idaho to Ariz, and Cal. 

Phrynosoma platyrhmos platyrhinos Girard Smooth Horned 
With three short temporal spines grouped on each side of the two OC' 
cipital spines, which are short and stubby and widely separate; chin 
shields mostly uniformly small; Wash, to Cal. and Texas 

Phrynosoma orbiculare Wiegmann Douglass's Horned Lizard 
(Phrynosoma douglassii (Bell) ) 
(Several intergrading subspecies) 

17. Ear opening hidden; limbs very small; with one digit on each fore limb 

and two on each hind limb; Florida 

J\leoseps reynoldsi Stejneger TwO'toed Lizard 
(of Family Scincidae) 
Not so 18. 

18. With a large fold of skin, lengthwise along each side, closely folded to 

the body; back with large squarish scales; Family Anguidae Plated 
Lizards 19, 


No definite, lengthwise fold of skin along each side; back with rounded 
or pointed scales 28. 

19. With four large scales (and several smaller ones) in a square arrange 

ment on top of the head in front of a line drawn between the front 
corners of the eyes; Mexican Border 

Gerrhonotus imbncatus letncollis (Stejneger) Plated Lizard 
(Barissia levicolUs Stejneger) 
With three large plates in a triangular arrangement on top of the head 
before the eyes 20. 

20. With a small median plate behind the rostral plate; belly obscurely mot' 

tied; Texas 

Gerrhonotus mfernaUs Baird Brown Alligator Lizard 
With two small plates behind the rostral plate; belly often lengthwise 
lined 2L 

2L Scales almost smooth above, quite so on the sides; dark cross bands on 
back finely bordered by darker color; Ariz, and N. M. 
Gerrhonotus Xingii Gray King's Alligator Lizard 
(Gerrhonotus nobilis (B. ^ G.) ) 
Scales weakly to strongly keeled; back and sides with spots or with dark 
cross bands which may be finely light bordered posteriorly 22. 

22. Usually with dark cross bars across back and sides; eye yellow; usually 

with fourteen lengthwise dorsal scale rows 23. 

Central area of back often blotched, but seldom with dark cross bars; eye 

dark; with fourteen to sixteen lengthwise dorsal scale rows 25. 

23. Light areas across back betv^een the dark bars tinged with red in the 

mid-dorsal section; Gal. 

Gerrhonotus multicannatus multicarinatus (Blainville) 
Red-backed or Keeled Alligator Lizard 
Light areas grayish, untinged with red 24. 

24. With eight rows of scales on base of tail keeled; Pacific States 

Gerrhonotus multicarinatus scincicauda (Skilton) 
Skink-tailed Alligator Lizard 
With more than eight rows of scales on base of tail keeled; S. Gal. 
Gerrhonotus mult:carmatus wehhii (Baird) 
Webb's Alligator Lizard 

25. Scales on upper part of foreleg mostly smooth 26. 
Scales on upper part of foreleg mostly keeled 27. 

26. Usually with fourteen complete lengthwise dorsal scale rows; tail dark 

spotted; Montana to Wash, and N. Gal. 

Gerrhonotus coeruleus principis (B. ^ G.) 
Northern Alligator Lizard 
Usually with sixteen complete lengthwise dorsal scale rows; tail dark 
barred; adjacent mountain region of Oregon and Gal. 
Gerrhonotus coeruleus shastensis Fitch 
Shasta Alligator Lizard 

27. Sides usually light flecked; Gal. 

Gerrhonotus coeruleus palmeri (Stejneger) 
Sierra Alligator Lizard 


Sides with light bars; Cal. 

Gerrhonotus coeruleus coeruleus (Wiegmann) Blue Alligator 

{Gerrhonotus hurnettii of Cope) 

28. No eyelids; pupils vertical in bright light 29. 
With movable eyelids; pupils round, except in Cohonyx 37. 

29. Top of head with small, bead-Hke scales; Family GeWonidae Geckos 30. 
Top of head with large, flat scales; Family Xantusiidae Night Lizards 


30. Toes not flattened or swollen; S. Florida (introduced) 

Gonatodes fuscus (Hallowell) Yellow'headed Gecko 
Toes on hind feet flattened or swollen into pads 3L 

3L Each hind toe flattened and swollen throughout length, with the claw 

projecting from the end of the toe; male with a row of pores lengthwise 

along the rear of the inner side of the thigh; introduced into Florida 

Heviidactylus turcicus (Linn.) Leaf 'toed Gecko 

Each hind toe swollen at the tip, with the claw scarcely projecting be' 

yond the end of the toe; no femoral pores 32. 

32. Swollen pad at tip of hind toe double, with the claw between the two 

parts of pad; with several rows of warts or tubercles along back and 
sides; grayish or yellowish above, with dark markings; Cal. 
Phyllodactylus tuherculosus Wiegmann Warty Gecko 
With a single swollen pad at the end of each toe; back evenly scaled; 
Florida 33. 

33. Back dark, with yellowish spots 

Sphaerodactylus cinereus Wagler Spotted Gecko 
Back yellowish, with dark spots or lengthwise markings 
Sphaerodactylus notatus Baird Reef Gecko 

34. With two rows of small plates above each eye; with sixteen lengthwise 

rows of plates on the belly; hind legs almost half as long as the tail; 
on islands off the coast of Cal. 

X.antusia riversiana Cope Island Night Lizard 
Supraoculars in one row; with fourteen or less rows of plates on the 
belly; legs much shorter 35. 

35. With fourteen rows of plates on belly; back brown, marked with light; 

S. Cal. 

Xantusia henshawi Stejneger Boulder Night Lizard 
With twelve rows of plates on belly; back yellowish, gray or brown, 
with dark dots 36. 

36. With more than 42 granular scales across back; with a dark band along 

side of head through the eye; Ariz. 

Xantusia anzonae Klauber Arizona Night Lizard 
With less than 42 granular scales across back; usually with a pale stripe 
on each side from the region of the eye backward on to the area above 
the shoulder; Utah to Cal. 

Xantusia vigiUs Baird Desert Night Lizard 


RS ^ L 1 S 

COL E ON 7 V. 






37. Toes of hind feet flattened and swollen into pads; Family Iguanidae 

(part) 38. 

Toes not flattened or swollen 39. 

38. Tail narrowed and with a mid'dorsal keel; Key West, Florida 

Anolis stejnegeri Barbour Key Chameleon 
Tail evenly cylindrical; southeastern states to Texas; introduced into 

Anolis carolinensis Voigt American Chameleon, Fence Lizard 

39. Entire head and body covered with large, bead'like tubercles; toes of hind 

foot of about equal length; color yellowish to reddish, marbled with 
dark; with poison glands in the lower jaw; Nevada, Utah and Ariz;.; 
Family Helodermatidae 

Heloderma suspectum Cope Gila Monster 
Body scaled or granulated; toes of hind foot quite unequal; no poison 
glands 40. 

40. With a single row of enlarged, keeled or spiny scales along the middle 

of the back; Family Iguanidae (part) 41. 

Not so; sometimes with several lengthwise rows of enlarged scales 43. 

41. Back with large, pointed scales; no femoral pores; introduced into Florida 

Leiocephalus carinatus vhescens (Stejneger) Bahama Crested 


Back with small, flattened or keeled scales; males with femoral pores (a 

row of pores lengthwise along the rear of the inner side of the thigh) ; 

southwestern states 42. 

42. With a throat fold, covered by smaller scales; mid-dorsal row of scales 

flattened and keeled; tail rather smoothly scaled; Nevada, Colo., Ariz, 
and Cal. 

Dipsosaurus dorsalis (B. &? G.) Desert Iguana 
No throat fold; mid-dorsal row of scales in the form of upright spines; 
tail spinose; Lower Cal. 

Ctenosaura hemilopha (Cope) Cape Iguana 

43. Scales hard, flat, glossy; no femoral pores; Family Scincidae Skinks or 

Smooth-scaled Lizards 44. 

Scales granular, or somewhat raised, dull; males with a row or rows of 

pores lengthwise along the rear of the inner side of the thigh (often 

very obscure and difficult to see) 62. 

44. No internasal plates, the interfrontonasal projecting between the two 

nasals; with a bare spot on the lower eyelid; with a dark stripe length- 
wise along each side; 111. to Florida and Texas 

Leiolopisma unicolor (Harlan) Ground Lizard 
(Leiolopisma laterale (Say) ) 
With two internasal plates; lower eyelid entirely scaly; color various, 
although often light striped 45. 

45. With 18-22 rows of scales around the middle of the body; tail reddish 46. 
With 24 or more rows of scales around the middle of the body; tail color 

similar or not so 47. 


46. Light stripes running the length of the body; Ala., Georgia and Florida 

Eumeces egregius (Baird) Eastern Red-tailed Skink 
(PlesUodon egregius (Baird) ) 
Light stripes on anterior part of body only; Florida 

Eumeces onocrepis (Cope) Florida Red-tailed Skink 

47. With a row of light spots along each side of the upper jaw; rows of scales 

on sides oblique, not parallel to the dorsal rows of scales; dorsal scales 
often light-spotted or dark-edged; Kansas to Utah, and southwards 
Eumeces ohsoletus (B. t^ G.) Spotted Skink 
(Includes E. guttulatus (Hallowell) ) 
Not so; upper jaw mostly light colored or dark blotched; rows of scales 
on sides parallel to the dorsal rows of scales 48. 

48. Dorsolateral light lines on the third row of scales on each side (counting 

from the mid-dorsal line) and extending the length of the body 49. 
Dorsolateral light lines absent or differently situated 50. 

49. With two light lines only on the body; N. M. and Texas 

Euyneces gaxgeae (Taylor) Two-lined Skink 
With more than two light lines on the body; with a mid-dorsal light line 
which forks on the head; adults with several light lines on each side; 
Neb. to Texas and Ariz. 

Eumeces multnnrgatus (Hallowell) Many-lined Skink 

50. No postnasal (small plate not larger than the nasal behind the nasal and 

before the two larger plates (loreals) in a horizontal plane before the 
eye) ; with two or three median plates (one mental and one or two 
postmentals) from the tip of the chin backwards, before the chin 
shields begin; scale count 24-29 51. 

With one postnasal; with three median plates (one mental and two 
postmentals) from the tip of the chin backwards; scale count various 


5L With at least traces of two diverging light lines on top of the head; 

dorsolateral light lines incomplete on posterior half of body or not 

dark bordered 52. 

No light lines on top of the head; dorsolateral Hght lines distinctly dark 

bordered and extending the full length of the body 54. 

52. Parietal plates on head adjacent behind the interparietal; Ariz. 

Eumeces callicephalus Bocourt Mountain Skink 
Parietal plates completely separated by the interparietal 53. 

53. Dorsolateral light lines extending the full length of the body; light lines 

on top of the head usually not joining posteriorly; Texas 
Eumeces tetragrammus (Baird) Texas Skink 
Dorsolateral light lines fading out on posterior half of body; light lines 

on top of the head usually joining posteriorly; Texas 
Eumeces hrevilineatus Cope Short-lined Skink 

54. With two median plates (one mental and one postmental) from the tip 

of the chin backwards, before the chin shields begin; dorsolateral light 
lines not dark-edged above; N. Y. to Ga. and Texas 
Eumeces anthracinus (Baird) Black Skink 


With three median plates (one mental and two postmentals) from the 
tip of the chin backwards; dorsolateral light lines dark-edged above 55. 

55. With two dark lines along the center of the back; Minn, to Kansas 

Eumeces septentrionalis septentrionalis (Baird) 

Black-banded or Northern Prairie Skink 
Dark lines along center of back obscure or absent; Kansas to Texas 
Eumeces septentrionalis ohtusirostris Bocourt 

Southern Prairie Skink 

56. Limbs, when pressed toward each other along the sides, widely separate; 

no light stripes; Texas and N. M. 

Eumeces humilis (Boulenger) Taylor's Skink 
Appressed limbs almost or quite touching; young with light stripes 57. 

57. With five light stripes on the body (with a mid-dorsal stripe which forks 

on the head), except in adult males; dorsolateral stripes not involving 
the second row of scales from the mid-dorsal line; tail of young often 
blue; head of adult male often red or orange; scale count usually 28- 
32 58. 

With four light stripes, the dorsolateral ones quite wide, involving the 
second and third scale rows, or unstriped in adult specimens; tail of 
young blue or red; scale count 24-28 60. 

58. Dorsolateral light hnes on third and fourth rows of scales (from mid- 

line) ; Atlantic States and Mississippi Valley 

Eumeces fasciatus (Linn.) Common Five-lined Skink 
(Eumeces quinquelineatus of Cope) 
Dorsolateral light lines on fourth or fourth and fifth rows of scales 59. 

59. Scales below tail narrow; mid-dorsal light stripe usually not joining the 

diverging light stripes on the head; Va. to Florida and Miss. 

Eumeces inexpectatus Taylor Florida Five-lined Skink 
Scales below tail much wider than deep; mid-dorsal light stripe forking 
on the neck to form two diverging stripes on the head; southeastern 
states to Oklahoma 

Eumeces laticeps (Schneider) Giant Five-lined Skink 

60. Tail of young red; interparietal about two times as long as wide; adults 

uniformly colored; Cal. 

Eumeces gilherti rubricaudatus (Taylor) 
Western Red-tailed Skink 
Tail of young blue; interparietal much less than two times as long as 
wide 6 1 . 

61. Dorsolateral light stripe involving not over half the second row of scales; 

adults striped; Cal. to Wash, and Montana 

Eumeces s\iltonianus (B. &' G.) Western Blue-tailed Skink 
(Eumeces quadnlineatus Hallowell) 
Dorsolateral light stripe involving over half the second row of scales; 
adults losing stripes; Cal. and Ariz. 

Eumeces gilherti gilherti (Van Denburgh) 
Gilbert's Blue-tailed Skink 

62. Belly with large squarish plates in eight lengthwise rows; scales of back 

granular in appearance; young with a striped pattern, which may 




SYn h'\ETR\cUS 



become obscure or spotted in the adults of some species; Family Teii- 

dae. Race Runners or Striped Lizards 63. 

Scales of belly smaller and more numerous; without definite lengthwise 

stripes, except in some species with large, spiny scales 68. 

63. With one frontoparietal plate on the head; southern and Lower Cal. and 

outlying islands 

Cnemidophorus hyperythrus Cope Cape Striped Li2;ard 
With two frontoparietals 64. 

64. Scales on posterior edge of throat fold very small 65. 
With enlarged scales on the posterior edge of the throat fold 66. 

65. Color pattern in lengthwise stripes only; Utah to Texas 

Cnemidophorus perplexus B. & G. Striped Race Runner 
Adults usually with light bars on dark stripes to form a checker-board 
pattern; Colo, to Wash, and Cal. 

Cnemidophorus tessellatus (Say) Tessellated Race Runner 
and varieties 

66. With light bars on dark stripes in a checker-board pattern; Texas 

Cnemidophorus grahamii B. ^ G. Tiger Race Runner 
Sometimes light spotted, but not definitely light and dark barred 67. 

67. With two light stripes (dorsolateral and one below it) on each side of 

the tail; no light spots on adults; Mississippi Valley, and Florida to 
Maryland and Ariz. 

Cnemidophorus sexhneatus (Linn.) Six-lined Race Runner 
With a single light stripe (dorsolateral) on each side of the tail; adults 
usually light spotted; Arkansas to Ariz., and southwards 

Cnemidophorus gularis B. £s? G. Spotted Race Runner 

68. Skin very soft, without obvious scales; no throat fold; pupil of eye verti' 

cal in bright light; toes without ridges below; about two to three 
inches long; Family GeWonidae (part) 69. 

Skin tougher; either with a throat fold or folds or with large, spiny 
scales; pupil of eye round; toes with lengthwise ridges below; often 
larger; Family Iguanidae (part) 70. 

69. Tail with dark rings; with three to six femoral pores on rear of each 

thigh, with a space between the two series; N. M. and Texas 
Coleonyx brevis Stejneger Lesser Banded Gecko 
Tail dark barred above; with six to ten femoral pores on the rear of each 
thigh, forming a continuous V-shaped series; Utah to Cal. 

Coleonyx variegatus (Baird) Variegated Banded Gecko 

70. Scales along the edge of the upper jaw (upper labials) oblique and over' 

lapping 7L 

Upper labials upright and not overlapping 8L 

71. No visible ear openings Spotted Lizards 72. 
With visible ear openings 78. 

72. With dark spots or bars on under side of tail 73. 
No dark markings on under side of tail 74. 

73. Tail mostly flattened; tail dark barred below; back usually with small 


light dots in color pattern; with two dark bars posteriorly on each side, 
extending diagonally on both dorsal and ventral areas; Ariz, to Texas 

Holbroo]{ia texana (Troschel) Zebra-tailed Lizard 
Tail flattened only at base; tail with a median row of dark spots below; 
no light dots in back pattern; no distinct dark bars on sides; Texas 

Holbroo\ia lacerata Cope White-bellied Lizard 

74. Dorsal scales each with a median, lengthwise keel; no blue tinge about 
the two dark bars on each side of belly of males; Texas 

Holbroo}{ia propinqua B. 6? G. Rough-scaled Spotted Lizard 
Scales of back not keeled, although often with keeled scales on legs and 
tail; color characters various 75. 

75. Back with many small light spots that obscure the rows of dark blotches; 

supraoculars (large scales covering region of the eyeball) usually ad- 
jacent to frontal plate; Ariz. 

Holhroo\ia elegans Bocourt Slender Spotted Lizard 
(Holhroo\ia maculata ihermophxla Barbour) 
Back usually with a pattern of dark blotches in lengthwise rows, as well 
as scattered, small, light spots; with a row of tiny scales between the 
supraoculars and the frontal 76. 

76. Tail usually well over length of head and body (to anus) ; Ariz. 

Ho\hroo\ia pulchra Schmidt Mountain Spotted Lizard 
Tail seldom much, if any, over length of head and body 77. 

77. Usually with lengthwise light stripes between the rows of dark blotches; 

throat of male plain; no blue about dark bars on sides of belly; Wy- 
oming and Nebraska to Texas and Ariz. 

HolhrooXia maculata maculata (Girard) Common Spotted 
Less distinctly light striped; throat of male pigmented; with blue color 
about the dark bars on sides of belly; N. M. and Ariz. 
Holhroo\m maculata approxwiaris (Baird) 
Rio Grande Spotted Lizard 

78. Toes without spines; back usually grayish, with pale spots, and with 

dark spots or blotches in lengthwise rows; Nevada to Cal. and Ariz. 
Calhsaurus draconoxdes Blainville Gridiron-tailed Lizard 
(Includes C. ventralis (Hallowell) ) 
Toes each with a row of short, spiny scales, separated by tiny scales from 
the ventral toe plates; dorsal color usually in a regular black netv^'ork 
enclosing small light areas, some of each of which may have a central 
dark dot 79. 

79. With dark lines directed diagonally backwards on each side of throat, 

broadening and joining medianally to form dark, V-shaped or cres- 
cent-shaped markings; Cal. 

Uma scoparia Cope Mohave Desert Lizard 
Diagonal dark lines on throat fading out toward the mid-line 80. 

80. With a dark blotch on each side of the belly; Ariz, and Cal. 

Uma notata notata Baird Colorado Desert Lizard 
Belly plain light colored; Cal., Riverside County 

Uma inornata Cope Riverside Desert Lizard 


81. No fold of skin across the throat, or with only slight indications of one; 

scales of back uniformly large and each ending in a spine posteriorly 


With a fold or folds of skin across the throat; larger, spiny scales may or 

may not be present on the back in lengthwise rows 101. 

82. With a row of tiny scales extending about halfway back along the row 

of supraoculars, on the side away from the eye 83. 

With a row of tiny scales completely bordering the supraoculars, on 

the side away from the eye 85. 

83. Scales of back each deeply notched on each side of spiny tip; with a dark 

blotch on shoulder, but no distinct collar; Cal. 

Sceloporus orcutti Stejneger Orcutt's Spiny Swift 
Scales of back not each deeply notched on each side of spiny tip; with a 
dark "collar" on neck, which may be broken above 84. 

84. Legs dark barred; scales of back fully keeled; N. M. and Ariz. 

Sceloporus clar\ii clar\ii (B. & G.) Clark's Spiny Swift 
Legs not dark barred; scales of back keeled about halfway from tips; 
Utah to Ariz, and Cal. 

Sceloporus magister Hallowell Greater Spiny Swift 

85. With indications of a gular fold on each shoulder; with small, granular 

scales on the sides; Texas 86. 

No indications of a gular fold; with larger, overlapping scales on the 

sides 87. 

86. Tail dark barred above; W. Texas 

Sceloporus merriami merriami (Stejneger) Merriam's Canyon 

Tail ringed; Chisos Mts., Texas 

Sceloporus merriami annulatus Smith Merriam's Ring'tailed 


87. With a dark, light-bordered band or "collar"' across back of neck 88. 
Not so 90. 

88. Dark "collar" usually broken in the middle of the back of the neck; 

supraoculars (large scales covering the region of the eyeball) in one 
row, bordered on each side by smaller scales; Ariz, and N. M. 
Sceloporus jarrovn Cope Yarrow's Swift 
Dark collar complete across back of neck; supraoculars at least partly 
double, bordered on each side by smaller scales 89. 

89. Usually with only one or two supraoculars double; general color bluish; 


Sceloporus cyanogenys (Cope) Blue Collared Swift 
Supraoculars usually in two fairly complete rows above each eye; gen' 
eral color reddish; N. M. and Texas 

Sceloporus poinsettii B. & G. Red Collared Swift 

90. Scales on sides in horizontal series; usually with a light hne lengthwise on 

each side of back passing through the center of a single row of scales; 
belly unmarked; one color phase is plain brown above; Ariz. 
Sceloporus scalaris slevini Smith Mountain Swift 


Scales on sides sloping upwards posteriorly; light lines, if present on back, 
wider 91. 

91. With a slit-like depression just behind each hind limb; usually with a 

dorsolateral light stripe on each side of back enclosing two rows of 
dark spots, with a mid'dorsal light stripe between them; male with 
a large pink area on each side of belly; Texas 

Sceloporus variabilis marrnoratus (Hallowell) 
Pink-bellied Swift 
No slit-like depression so situated; pattern various; no pink areas on 
belly 92. 

92. Usually about 30 ( — 3) scales along the back from the base of the head 

to a point opposite the hind margin of the hind leg; rear surface of 
thigh usually unmarked; N. M. and Texas 

Sceloporus spinosus Wiegmann Texas Spiny Swift 
(Includes S. fioridanus Baird or S. olivaceus Smith) 
Usually well over 30 scales along the back, or with a dark mark or mark' 
ings on the rear surface of thigh 93. 

93. With small, granular scales on rear surface of thigh; average scale count 

usually 48 or over; Colo, to Wash, and Cal. 

Sceloporus graciosus B. fe? G. Sage Brush Swift 
(and subspecies) 
With larger, overlapping scales on rear surface of thigh; average scale 
count usually under 48 94. 

94. Fourth toe of hind foot extremely long — almost twice as long as the 

third toe; with a broad dark band along each side; Florida 
Sceloporus woodi Stejneger Florida Pine Lizard 
Fourth toe not greatly longer than third toe 95. 

95. Scales of back not noticeably larger posteriorly, gradually blending in 

size into those of sides; westward from Kansas (Two common sub' 
species of S. occidentalis given here) 96. 

Scales of back larger posteriorly than those of sides; eastward from 
Nevada (Variations of S. undulatus) 97, 

96. Supraoculars (large scales covering area of eyeball) in two rows; throat 

of male with median blue color; Wyoming to Wash, and Cal. 
Sceloporus occidentalis hiseriatus (Hallowell) 
Western Fence Lizard 
Supraoculars in one row; throat of male with blue coloring on each side; 
Wash, to Cal. 

Sceloporus occidentalis occidentalis (B. ^ G.) 
Pacific Fence Lizard 

97. Usually with two light stripes (dorsolateral and one below it) on each 

side 98. 

Back relatively unstriped or with dorsolateral stripes only 99. 

98. Males with blue color on each side of throat; each thigh usually with 

more than fifteen femoral pores; western N. D. to western Texas 
Sceloporus undulatus consohrinus (B. & G.) 
Southern Prairie Swift 


No blue throat color; each thigh usually with less than fifteen femoral 
pores; S. D. to Okla. 

Sceloporus undulatus garmani (Boulenger) 
Northern Prairie Swift 

99. Average scale count over 45 ; Colo, to Nevada and Ariz;. 

Sceloporus undulatus elongatus Stejneger Colorado Swift 
Average scale count under 45 100. 

100. Average scale count over 38; Georgia to Maryland and Ind.; Texas 

Sceloporus undulatus fasciatus (Green) Northeastern Fence 

(Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthinus (Green) ) 
Average scale count under 38; La. to S. C. 

Sceloporus undulatus undulatus (Latreille) 
Southeastern Fence Li2,ard, Pine Swift 

101. Tiny scales in a row directly above the eye upright and not overlapping; 

tail thick and blunt, not longer than head and body; Utah to Cal. and 

Sauromalus ohesus (Baird) Chuckawalla 
(Sauromalus ater of Cope) 
Superciliary scales oblique and overlapping; tail, when entire, narrow 
and longer than head and body 102. 

102. Plates on top of head small 103. 
Plates on top of head larger, the interparietal being larger than the ear 

opening 107. 

103. With several lengthwise rows of scales on top of the head between the 

area of the eyeballs; rostral plate three to four times as wide as the 
labial on each side of it 104. 

With one or two lengthwise rows of scales on top of the head between 
the area of the eyeballs; rostral plate twice as wide as the labial on 
each side of it 105. 

104. Young light barred; adults dark blotched only; head wider than distance 

from nostril to ear opening; Oregon to Texas and Cal. 

Crotaphytus wislizenii B. & G. Common Leopard Lizard 
(Gamhelia wishzemi (B. &?G.) ) 
Back with several light cross bars in both young and adults; head not 
wider than distance from nostril to ear opening; Cal. to Wash. 
Crotaphytus sUus Stejneger Barred Leopard Lizard 

105. With a light network on the back; with only faint traces of bands around 

the neck, or these are often absent; Texas and La. 

Crotaphytus reticulatus Baird Reticulated Lizard 
With light spots on the hack; with two black bands around the neck 106. 

106. Scales on top of the head between the area of the eyeballs mostly in one 

row; throat of male plain; Mo. to Texas and N. M. 

Crotaphytus collaris collar\s (Say) Eastern Collared Lizard 
With two complete rows of scales on top of the head between the area 
of the eyeballs; throat of male with dark markings; Idaho to Cal. and 

Crotaphytus collaris haileyi (Stejneger) 


107. Scales of back equal or blending in size 108. 
With lengthwise rows of raised or enlarged scales dorsally or with dor' 

solateral folds 109. 

108. Scales of back small, smooth; back with light spots and dark cross bands 

which tend to extend on to the belly; S. Cal. 

Streptosaurus mearnsi (Stejneger) Banded Swift 
(Uta mearnsi Stejneger) 
Scales of back keeled, larger than lateral scales; back with light spots 
and often with faint, light, lengthwise stripes; Wash, to Cal. and 

Uta stanshiiYTana B. & G. Ground Swift 
(and subspecies) 

109. Frontal plate entire; scales along center of back all small (between a 

raised dorsolateral line on each side) ; Cal. 

Urosaurus microscutatus (Van Dcnburgh) Small-scaled Swift 

Frontal plate divided; scales of back (between dorsolateral ridges) in 

large and small lengthwise series (U. ornatus — six of the eight sub' 

species are given here) 110. 

110. Tail very long, twice as long as head and body; with several nearly 

equal rows of enlarged scales down middle of back; Nevada, Ariz, and 

Urosaurus ornatus graciosus Hallowell Long-tailed Swift 
(Uta graciosa (Hallowell) ) 
Tail shorter; with a mid-dorsal series of very small scales, bordered on 
each side by two to four lengthwise rows of larger scales 111. 

111. Dorsolateral folds absent or almost so; large dorsal scales scarcely keeled; 


Urosaurus ornatus levis (Stejneger) Olive Swift 
With distinct dorsolateral folds or with some large dorsal scales well 
keeled, or both 112. 

112. With two fairly regular rows of large dorsal scales on each side of the 

small mid-dorsal series; scales of sides in parallel, diagonal rows 113. 

Large dorsal scales more irregularly arranged or in more rows; scales of 

sides not in regular, diagonal series 114. 

113. Mid-dorsal series of small scales wider than any individual large, dorsal 

scale; Cal. and Ariz. 

Urosaurus ornatus symmetricus (Baird) Symmetrical Swift 
Mid-dorsal series of small scales narrower; Ariz, and N. M. 
Urosaurus ornatus linearis (Baird) Lined Swift 

114. Usually with one to two irregular rows of large scales on each side of 

the small mid-dorsal series; usually with a fold of skin along each side 
below the dorsolateral fold; Texas 

Urosaurus ornatus ornatus (B. ^ G.) Common Ornate Swift 
Usually with two to three irregular rows of large scales on each side of 
the small mid-dorsal series; sides fairly smooth below the dorsolateral 
folds; Utah, Colo., Ariz, and N. M. 

Urosaurus ornatus u'righti (Schmidt) Wright's Ornate Swift 
{Uta wrighti Schmidt) 



Burt, C. E. 1931. A Study of the Teiid Lizards of the Genus Cnemido' 
phorus. Bull. U. S. Nat. Museum, No. 154, pg. 1-280. 

Burt, C. E. 1935. A Key to the Luards of the United States and Canada. 
Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci., Vol. 38, pg. 255-305. 

Ditmars, R. L. 1936. The Reptiles of North America. Doubleday, Doran 
^Co. New York. 

Schmidt, K. P. 1922. A Review of the North American Genus of Lizards 
Holhroo\m. Bull. Amer. Museum Nat. Hist., Vol. 46, pg. 709-725. 

Smith, H. M. 1946. Handbook of Lizards. Comstock Pub. Co. Ithaca. 

Stejneger, L. and Barbour, T. 1943. A Check List of North American Am' 
phibians and Reptiles. Fifth edition. Harvard Univ. Press. 

Taylor, E. H. 1935. A Taxonomic Study of the Cosmopolitan Scincoid LiZ' 
ards of the Genus Eumeces. Bull. Univ. Kansas, Vol. 36, No. 14. 

Van Denburgh, J. 1912. The Reptiles of Western North America. Cal. 
Acad, of Sciences. Occ. Papers 10. San Francisco. 

The names used as first choice in the lizard key are those given in the fifth 
edition of Stejneger and Barbour's Check List. 



An extreme and largely unjustified prejudice exists against snakes. This 
is apparently another example of the principle that we distrust whatever we 
do not understand. It is well to beware of snakes until one has learned which 
ones are poisonous, but fortunately these are limited to two groups, rattlesnakes 
and copperhead, in the states north of 40° latitude. South of this two others, 
water moccasin and coral snakes, are also found. Most snakes are inoffensive 
or beneficial animals, streamlined for pursuing insects, rodents and other prey. 
The visits snakes pay to barns and outdoor cellars are usually in search of 

A few of the li2;ards, a related group of reptiles, lack limbs and bear a close 
resemblance to snakes. The most common of these li2;ards, the glass snake, may 
be distinguished from the snakes by the presence of movable eyelids and ex- 
ternal ear openings. The others are less readily identified as li2,ards. In order 
to avoid confusion in this regard, the legless lizards have been included in the 
snake key as well as in the preceding chapter. 

The poisonous snakes of wide distribution are the pit-vipers — the rattle- 
snakes, the copperhead and the moccasin or cotton-mouth. These all have 
vertical pupils or cat-like eyes, the mark of crepuscular or twilight-roaming 
animals. They are not likely to be encountered abroad during full daylight, 
except for short intervals in the spring or fall, as they are leaving or seeking 
hibernation quarters. Another distinguishing character of these snakes is the 
presence of a deep ''dimple" or pit on the side of the head halfway between 
the eye and the nostril. They also differ from most of the other snakes in 
having most of the subcaudal plates undivided. The poison fangs are hollow, 
like hypodermic needles, and are situated in the front of the upper jaw. They 
are folded back against the roof of the mouth when not in use. The poison 
injected into the victim by one of these snakes acts on the haemoglobin of the 

The rattlesnake is readily recognized in the field by the presence of 
"rattles'' on the end of the tail, which in motion produce a noise much like 
that made by a cicada. Many harmless snakes simulate this sound by buzzing 
the tail among sticks or dry leaves. The copperhead may be identified by the 
"■hour-glass" back markings, narrowest on top, and by the lack of markings 
on top of the head. The harmless milk snake or checkered adder, so often 
mistaken for the copperhead, has its back blotches widest on top and usually 
has a yellow, Y-shaped marking on its neck and an additional spot or two on 


its head. The cotton-mouth is commonly confused with the brown water snakes 
of the genus 7\[atrtx, which bite readily but are not poisonous. It is found 
from Indiana and Illinois southward. 

In the southern states the coral snakes are occasionally turned up by the 
plow or more rarely seen above ground. They are nocturnal members of the 
cobra family and, but for their small size, would be most dangerous. The 
poison, like that of the dreaded cobra, acts on the nervous system. The hollow 
poison fangs are set rigidly in the front of the upper jaw. The "warning" 
coloration of red, yellow and black rings has been adopted by several non- 
poisonous snakes, but the latter either have the rings incomplete on the ventral 
surface or else do not have the red and yellow color adjoining. 

There are several other snakes that possess poison glands but lack the fang 
development for injecting it eificiently. These, such as Tantilla and Tnmorpho- 
don, are classed as semi-poisonous snakes. Their grooved, poison-conducting 
teeth are situated in the back part of the mouth and seldom cause dangerous 
injury to man. 

Most of us have been thrilled by stories of gigantic boa constrictors or 
by the "boas" of the circus side show, which are often in reality pythons, 
larger members of the same family. Two genera of boas are found in the 
southwestern United States, but they are both small compared with their 
tropical relatives. Like the pit-vipers, they differ from the other snakes in 
having vertical pupils and undivided subcaudal plates. The rosy boa is rare 
and little is known of its habits. The rubber snake is fairly common within 
its range. Like the larger representatives of the family, it kills its prey by 
encircling and crushing it. 

Snakes are all carnivorous, most of them eating only the animals they 
capture and usually refusing to accept anything but live food, even in cap' 
tivity. Garter snakes, green snakes and little brown snakes live largely on 
earthworms and insects. Water snakes eat frogs, crayfish and occasional 
warm-blooded prey. The viperine snakes, (rattlesnakes, copperhead and water 
moccasin) , colubers, and whip snakes and racers feed mostly on v^arm-blooded 
animals, chiefly mice. Some snakes may even follow rats or mice into their 
burrows in order to capture them. All snakes swallow their prey whole, the 
bones of the jaw being so hinged that the lower jaw drops down and the halves 
spread apart. An object three or four times the diameter of the snake can be 
thus engulfed. Once past the neck region powerful muscles crush the food 
into a more easily manageable mass. Even hen's eggs may be so manipulated 
and not crushed until they are beyond danger of loss by spilling. 

Contrary to general impressions snakes do not mate for life nor travel 
always in pairs. Favorable territory frequently supports several snakes of the 
same species, so that some valiant snake-killer, having destroyed one and being 
convinced that its mate is near by, can usually find another to support his 


theory. Actually there is little evidence of family life or interest in other 
members of the species except at times of mating and of hibernation. The 
poisonous snakes, water snakes, garter snakes and little brown snakes retain 
their eggs within the body until hatching time, so that they bring forth living 
young. Most of the other snakes seek suitable spots in which to deposit their 
eggs, but pay them no further attention. A few snakes are known to brood 
their eggs and the brooding habit may be more general than is supposed. The 
black snakes and racers seek manure piles or decaying straw stacks for egg- 
laying, possibly because the moisture and heat of fermentation afford ideal 
conditions for incubation. The green snakes and most of those preferring 
uncultivated and rocky country usually deposit their eggs under flat stones, 
which absorb heat during the day and act like old-fashioned soapstones to 
keep the eggs warm during part of the night. In most cases the young closely 
resemble the adults, but in a few cases where the adults are of uniform color 
the young may show a distinct pattern. The latter condition is true of the 
black snake and of several of the other racers. 

It is a common occurrence to find the discarded skin of a snake. Most 
snakes leave the skin turned inside out, but entire and unbroken. Sometimes 
it is possible to identify a snake to genus or even to species by the scalation 
of the shed skin. The rattles of the rattlesnake are formed at the times of 
shedding. The number of rattles is no definite indication of the age of the 
snake, however, as the skin may be shed several times a year. The rattles are 
often lost, so that a very old rattlesnake may possess only a few rattles. 

One of the most amazing actors among the snakes is the spreading adder, 
Heterodon. When alarmed, it raises the front part of its body into the air 
and flattens out its neck region much like a cobra. Its evil appearance is then 
supplemented by a loud hissing and all the preliminaries of an attempt to 
strike. If one is bold enough to call its bluff and offer it a hand for a target, 
he will find its strikes are so measured as to fall just short of the apparent 
goal. If struck, the snake will exhibit another more spectacular stunt. A 
shudder runs along its body, its jaws gape widely and its tongue lolls out, 
so that it appears to be having an epileptic fit. After a little of this it remains 
perfectly limp, belly up, and apparently dead. Only one flaw mars its per- 
formance. Apparently convinced that a dead snake lies always upon its back, 
it will quickly flop back in that position if it is turned upon its belly. The 
snake lies motionless as long as danger is apparent. When all appears quiet, 
it slowly raises and turns its head, always ready to fall back at a moment's 
notice. Satisfied that all is well, it rights itself and moves quietly away. 

The general aversion to snakes has led to the acceptance of many fallacious 
stories concerning them. The average person who encounters a snake does not 
tarry long enough to make close observations, and his descriptions come to be 
colored by imagination rather than fact. 


No snake ever rolls itself down hill in hoop form. Tree-climbing snakes, 
such as the black snake, frequently fling themselves from a tree into the under' 
brush, when disturbed, and a nervous and excited observer may easily convince 
himself that he has seen a hoop snake. 

Milk snakes do not suck cows dry, as is often reported, but frequent barns 
to seek for mice. 

No scientist or person friendly toward snakes has ever seen them swallow 
their young in order to protect them. Because of the peculiarities of snake anato' 
my, unborn snakes may appear to the casual observer to be in the parent's 
stomach. Some snakes do eat smaller snakes. However, digestive juices that 
are able to dissolve even bone would make a snake's stomach an extremely 
poor refuge. 

Snakes have no hypnotic powers. Animals, like humans, may be too 
frightened to retreat from danger. Most reported cases of a snake's charm' 
ing its prey deal with birds, which frequently flutter before any animal that 
approaches their nest in order to lead it away. 

A wide, flat, triangular head does not brand a snake as poisonous. The 
harmless spreading adder, Heterodon, can flatten its head more than the dan' 
gerous water moccasin. The poisonous coral snakes have slender heads. 

The forked tongue of a snake is harmless and apparently serves to pick 
up sound vibrations to supplement the poorly developed ears. The poisonous 
snakes have a pair of hollow teeth with which they stab to inject poison. 

Removing the poison fangs does not render a snake harmless. New fangs 
soon grow in and the other smaller teeth inside the mouth may serve to introduce 
the poison. The poison sacs themselves can seldom be removed without fatally 
injuring the snake. 

The rattlesnake usually gives warning before striking, but it may strike 
without rattling or coiling. Its strike usually does not exceed a distance equal to 
the length of the snake. 

The prairie rattler does not live peaceably with prairie dogs, as is often 
reported, but seeks them for food. 

Snakes are not slimy. Their skins are dry, but may feel rather clammy, 
since their temperature is usually below that of the human body. 

Fear of snakes is not instinctive. All animals regard an unusual animal 
with caution. Children who have not been alarmed by the stories of their 
elders will handle a snake as readily as they will a guinea-pig. 

Contrary to the usual stories, few snakes enjoy basking in summer sun- 
shine. In cool weather or in high altitudes where the temperature is low, 
they may expose themselves, but in hot places they show no inclination to com- 
pete with the "mad dogs and Englishmen" of the old song. Studies being 
carried on by the American Museum and other investigators show that even 
the sidewinder, a rattlesnake considered to be well adapted to hot deserts, 


is killed hy a few minutes' exposure to sunshine at a temperature of 100° F. 
and shows evidences of discomfort at temperatures much over 90° F. Most 
snakes die within twenty minutes if exposed to sunshine at 100° F. 

It is not true that a snake will not pass over a rope, especially a hair rope, 
as is sometimes stated. 

There are actual sea serpents, many kinds and many poisonous ones, with 
flattened tails to assist their swimming. None of them get to be as large as the 
big land snakes, however. The recurring reports of gigantic sea serpents are 
probably based upon fleeting glimpses of sharks, whales, and other common 
marine animals. 

Study of Snakes 

As a first step, the distinguishing characters of the local poisonous snakes 
should be carefully learned. Too much dependence should not be placed on 
color or pattern, since albinistic and melanistic variations are not rare, and at 
least one case of a completely black coral snake has been reported. Fortunately, 
the native poisonous snakes are seldom aggressive, and usually retreat if given 
any opportunity. Except in rare instances, most of the danger lies in in' 
advertently stepping on one, grasping it, mistaking it for a harmless one, or 
taking needless chances with one in order to impress observers. 

Hunting for snakes. 

Snakes are seldom easy to find, unless one happens upon a hibernation 
area at the right time in spring or autumn. During the rest of the year they 
must be sought out, usually in places of concealment under rocks, logs, brush 
piles, and similar locations. Water snakes can sometimes be captured at night, 
with the aid of a flashlight. 

Catching snakes. 

The often mentioned forked stick is of little practical value, because one 
can seldom take time to place it in position and it is likely to injure the snake. 
A plain stick is good, since one can usually hold it across the reptile, while one 
grasps the snake by the neck. A short hook or angle iron at the end of a stick 
is often useful in gently pulling a snake from a brush pile or rock crevice. The 
commonly suggested arrangements of strap or wire nooses are fine in theory but 
seldom of much value in the field. A pair of soft leather gloves will give one 
greater confidence and afford protection from the short teeth of the non' 
poisonous species. Once captured, the snake should be dropped into a cloth 
bag, the neck of which can be tied upon itself or with cord. This bag and its 
contents should never be left in the sun or on the floor of an automobile, or 
the occupant may die of heat. 


Handling Snakes. 

After the first handling, most snakes are quite docile, as long as they 
are not squee::cd. The chief trick in handling a snake is to support, but not 
grasp, it. If it is active, it should be allowed to pass from one hand to the other. 
A snake should not be teased for, like a dog, it may become irritable and 

Identification of snakes. 

Scale arrangement, especially on the head, offers the surest method of 
identification. The diagrams show the names and positions of the head scales. 
The body scales must also be counted, at times. Care should be taken to select 
a region about the middle of the body for counting the number of scale rows, 
as tapering toward the neck and tail region is usually accompanied by the 
dropping out of a few rows of scales. The count should be begun at the first 
scale above the broad ventral plates, and carried along the diagonal across 
the dorsal region to the opposite side. The suhcaudal plates are often in pairs, 
in which case the count is still made from anus to tail tip, each pair therefore 
counting as one. 

The color pattern is less reliable, but considerably more readily observed, 
especially on living, active specimens. Markings on the head and neck are 
often helpful and more constant than those on the back. For example, the 
lack of markings on top of the head of the copperhead sets it apart from the 
milk snake, which is often mistaken for it. In the United States the length' 
wise striped snakes are not poisonous, but more caution should be observed in 
handling barred or blotched ones. It must be remembered that occasional 
black or very light specimens of any species, including the poisonous ones, may 
he found, and also that the pattern becomes very much obscured as a snake 
reaches the time when its skin is about to be shed. The pattern changes with 
age in some species. 

Total length is the straight distance from the end of the snout to the tip 
of the tail. Length of tail is measured from the anus to the tip of the tail. 

Keeping snakes. 

Snakes can be kept in simple cages, but these should be clean and dry. 
A dish of water should be available, and a rock or other rough object should 
be provided, against which the reptile can rub itself to relieve irritations or aid 
in shedding its skin. The cage must be covered, since most snakes can reach 
surprisingly high and pull themselves out of any box, once they get their chins 
over the top. Ventilation should be provided by some such means as tacking 
strong screen wire over suitable openings. Some snakes, such as the black snake, 
can deliver surprisingly strong blows with the head, and may break ordinary 
window glass. They can also exert much lifting power, and will raise an un' 


fastened lid. One good arrangement is to have a box provided with screened 
ventilating holes and with a triple-thick or plate glass side or roof sliding in 

Feeding snakes. 

Natural food should he provided, unless the snake learns to take meat 
dangled or shaken before it. Garter snakes take earthworms readily; the small 
brown and green snakes will usually take smooth caterpillars and small grass- 
hoppers; water snakes, hog'nosed snakes and large garter snakes take frogs 
readily; most of the other common snakes prefer warm-blooded prey and will 
eat mice. A meal a week will maintain a snake in good condition. At low 
temperatures it can go for several months without food. If it refuses to eat 
ior several weeks in warm v^'eather, it is usually best to release it, unless it is a 
particularly valued specimen. Force-feeding is likely to result in injury. 

Injuries .and pests. 

Injuries often result from a snake's striking at the glass or wire front 
of its cage, when teased or annoyed. This habit can be discouraged by cover- 
ing the cage until the animal becomes used to its cage. If infection sets in, 
any mild antiseptic, such as potassium permanganate solution, may be applied. 
Ticks and other skin pests sometimes work under the scales and should be 
removed and the spots touched with antiseptic. If the reptile is unable to 
shed its skin completely, it may be aided gently with the fingers, or treated with 
warm Vv'atcr to help loosen the skin. 



Field studies would shed much light on when and where each species of 
snake hibernates. Some are known to bury themselves under leaves and debris, 
others seek deep rock crevices which may dip beyond the reach of frost, and 
some have been reported to bury themselves in springs which do not freeze. 
Where snakes are common, records of the last time they are seen in the fall 
and of first appearance in spring would shed some light on the length of the 
hibernating season. 


Mating habits, place of deposition and number of eggs, length of incuba* 
tion period under normal conditions, brooding habits and any evidences of 
parental interest in young are all topics needing further investigation. Some 
of these, such as incubation of eggs, can be studied under experimental or cap- 
tive conditions, although field observations are preferable. 


Life histories. 

Among the subjects imperfectly known are rate of growth under normal 
and favorable conditions, time taken to reach sexual maturity, frequency of 
shedding of skin, amount of wandering or adherence to a definite range, and 
records of longevity. It is possible to mark snakes for future identification by 
snipping into one or more of the ventral plates. A scar or scars result which 
persist throughout life. 

Food habits. 

These are difficult to study without sacrificing many animals. UnfortU' 
nately the digestion of snakes is so efficient that the feces usually contain httle 
identifiable material. However, one may sometimes observe the attempts of 
free snakes to swallow unusual or unexpected prey. Also, one can investigate 
the stomach contents of reptiles killed by automobiles or unsympathetic people. 
A surprising number of snakes can sometimes be picked up on state highways. 
The author secured only slightly damaged specimens of twelve different species 
on paved roads during a summer's automobile trip from Massachusetts to Iowa. 
In the southern states the number of snakes available in this way is even greater. 



With one temporal opening on each side, between parietal and the 
squamosal'postorbital bar; with one occipital condyle; no uncinate pro' 
cesses on ribs; no epipubic bones 
Suborder SERPENTES Snakes 

Brain case completely ossified; all skull bones except those of the brain 
case articulated; usually without traces of Hmbs or girdles 

Small, blind, worm-like, burrowing snakes; belly of native 
species with small scales instead of ventral plates 
One genus — Leptotyphlops (2 species) 
Family BOIDAE Boas 

Smooth-scaled; native species with vertical pupils and short, ob- 
tuse tails, with undivided subcaudal plates 
Two genera — Uchanura (1 species) 
Charina (1 species) 
Family COLUBRIDAE Colubrine Snakes 

An extremely large and varied group, with over one hundred 
native species; pupil round; scales smooth or keeled; no elon- 
gate poison fangs among the front teeth, but in a few forms 
some of the back teeth are long and grooved to form poison 


fangs; with divided subcaudiils in all genera except Rhino* 


Thirty-six genera — 

Carphophis (1 species) 

Ahastor (1 species) 

Farancia (1 species) 

Diadophis (3 species) 

Rhadinaea (1 species) 

Heterodon (3 species) 

Opheodrys (2 species) 

Coluber (5 species) 

Drymohius (1 species) 

Drymarchon (1 species) 

Salvadora (3 species) 

Phyllorhynchus (2 species) 

Elaphe (10 species) 

Arizona (1 species) 

Pituophis (5 species) 

Lampropeltis (7 species) 

Stilosoma (1 species) 

Contia (1 species) 
Sonora (5 species) 
Ficimia (2 species) 
Chilomeniscus (3 species) 
Jslatrix (13 species) 
Seminatrix (1 species) 
Storeria (3 species) 
Haldea (2 species) 
Liodytes (1 species) 
Thamnophis (9 species) 
Tropidoclonion (1 species) 
Conwphanes (1 species) 
Oxyhelis (1 species) 
Leptodeira (1 species) 
Hvpsiglena (1 species) 
Trimorphodon (3 species) 
Tantilla (8 species) 
Rhinocheilus (1 species) 

Cemophora (1 species) 

Family ELAPIDAE Coral Snakes 

Pupil round; front pair of upper teeth forming short, rigid, 
poison fangs; native species with small eyes and body ringed 
with red, yellow and black; with divided subcaudals 
Two genera • — • Micrurus ( 1 species) 

TVLicrnroides (1 species) 

Family CROTALIDAE Pit-vipers 

Pupil vertical; with a deep pit between eye and nostril; with 
a pair of long, hollow, poison fangs in front part of roof of 
mouth, folded against roof when not in use; with undivided 

Three genera 

Ag\istrodon (2 species) 
Sistrurus (2 species) 
Crotaliis (13 species) 













S \ DE V \ E V/ 








L Ventral scales small, not conspicuously different from the dorsal scales, 
or apparently scaleless 2. 

Ventral scales larger than the dorsal scales and much lengthened 

crosswise 1 1 . 

2. With external ear openings; with a fold of skin lengthwise along each 

side; Va. to Wis., southward to Fla. and N. M. 
Ophisaurus ventralis (Linn.) Glass Snake 
(A legless lizard) 
No external ear openings; no fold of skin along each side 3. 

3. Scales inconspicuous; body with external rings, appearing like an earth' 

worm; no visible eyes; Fla. 

Rhmeura fioridana (Baird) Florida Worm Li2;ard 
(A legless lizard) 
Body without external rings; with traces of eyes and with visible scales 4. 

4. Upper jaw pointed and not projecting much beyond the lower jaw; eyes 

as lengthwise slits; with about five large plates side by side in front of 
anus; California (Legless lizards) 5. 

Upper jaw blunt and rounded and projecting much beyond the lower; 
eyes round and covered with thin skin; with only one large transverse 
plate before the anus; Family Leptotyphlopidae Blind Snakes 6. 

5. Back silvery or buff 

Anniella pulchra puchra Gray Silver California Worm Lizard 
Back dark brown 

Anniella pidchra nigra Fischer Black California Worm Lizard 

6. With three small plates side by side on top of the head between the 

plates containing the eyes 7. 

With only one transverse plate on top of the head between the plates 

containing the eyes 8. 

7. With an undivided upper labial between the nasal and the descending 

plate (ocular) surrounding the eye; Okla. and Texas 

Leptotyphlops didcis didcis (B. & G.) Texas Blind Snake 
(Glanconia dulcis (B. 5? G.) ) 
With a divided upper labial so situated; Texas and Ariz, to Kansas 
Leptotyphlops dulcis dissectus (Cope) Prairie Blind Snake 

8. With five light-colored rows of scales along the middle of the back; Cal. 

and Ariz. 

Leptotyphlops hurmlis cahuilae Klauber Desert Blind Snake 
With seven dark-colored rows of scales along the middle of the back 9. 

9. With ten rows of scales on tail; Texas 

Leptotyphlops humilis segregus Klauber Mexican Blind Snake 
With twelve rows of scales on tail 10. 

10. Mid-dorsal scale count less than 287; fifth mid-dorsal scale scarcely wider 
than sixth; Cal., Nev. and Utah 

Leptotyphlops humdis humilis (B. &? G.) California Blind Snake 


Mid'dorsal scale count over 287; fifth mid-dorsal scale much wider than 
sixth; Utah 

Leptotyphlops humilis utahensis Tanner Utah Blind Snake 

11. With most or all of the large plates on the lower surface of the tail 

single; mostly poisonous snakes 12. 

With most of the large plates on the lower surface of the tail divided 

into two (sometimes with a few single plates) ; few poisonous and 

many harmless snakes 49. 

12. With a deep pit between the eye and the nostril; pupil of eye vertical; 

with a pair of hollow poison fangs, which are folded against the roof 

of the mouth when not in use; Family Crotalidae Pit' vipers 13. 

No pit between the eye and the nostril; pupil vertical or round; no poison 

fangs 44. 

13. No rattles on tail 14. 
With rattles on the end of the tail 19. 

14. No loreal; with one of the upper labials reaching up to the eye 15. 
With loreal; with two or three small scales between the eye and the 

upper labials 16. 

15. End of snout dark; contrast between cross bands and ground color more 

evident in adult than in young specimens; 111. to Ala. and Texas 
Agkjstrodon p^scivorus leucostoma (Troost) 
Western Water Moccasin, Cottonmouth 
End of snout light, with a vertical dark bar on each side of rostral plate; 
contrast between cross bands and ground color more evident in young 
than in adult specimens; Va. to Ala. and Fla. 
••.<"( Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus (Lacepede) 

Eastern Water Moccasin, Cottonmouth 

16. Dorsal dark cross bands deeply hour-glass shaped, and not confluent with 

dark belly markings (See note at end of chapter) 17. 

Dorsal dark cross bands scarcely hour-glass shaped, and confluent with 

dark belly markings 18. 

17. Narrowed area of dorsal bands about three to five scales wide, never ab' 

sent; color rather dark; Miss, to Ala. and Neb. 
Agkjstrodon mo\eson mo\eson (Daudin) 
(Agkjstrodon mo\asen Beauvois) 
(Ayicistrodon contortrix (Linn.) ) 

Northern Copperhead, Highland Moccasin, Chunkhead 
Narrowed area of dorsal bands less than three scales wide or sometimes 
entirely absent, so that some of the cross bands are usually broken on 
the mid-dorsal line; color rather pale; Texas to 111. and southern At- 
lantic states, except Florida 

Ag\istrodon mo\eson austrinus Gloyd and Conant 
Southern Copperhead 

18. Cross bands broad and fairly regular, blending into color on sides of 

belly; Kansas to Texas 

Agkjstrodon mo\eson laticinctus Gloyd and Conant 
Western Copperhead 


Cross bands irregular and usually with a light U-shaped area on each 
side; belly mostly dark, with sharply contrasting light areas; Texas 
Aghistrodon mo\eson pictigaster Gloyd and Conant 
Texas Copperhead 

19. Top of head between and a little behind the area of the eyeballs with 

about three large plates Pigmy Rattlesnakes 20. 

Top of head between the area of the eyeballs with many small scales 

Larger Rattlesnakes 24. 

20. Looking at the head from the side, with one plate above the pit and 

before the eye; usually with a light stripe from below the middle of 
the eye to the corner of the mouth 2L 

With two plates, one above the other, above the pit and before the eye; 
usually with a light stripe from below the front of the eye to the 
corner of the mouth 23. 

2L With about 25 rows of dorsal scales; ground color very dark; Fla. to 

Sistrurus miliarius harhonri Gloyd Florida Ground Rattler 
With about 21 rows of dorsal scales; ground color gray or brown 22. 

22. With about 30 dark, mid-dorsal blotches; Mo. to Texas, also to Tenn. 

and Miss. 

Sistrurus miliarius strec\eri Gloyd Western Ground Rattler 
With over 35 dark, mid-dorsal blotches; N. C. to Ala. 

Sistrurus miUarius miliarius (Linn.) Eastern Ground Rattler 

23. Belly mostly dark; N. Y. to Minn, and Kansas 

Sistrurus catenatus catenatus (Raf.) Eastern Massasauga 
Belly mostly light; Neb. to Ariz, and Texas 

Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii (B. 6? G.) Western Massasauga 

24. With a conspicuous spine or horn above each eye; Utah to Ariz, and 


Crotalus cerastes Hallowell Horned Rattler, Sidewinder 
No spine or horn above each eye 25. 

25. With tvv'o large plates, about the size of the eyes, occupying the entire 

transverse area on top of the snout between the front corners of the 
eyes; tail usually dark; Ariz, to Texas 

Crotalus molossus molossus (B. ^ G.) Black-tailed or Dog-faced 
With several small scales or plates in this region; tail banded or striped 
except in one species, which may have a dark tail 26. 

26. Looking at the head from the front, with the single large plate at the 

end of the snout (rostrum) separated from the large plate before each 
nostril by small scales; color whitish, dark dotted; Nev. to Ariz, and 

Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus (Cope) White Rattlesnake 
With the rostral plate in contact on each side with the large plate before 
each nostril; color dark or pale 27. 

27. End of snout sharply keeled; usually with an upright light bar on the 

rostrum; end of tail lengthwise striped; Ariz. 

Crotalus willardi Meek White-banded Rattlesnake 








I A E 


End of snout indistinctly keeled; no light bar on rostrum; tail dark or 
barred 28. 

28. With a vertical division in the upper preocular; snake greenish, with 

narrow, widely separated, dark cross bars along entire length 29. 

Upper preocular entire; coloration not so 30. 

29. With a dark line from the eye to the corner of the mouth; Texas 

Crotalus lepidus lepidus (Kennicott) Rock Rattlesnake 
No dark line from the eye to the corner of the mouth; Ariz, and N. M. 
Crotalus lepidus \lauberi Gloyd Green Rattlesnake 

30. With several internasals (between the nasals and behind the rostrum) 31. 
With two internasals 36. 

31. With a dark band passing obliquely backwards on each side of the head 

from below the center of the eye to about the corner of the mouth; 
with light streaks before and behind this dark band about one scale 
wide 32. 

With a dark band passing obliquely from behind the center of the eye to 
about the corner of the mouth; with light streaks before and behind 
this band about two scales wide 33. 

32. General color usually brownish'green; Iowa to the Rockies 

Crotalus viridis viridis Raf. Prairie Rattler 
(Crotalus confluentus confiuentus of Cope) 
General color usually reddish'brown; Ariz, and Utah 

Crotalus viridis nuntius (Klauber) Arizona Prairie Rattler 

33. Ground color brown, with very dark dorsal blotches and a series of small 

dark blotches along each side, or sometimes almost completely dark; 
Idaho to Ariz, and westward 

Crotalus viridis oreganus (Holbrook) Pacific Rattler 
(Crotalus confiuentus ludfer of Cope) 
General color reddish or yellowish, with lateral blotches obscure or ab' 
sent 34. 

34. Adults reddish, with indistinct blotches; Grand Canyon, Ariz. 

Crotalus viridis abyssus (Klauber) Grand Canyon Rattlesnake 
Adults yellowish 35. 

35. Adults pale yellowish, with obscure blotches; seldom over two feet long; 

Wyo. to Colo, and Utah 

Crotalus viridis concolor (Woodbury) Faded Rattlesnake 
(Crotalus viridis decolor (Gloyd) ) 
Adults yellowish'brown, with more distinct blotches; getting to be over 
two feet long; Idaho to Ariz, and Cal. 

Crotalus viridis lutosus (Klauber) Yellow Rattlesnake 

36. With blotches anteriorly and with cross bands on back and sides along 

posterior two-thirds of body, or sometimes entirely dark 37. 

Back usually with blotches along most of length; no cross bands 39. 

37. Rostral plate as wide as or wider than high; snake grayish, with blotches 

on first third of body and narrow, regular bands posteriorly; tail 


barred; Nevada, Ariz, and Cal. 

Crotalus tigris Kennicott Tiger Rattlesnake 
Rostral plate higher than wide; with large, irregular cross bands, or 
sometimes completely black; tail usually completely dark 38. 

38. Usually with a brownish mid'dorsal stripe on the anterior part of the 

body; ground color pale; Texas to Ala., and northward to 111. 

Crotalus horridus atricaudatus (Latreille) Canebrake Rattler 
Usually with a brownish mid'dorsal stripe on the posterior part of the 
body; ground color yellow to dark; Maine to Okla. 

Crotalus horridus horridus Linn. Timber Rattlesnake, Black 

39. Supraocular pitted or ragged; Inyo Co., Cal. 

Crotalus mitchellii stephensi Klauber Panamint Rattler 
Not so 40. 

40. With one row of small scales between the upper labials and the eye; 

usually with two or three rows of small, brownish blotches along the 
back; Ariz;. 

Crotalus triseriatus pricei (Van Denburgh) Price's Rattlesnake 

With two or more rows of small scales between the upper labials and 

the eye; with a row of large blotches along the middle of the back 41. 

41. With an upright light bar on each side of the front of the snout before 

the nostril; color greenish, with dark diamond-shaped blotches which 
have bright yellow borders; tail greenish above, ringed with black; 
N. C. to Fla. and Miss. 

Crotalus adamanteus Beauvois Diamond'back Rattler 
No such light bars; color grayish, pinkish or greenish, with diamond' 
shaped markings which have white or pale yellow borders; tail whitish, 
ringed with black 42. 

42. Ground color greenish; light bands on tail wider than the dark bands; 

with a light line passing from the rear corner of the eye above the 
corner of the mouth; Utah to Texas and Cal. 

Crotalus scutulatus (Kennicott) Mohave Rattlesnake 
{Crotalus scutellatus (Kennicott) ) 
Ground color grayish or reddish; light and dark bands on tail equal; 
with a light line passing from the rear corner of the eye to the mouth 


43. Ground color pinkish or yellowish, with dark dots; light bands on side 

of head parallel; Ark. to Texas and Cal. 

Crotalus atrox (B. ^ G.) Western Diamond-back Rattler 
Ground color reddish; light bands on side of head not quite parallel; 

Crotalus ruber (Cope) Red Diamond-back Rattler 

44. With two, large, lengthwise plates on the front area of the chin; pupil 

of eye round; with a black and brick-red pattern on the back, the red 
being in the form of squares or in cross bands; Family Coluhridae 
(part) 45. 

Front area of chin with small scales; pupil of eye vertical; back brownish 
or grayish; Family Boidae Boas 47. 


45. Dark dorsal saddles usually with a straight edge or two points at each 

end (laterally) ; light interspaces about one-half depth (lengthwise) of 
dark saddles, white and almost clear; Ariz., Nev. and S. Cal. 

RhinocheUus lecontei clarus Klauber Banded Long-nosed Snake 
Dark dorsal saddles coming to a single point at each end; light inter- 
spaces usually more than one-half depth of dark saddles, cream-colored, 
often red-tinted and usually much spotted laterally 46. 

46. End of snout turned upwards, with the margin of the rostral plate raised 

above the surrounding scales; Kansas to Texas and N. M. 

Rhinocheilus lecontei tesselatus Garman Spotted Long-nosed 
Margin of the rostral plate on the same plane as the surrounding scales; 
Idaho to Aris. and Cal. 

RJnnocheilus lecontei lecontei B. & G. LeConte's Long-nosed 

47. With a large plate on top of the head between the eyes; back grayish 

or brownish; belly clear yellow; Wash, and Mont, to Cal. and Utah 
Charina hottae (Blainville) Rubber or Ball Snake 
With many small scales on top of the head between the eyes; back gray- 
ish or brownish, often with three lengthwise stripes; belly reddish or 
yellowish, with brown markings 48. 

48. Dorsal stripes zigzag and often obscure; Cal. 

Lichanura roseofusca roseofusca (Cope) California Rosy Boa 
Dorsal stripes almost straight, but with serrate margins, and usually quite 
distinct; Cal. and Ariz. 

Lichanura roseofusca gracia Klauber Desert Rosy Boa 

49. With a single large plate before and below the anus; Family Coluhridae 

(part) 50. 

With a divided large plate before and below the anus 118. 

50. With a flat, triangular plate at the end of the snout, with prominent, 

projecting edges like a protecting shield; pupil of eye vertical; with a 

row of small scales between the eye and the upper labials 51. 

Plate on end of snout normal; pupil of eye round, except in Trimorpho' 

don; eye adjacent to one or more of the upper labials 55. 

51. With less than 17 dark blotches along the middle of the back (not count- 

ing the tail) 52. 

With more than 17 dark blotches along the middle of the back 53. 

52. Dorsal blotches much nearer together than the depth (lengthwise) of 

the blotches; S. Ariz. 

Phyllorhynchus browni hrowni Stejneger Brown's Leaf-nosed 
Dorsal blotches scarcely nearer together than the depth of the blotches; 
Maricopa Co., Ariz. 

Phyllorhynchus hroumi lucidus Klauber Maricopa Leaf-nosed 

53. With 35 or more dark blotches along the middle of the back; around 

Tucson, Ariz. 


Phyllorhynchus decurtatus nuhilus Klauher 
Cloudy Leaf-nosed Snake 
With 34 or less dark blotches along the middle of the back 54. 

54. Dorsal blotches about as far apart as the depth (lengthwise) of the 

blotches; Lower Cal. into Ariz. 

Phyllorhynchus decurtatus decurtatus (Cope) 
Peninsula Leaf-nosed Snake 
Dorsal blotches farther apart than the depth of the blotches; S. Cal., Nev. 
and Ariz. 

Phyllorhynchus decurtatus per\insi Klauber 
Perkins' Leaf-nosed Snake 

55. Scales of back keeled 56. 
Scales of back smooth (scales of tail smooth or keeled) 9L 

56. With 25 or more rows of scales around the body anteriorly or in the 

middle (usually 29 to 35); usually light-colored, with dark blotches, 

above, or sometimes completely dark Bull Snakes 57. 

With 23 or less rows of scales around the body (not counting the ventral 

plates) ; striped, with rows of small spots, or solid dark color above 66. 

57. With two upper labial plates touching the eye on each side; normally 

with two prefrontal plates; a Mexican species which extends into S. 
Texas and Cal. 

Pituophis deppei deppei (D. ^ B.) Mexican Bull Snake 
{Epiglottophis pleurostictus of Cope) 
With one or no upper labial touching the eye on each side; normally 
with four prefrontal plates 58. 

58. With less than 38 well separated dorsal blotches (on back and tail) or 

sometimes completely dark; width of rostrum about one-half height; 
head spotted, but without bands or stripes 59. 

With more than 38 mid-dorsal blotches only three or four scales apart; 
width of rostrum more than one'half height; head with a band or 
bands 6L 

59. Black above, gray below; adjoining sections of Ala. and Miss. 

Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi Blanchard Black Pine Snake 
Brownish or light above, with dark blotches 60. 

60. Brownish above, with obscure blotches; Fla. 

Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus Barbour Florida Pine Snake 
Whitish above, with distinct dark blotches; Tenn. to N. Y. and S. C. 

Pituophis melanoleucus melanoleucus (Daudin) Common Pine 

61. Rostral plate noticeably narrower than high; yellowish, with dark 

blotches on the back, and a noticeable row of smaller dark spots along 
each side; Ind. to Cal. 62. 

Rostral plate about as wide as high; yellowish, with dark blotches on the 
back; smaller dark spots along each side often obscure; Colo, west' 
ward 63. 

62. Dorsal blotches squarish; Wis. and Ind. to the Rockies, and southward 

into Mexico 








Pituophis sayi sayi (Schlegel) Common Bull Snake 
Dorsal blotches incurved before and behind; Colo, to Cal. southwards 
Pituophis sayi affinis Hallowell Arizona Bull Snake 

63. Anterior mid-dorsal spots often incurved before and behind; central 

mid-dorsal spots reddish, posterior ones black; S. Cal. 

Pituophis vertehrahs (Blainville) Southern California Gopher 
Mid-dorsal spots oval or squarish and similarly colored 64. 

64. Anterior mid-dorsal spots usually joining lateral spots and often joining 

each other; S. Cal. 

Pituophis catenifer annectens (B. & G.) Checkered Gopher 
Anterior mid-dorsal spots scarcely joining lateral spots and never joining 
each other 65. 

65. Light-colored scales on anterior part of body usually each with a central 

dark dot; Colo, to Wash, and Cal. 

Pituophis catenifer deserticola Stejneger Desert Gopher Snake 
Light-colored scales not dark dotted; Wash, to Cal. 

Pituophis catenifer catenifer (Blainville) Pacific Gopher Snake 

66. With one internasal plate; uniform dark brownish color above; belly yel' 

lowish or pinkish; Va. to Fla. and Texas 

Haldea striatula (Linn.) Brown or Ground Snake 
(Potamophis striatulus (Linn.) ) 
With two internasals; usually with three lengthwise stripes or with sev 
eral rows of spots; belly spotted or plain 67. 

67. Nostril surrounded by a single plate (nasal) which is vertically grooved 

below the nostril; back usually striped; with two rows of dark spots 
close together along the middle of the belly; most of the central states 
to Texas 

Tropidoclonion hneatum (Hallowell) Striped Swamp Snake 
Nostril between two nasal plates; back striped or spotted; belly spots, if 
present, in two widely separated rows Garter Snakes 68. 

68. With a pale stripe lengthwise along each side passing anteriorly through 

the third and fourth (and sometimes the second) rows of scales up 

from the ventral plates 69. 

With a pale stripe passing anteriorly below the fourth row of scales 

(usually through the second and third) or sometimes absent 74. 

69. Lateral stripe anteriorly on the third row of scales and one-half the sec 

ond and fourth rows; upper labials six or seven; Ind. to N. Y. and 

Thamnophis hutleri (Cope) Butler's Garter Snake 
(Eutaenia hutleri Cope) 
Lateral stripe anteriorly on the third and fourth rows of scales; upper 
labials on each side seven, eight or nine 70. 

70. Tail about one-fourth or less total length; scales along the edge of the 

upper lip usually margined with dark or with dark coloring; belly 
often with dark markings 7L 


Tail usually more than onc'fourth total length; scales along the edge of 
the upper jaw usually pale; belly usually plain colored 72. 

71. With 21 rows of scales anteriorly; with eight, sometimes nine, upper 

labials; stripes usually greenish; Texas to Cal. 

Thamnophis macrostemma (Kcnnicott) Arizona Garter Snake 
(Thamnophis megalops (Kennicott) ) 
With 19 rows of scales anteriorly; with seven, sometimes eight, upper 
labials; stripes usually bright yellow or orange; 111. and the Great 
Plains, northwestwards 

Thamnophis radix (B. ^ G.) Plains Garter Snake 

72. Usually with seven upper labials; with three bright yellow stripes on the 

body and usually with a streak of bright yellow before each eye; 
Maine to Mich., and southward to Ga. 

Thamnophis sauritus saiiritus (Linn.) Ribbon Snake 
Usually with eight upper labials; with the dorsal stripe noticeably differ' 
ent from the laterals, either much deeper color or else very faint; with' 
out a yellow streak before each eye or with only a very dull one 73. 

73. Dorsal stripe conspicuous and brighter than the laterals; Colo, and Neb. 

to Wis., and southwards (See note at end of chapter) 

Thamyiophis sauntus proximus (Say) Western Ribbon Snake 
Dorsal stripe paler than the laterals, often absent except anteriorly; Fla. 
to Miss. 

Tham.nophis sauritus sac\enii (Kennicott) Southern Ribbon 

74. With the lateral stripe passing anteriorly through the third row of scales 

only; with a bright yellow crescent on each side of the back of the 
head; Kansas to Cal. 

Thamnophis marcianus (B. & G.) Marcy's Garter Snake 
With the lateral stripe passing anteriorly through the second and third 
rows of scales, or sometimes absent; head color various 75. 

75. Greatest number of rows of scales on the body 21 or 23 (not counting 

the ventral plates) 76. 

With nineteen or less rows of scales 83. 

76. Most of the dorsal stripe present 77. 
Most of the dorsal stripe absent 80. 

77. Belly brown; lateral stripes obscure; Cal. 

Thamnophis ordinoides g'igas Fitch Giant Garter Snake 
Belly gray or marked with black; lateral stripes distinct 78. 

78. Dorsal stripe with blurred or spotted edges; belly marked with black 

along the mid-ventral line; Mont, to Ariz., and westwards 

Thamnophis ordinoides vagrans (B. fe? G.) Great Basin Garter 
Dorsal stripe with sharp edges; belly often clouded with black 79. 

79. Belly pale, with few black markings; usually with one preocular plate 

on each side; southern Pacific States 

Thamnophis ordino-ides elegans (B. ^ G.) Pacific Garter Snake 
(Eutaenia elegans (B. &? G.) ) 




STOR t R \ A D t »< A y « 



L \ N E AT U M 


Belly gray, with black clouding; preocular usually divided; Pacific States 
Thamnophis ordinoides hiscutatus (Cope) Klamath Garter 

80. Lateral stripes absent or very faint; with dark spots on the back, except 
in old specimens; Ariz, to Texas 

Thamnophis angustirostris (Kennicott) Spotted Garter Snake 
Lateral stripes distinct; usually with alternating rows of dark spots 8L 

8L Preocular usually single; lateral stripes mostly gray; Oregon 

Thamnophis ordinoides hydrophila Fitch Oregon Garter Snake 
Preocular usually divided; lateral stripes yellow 82. 

82. Usually with ten lower labials; belly usually mostly pale; Cal. 

Thamnoph-is ordinoides hammondu (Kennicott) California 
Garter Snake 
Usually with eleven lower labials; belly often with black markings; Cal. 
into Nevada 

Thamnophis ordmoides conchii (Kennicott) 
Sierra Nevada Garter Snake 

83. Eye distinctly small; pairs of plates beneath chin about the same size; 

scale rows often 17; lower labials usually eight or nine; dorsal stripe 
sometimes red; West Coast 

Thamnophis ordmoides ordmoides (B. & G.) Western Garter 


Length of eye about equal to the distance from eye to nostril; second pair 

of plates beneath chin longer than the first pair; scale rows usually 19; 

lower labials usually nine or ten 84. 

84. Upper labials usually eight 85. 
Upper labials usually seven 86. 

85. Head as wide as the width through the thickest part of the body; dorsal 

stripe on only one row of scales for most of length; with a yellow 
crescent on each side of head behind corner of mouth; color brownish, 
red tinted; Utah to Ariz, and Texas 

Thamnophis eques eques (Reuss) Brown Garter Snake 
Head narrower; dorsal stripe wider; often with red in the coloration; 
Cal. coast 

Thamnophis ordinoides atratus (Kennicott) Coastal Garter 

86. With whitish or bluish spaces (on the skin, not the scales) between the 

dark dorsal spots; no red color (See note at end of Chapter.) 87. 
With reddish spaces between the dark dorsal spots 88. 

87. Dorsal and lateral stripes narrow and irregular, and bluish'green in col- 

or; Puget Sound area. Wash. 

Thamnophis sirtaUs pic\eringii (B. 6? G.) Puget Sound Garter 
Dorsal and lateral stripes broad and regular, and orangcyellow in color; 
Minn, southward and eastward 

Thamnophis sirtalis sirtaUs (Linn.) Eastern Garter Snake 


88. Dorsal stripe covering only a single row of scales; lateral stripes broken 

or absent; Wash, and Oregon 

Thamnophis sirtalis concinnns (Hallowell) One-striped, Red' 
barred Garter Snake 
Dorsal stripe covering more than a single row of scales; lateral stripes 
entire 89. 

89. Great Plains area 

Thamnophis sirtalis parietahs (Say) Great Plains Red-barred 
Garter Snake 
Pacific States 90. 

90. Color between the light stripes usually in stripes only; Wash, to Cal. 

Thamnophis sirtahs tetrataenia (Cope) Cascade Red-barred 
Garter Snake 
With a spotted appearance between the light stripes; Oregon, Nevada 
and Cal. 

Thamnophis sirtahs infernahs (Blainville) California Red- 
barred Garter Snake 

91. No loreal; prefrontal and parietal plates each touching one upper labial; 

ground color above grayish, red-mottled, with dark brown blotches; 
belly dark-mottled; Fla. 

Stilosoma extenuaturn Brown Short-tailed Snake 
(Stylophis extenuatus (Brown) ) 
With one or more loreals on each side; with the prefrontals or the pa- 
rietals or both not touching any upper labials; color various 92. 

92. Pupil of eye vertical; usually with two or three loreals on each side; back 

teeth grooved (semi-poisonous) ; with a row of dark blotches along 
the back, each usually with a central, transverse, light area; scale count 
21 to 24; Cal. 

Trimorphodon vandenhurghi Klauber California Lyre Snake 
Not so; pupil of eye round; usually with one loreal on each side; back 
teeth not grooved 93. 

93. With 15 to 17 rows of scales around the body (not counting the ventral 

plates) 94. 

With 19 or more rows of scales around the body 95. 

94. With 17 rows of scales around the body; frontal plate about as wide as 

long; color above and below almost uniformly brown or black (the 
body may be darker posteriorly, or the scales may be dark with reddish 
color at their bases or tips) ; chin reddish; S. C. to Fla. and Texas 
Drymarchon corais couperi (Holbrook) Indigo Snake 
With 15 to 17 rows of scales; frontal plate distinctly longer than wide; 
color plain, striped or banded (Snakes normally having a divided anal 
plate, but occasionally having a single one.) Whip Snakes and 
Racers 208. 

95. Belly plain white or yellow; rostral plate projecting part way between 

the internasals, when viewed from above 96. 

Belly with some dark markings; rostral plate not projecting between the 

internasals, when viewed from above King Snakes 98. 


96. With 19 rows of scales; with wide, black'edged, red blotches along the 

back, separated by half -rings of white or yellow; N. J. to Fla. and 

Cemophora coccinea (Blumenbach) Scarlet or False Coral Snake 

With 27 to 31 rows of scales; back brownish, with dark brown blotches; 

with smaller brown blotches along the sides 97. 

97. Dorsal blotches shorter than spaces between them, covering lengthwise 

only one and one-half to two rows of scales; Utah to Ariz, and Cal. 
Arizona elegans occidentalis Blanchard Western Smooth- 
scaled Coluber 
Dorsal blotches longer than spaces between them, covering lengthwise 
two to three scale rows; Kansas to Ariz, and Texas 

Arizona elegans elegans (Kennicott) Texas Smooth-scaled 

(Rhmechis elegans of Cope) 

98. Back gray, with narrow, dark cross bands, half of which are usually 

mixed with red; belly usually mostly dark; Texas (Davis Mts.) 

Lampropehis alterna (Brown) Davis Mountain King Snake 
{Ophiholus alternus Brown) 
Not so 99. 

99. With two colors in the back pattern, either with pale-centered scales, or 

with pale rings, bands or stripes on a darker background; no red in 
the color pattern 100. 

With three colors in the back pattern; either with red, black and light 
bands, or with reddish or brownish, black-margined blotches on a pale 
background; with or without red in the color pattern 108. 

100. With a light mid-dorsal stripe; Oregon to Ariz, and Cal. 

Lampropehis getulus calif orniae (Blainville) 
California King Snake 
Not so 101. 

101. Most of the dorsal scales evenly spotted 102. 
With cross bands or with some of the light spots arranged in cross 

bands 103. 

102. With a vivid light spot in the middle of each scale; Neb. to Ala. and 


Lampropehis getulus holhroo\i (Stejneger) Spotted King Snake 
(Ophiholus getulus sayi of Cope) 
With light shading at the base of each scale; Fla. 

Lampropehis getulus broo\si Barbour Brown King Snake 

103. With most of the scales of the back between the cross bands light' 

spotted 104. 

With few or no light-spotted scales on the back between the cross bands; 

sides may be spotted 105. 

104. With indistinct, light cross bands on a greenish background; Fla. 

Lampropehis getulus fioridana Blanchard Florida King Snake 
With distinct, light cross bands on a brown or black background; N. J. 
to Fla. and Ala. 

Laynpropeltis getulus getulus (Linn.) Common King Snake, 
Thunder or Chain Snake 


N ATR\ ><. S \ P E DO N 

S \ PE DO N 




105. With well defined, light cross bands only 106. 
With light-spotted scales forming cross bands which may fork and unite 

on the sides in a chain-like fashion, or form a diffuse, spotted pattern 
along each side 107. 

106. Light-colored scales with brown shading at their bases; white bars on 

prefrontals straight edged behind; Ariz, and Cal. 

Lampropelus getulus yumensis Blanchard Yuma King Snake 
Light-colored scales without brown shading at their bases; white bars on 
prefrontals curved outwards behind; Oregon to Ariz, and Cal. 

Lampropelus getulus hoyUi (B. & G.) Boyle's King Snake 

107. With 23 to 25 rows of scales around the body; belly mostly dark; with 

a vivid light spot in the center of each scale on the sides between the 
cross bands; in states bordering Mexico 

Lampropelus getulus splendida (B. fir' G.) Splendid King Snake 
With 2 1 rows of scales around the body; belly yellow, with dark blotches; 
sides obscurely or not spotted, except on the cross bands; Ind. to Ala. 

Lampropelus getulus niger (Yarrow) Frosted King Snake 

108. Coloring with red, black and pale cross bands, with the black or pale 

bands extending well on to the ventral plates, usually forming rings 
around the body (See note at end of chapter.) 109. 

Back with reddish or brownish, black-bordered blotches on a pale back' 
ground; black and pale bands not continuously extending much on to 
the ventral plates 114. 

109. With reddish rings around the body about four times the width of the 

spaces between, which are black, with a very faint, central ring of 
yellow; Texas 

Lampropeltis triangulum annulata (Kennicott) Mexican King 

{Osceola dohata annulatum (Kennicott) ) 
{Ophiholus micropholis (Cope) (part) ) 
Reddish rings shorter; pale rings almost as wide as, or wider than, the 
dark ones 110. 

110. With a pale band across the top of the back of the head, extending down 

on the sides directly before the angle of the jaws 111. 

With a pale band across the neck, extending down on the sides directly 

behind or just involving the angle of the jaws 112. 

111. Snout Vv^hite; Nev. to N. M. 

Lampropelus pyromelana (Cope) Arizona Ringed King Snake 
(Ophiholus zonatus (Blainville) ) 
Snout black; Wash, to Cal. 

Lampropeltis multicincta (Yarrow) California Ringed King 

(Ophiholus zonatus (Blainville) ) 

112. Greatest number of rows of scales around the body 19; loreal absent or 

almost so; southeastern states 


Lampropeltis tr]angulum elapsoides (Holbrook) Southern King 

(Osceola elapso-idea of Cope) 
Greatest number of scale rows 21 or more; one or more normal loreals 
present on each side 113. 

113. Red not continuous on the belly; black bands usually spreading into the 

yellow ones on the mid-line of the belly; yellow bands above usually 
wider than the black ones; S. D. to Ariz, and Texas 

Lampropeltis triangulum gentilis (B. ^ G.) Western King 

(Ophibolus dohata gentilis (B. ^ G.) ) 
With red rings around belly; yellow and black bands about the same 
width above; lower Mississippi Valley, Okla. and Texas 

Lampropeltis triangulum amaura (Cope) ) Scarlet King Snake 
(Ophibolus dohata coccineus (Schlegel) ) 

114. Back with narrow cross blotches barely or not reaching the fifth row of 

scales on each side up from the ventral plates 115. 

Back with wide blotches in broad contact with a fifth or lower row of 

scales 116. 

115. With 23 or less rows of scales around the body; head markings are a 

dark streak on each side from behind the eye to the angle of the jaw; 
dark blotches on the back obscure and wider in the middle; with 
smaller obscure blotches on the sides; Maryland to Fla. and Ala. 

Lampropeltis rhomhomaculata (Holbrook) Mole King Snake 
With 25 or more rows of scales around the body; head with a dark band 
across the front, a dark patch in the center, and a dark streak on each 
side from behind the eye to the angle of the jaw; dark blotches on the 
back distinct and wider at the sides; with smaller blotches on the 
sides; Wis. to Kentucky, Miss, and Texas 

Lampropeltis calligaster (Harlan) Yellow-bellied King Snake 

116. With small, dark, alternate blotches (below the large, central blotches) 

on the scales above the ventral plates, sometimes with another row 
along each side of the ventral plates; Iowa eastward and northward, 
and southward in the Appalachians 

Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum (Lacepede) Checkered 

Adder, Milk or House Snake 
(Ophibolus dohata triangulum (Lacepede) ) 
With small, dark, alternate blotches (below the large central blotches) 
along each side of the ventral plates 117. 

117. With the large central blotches reaching down on each side almost to the 

ventral plates; Minn, to Okla. and Tenn. 

Lampropeltis triangidum syspila (Cope) Western Milk Snake 
(Ophibolus dohata syspila (Cope) ) 
With the large, central blotches reaching down on each side on to the 
sides of the ventral plates; N. J. to Maryland and Del. 

Lampropeltis triangulum temporalis (Cope) Southern Milk 

118. With red, black and yellow rings completely encircling the body, the 

yellow being adjacent to the red; with rigid poison fangs in the front 


of the upper jaw; Family Elapidae Coral Snakes 119. 

Color not so; no poison fangs so situated; non-poisonous and semi' 

poisonous snakes; Family Coluhridae (part) 122. 

119. With a yellow cross band on the head, followed by a red ring; yellow 

rings on body three or more scales wide; N. M., Ariz, and S. Idaho 
Micruroides eiiryxanthus (Kennicott) Sonora Coral Snake 
With a yellow cross band on the head and a black ring behind it; yellow 
rings on body one or two scales wide 120. 

120. Red areas relatively clear; S. Florida 

Mjcrurus fidinus harhonri Schmidt Florida Coral Snake 
Red areas dark spotted 121. 

121. Red areas irregularly dark spotted; Miss, to Texas 

Micrurus fulvius tenere (B. & G.) Southern Coral Snake 
Usually with two dark areas or spots on each red band; Ind. to the Gulf, 
and eastward in the coastal states to N. C. and Fla. 

M\crurns fulvius fulvius (Linn.) Common Coral Snake 
(Elaps fulvius (Linn.) ) 

122. Snout very long and slender, with distance from eye to end of snout 

about four times as long as the eye; tail more than one.'third total 
length; with poison fangs in the back part of the upper jaw; color 
reddish; belly white striped; Ariz;. 

Oxyhelis microphthalmns B. & A. Arizona Vine Snake 
Not so 123. 

123. With some or all of the scales of the back keeled 124. 
Scales of back smooth (scales of tail smooth or keeled) 152. 

124. Rostral plate with a ridge above and turned up at the end Hog-nosed 

Snakes, Puffing Adders, Sand Vipers or Flat -nosed Adders 125. 

Rostral plate not so 129, 

125. Prefrontals adjacent; light areas usually dark dotted 126. 
With small scales between the prefrontals; light areas clear 127. 

126. Usually no small scale behind the rostrum, separating the internasals; 

mid-dorsal dark blotches less than 20; Fla. (See note at end of chap' 

Heterodon contortrix hroivm (Stejneger) Florida Hog-nosed 
With a small scale (azygous) behind the rostrum, separating the inter- 
nasals; mid-dorsal dark blotches often more than 20, or sometimes the 
back is entirely dark; N. H. to Minn., and southward 

Heterodon contortrix contortrix (Linn.) Puffing or Spreading 

Adder, Common Hog-nosed Snake 
(Heterodon platyrhinos of Cope) 

127. Middle of belly light; Ind. to N. C. and Fla. 

Heterodon sinius (Linn.) Southern Hog-nosed Snake 
With a black area lengthwise along the middle of the belly 128. 

128. With six or less small scales around the azygous (small scale behind ros- 

trum) ; belly mostly dark; southward from Ariz, to Texas 


Heterodon nasicus \ennerlyi (Kennicott) Southwestern Hog' 
nosed Snake 
With eight small scales around the a2;ygous; belly dark along mid-line; 
111. to Mont, and southwards 

Heterodon nasicus nasicus (B. & G.) Western Hog-nosed Snake 

129. With 15 to 17 rows of scales around the anterior or middle of the body 

(not counting the ventral plates) 130. 

With 19 or more rows of scales around the body 135. 

130. With one internasal or with no preocular (prefrontals touching eyes) 

or both 131. 

With two internasals; with one or more preoculars; prefrontals not 

reaching eyes 132. 

131. Usually with six upper labials; with two internasals; smooth anteriorly, 

but with the scales near the tail keeled; brown above, usually with two 
rows of small dark dots; belly yellowish; Ind. to Texas 

Haldea valeriae elegans (Kennicott) Western Ground Snake 
(Virginia elegans Kennicott) 
Usually with five upper labials; usually with one internasal; scales of 
back keeled; brown above; yellow below; Va. to Fla. and Texas 
Haldea stnatula (Linn.) Southern Ground Snake 
(Potamophis striatulus (Linn.) ) 

132. Back and sides dark, with a faint lengthwise streak in the center of some 

of the scales, so that they appear to be keeled; belly red, with black 
cross bars; some of the scales of the tail faintly keeled; N. C. to Fla. 
Seminatrix pygaea (Cope) Mud or Black Swamp Snake 
Scales of back keeled; color above brown or green; belly usually plain 
colored 133. 

133. With a loreal plate; nostril situated in the middle of a single nasal plate; 

back green; belly yellowish; Conn, to N. M. 

Opheodrys aestivus (Linn.) Rough Green Snake 
No loreal; nostril between two nasal plates; back brown; belly red or 
pink 134. 

134. With 15 rows of scales around the body; belly red; with the dark color 

of the back extending on to the sides of the ventral plates; eastern and 
central states 

Storeria occipitomaculata (Storer) Red-bellied Brown Snake 
With 17 rows of scales; belly pinkish; eastern and central states 

Storeria de\ayi (Holbrook) De Kay's Little Brown Snake 

135. With less than 180 transverse plates on the belly before the anus; scales 

strongly keeled Water Snakes 136. 

With niore than 185 ventral plates; scales weakly keeled; abdomen flat' 
tened, forming an angle with the sides 
Rat Snakes, Chicken Snakes or Colubers 156. 

136. Normally with 19 rows of scales around the body 137. 
Normally with 21 to 33 rows of scales 140. 

137. Back brown, with darker spots and blotches; belly red, with a row of 

dark spots on each side; with seven lower labials; Wis. to Kentucky 


Jslatrix \irtlandii (Kennicott) Kirtland's Water Snake 
(Regina \irtlandii Kennicott) 
Back lengthwise striped or almost plain; belly yellow, with or without 
dark stripes or spots; with nine or more lower labials 138. 

138. Belly yellow, with two rows of dark spots which sometimes fuse to form 

two stripes with irregular sides; back brown, with two dark stripes; 
sides pale but unstriped; S. C. to La. 

J^atrix rigida (Say) Striped Water Snake 
Belly yellow or with dark stripes; back with or without dark stripes; 
with a pale stripe along each side (faint in adults) 139. 

139. Stripe along each side narrow, involving part of the first and second 

rows of scales; with two to four dark stripes on the belly; Wis. to Pa., 
and southwards 

l^atrix septemvittata (Say) Queen or Moon Snake 
Stripe along each side wider, involving the first three rows of scales; belly 
plain yellow or with a central dark stripe; 111. to La. and Texas 
T^atrix grahamn (B. 5? G.) Graham's Water Snake 

140. Usually v^'ith 21 to 25 rows of scales around the body (7S[. erythrogaster 

transversa sometimes with 27) ; usually with ten lower labials 141. 

Usually with 27 to 33 rows of scales (7\(. rhonihifera rhomhifera some' 

times with 25) ; usually with eleven or more lower labials 149. 

141. Belly almost plain yellowish or reddish, sometimes with dark shading on 

the front edges of the ventral plates 142. 

Belly usually with definite light or dark markings 143. 

142. Plain colored in the adult; Texas to Ohio and Wis. 

T^latrix erythrogaster erythrogaster (Forster) Red'bellied Water 
With dark blotches on the back alternating for the entire length with 
the dark blotches of the sides; Mo. to Okla. 

7\^atrzx erythrogaster transversa (Hallowell) Blotched Water 

143. With a row of light spots along the middle of the belly 144. 
Belly with dark markings and without a central row of light spots 145. 

144. Back obscurely banded; Fla. 

J\latrix compressicauda (Kennicott) Salt-water Moccasin, 
Flat-tailed Water Snake 
Back with four dark stripes; Texas to Fla. 

l^latrix clar\n (B. ^ G.) Clark's Water Snake 

145. With 18 or less dark markings along the middle of the back; belly 

whitish, with squarish dark spots; Kansas to Texas and La. 

Jslatr^x sipedon confiuens (Blanchard) Yellow Water Snake 
With 19 or more dark markings along the middle of the back 146. 

146. Usually with cross bands along the entire length of the back; with a dis- 

tinct light line from the eye to the angle of the jaw 147. 

With dark bands across the anterior part of the back and vv-ith alternat- 
ing dorsal and lateral blotches posteriorly; light line from eye to angle 
of jaw less distinct or absent 148. 


147. With about 24 cross blotches on the back; usually with small side 

blotches; Neb. to Fla. 

J\[atrix sipedon fasaata (Linn.) Southern Banded Water Snake 
(Tropidonotus fasciata fasdata (Linn.) ) 
With about 29 cross blotches on the back; sides without small alternating 
blotches; Fla. 

J\[atrix sipedon pictiventris (Cope) Florida Banded Water 

148. Dorsal blotches or hands larger than the spaces between; belly with if 

regularly placed color markings; Maine to Okla. 

J\latrix sipedon sipedon (Linn.) Common Banded Water Snake 
Dorsal blotches or bands about equal to the spaces between; belly with 
color markings arranged in two lengthwise rows; Ind. to S. C. and 

7\[dtr!x sipedon pleuralis (Cope) Cope's Water Snake 

149 Parietals each about the size of the frontal plate; parietals not joining 
along the mid-line; with dark alternating spots and blotches on the 
back and sides; Va. to Fla. and La. 

T^atrix taxispilota (Holbrook) Water Pilot 
Parietals each considerably larger than the frontal, and joining on the 
mid'line; usually with dark spots or bands, which are sometimes faint 
or absent 150. 

150. Eye in contact with one of the upper labials; back and side dark color 

markings joining, forming a diamond pattern (often very faint) ; Ind. 
to Texas 

J^atrix rhomhifera rhombifera (Hallowell) Diamond'back 
Water Snake 
With small scales between the eye and the upper labials; back and sides 
with alternating dark cross bands 151. 

151. Bellymostlypale;S. C. toFla. 

J^latrix cyclopion floridana GofF Florida Green Water Snake 
Belly brown posteriorly, with small, light markings; Ind. to La. and Ala. 
J\[atrix cyclopion cyclopion (D. & B.) Louisiana Green Water 

152. With 21 or more (very rarely 20) rows of scales around the anterior or 

middle of the body (not counting the ventral plates) 153. 

With 19 or less rows of scales around the body 166. 

153. Pupil vertical; with 21 (rarely 20) to 23 rows of scales around the body; 

scales smooth 154. 

Pupil of eye round; with 25 to 35 rows of scales around the body; scales 

smooth or faintly keeled; belly flattened, forming an angle with the 

sides Rat Snakes, Chicken Snakes or Colubers 156. 

154. With a row of brown blotches on the back, each usually with a trans' 

verse, light, central area; usually with smaller blotches on the sides; 
with nine upper labials; usually with two loreals, one above the other, 
on each side of the head; back teeth in upper jaw grooved; semi' 
poisonous; Utah, Ariz;, and Cal. 

Trimorphodon lyrophanes (Cope) Jew's-harp or Lyre Snake 


With a row of dark blotches on the back; with or without blotches on 
the sides; with eight upper labials (on each side) ; with one loreal; back 
teeth grooved or not 155. 

155. With dark blotches along the back and with one or two rows of alter' 

nating dark blotches on the sides; back teeth in the upper jaw large but 
not grooved; Wash, to Cal., Kansas and Texas 

Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha Cope Rock Snake 
With dark cross bands across back and sides; back teeth in the upper jaw 
grooved; Texas 

Leptodeira septentrionalis septentrionalis (Kennicott) 
{Sihon septentrionale of Cope) 

156. With small scales between the eye and the upper labials; back usually 

with dark blotches; Texas 

Elaphe sclerotica H. M. Smith Davis Mountain Coluber 
(Coluber suhocularis Brown) 
Eye in contact with one or more of the upper labials; back with or with' 
out dark blotches 157. 

157. Usually with nine upper labials; young with more than 50 dark blotches 

on the back; adults dark, with obscure, light, lengthwise stripes; Texas 
Elaphe hairdi (Yarrow) Baird's Coluber 
Usually with eight upper labials; mid-dorsal, dark blotches, if present, 
often fewer 158. 

158. Scales smooth or with five or less rows of faintly keeled scales along the 

middle of the back; with two dark bands extending from the neck on 
to the top of the head, passing across the parietal plates and joining on 
the frontal 159. 

With nine or more rows of faintly keeled scales along the middle of the 
back; no dark bands so situated on head 162. 

159. With dark brown blotches on a brownish or grayish background; with 

a rov^ of three temporals on each side of head directly behind the post' 
oculars; Neb. southwards 160. 

With dark bordered, reddish blotches on a pinkish tinted background; 
with a row of two temporals on each side of head directly behind the 
postoculars; southeastern states 161. 

160. Belly so closely spotted that there are seldom any ventral plates without 

spots; Colorado R. basin 

Elaphe laeta mtermontanus Woodbury, A. M. 6? M. W. Col' 
orado River Smooth Coluber 
Belly less closely spotted, so that there are several to many ventral plates 
without spots; from Neb. southwards 

Elaphe laeta laeta (B. & G.) Western Smooth Coluber 

161. Frontal plate about as wide as long; dark markings on top of head rather 

obscure; belly pinkish, with obscure markings; S. Florida 
Elaphe rosacea (Cope) Rosy Rat Snake 
Frontal plate longer than wide; with red, black bordered, markings 
on head; belly yellowish, with dark markings; N. J. to Fla. and La. 

Elaphe guttata (Linn.) Corn or Red Chicken Snake, Scarlet 

(Coluber guttatus Linn.) 


162. Parietals shorter than the distance from the front of the frontal plate 

to the end of the snout; back with brown blotches on a lighter ground; 
sides with small alternating blotches; belly yellow, with dark spots; 
with less than 220 ventral plates 163, 

Parietal plates about as long as, or longer than, the distance from the 
front of the frontal plate to the end of the snout; back striped, blotched 
or plain; with more than 220 ventral plates 164. 

163. With about 40 (over 33) dark, mid-dorsal blotches three or four scales 

in length; S. D. to Ind. 

Elaphe vulpina vulpina (B. fe? G.) Western Fox Snake 
Mid'dorsal blotches fewer (less than 39) and longer (four to six scales 
long) ; Mich, and along the Lake Shores into N. Y. state 
Elaphe vulpina gloydi Conant Eastern Fox Snake 

164. Back with four dark, lengthwise stripes in the adult; with or without 

dark blotches on the back; belly plain yellow or with obscure dark 
markings; N. C. to Fla. and La. 

Elaphe quadrivittata (Holbrook) Striped Yellow Rat Snake 
Back without stripes; with or without dark blotches; belly usually with 
distinct dark markings 165. 

165. With dark brown blotches on the back, those toward the neck H'shaped; 

with one or two rows of smaller blotches along each side; head dark 
spotted, usually with a dark band on each side from behind the eye to 
the corner of the mouth; southeastern and south'central states 

Elaphe ohsoleta confinis (B. & G.) Gray Rat or Spotted Chicken 


Blotches obscure or absent, except in the young; back almost uniformly 

dark in the adult; scales dark, often pale-edged, and with white or red 

skin between the scales, giving the appearance of blotches; usually with 

uniform coloring on top of the head; Wis. to Texas, and eastwards 

Elaphe ohsoleta ohsoleta (Say) Pilot Black Snake 

166. With 13 rows of scales around the body 167. 
With 15 to 19 rows of scales around the body 172. 

167. With five upper labials on each side; back uniformly brown or black 


With seven upper labials on each side; back with cross bands or with a 

dark streak or spot on each scale 170. 

168. Back purplish-black; belly pinkish, with this color reaching up on each 

side to the third row of scales; Neb. to La. and Texas 

Carphophis amoena vermis (Kennicott) Black Worm Snake 
Back brown; belly salmon, with this color not reaching up to the third 
row of scales on each side 169. 

169. Internasals often single, reduced or absent; Ohio to Miss. 

Carphophis amoena helenae (Kennicott) Helen's Worm Snake 
With two internasals; eastern coastal states 

Carphophis amoena amoena (Say) Brown Worm Snake 


170. Ventral plates before the anus 125 or more; rostral plate slightly separat' 

ing the internasals; loreal present; brown above, with a dark streak 
along the center of each scale; belly white; Texas 
Sonora taylori (Boulengcr) Taylor's Snake 
(Contm taylori Boulenger) 
Ventral plates before the anus less than 123; rostral plate almost or en' 
tirely separating the internasals, which are each joined with an an' 
terior nasal; no loreal; color either in cross bands or back brown, with 
a dark dot at the posterior margin of each scale 171. 

171. Rostral plate not entirely separating the internasals; color above brown, 

with a dark dot at the rear margin of each scale; Lower Cal. 
Ch^lomemscus stramineus Cope Dark Ground Snake 
Rostral plate entirely separating the internasals; color above reddish, 
with dark cross bands; Ariz, and Cal. 

Chilomeniscus cinctus Cope Red-and-black Ground Snake 

172. Normally with 15 to 17 rows of scales around the body 173. 
Normally with 19 rows of scales around the body 220. 

173. Rostral plate abnormal (see below) 174. 
Rostral plate normal 175. 

174. Rostral plate turned up at the end and entirely separating the inter- 

nasals above; back orange, with darker blotches or cross bands; belly 
yellowish; Ariz, to Texas 

Ficimia cana (Cope) Dog'uosed Snake 
Rostral plate flattened in front and partly free at the sides; internasals 
partly in contact; back with a central yellow stripe, bordered on each 
side by a dark stripe or a row of dark spots; belly yellowish; Utah to 
Texas and Cal. 

Salvadora grahamiae B. & G. Patch-nose Snake 

175. No loreal; prefrontals projecting between the nasals and the preocular, 

reaching nearly or quite to the upper labials; color on back uniformly 
brown; head darker; with or without a yellow ring or band at the 
back of the head; semi-poisonous snakes with grooved poison fangs in 
the back of the upper jaw 176. 

Loreal usually present; each prefrontal separated from the upper labials 
by a scale squarely adjacent to its lower margin; color various 182. 

176. No light band across the back of the head 177. 
Usually with a light band across the back of the head 179. 

177. Usually with six upper labials; head not much darker than the body; 

Mo. to Texas 

Tantilla gracihs B. 6? G. Slender Black-headed Snake 
Usually with seven upper labials; head very dark 178. 

178. With less than 142 ventral plates; Okla. to Texas 

Tantilla \irnia Blanchard Oklahoma Black-headed Snake 
With more than 144 ventral plates; Colo, to Texas and Ariz. 

Tantilla mgriceps Kennicott Western Black-headed Snake 

179. With the light band passing across the posterior ends of the parietals 180. 
With the light band passing across the middle of the parietals 181. 


180. Dark band on neck (behind the light band) not more than one and one 

half scales wide; Ariz;. 

Tantilla wilcoxi Stejneger Wilcox's Black'headed Snake 
Dark band on neck two to four scales wide; Va. southwards 
Tantilla coronata B. & G. Crowned Snake 

181. Dark color of head spreading on to the throat; Cal. 

Tantilla eiseni Stejneger Ringed Black-headed Snake 
Dark color of head not spreading below the mouth; Okla. to Texas and 

Tantilla atriceps (Giinther) Light'chinned Black'headed Snake 

182. No preocular plates; prefrontal plates bordering eyes; back brown, with 

or without two rows of small dark dots; belly yellow 183. 

With one or more preoculars; prefrontals not bordering eyes; color var' 

ious 184. 

183. With 15 rows of scales; N. J. to Ohio, southward to S. C. 

Haldea valenae valeriae (B. £s? G.) Eastern Ground Snake 
With 17 rows of scales; Ind. to Texas 

Haldea valeriae elegans (Kennicott) Western Ground Snake 

184. Nostril situated in an ungrooved, single nasal plate 185. 
Nostril between two plates or in one plate which is vertically grooved 

below the nostril 193. 

185. Back grass green; belly whitish; with more than 66 pairs of plates be- 

neath the tail; N. D. to N. M. and eastward 

Opheodrys vernalis (Harlan) Smooth Green or Grass Snake 
(Liopeltis vernalis (Harlan) ) 
Color not so; with less than 62 subcaudals 186. 

186. Color reddish-brown above, usually with a faint lengthwise stripe along 

the fourth or fifth row of scales up on each side; plates of belly yel- 
lowish, with dark front borders; West Coast 

Contia tenuis (B. &' G.) Pacific Ground Snake 
Back color various; belly plain light colored or with dark cross bars which 
form rings around the body 187. 

187. Snout much flattened and extending well beyond lower jaw; sides of 

belly angled; with dark cross bands; Nev., Ariz;., and Cal. 

Sonora occipitalis (Hallowell) Ringed Ground Snake 
Snout and belly normally curved 188. 

188. Ventral plates usually less than 154 in males, 166 in females; with or 

without dark cross bands 189. 

Ventral plates usually more than 154 in males, 162 in females; with or 

without dark cross bands 190. 

189. Males with 52 or less pairs of subcaudal plates, females with less than 

45 ; Kansas, Colo, and southwards 

Sonora episcopa (Kennicott) Brown Ground Snake 
Males with 53 or more pairs of subcaudal plates, females with more than 
45; southwestern Texas 

Sonora semiannulata hlanchardi Stickel Blanchard's Ground 


190. No cross bands; mid-dorsal area reddish 191. 
With cross bands 192. 

191. With a distinct, red, mid'dorsal stripe; Cal. 

Sonora mmiata Imearis Stickel Rcd'Striped Ground Snake 
Mid'dorsal stripe obscure; Idaho and Ariz. 

Sonora ynmiata mmmta Stickel Red Ground Snake 

192. With most of the cross bands forming rings around the body; Grand 

Canyon, Ariz. 

Sonora semiannulata gloydi Stickel Gloyd's Banded Ground 
With cross bands only; Idaho southwards 

Sonora semiannulata semiannulata (B. 6? G.) Western Banded 
Ground Snake 

193. With less than 135 ventral plates (before anus) 194. 
With more than 139 ventral plates 195. 

194. With less than 60 pairs of subcaudal plates; back black, with a pale 

streak along the center of some of the scales; belly red, with black 
cross bars; N. C. to Fla. 

Seminatrtx pygaea (Cope) Mud or Black Swamp Snake 
With more than 60 subcaudals; reddish-brown above; clear yellow be' 
low; upper lips yellow; N. C. to Fla. and Texas 

Rhadinaea fiavilata (Cope) Yellow-lipped Snake 

195. With less than 70 pairs of subcaudal plates; frontal plate not much 

longer than wide 196. 

Usually with more than 70 pairs of subcaudals; frontal plate distinctly 

longer than wide Whip Snakes and Racers 208. 

196. Reddish-brown above, usually with a faint lengthwise stripe along the 

fourth or fifth row of scales up on each side; plates of belly yellowish, 
with dark front borders; West Coast 

Contm tenuis (B. & G.) Pacific Ground Snake 
Dark colored above, with or without a yellow ring around the neck; belly 
plain yellowish or with dark spots Ring-necked Snakes 197. 

197. Dark color of back not covering anteriorly the first row of scales up on 

each side 198. 

Dark color of back covering anteriorly the first row of scales up on each 

side 201. 

198. Chin unspotted; belly mostly without spots; Minn, to the Carolinas 

Diadophis punctatus edwardsii (Merrem) Edwards' Ring- 
necked Snake 
Chin and belly spotted 199. 

199. Spots on belly usually scattered; Minn, to Ind. and Texas 

Diadophis punctatus arnyi (Kennicott) Central Ring-neck 
Spots on belly usually concentrated along the mid-ventral line 200. 

200. Spots on belly in a single row of large, dark semi-circles; southeastern 

states to Maryland 


Diadophis punctatus punctatus (Linn.) Southeastern Ring' 
necked Snake 
Spots on belly rather small, less regular, and often in more than one row 
along the mid'ventral line; 111. southward 

Diadophis punctatus stictogenys Cope Mississippi Valley Ring' 
necked Snake 

201. Males usually with more than 205 ventrals, females with more than 218 

ventrals 202. 

Males usually with less than 205 ventrals, females with less than 218 

ventrals 203 

202. Light ring on neck obscure or absent; Idaho to Ariz, and Texas 

Diadophis regalis regalis (B. 5? G.) Regal Rjng'necked Snake 
Light ring on neck usually rather wide; Ariz. 

Diadophis regahs laetus (Jan.) Arizona Ring'necked Snake 
(Diadophis regahs arizonae Blanchard) 

203. Dark color of back usually completely covering all but the first row of 

scales up on each side 204. 

Dark color of back usually not completely covering all but the first row 

of scales up on each side 205. 

204. With 17 rows of scales anteriorly; Cal. 

Diadophis amahihs modestus (Bocourt) Los Angeles Ring' 

necked Snake 
With not more than 15 rows of scales around body; S. Cal. 

Diadophis amahihs simihs Blanchard San Diego Ring'necked 


205. First row of scales on each side without dark markings; Cal. and S. 


Diadophis amahihs pulcheUus (B. 6? G.) Eldorado Ring'necked 
First row of scales on each side with small, dark markings 206. 

206. With 17 rov/s of scales anteriorly; belly scarcely spotted; Cal. 

Diadophis amahihs vandenhurghi Blanchard Van Denburgh's 
Ring-necked Snake 
Usually with not more than 15 rows of scales; belly often spotted 207. 

207. Light ring on neck usually over one and one-half scales wide; belly 

lightly spotted; Cal. to Wash, and Idaho 

Diadophis amahihs occideyitahs Blanchard Western Ring- 
necked Snake 
Light ring on neck usually under one and onC'half scales wide, often in' 
terrupted on the mid-dorsal line; belly well spotted; Cal. 

Diadophis amahihs amahihs (B. 6? G.) San Jose Ring'necked 

208. With 15 rows of scales around the posterior end of the body before the 

anus; back uniformly dark or with dark blotches; belly grayish or yel' 

lowish 209. 

With 11 to 13 rows of scales around the posterior end of the body; color 

may be similar or not 211. 


209. Chin plates white, with this color often extending on to the throat; back 

dark, with dark blotches in young; belly dark gray; usually with 
seven upper labials; eastern -and central states to the Mississippi 
Coluber constrictor constrictor (Linn.) Black Snake, Black 

(Zamenis constrictor (part) of Cope) 
(Bascanion constructor (Linn.) ) 
Chin plates not white; back hluish'gray, brownish or greenish, with or 
without blotches; belly yellowish or bluish; with seven or eight upper 
labials 210. 

210. Usually with seven upper labials; color above bluish, with or without 

blotches; central and southwestern states (A white-spotted variety, 
subspecies anthicus (Cope), is found in northwestern La.) 

Coluber constrictor flaviventris (Say) Blue or Yellow'bellied 
Usually with eight upper labials; color above brownish or greenish; with 
or without blotches; West Coast to Utah 

Coluber constrictor mormon (B. 6? G.) Green or Western Yel' 
low-bellied Racer 

211. With 15 rows of scales anteriorly 212. 
With 17 rows of scales anteriorly 215. 

212. Plates of head with pale borders; body striped on sides 213. 
Plates of head without pale borders; body striped on sides or not so 214. 

213. Stripes on sides broken up by light patches, or with light cross bands on 

the neck; Texas 

Coluber taeniatus girardi S. & B. Texas Coach-whip Snake, 

Ornate Racer 
(Masticophis ornatus of B. & G.) 
Stripes of sides complete; no light cross bands on neck; Wash, to Texas 
and Cal. 

Coluber taeniatus taematus (Hallowell) Striped Racer or 
Striped Whip Snake 

214. With one or no light stripe along each side; Texas 

Coluber taeniatus ruthvem (Ortenburger) Ruthven's Racer 
With two light stripes along each side; Texas 

Coluber taeniatus schotu (B. 6? G.) Texas Green Racer 

215. With one or more stripes lengthwise along each side 216. 
No stripes along sides; back plain or with dark cross bands or blotches 


216. With several dark stripes along each side; Ariz,, and N. M. 

Coluber semilineatus (Cope) Arizona Whip Snake 
With a single pale stripe along each side; Cal. 

Coluber lateralis (Hallowell) California Striped Racer 

217. Back and tail completely very dark colored; belly pinkish, with dark 

blotches anteriorly; Ariz, and S. Cal. 

Coluber fiagellum piceus (Cope) Black Whip Snake 
Back and tail not completely dark; back uniformly colored or with 


blotches or cross bands; belly pale to dark, with or without dark 
markings 218. 

218. With a white stripe through the loreal plate; with dark cross bands on 

the neck; Utah southwards and to Cal. 

Coluber flagellum frenatum (Stejneger) Red Racer or Red 
Whip Snake 
No white stripe through the loreal; hack banded or plain 219. 

219. Back with dark cross bands anteriorly one or two scales apart, or else 

unhanded and with the anterior part of the body darker; N. C. south' 
ward, and westward to Kansas and Texas. 

Coluber jlagellum flagellum (Shaw) Coach'whip Snake 
Back with dark cross bands anteriorly three or more scales apart, or else 
unhanded and uniformly shaded throughout; Kansas to Colo., and 

Coluber flagellum testaceus Say Prairie Racer 
(Masticophis flagellum flavigularis (Hallowell) ) 

220. With one internasal 221. 
With two internasals 223. 

221. Nasals meeting anteriorly on the mid-line; back brown, with a yellowish 

stripe along each side; belly yellow; Fla. to Ga. 
Liodytes alleni (Garman) Swamp Snake 
Nasals not meeting; back black, with upright bars of red along the sides; 
belly red, with black blotches 222. 

222. Usually with 53 or more pointed red markings along each side of body; 

Va. to Ala. and Fla. 

Farancia abacura abacura (Holbrook) Eastern Horn Snake, 
Red-bellied Mud Snake 
Usually with 52 or less rectangular red markings along each side; Texas 
to western Fla. and northward to Mo. and Ind. 

Farancia abacura reinwardtii (Schlegel) Western Horn Snake, 
Red-beUied Mud Snake 

223. Prefrontal plates bordering the eyes; back and sides with light and dark 

brown lengthwise stripes; belly plain reddish or irregularly spotted; 

Coniophanes imperialis imperialis (Baird) Black-banded Snake 
Prefrontal plates each separated from the eye by a preocular plate; back 
black, with three reddish stripes; belly red, usually with rows of dark 
spots; Maryland to Fla. and Ala. 

Abastor erythrograrnmus (Latreille) Rainbow Snake 


1. Back mostly plain colored 2. 
With stripes, bars, spots or blotches on the back or with a light band 

or ring around the neck 6. 

2. Color above green 

Opheodrys Green Snakes 
Color above brownish, bluish or black 3. 


3. Color above brownish 4. 
Color above bluish or black 5. 

4. With faint stripes 

Storerm Little Brown Snakes 
Color almost plain — three common genera 
Carphophis Worm Snakes 
Haldea Ground Snakes 
Tanulla Black-headed Snakes 

5. With red side bars 

Faranaa Horn Snake 
Not so 

Coluber (part) Whip Snakes and Racers 

6. With narrow cross rings around the body or with a band or ring around 

the neck 7. 

Back striped, spotted, mottled, blotched or barred 11. 

7. With a light ring around the neck — two common genera 

Diadoph\s Ring-necked Snakes 
Tanulla Black'headed Snakes 
With rings around the body 8. 

8. With red, black and yellow rings completely encircling the body, with 

the yellow adjacent to the red 
Micrurus Coral Snakes 
Color not so 9. 

9. With rattles on the tail 

Crotalus Banded Rattlesnakes 
No rattles on the tail 10. 

10. Scales smooth 

Lampropeltis (part) King Snakes 
Scales keeled 

J^atrix (part) Water Snakes 

11. Back and sides striped 12. 
Back spotted, mottled, blotched or barred 13. 

12. With three light stripes lengthwise along the back and sides — two com' 

mon genera 

Trop}doclonion Striped Swamp Snake 
Thamnophis Garter Snakes 
Less definitely striped — some of the species of the following genera 
?{atnx Water Snakes 
Elaphe Chicken Snakes 
Coluber Whip Snakes and Racers 
Storeria Brown Snakes 

1 3. With rattles on the end of the tail 

Sistrurus Pigmy Rattlesnakes 
Crotalus Larger Rattlesnakes 
No rattles 14. 

14. With a pit between the eye and the nostril; pupil of eye vertical 

Ag\istrodon Moccasin 
No pit between the eye and the nostril; pupil of eye round 15. 


15. Rostral plate turned up and keeled above 
Heterodon Hog'nosed Snakes 
Not so — some of the species of the following genera 
Lampropeltis King Snakes 
l^latrix Water Snakes 
Elaphe Chicken Snakes 
Coluber Whip Snakes and Racers 
Pituophis Bull Snakes 
Thamnophis Garter Snakes 


Blanchard, F. N. 1921. A Revision of the King Snakes. Bull. U. S. Nat. 

Museum 114. Washington. 
Blanchard, F. N. 1924. A Key to the Snakes of the United States, Canada 

and Lower California. Papers Mich. Acad. Sci. Arts and Letters, Vol. 

4 . Part 2. Ann Arbor. (Reprinted in 1939.) 
Brown A. E. 1901. A Review of the Genera and Species of American 

Snakes, North of Mexico. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., Vol. 53. 
Clay, W. M. 1938. A Synopsis of the North American Water Snakes of 

the Genus Natrix. Copeia, 1938, No. 4. Ann Arbor, Mich. 
Conant, R. and Bridges, W. 1939. What Snake is That? D. Appleton- 

Century Co. New York. 
Cope, E. D. 1900. The Crocodilians, Lizards and Snakes of North America. 

From the Report of the U. S. Nat. Museum for 1898. 
Ditmars, R. L. 1936. The Reptiles of North America. Douhleday, Doran ^ 

Co. New York. 
Gloyd, H. K. 1940. The Rattlesnakes, Genera Sistrurus and Crotalus. 

Special Pub. No. 4. The Chicago Academy of Sciences. Chicago. 
Klauber, L. M. 1936. A Key to the Rattlesnakes with Summary of Charac' 

teristics. Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist., Vol. 8. 
Klauber, L. M. 1948. Some Misapplications of the Linnaean Names Applied 

to American Snakes. Copeia, 1948, No. 1. Pg. 1-14. 
Ortenburger, A. L 1928. The Whips Snakes and Racers. Univ. of Mich. 

Studies. Memoirs of the Univ. of Mich. Museums, Vol. L Ann Arbor. 
Pope, C. H. 1937. Snakes Alive and How They Live. Viking Press, New 

Ruthven, A. G. 1908. Variations and Genetic Relationships of the Garter 

Snakes. Bull. U. S. Nat. Museum 61. Washington. 
Schmidt, K. P. and Davis, D. D. 1941. Field Book of Snakes. G. P. Put- 
nam's Sons. New York. 
Stejneger, L. and Barbour, T. 1943. A Check List of North American Am' 

phibians and Reptiles. Fifth edition. Harvard University Press, Cam- 

Van Denburgh, J. 1912. The Reptiles of Western North America. Cal. 

Acad, of Science. Occ. Papers 10. San Francisco. 

Klauber (1948) has determined the names of five of our common snakes 
as follows: Thamnophis ordinatus for T. sirtahs, Thamnophis sirtahs for T. 
sauritus, Ag\istrodon contortrix for A. mo\eson, Heterodon platyrhinos for H. 
contortrix, and Lampropeltis doliata for L. triangulum. The names used as 
first choice in the snake key are those given in the fifth edition of Stejneger and 
Barbour's Check List. 




The United States is rich in numbers and species of turtles, which are 
widely distributed and of varied habitats. Only on the west coast do we find 
any reduction of the turtle fauna, where but one species, Clemmys marmorata, 
is native. The scarcity of turtles in this region corresponds with conditions 
in Europe, where numbers and species are much fewer than over most of our 
country. In several other ecological respects the life of the west coast resembles 
that of Europe. The two regions also share a genus of crayfish which is not 
found east of the Rocky Mountain area. 

Turtles, although all built on the same general plan, show considerable 
adaptation to their environment. As a generality, it may be said that the 
flatter the shell, the more aquatic the turtle. The extreme is reached in the 
soft-shelled turtles of the genus Amyda, which have a height of about two 
inches associated with a diameter of more than a foot. The amphibious turtles, 
such as the spotted and the wood turtles, are of intermediate proportions, while 
those largely confined to land, as the box and the gopher turtles, have very 
high, arched shells. 

Soft-shelled, mud and musk turtles are almost never seen on land. Con- 
sequently they are unknown to most people, although the name ''mud turtle", 
which should be restricted to the genus Kinosternon, is often applied indis- 
criminately to almost any turtle. The snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina, 
is almost entirely aquatic, especially as it matures. It has become so specialized 
for devouring its food under water that it is unable to swallow, unless it can 
submerge its head. These turtles are largely carnivorous. The snapper, because 
of its large size, great abundance, and clever methods of ambushing and stalking 
its prey, works great destruction to fish, frogs and waterfowl entering its ter- 
ritory. There are several cases on record where dogs have been dragged by 
snappers under the surface of the water, there to be drowned and ripped to 
pieces by the powerful claws. 

The majority of turtles are amphibious, almost equally at home on land 
or in the water. Here we find the turtles so commonly seen basking on a log 
projecting from the water. These promptly prove, as one approaches, their 
right to the popular names of sliders and scooters. The painted turtles and 
the Pseudemys group usually prefer quiet ponds with plenty of water-lilies 
and submerged vegetation. The painted turtle includes m its omnivorous diet 
the seed pods of the water-lilies, some of the hard-coated seeds of which pass 
unharmed through the digestive tract to fall and develop into more turtle pas- 
ture. The geographic or map turtle and Lesueur's or the ridgeback turtle prefer 
more open water, while the spotted and wood turtles like small ponds and 


brooks, and frequently wander freely over land from one pond to another. 

A few turtles are almost entirely terrestrial. The most widely distributed 
of these are the box turtles, which spend most of their time searching among 
and under leaves for choice insects and worms. Their shell pattern makes 
them almost invisible against a background of fallen leaves, and their habits 
of retiring completely into their shells and closing themselves into these "boxes'", 
when disturbed, permit them to escape almost every enemy but forest fires. 
Although they occasionally raid a strawberry patch, they do much good by de- 
stroying insects. We have seen them gorged with Japanese beetles and have 
found them to prefer hard-shelled beetles to soft grubs or worms. Captive 
specimens usually take readily to bananas and meat scraps. The gopher turtle 
is an extreme form which has become adapted to desert conditions and digs 
deep burrows for itself . 

Sexual diiferences among turtles are not great. In several species the 
male has a slightly concave plastron or lower shell, while the plastron of the 
female is slightly convex. The male usually has a slightly longer tail and pro- 
portionately longer claws than the female. In the common box turtle the male 
has a reddish iris to the eye, while the iris of the female is yellowish or orange. 
Mating usually takes place in the spring, soon after activity has been resumed. 
By the early summer the females are ready for egg-laying, and often travel far 
afield looking for suitable places in which to bury their leathery-shelled eggs. 
Snappers, soft-shells, mud and musk turtles lay spherical eggs. Most of the 
other groups lay ovoid eggs. These are left to develop by themselves and may 
take from six weeks to several months to hatch, depending on the temperature. 
It is thought that occasionally box turtles may pass the winter in the egg. The 
young grow slowly, but have prospects of becoming centenarians. Up to eight 
or ten years their age may be told with fair accuracy by the number of growth 
layers around the margins of the scaly plates of the shell. After that age the 
outer layer of these plates is shed periodically and only rough estimates are 

As in most of the cold-blooded vertebrates, turtles grow as long as they 
live, but the rate of growth drops decidedly when they reach sexual maturity, 
and continues to decline throughout life. Contrary to general impressions, 
most species of turtles grow fairly rapidly under favorable conditions. In cap- 
tivity turtles, like goldfish, are seldom given conditions favorable for anything 
more than survival. Excluding the sea turtles, the largest members of the group 
are the several species of giant tortoises found on the Galapagos Islands in 
the Pacific Ocean and the Aldabra, Mauritius and Rodriquez Islands in the 
Indian Ocean. The largest turtle found in the territory covered by this book 
is the alligator snapper, attaining a carapace length of two feet and a weight 
of over a hundred pounds. The second largest is the common snapper, which 
may reach a carapace length of eighteen inches and a weight of fifty pounds. 


The soft-shelled or leather-back turtles get to be almost as long, but not as heavy. 
At the other end of the scale are the spotted turtle and the musk and mud 
turtles, which seldom develop a carapace more than five inches long. It is a 
surprise to most people to learn that the little turtles commonly sold in pet 
shops may, under favorable conditions, attain a carapace length of ten inches. 

In addition to the famous marine Green Turtle, several fresh-water forms 
are used for food. The best known of these is the diamond-back terrapin, 
which is limited in range to the salt marshes along the coast from Massachu- 
setts to the Gulf of Mexico. It has long been a favorite with epicureans. 
The early American naturalist, Thomas Say, in a paper on turtles of the United 
States read before the Philadelphia Academy of Science in 1824 said, "It is 
held in high estimation as a delicate food, and is generally served up on the 
tables of our public eating houses, boiled in the shell." Even then its numbers 
were declining and other less tasty turtles were being used. In his discussion 
of the snapping turtle Say said, '''It constitutes the chief ingredient of the 
more common kind of 'turtle soup' of our taverns and oyster cellars". This 
still holds true today, according to official reports. The wood turtle, which 
superficially resembles the diamond-back, has been substituted for it to such 
an extent that it now is protected by law in some states. The United States 
Bureau of Fisheries has conducted a series of experiments at the Beaufort, 
North Carolina, station to determine the possibilities of commercial propaga' 
tion of diamond-back turtles, but few commercial growers have entered the 
field. Species of the Pseudemys group are sold in many markets. 

Many pet shops stock baby turtles. These are usually the Cumberland, 
with a red patch on each side of the neck, and Lesueur's or the ridgeback. 
Occasionally a few barred terrapin (Pseudemys concinna) , snappers and paint' 
ed turtles are included. Painting a turtle is like gilding a lily and is detrimental 
to health and growth. Fortunately the paint may usually be pried or scraped 
off without damage to the turtle. If the paint is not removed, the shell will 
become soft or warped. All of these turtles should be provided with dry 
perches upon which they can climb to sun themselves. Unless they can fre' 
quently crawl out of the water to bask themselves in the sunshine, their shells 
gradually soften and they die a lingering death. Duckweed, a minute float' 
ing plant easily obtainable from many small ponds, should be available, as 
most young turtles prefer it to any other green food. Small pieces of raw 
meat or small worms should be fed to them every day or two, and should be 
removed within an hour, if not eaten. Bits of fish intestine make an especially 
nourishing food for most young turtles. Dr. Schmidt of the Field Museum has 
reported experiments indicating that canned salmon or tuna fish also renders 
pet turtles less susceptible to ''soft shell". The "ants' eggs", which are in reality 
ant pupae in their cases, do not make good food for pet turtles. Continued 
feeding of these pupae is known to cause blindness and eventual death, possibly 
because of formic acid which they may contain. 


Collecting Turtles 

The collector must be somewhat of an ecologist and know when and 
where to look for each kind. Some, like the painted turtles, are commonly- 
found in lakes and ponds with a good growth of water'lilies. Others, like the 
geographic, prefer more open water. Mud and musk turtles often lie on sunlit 
but submerged mud bars. Soft-shelled turtles prefer large, muddy rivers. 
Snapping turtles may occur in any body of water. Females of almost all 
species may be found wandering in search of suitable sites for egg-laying in the 
early summer. Hand or dip-net seems to be the most generally successful piece 
of equipment for collecting aquatic turtles, although sometimes an area may be 
found in which a seine may be maneuvered around the snags and brush where 
the more aquatic turtles hide. Floating box or barrel traps are useful, if one 
wants several of the same kind and docs not object to drowned specimens. 

A generalization as to turtle disposition may be of aid to the collector. 
The smaller the plastron or under shell of the turtle in proportion to the size 
of the upper shell or carapace, the more aggressive is the turtle. Snappers and 
soft-shells, apparently realizing their lack of defenses, protect themselves by 
vigorous aggression. Box turtles, with complete ventral armor, seldom bite 
and usually make docile pets. 

Presern'ing Turtles 

To preserve turtles for scientific purposes, they are best killed by inject- 
ing about ten cubic centimeters of chloroform or ether into the body cavity 
with a hypodermic needle. Within half an hour the animals should be com- 
pletely relaxed, and ten per cent formalin can then be injected into the body 
cavity until the neck and legs extend in the normal walking position. The 
mouth should be wedged open, so that the grinding surfaces of the jaws are 
visible. A label may be affixed to one leg. Then the animals should be com- 
pletely immersed in five per cent formalin. Stone crocks or copper wash boilers 
(not tinned) make good storage containers. 


The names and arrangement of the outer plates or scutes of the cara- 
pace and plastron should be learned. A specimen of the box, mud or musk 
turtle group should be examined in order that the structure of hinges between 
shell sections may be understood. The nature of the jaws, serrate or smooth, 
and the notches or hooks in the front of the jaws are useful characters in 
identification. Just inside the sharp jaw edges are horny plates. These are 
ridged in some species and flat in others. Feet are also important in identifica- 
tion of turtles. Some are webbed in varying degrees, some are short-toed, 
some have long claws, especially in the males. Color patterns are rather variable 
on carapace and plastron, but fairly constant on the head and neck. Many 


species have large yellow or red markings on the sides of the head and neck, 
above and behind the eyes. The shape of these patches should be noted care 
fully. As with most animals, reds bleach out badly in preserved specimens. 

Considerable variation in pattern or form complicates identification at 
times. All turtles, when young, have relatively long tails and keeled cara' 
paces. Young soft-shells frequently show no signs of tubercles on the front 
margin of the carapace, although the presence or absence of tubercles in the 
adult enables one to distinguish species. Recently it has been shown that one 
supposed species, Pseudemys troostii, is very likely only a color phase of the 
adult male of Pseudemys elegans. If this is generally accepted, the name troostii 
will be used for both forms, since it has priority over elegans. Critical studies 
of other members of the Pseudemys group may show other synonomy in clas' 

Problems For Study 

Where turtles can be observed under natural conditions or close ap' 
proximation of them, much information may be secured. We know little 
about food habits, beyond the fact that few, if any, are strictly carnivorous or 
strictly herbivorous. A few kinds are condemned because they are reported 
to compete with fishermen, but careful studies might show that they are of 
value in eliminating the unhealthy fishes slowed down by disease or parasites, 
or that their food may consist largely of non-game fishes, which are rivals of 
the game fish. It is probable that turtles, like birds, change their menu with 
the change in seasons. 

Winter habits are also little known. Market hunters probe in swampy 
areas for snapping turtles during fall and spring. Wood turtles apparently 
winter in small streams, while box turtles burrow in soft soil. More detail on 
place and time of the winter rest should be recorded for all species. 

Mating habits are also imperfectly known, as are incubation periods and 
rate of growth under normal conditions. Turtles may be marked for future 
recapture and study by cutting notches in the edge of the shell. 

Variation from the normal in plates or scutes is interesting and of un- 
known significance. A not rare anomaly is the development of a double row 
of vertebral plates. 

Variation in color also deserves study. Observations on young turtles 
suggest that diet and health may affect the red head-markings on some species. 
The gradual obliteration of the yellow markings of the shell and body of some 
of the males of the form known as the Cumberland terrapin, as it transforms 
into what was once thought to be another species, is an outstanding example of 
color change. This case may depend on sex hormones, a possibility open to 
experimental test. 



Order TESTUDINATA (or Chehnia) (of Class REPTILIA) 

No apparent openings in temporal region of skull; quadrate solidly 
fixed to skull; jaws toothless, with horny plates; body with bony or 
leathery carapace and plastron 
Family KINOSTERNIDAE Mud and Musk Turtles 

Edge of carapace not flaring; plastron crossed by two hinges, 
one before and one behind a central section which is immov' 
ably joined to the carapace; plastron with nine to eleven plates 
Two genera — Sternotherus (3 species) 
Kinosternon (5 species) 
Family CHELYDRIDAE Snapping Turtles 

Carapace and tail tuberculate; plastron small, with ten plates 
Two genera — Macrochelys (1 species) 
Chelydra (1 species) 
Family TESTUDINIDAE Terrapins and Tortoises 

Carapace with flaring edge; plastron with twelve plates 
Nine genera — Clemmys (4 species) Chrysemys (2 species) 
Emys (1 species) Pseudemys (11 species) 

Terrapene (5 species) Deirochelys (1 species) 
^Aalaclemys (2 species) Gopherus (3 species) 
Graptemys (4 species) 
Family CHELONIIDAE (Not keyed to genus and species.) 

Marine turtles; limbs like flippers; carapace with horny plates; 

size ver>f large 

Four genera — Chelonia (2 species) 

Eretmochelys (2 species) 
Caretta (1 species) 
Lepidochelys (2 species) 
Family DERMOCHELIDAE (Not keyed to genus and species.) 

Marine turtles; limbs like flippers; carapace leathery; size very 

One genus — Dermochelys (2 species) 
Family TRIONYCHIDAE Soft-shelled Turtles 

Carapace leathery, flat, without horny plates or scales; with a 

long, flexible snout 

One genus — Amy da (5 species) 












A N A \_ PL AT E 
A r4 VJ S 




L Limhs like flippers 

Marine Turtles 
Limbs not like flippers; with feet for crawling 2. 

2. Shell soft and leathery; Family Trionychidae Soft-shelled Turtles, 

Leatherbacks, Flapjacks 3. 

Shell composed of bony plates 6. 

3. Anterior border of carapace smooth; no longitudinal ridges on the sep' 

turn dividing the nostrils; Mississippi drainage, Colorado River 
Amyda mutica (LeSueur) Brown Soft-shelled Turtle, 
Anterior border of carapace with tiny, conical, spine-like projections 
(sometimes absent in the young) ; with a longitudinal ridge in each 
nostril along each side of the septum dividing the nostrils 4. 

4. With two light bands on the head uniting at the base of the snout; young 

with black-edged dark spots on the carapace; Mississippi and St. Law 
rence drainages 

Amyda spinifera (LeSueur) Spiny Soft-shelled Turtle, Flap' 
With two light bands or faint stripes on the head uniting a little before 
the eyes 5. 

5. Carapace oval; carapace of young with a light network separating large, 

dark blotches; S. C. to Florida and Louisiana 

Amyda ferox (Schneider) Southern Soft-shelled Turtle 
(Trionyx ferox (Schneider) ) 
Carapace wider behind; carapace with light tubercles; Okla. to Louisiana 
and California 

Amyda emoryi (Agassis) Southwest Leatherback 
(Aspidonectes emoryi Agassiz) 

6. Plastron small, cross-shaped, or else with two transverse, cartilaginous 

joints and composed of nine to eleven (rarely twelve) plates 7. 

Plastron large, composed of twelve plates, and with one or no transverse 

hinge; Family Testudinidae 18. 

7. Tail almost as long as the shell and with one or more rows of tubercles 

along the upper surface; plastron small, cross-shaped, without trans- 
verse joints; carapace flattened and with flaring edges; Family Chely 
dridae Snapping Turtles 8. 

Tail much shorter (except in the very young) and without tubercles; 
plastron large or small, with two transverse, cartilaginous joints; cara' 
pace high, with the edges turned downwards; Family Kinosternidae 
Mud and Musk Turtles 10. 

8. Tail with small scales beneath; with three high, lengthwise ridges on the 

carapace; edge of carapace with extra marginal plates; 111. south; Ga. 
to Fla. and Texas 

Macrochelys temminc\ii (Troost) Alligator Snapper 
(Macrochelys lacertina (Schweigger) ) 







( YOUNG ) 


Tail with two rows of large shields beneath; with three low, lengthwise 
ridges on the carapace; edge of carapace with a single row of marginal 
plates 9. 

9. With two small chin barbels; with one row of larger tubercles along the 
mid line of the upper surface of the tail; U. S. east of the Rockies, 
excepting Florida 

Chelydra serpentina serpentina (Linn.) Common Snapper 
With four small chin barbels; with three or four rows of nearly equal 
tubercles along the upper surface of the tail; Florida 

Chelydra serpentina osceola (Stejneger) Florida Snapper 

10. Plastron short and narrow, not capable of closing shell; central margin of 

pectoral plate as long as humeral 11. 

Plastron covering the soft parts, capable of almost or entirely closing the 

shell; central margin of pectoral plate shorter 13. 

11. With two yellow stripes on each side of head; chin with lengthwise 

stripes; U. S. west to Okla. and Texas 

Sternotherus odoratus (Latreille) Common Musk Turtle, 

Stink Pot 
(Aromochelys odoratus (Latreille) ) 
No or faint head stripes; chin spotted or mottled 12. 

12. Head spotted with black; carapace with a mid-dorsal keel in both young 

and adult; southern Mississippi drainage 

Sternotherus carinatus (Gray) Keeled Musk Turtle 
Sides of head with faint stripes; with a lateral keel on each side of cara- 
pace; mid'dorsal keel present only in the young; Tenn. to Fla. and 

Sternotherus mmor (Agassiz) Southern Musk Turtle 
(Aromochelys tnstycha Agassiz) 

13. Bridge (connection between the plastron and the carapace) very narrow, 

about one-third as long as the length of the plastron before the first 
transverse hinge; head plain dark or light speckled above; sides of neck 
with one or two faint stripes; Florida 

Kinosternon steindachneri Siebenrock Florida Mud Turtle 
Bridge about one-half as long as the front lobe of the plastron 14. 

14. Sides of head striped 15. 
Head spotted, blotched, or plain colored, the spots arranged in length- 
wise rows on the neck in K. suhruhrum suhruhrum 16. 

15. Sides of head with two narrow, light stripes; with three yellow stripes on 

the carapace, which become faint in old turtles; Florida 
Kinosternon haurii Garman Banded Box Turtle 
With two wide orange bands on each side of the head; no stripes on the 
carapace; Mo. to Ala. and Texas 

Kinosternon suhruhrum hippocrepis (Gray) Louisiana Mud 

(Cmosternum louisianae (Baur) ) 

16. Top and sides of head with yellow spots and blotches, which are arranged 

in two lengthwise rows on each side of the head; eastern U. S. to 
Florida, 111. and Tenn. 


Kinosternon suhruhrum suhrubrum (Laccpede) Common Mud 

(Cinosternum pennsylvanicum (Gmelin) ) 
Top of head plain dark or dark mottled 17. 

17. Carapace without lengthwise keels; top of head dark; sides and under 

surface of head plain yellow; Neb. to Texas and Ariz,.; also 111. 

Kmosternon fiavescens (Agassiz) Yellow-necked Mud Turtle 
Carapace with three more or less distinct lengthwise keels; top of head 
dark mottled; under surface of head mottled dark and light; Texas to 

Kinosternon sonoriense Le Conte Arizona Mud Turtle 
(Cmosternum henrici Le Conte) 

18. Carapace and plastron united by a cartilaginous joint; with a transverse 

hinge across the plastron between the abdominal and pectoral plates 
The Box Turtles 19. 

Carapace and plastron united by a bony bridge; no hinge across the plas- 
tron in this region 24. 

19. Posterior margin of plastron and the upper jaw notched; carapace long- 

oval, black with yellow spots; Minn, and Iowa to New England 
Emys hlandmgii (Holbrook) Blanding's Semi-box Turtle 
(Emys meleagns (Shaw and Nodder) ) 
Posterior margin of plastron straight or outcurved; upper jaw hooked 
color of carapace variable 20 

20. Usually, but not always, wth three claws on the hind foot; no webs be 

tween the toes 2 1 

Usually with four claws on the hind foot; toes somewhat webbed 22 

21. Shell flaring outwards behind; with orange markings around mouth and 

chin; carapace with variable, obscure, yellowish markings; plastron 
yellow, sometimes with dark clouding; S. C. to Texas, north to Mis- 

Terrapene triunguis (Agassiz) Three-toed Box Turtle 
Shell very globular and not flaring much behind; with two yellow bands 
behind each eye; chin yellow; plates of carapace with greenish lines in 
a fan-like pattern; plastron plain yellow or with dark cross markings; 

Terrapene hauri Taylor Baur's Box Turtle 

22. Toes scarcely webbed, the claws appearing to spring almost directly 

from a fleshy foot; plastron dark, with bright yellow stripes and bars; 
plates of carapace v.'ith yellow stripes in a fan-like pattern; Mont, to 
Ind. and Arizona 

Terrapene ornata (Agassiz) Painted Box Turtle 
(Cistudo ornata Agassiz) 
Toes about half or more webbed; plastron yellow or with dark blotches 
or clouding 23. 

23. Carapace plain or with yellow markings arranged in radiating lines; plas- 

tron mostly yellow, with the edges of the plates tinged with dark; toes 
of hind feet deeply webbed; shell elongated; Ga. to Fla. and Texas 
Terrapene major (Agassiz) Large Box Turtle 
(CiStudo major Agassiz) 


^ U NO- OF 

( YOU NG-^ 




Carapace variably marked with yellow; dark color on the plastron not 
confined to the edges of the plates; toes about half webbed; shell oval; 
Maine to Wis. and Ga. 

Terrapene Carolina (Linn.) Common Box Turtle 

24. Feet club-shaped, not webbed; toes not distinct; claws thick and blunt; 

terrestrial; southern U. S. only Tortoises 25. 

Hind feet somewhat webbed; claws narrow and pointed; either terrestrial 

or aquatic Terrapins 27. 

25. Length of shell less than twice the depth; Texas 

Gopherus herlandieri ( Agassiz) Texas Tortoise 
(Xerobdtes herlandieri Agassiz) 
(Testudo herlandieri (Agassiz) ) 
Length of shell more than twice the depth 26. 

26. Scales of forearm uniform; front area of plastron sloping slightly up- 

wards; Nev. and Utah to Texas and Cal. 

Gopherus agassizii (Cooper) Agassiz's Tortoise 
Scales of forearm not uniform, some being spiny and larger than others; 
front area of plastron turning sharply upwards; Fla. to S. C. and Ark. 

Gopherus polyphemus (Daudin) Gopher Tortoise 

27. With a ridge along the grinding surface of the upper jaw parallel with 

the thin, outer cutting edge; usually, but not always, with a ridge 
along the grinding surface of the lower jaw; plates of carapace usually 
smooth or with lengthwise furrows or ridges; rarely with a blunt keel 
along the middle of the carapace in the adult; head and neck con' 
spicuously colored with light lengthwise stripes and markings, except 
in a few of the species with a serrated or fluted posterior margin of 
the carapace 28. 

No ridge along the grinding surface of the jaws; plates of carapace 
usually smooth or with concentric ridges (not color markings), some 
times with a few fine lengthwise ridges in forms with a high mid' 
dorsal keel in the adult; species having the rear margin of the cara' 
pace serrated have a pronounced keel along the middle of the carapace 
in the adult; head not definitely striped in forms having the rear border 
of the carapace smooth 45. 

28. Rear margin of the carapace smooth, except for a sHght notch in the 

middle Chicken and Painted Turtles 29. 

Rear margin of the carapace serrated or fluted Sliders, Cooters 33. 

29. Marginal plates of carapace with yellow markings; with a very broad 

yellow band running down each front leg; head and neck about one' 
half as long as the shell; N. C. and Fla. to Texas and Okla. 

Deirochelys reticularia (Latreille) Chicken or Long-necked 

(Chrysemys reticulatus (Bosc) ) 
Under marginal plates of carapace with red markings; front leg with 
one or more fine stripes, or else unstriped; head and neck shorter 
Painted Turtles or Terrapins 30. 

30. Vertebral plates of carapace almost in a line with the costal plates; plas- 

tron usually plain yellow 31. 


Vertebral plates definitely alternating with the costal plates; plastron 
usually with dark markings 32. 

31. Carapace short and wide, with the vertebral plates wider than the costal 

plates, so that the adult of this species resembles the form of the young 
of the following species; with a broad, light, mid'dorsal stripe; Illinois 

Chrysemys picta dorsalis (Agassiz) Striped Painted Turtle 
Carapace long'oval, with the vertebral plates about the same width as 
the costal plates, in the adult; with a fine, light, mid'dorsal line; New 
England to Florida 

Chrysemys picta picta (Schneider ) Eastern Painted Turtle 

32. Larger plates of carapace plain dark, with narrow yellow borders; plas' 

tron with a long dark patch in the center; N. Y. to Wis. and Tenn. 

Chrysemys heWii marginata (Agassiz) Western Painted Turtle 

Larger plates of carapace scarcely, if any, margined with yellow, but 

with a fine yellow network; plastron with two dark bands running 

lengthwise and uniting anteriorly and posteriorly; Wash, to 111. and 


Chrysemys hellii belli! (Gray) Bell's Painted Turtle 

33. Ridge along grinding surface of jaws smooth; lower jaw with a thin, 

smooth, outer cutting edge 34. 

Ridge along grinding surface of jaws tuberculate; lower jaw with a ser' 

rate edge, like the teeth of a fine saw, or sometimes smooth 36. 

34. Head almost wholly dark, with obscure stripes and markings; Tennessee 

region (Thought to be a phase of the adult male of P. t. elegans) 
Pseudemys troostii troostii (Holbrook) Troost's Terrapin 
With a red or yellow patch of color on each side of the head behind 
each eye 35. 

35. With a long, oval, red or orange spot behind each eye; plastron with 

much dark color; Ohio to Iowa and south 

Pseudemys troostii elegans (Wied) Cumberland Terrapin 
With an irregular, yellow cross band extending down on each side of the 
head from behind each eye; plastron entirely yellow or with only a 
few dark markings; N. C. to Florida 

Pseudemys scnpta (Schoepif) Yellow-bellied Terrapin 
(Chrysemys scahra (Agassiz,) ) 

36. No projection on each side of a median notch in the upper jaw; edge 

of upper jaw smooth or serrate 37. 

With a projection on each side of a notch in the middle of the front of 

the upper jaw; rest of upper jaw usually serrate 42. 

37. Usually with a notch in the middle of the front of the upper jaw; stripes 

on top of head usually broken or with cross connections; Indiana to the 
Mississippi River 

Pseudemys concinna hieroglyphica (Holbrook) Hieroglyphic 
No notch in middle of front of upper jaw; light lines on top of head con' 
tinuous, although sometimes branched 38. 


38. Upper jaw strongly serrate; usually with seven or more light lengthwise 

stripes between the eyes; plastron often with dusky color; Florida to 

Pseudemys concmna mobilensis (Holbrook) Mobile Cooter 
Upper jaw practically smooth 39. 

39. Plastron with a dusky blotch 40. 
Plastron without dusky color 41. 

40. Carapace rather low; soft parts brownish, with orange-yellow stripes; 

usually no vertical yellow stripe behind eye; Maryland to Alabama 
Pseudemys concinna concmna (Le Conte) Barred Terrapin 
Carapace more elevated; soft parts black, with greenish-yellow stripes; 
with a yellow stripe from above eye turned downwards across tem- 
poral region to join yellow stripes extending backwards from jaws; 

Pseudemys concmna suwannens^s (Carr) Suwannee Terrapin 

41. Light stripe across each upper ear region fused anteriorly with a light 

stripe on each side of mid-line of head; blotches on under sides of mar- 
ginal plates wholly dark; Florida 

Pseudemys fiondana peninsularis Carr Peninsula Terrapin 
Light stripe across each upper ear region distinct from the light stripe 
on each side of mid-line of head; blotches on under sides of marginal 
plates with light centers; N. C. to Ala. and Florida 

Pseudemys floridayia fiondana (Le Conte) Florida Terrapin 

42. Some of the stripes on sides of head broken to form spots or bars; usually 

with a vertical yellow bar behind each eye; Texas 

Pseudemys texana Baur Texas Terrapin or Cooter 
Stripes on sides of head unbroken; no vertical yellow bar behind eye 43. 

43. With more than ten fine, light, lengthwise stripes on top of head between 

the ear regions; plastron usually yellow, with fine brown markings; 
Fla. to La. 

Pseudemys alahamensis (Baur) Alabama Terrapin 
With less than ten light stripes so situated 44. 

44. Blotches on under sides of marginal plates wholly dark; Florida 

Pseudemys nelsom Carr Nelson's Terrapin 
Blotches on under sides of marginal plates with light centers; N. Y. to 

Pseudemys ruhnventns (Lc Conte) Red-bellied Terrapin 
(Ptychemys rugosa (Shaw) ) 

45. Head and neck with conspicuous yellow, lengthwise stripes and mark- 

ings; sides of carapace usually flattened; rear margin of carapace ser- 
rated Map Turtles 46. 
Head markings not in definite stripes; sides of carapace usually slightly 
convex in the adult; rear margin of carapace serrated or often prac- 
tically smooth Pond Turtles and Diamond-backs 48. 

46. With a yellow mark in the form of a crescent or right angle, open to- 

wRvd the side, bent around behind each eye; Wis. to Ohio, Ala., and 


CrRAPTEMYS & E O R ^ P VA » C ^ 


E L E Cr A U S 

C O N C \ N N A 





Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica (Gray) 
(Malacoclemmys lesueurii (Gray) ) LcSueur's Terrapin, RidgC' 
With a yellow spot behind each eye 47. 

47. Carapace with a low, even, mid'dorsal keel; larger plates of carapace 

greenish, with a yellow network; Vermont to Texas 
Graptemys geographica (LeSueur) Map Turtle 
Keel on the carapace rising in the form of tubercles, making a jagged 
profile; yellow markings on carapace not in the form of a network, 
usually appearing as rings; with a broad yellow band covering chin; 
La. to Texas 

Graptemys oculifera (Baur) Ocellated Terrapin 

48. Head dark, with a large orange patch of color much larger than the 

eye on each side behind the eye; N. Y. and R. I. to N. C. 

Clemmys muhlenbergii (Schoepff) Eastern Pond Turtle 
(Chelopus muhleyihergii (Schoepff) ) 
Head not so 49. 

49. Body and carapace dark, with yellow spots about the size of the eye 

scattered over the surface; Maine to Wis. and Florida 

Clemmys guttata (Schneider) Spotted Pond Turtle 
Not so 50. 

50. Carapace with fine yellow dots or streaks on each plate; head brown or 

yelloVk^, with sm.all dark dots or markings; rear margin of carapace 
practically smooth in the adult; West Coast 

Clemmys marmorata (B. 6? G.) Western Pond Turtle 
Plates of carapace with concentric dark markings or with concentric 
ridges; rear margin of carapace serrated; eastern species 51, 

51. Head and limbs dark, tinged with reddish beneath; plastron with large 

dark blotches; frequenting damp woods, swamps, or wood streams; 
Maine to Va. and Wis. 

Clemmys insculpta (Le Conte) Wood Turtle 
Body grayish, with fine dark dots or markings; plastron with fine dark 
streaks, or unmarked; frequenting salt marshes of the Atlantic and 
Gulf coasts 52. 

52. With a tubercle on each vertebral plate, giving the mid'dorsal keel a 

jagged outline; carapace usually brown or black; Gulf Coast 

Malaclemys pileata (Wied) (and varieties) Diamond'back 

{Malacoclemmys palustris (Gmel.) ) 
With an even mid-dorsal keel; carapace usually gray to greenish; At- 
lantic Coast 

Malaclemys centrata (Latreille) Diamond-back Terrapin 
(Malacoclemmys palustris (Gmel.) ) 


Agassiz, L. 1857. Contributions to the Natural History of the United States. 
Vols. 1 and 2. Little, Brown 6? Co. Boston. 


Baur, G. 1893. The Species of the Genus Pseudemys. Proc. Amer. Philos. 
Soc. Vol.31. 

Brimley, C. S. 1920. The Turtles of North Carolina. Jour, of the Elisha 
Mitchell Scientific Soc, Vol. 36, Nos. 1 and 2. 

Cahn, A. R. 1937. The Turtles of Illinois. Univ. of lUinois Bull., Vol. 35, 
No. 1. (111. Biol. Monographs, Vol. 16, Nos. 1 and 2.) Urbana, Illinois. 

Carr, A. F., Jr. 1938. The Pseudemys floridana Complex. Copeia, No. 3, 

Conant, R. 1947. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Northeastern States. 
Zoological Society of Philadelphia. 

Ditmars, R. L. 1936. The Reptiles of North America. Doubleday, Doran 
5? Co. New York. 

Pope, C. H. 1939. Turtles of the United States and Canada. Alfred A. 
Knopf. New York. 

Stejneger, L. and Barbour, T. 1943. A Check List of North American Am- 
phibians and Reptiles. Fifth edition. Harvard Univ. Press. Cambridge, 

The names used as first choice in the turtle key are those given in the fifth 
edition of Stejneger and Barbour's Check List. 




Birds, because of their esthetic appeal and the mastery of flight which 
enables them to ignore boundaries and to appear at intervals even in the 
hearts of cities, have received a great deal, possibly more than their due share, 
of attention. Ornithology or bird study has become almost a science in itself. 
Since so many excellent books on birds are available, a complete discussion 
or identification guide to them is not given here. 

A study of the anatomy of the bird will soon demonstrate adaptations 
for flight that constitute one of the most remarkable chapters in the story of 
evolution. A few fairly complete fossil skeletons connect the modern birds 
with their reptilian ancestors. Two fairly complete skeletons and several 
fragments from the Jurassic Period might well be taken for remains of some 
of the sm.all, bipedal dinosaurs, but for the imprints of feathers. These early 
birds, Archaeopteryx and Archaeornis, lacked the modifications of skeleton 
necessar^?^ for flight, but probably used their well developed fingers and toes 
for climbing, and then glided down like modern flying squirrels. A South 
American bird, the Hoatzin, does almost the same thing today. Fossil skelc' 
tons of two kinds of sea birds, several million years younger than the others, 
are known as Hesperorms and Ichthyornts, and show an almost modern type 
of bird skeleton, but possess teeth and some other reptilian skull characters. 
The modern bird has reduced its hand to traces of three fingers and lost at 
least one toe from each foot. Its arm and leg bones are hollow; its tail 
shortened to a few vertebrae and a bony end-piece representing the rest; its 
neck is long and extremely flexible, compensating for its almost rigid trunk; 
its lungs are supplemented by air sacs, which extend from the lungs between 
the viscera, the muscles, and even into the cavities of the hollow bones. Even 
the outer covering of feathers is peculiarly adapted to aid flight, by re- 
ducing air resistance. In the odd groups of birds which have lost the power 
of flight, the feathers no longer form this smooth coat, but are downy or even 

The power of flight has permitted a remarkable development of migra- 
tory habits. The interested student should study the main "flyways" of North 
America, and the order and dates of movements in his locality. Now that 
bird -banding, started about 1710 and carried on under the direction of the 
United States Biological Survey since 1920, has given us a fairly clear picture 
of the paths, rate of movement and destinations of birds, some of the mystery 
has been dispelled, but by no means all. We no longer speculate, as did even 


good scientists a hundred and fifty years ago, as to whether swallows migrate 
or descend into the ponds to hibernate, but we still do not know why they 
migrate. Several logical theories have been suggested, but no one fits all 
cases. One of the oldest ideas is that the migration is to keep near a good 
food supply. However, some birds migrate at a time when food is abundant 
in the place they leave. Another theory is that the development of the sexual 
organs initiates the migratory urge. This is supported by the fact that the 
permanent residents show little seasonal change in the condition of the gonads, 
while the migratory birds show marked changes. In some forms, as in the 
bobolink, this seasonal change is correlated with changes in plumage. The 
argument against the sexual-cycle theory of migration is that some forms which 
take more than one year to mature, such as the Trumpeter Swan, Blue Goose 
and Whooping Crane, migrate in their first year. Whatever the cause of 
migration, it remains one of the greatest wonders of anmial life. The longest 
migration is made by the Arctic Tern, which nests within eight degrees of 
the north pole and after about fourteen weeks starts a trip of over eleven 
thousand miles to the edge of Antarctica. The longest continuous flight is 
that made by the Golden Plover, which, in its autumn trip from the Arctic to 
South America, makes a non-stop flight of 2,500 miles from Nova Scotia to 
Argentina. It returns by a difl^erent route, traveling up the Mississippi Valley, 
two thousand miles west of its autumn trip. This use of different routes for 
spring and fall migration is not confined to the Golden Plover, but has also 
been shown for the Connecticut Warbler, which starts its fall migration by 
travelling eastward from southern Canada to New England, and flies down 
along the coast to Florida, returning in spring by the Mississippi Valley. The 
Pacific Golden Plover has the most remarkable migration path, since it navi- 
gates the Pacific Ocean, from Alaska to Australia and southeastern Asia, 
making stops in the Midway, Hawaiian and South Sea Islands. Banding 
has also revealed that some birds, including the bobolink, are gradually changing 
their migration routes. 

In addition to their undoubted value to the farmer and gardener as de- 
stroyers of unwanted insects, birds play a much more important part than is 
generally realized in helping to maintain the balance of plant life in fields and 
forests. Now that we are gradually learning the value of diversity in forest 
plantings and the value of cover and food plants, we are becoming aware that 
the birds, which share the benefits of these with other forms of wildlife, are 
responsible for much planting. Many berries and other fruits eaten by birds 
have hard, resistant seeds, which pass unharmed through the birds' digestive 
tracts and are spread far and wide. This spreading of plants usually occurs 
in waste places and, with the exception of poison ivy, does little harm to man 
and much good to animals. 


Study of Birds 

Only an expert can identify more than a few birds in flight or at a dis- 
tance. Portraits of Wilson and Audubon, our greatest early American 
ornithologists, usually show them with their shot-guns at hand. Since modern 
ideas of conservation prohibit the use of shot-gun and snare, field observation 
of the characters upon which classification depends is almost impossible. The 
beginner is strongly advised to devote considerable time at first to the study 
of mounted specimens in a museum or, if a museum is not available, to the 
study of a set of good bird pictures. By the use of a general outline of 
classification, such as the one given here, he can learn the characteristics of the 
principal families, and can then use any of the standard bird books to follow 
up the study to species. It will be noted that, in most handbooks on birds, the 
keys are based largely on color and the few outstanding peculiarities which 
can be seen in the field. This grouping by color makes the learning of bird 
classification seem hopeless without a foundation of museum or book study. 

For field study, a small notebook and a pair of 6X or 8X field glasses are 
needed. Birds are usually most actively feeding and easily watched in the 
first two or three hours of daylight. Most of them retire into secure hiding 
places later in the day, when one can get only hasty glimpses of them. Usually 
the best policy is to seek a likely place, such as a shrubby forest edge near 
water, and to attempt to imitate a stump until the birds become accustomed 
to one's presence. The field glasses should be achromatic or, when one looks 
at a bird in the tree tops, it will appear, even though it be a dull-colored 
starling, to wear a halo of rainbow hues. The notebook is to enable one to 
record data that will aid in identifying the bird later. 

A few pointers may be helpful. First, check on size, using such standards 
as the familiar English (house) sparrow, the robin and the crow. Next, 
record any distinctive color patches and their positions. If possible, try to 
determine the shape of the beak — whether it is the short, heavy, seed-crushing 
beak of the sparrow, the long, slender, probing beak of the thrush, the minutely 
hooked beak of the flycatcher, or the prominently hooked beak of the bird of 
prey. If the bird has any particular call or song, try to record that either 
by words, as "phoebe" or "bob-white", or by a slanting line that curves up 
and down as the notes rise and fall. Note also the habitat, whether tree-tops, 
bushes or ground. If the bird flies, notice whether its flight is straight or un- 
dulating, and whether it pulls in its neck and legs or flies with them out- 

Study of the nests and eggs is also fascinating. Fortunately, laws restrict 
the collection of eggs but, when the young have flown, the nests may be 
collected and no harm done. In observing a nest, care should be taken not to 
disarrange the surroundings or it may be exposed to sun and rain or to the 


prowling cat. Above all, one should not handle eggs or young birds, or the 
parents will be quite likely to forsake them. Several good books on eggs and 
nests are available and repay study. 

Recognition of bird songs is difficult unless one has a keen appreciation 
of pitch and rhythm. Much time spent in actual observation of singing birds 
is the only way to acquire a real knowledge of their songs. Books are not of 
great value here, since the voice mechanism of the bird is anatomically dif' 
ferent from that of the other animals, so that ordinary musical notation is ah 
together inadequate. Words or phrases are often used to represent songs, 
but are usually of little value except as a convenient method of recalling to 
one something that he already knows. With the exception of a few calls 
such as those of the whip'poor'will or bob-white, the commonly printed phrases, 
such as the ''more wet wetter wet chee zee" given for the white-crowned 
sparrow, are of little use to the beginner. Accurate human imitations of bird 
songs are now available on phonograph records. Recently there have appeared 
on the market records of actual recordings of wild birds' songs, made 
under the guidance of noted ornithologists of Cornell University and the 
American Museum. These records, although somewhat marred by the un- 
preventable inclusion of the noise of the recording apparatus, are highly re 
commended and give a useful foundation for field study. 

Two activities which can be carried on in almost any locality and which 
are of much help in encouraging local bird life are winter and spring feeding, 
and providing nesting sites and shelters. Food is often needed during deep 
snows and after sleet storms, especially in early spring when the migrants 
may be returning slightly ahead of favorable weather and, in some cases, weak 
from long flights. Suet, doughnuts, bird-seed and breadcrumbs are all wel- 
come. Wild birds should not be expected to come readily to a window shelf 
or other open location where their instincts or experiences warn them that 
danger may lurk. The best place for a feeding station is near bushy shrub- 
bery, through which the birds may approach and to which they may retreat, 
if alarmed. Metal feeding trays or racks should not be used in freezing 
temperatures. The furnishing of suitable nesting sites has become necessary 
in many localities because pruning, tree surgery, and elimination of bushy 
hedges have resulted in a shortage of natural nesting sites. This has possibly 
had as much to do with the decrease of such birds as the bluebird as has the 
introduction of such forms as the European house sparrow. Both the familiar 
box type and the equally useful shelf or open type are needed, and should be 
of subdued color, provided with drainage, and placed at suitable heights for 
the particular kinds of birds they are designed to harbor. Dimensions of 
boxes and proper locations and heights are given in many bird books and in 
state and federal bulletins. It should be remembered that, if such pugnacious 
birds as the house sparrow and the house wren are encouraged to nest in a 


garden, the chances of attracting any of our shyer birds are much decreased. 
Unfortunately, nesting boxes are seldom furnished for any birds but wrens, 
although many will use them, if the location suits them. 

If opportunity offers, one should try to learn all that he can about 
the habits and evcry-day life of the birds. He should not make the beginner's 
mistake of working solely for a check list. The mere fact of having seen thirty 
or forty kinds of birds in one day is not especially commendable in itself and 
adds little to our knowledge. In almost every part of the country check lists 
of all the birds common to the region are already available. What is now 
needed is more study of birds (and other animals) as living things. 


Subclass NEORNITHES (of Class AVES) Typical Birds 
Superorder NEOGNATHAE Modern Flying Birds 

Water birds; legs short and placed far back; tarsus flattened; front 
toes webbed and with claws; with a small hind toe on each foot; 
beak with smooth edges 

With the characters of the order 

( 1 genus, 3 species) 

Water birds; legs short and placed far back; tarsus flattened; 
front toes lobed and with flattened nails; with a small hind toe on 
each foot; beak with smooth edges; apparently no tail 

With the characters of the order 

(3 genera, 6 species) 
Order PROCELLARIIFORMES Tube-nosed Swimmers 
Sea birds; nostrils opening through a tube or tubes 
Family DIOMEDEIDAE Albatrosses 

Nostrils opening through two tubes situated one on each 

side of the beak 

(2 genera, 3 species) 
Family PROCELLARIIDAE Shearwaters, Fulmars and Petrels 

Nostrils opening through a single tube on top of the beak; 

with more than ten primaries 

(3 genera, 7 species) 
Family HYDROBATIDAE Storm Petrels 

Nostrils opening through a single tube on top of the beak; 

with ten primaries 

(3 genera, 6 species) 





P R i M AR\ES 

T\ B » A 




Order PELECANIFORMES Totipalmate Swimmers 
Water birds; lc,c;s short; weh including hind toe 
Family PHAETHONTIDAE Tropic-birds 

Lores feathered; chin feathered; beak straight and pointed 

(1 genus, 1 species) 
Family PELECANIDAE Pelicans 

Lores bare; beak hooked and with a large pouch beneath 

(1 genus, 2 species) 
Family SULIDAE Ganncts and Boobies 

Lores bare; chin bare; beak not hooked; tail pointed 

(2 genera, 2 species) 

Lores bare; end of beak hooked; no pouch beneath beak 

( 1 genus, 5 species) 
Family ANHINGIDAE Darters, Snake-birds 

Lores bare; chin bare; beak not hooked; end of tail square 

( 1 genus, 1 species ) 
Family FREGATIDAE Man-o'-war-birds 

Lores feathered; end of beak hooked 

( 1 genus, 1 species ) 
Order CICONIIFORMES Herons, Storks, Flamingos, etc. 

Water birds; legs very long; tibia bare below; lores bare; 

usually large, long-necked birds 
Suborder ARDEAE Herons, Bitterns, etc. 

Toes four, all on the same level, scarcely or not webbed 
Family ARDEIDAE Herons, Bitterns and Egrets 

Beak straight and pointed; middle claw serrated 

(11 genera, 12 species) 
Family CICONIIDAE Storks and Wood Ibises 

Beak narrow, cylindrical, somewhat curved downwards; 

sides of upper bill not grooved; middle claw smooth 

( 1 genus, 1 species) 
Family THRESKIORNITHIDAE Spoonbills and Ibises 

Either with the end of the beak broad and flat (Spoonbills) 

or with the beak narrow, cylindrical, somewhat curved 

downwards and with the sides of upper bill grooved 

(Ibises) ; middle claw smooth 

(3 genera, 4 species) 
Suborder PHOENICOPTERI Flamingos 
Feet webbed in front 

Edges of beak with serrated strainers; end of beak bent 


downwards; adults roseTcd 
(1 genus, 1 species) 
Order ANSERIFORMES Swans, Geese and Ducks 

Water birds; legs short, placed moderately well back; toes webbed 
in front; edges of beak fringed or serrated 

With the characters of the order 
Subfamily CYGNINAE Swans 

Lores bare; neck as long as the body 
(1 genus, 2 species) 
Subfamily ANSERINAE Geese 

Lores partly or wholly feathered; beak broad and 
flat; tarsus with rounded scales 
(4 genera, 8 species) 
Subfamily DENDROCYGNINAE Tree Ducks 

Lores partly or wholly feathered; beak broad and 
flat; lower part of tarsus with small, rounded scales; 
tarsus with transverse or squarish scales above 
(1 genus, 2 species) 
Subfamily ANATINAE Dabbling Ducks 

Lores partly or wholly feathered; beak broad and 
flat; front of tarsus completely with transverse or 
squarish scales; hind toe scarcely or not lobed 
(8 genera, 13 species) 
Subfamily NYROCINAE Diving Ducks 

Lores partly or wholly feathered; beak broad and 
flat; front of tarsus completely with transverse or 
squarish scales; hind toe with a broad flap; tail 
feathers soft 
(8 genera, 15 species) 
Subfamily ERISMATURINAE Ruddy Ducks 

Same as preceding, except for stiff and often erect 
tail feathers 
(2 genera, 2 species) 
Subfamily MERGINAE Mergansers 

Lores partly or wholly feathered; beak long and nar- 
row and serrated along the edge 
(2 genera, 3 species) 
Order FALCONIFORMES Birds of Prey 

Land birds; tibia feathered; toes scarcely or not webbed; nostrils 
much lengthened, parallel with beak, or else opening through a 
fleshy membrane or covering of skin (cere) at the base of the 



s K I n n t R 

M t RG AN St R 










beak; heak pointed, hooked, with narrow lower bill, adapted tor a 
flesh diet; with four toes, three before and one behind, sometimes 
with the outer one reversed; eyes directed sideways 
Suborder CATHARTAE American Vultures 

Head usually bare; plumage of native species black; large, 
long'V.'ingcd birds, ordinarily seen soaring 
Family CATHARTIDAE Vultures 

With the characters of the suborder 

(3 genera, 3 species) 
Suborder FALCONES Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, etc. 
Head usually well feathered 
Family ACCIPITRIIDAE Kites, Hawks, Eagles, etc. 

Beak not toothed or notched 

(14 genera, 23 species) 
Family FALCONIDAE Falcons 

With a projection from each side of the tip of the upper 

bill fitting into a notch in each side of the lower bill 

(2 genera, 7 species) 
Order GALLIFORMES Gallinaceous Birds 

Land birds; tibia feathered; toes usually slightly webbed; feet with 
short hind toe elevated above the rest or else feet small and weak; 
wings short and wide; fowl-like 
Family CRACIDAE Curassows and Guans 

Hind toe on the same level as the rest; beak with cere 

( 1 genus, 1 species) 
Family TETRAONIDAE Grouse 

Hind toe elevated; tarsus feathered; head feathered 

(7 genera, 11 species) ) 
Family PERDICIDAE Quails 

Flind toe elevated; tarsus bare; head feathered 

(5 genera, 7 species) 
Family PHASIANIDAE Pheasants 

Hind toe elevated; head partly bare 

(Species introduced from China) 

Hind toe elevated; head almost entirely bare and with 

comb, wattles or other growth 

(1 genus, 1 species) 
Order GRUIFORMES Cranes, Rails and Limpkins 

Shore birds; legs very long; tibia bare below; hind toe about on 
the same level as the rest, or else large birds, over thirty inches 
long; toes usually not webbed; lores feathered or haired; some- 


times with a bare area on the forehead; wings rather short and wide 
Family GRUIDAE Cranes 

Lores haired 

(1 genus, 2 species) 
Family ARAMIDAE Limpkins 

Lores feathered; tail feathers short and stout 

(1 genus, 1 species) 
Family RALLIDAE Rails, Gallmules and Coots 

Lores feathered; tail feathers very short and soft; fore- 

head with a bare area in some species 

(8 genera, 1 1 species) 
Order CHARADRIIFORMES Gulls, Auks, Sandpipers, etc. 

Shore or sea birds; nostrils not tubular; beak with smooth edges 
Suborder CHARADRII Jacanas and Shore Birds 

Legs very long; tibia bare below (except in the woodcock); 
hind toe elevated or absent; front toes seldom fully webbed 
(except in the avocets) ; lores feathered; beak usually adapt' 
ed for probing (except in the plovers) ; wings long and 
Family JACANIDAE Jacanas 

With fleshy lobes extending from the base of the beak up 

over the forehead; middle toe, including claw, longer than 


( 1 genus, 1 species) 
Family HAEMATOPODIDAE Oyster-catchers 

Beak long, hard, compressed sideways at tip; front of 

tarsus with small, rounded scales 

(1 genus, 2 species) 
Family CHARADRIIDAE Plovers and Turnstones 

Beak short and hard, not compressed sideways at tip 

(compressed behind the tip in the plovers) ; front of tarsus 

with small, rounded scales 

(7 genera, 11 species) 
Family SCOLOPACIDAE Woodcock, Snipe, Sandpipers and 


Beak long and cylindrical, soft and sensitive for probing; 

with transverse or squarish scales on front of tarsus; toes 

not lobed ; sometimes with short webs between the toes 

(21 genera, 27 species) 
Family RECURVIROSTRIDAE Avocets and Stilts 

Bare area of tibia much longer than middle toe and claw; 

beak upcurved (avocets) or straight (stilts) 

(2 genera, 2 species) 





Vs/AV WlNCr 



VAR\OUS TY9eS Of \A t A S 


Family PHALAROPODIDAE Phalaropes 

Toes with side webs or lobes; tarsus flattened 
(3 genera, 3 species) 
Suborder LARI Gulls, Terns, Skimmers, etc. 

Legs short, centrally placed; toes usually four (three in one 
genus); feet webbed in front; beak sharply pointed, often 
hooked, adapted for a fish diet; wings long and narrow 
Family STERCORARIIDAE Jaegers and Skuas 

Upper bill in more than one piece, with a cere at the base 
and a swollen, hooked tip 
(2 genera, 5 species) 
Family LARIDAE Gulls and Terns 

Upper bill in one piece, either hooked (gulls) or straight 

(10 genera, 27 species) 
Family RYNCHOPIDAE Skimmers 

Beak straight; lower bill longer than the upper 
( 1 genus, 1 species) 
Suborder ALGAE Auks, Puffins, etc. 

Sea birds; legs short, placed very far back; tarsus flattened; 
with three tacs, webbed and with narrow claws; wings rather 
short and wide 
Family ALGIDAE Auks, Murres and Puffins 
With the characters of the order 
(11 genera, 16 species) 
Order GOLUMBIFORMES Pigeon-like Birds 

Land birds; tibia feathered; with four toes, all on the same level, 
scarcely or not webbed; nostrils opening through a fleshy mem' 
brane or covering of skin (cere) at the base of the beak; beak 
slender, straight 

Family COLUMBIDAE Pigeons and Doves 
With the characters of the order 
(6 genera, 8 species) 

(1 extinct genus and species and several introduced species 
of various genera) 
Order PSITTAGIFORMES Paroquets and Parrots 

Land birds; tibia feathered; toes permanently two before and two 
behind, not webbed; beak with cere; lower bill scoop'shaped; beak 
adapted for a vegetarian diet 
Family PSITTACIDAE Paroquets and Parrots 
With the characters of the order 
( 1 genus, 1 species now extinct) 


Order CUCULIFORMES Cuckoo-like Birds 

Family CUCULIDAE Cuckoos and Roadrunners 

Land birds; tibia feathered; tarsus mostly bare; toes two 
before and two behind, not webbed; beak long, with 
smooth edges; nostrils exposed, brownish or grayish above; 
with soft tail feathers 
(3 genera, 6 species) 

Land birds; tibia feathered; toes three before and one behind, not 

webbed, the outer toe reversible; beak with a cere; eyes directed 

forward; usually with a facial disc 

Family TYTONIDAE Barn Owls 

Middle claw serrate; no ear tufts 
(1 genus, 1 species) 

Family STRIGIDAE Horned Owls, Barred Owls, etc. 
Middle claw not serrate; with or without ear tufts 
(11 genera, 17 species) 
Order CAPRIMULGIFORMES Goatsuckers, etc. 

Family CAPRIMULGIDAE Nighthawks and Whip-poor-wills 
Land birds; tibia feathered; feet small and weak; beak 
short and small; gape very wide; usually with bristles 
around the mouth; wings long and narrow; claw on middle 
toe serrate; feathers downy 
(4 genera, 6 species) 
Order MICROPODIFORMES Swifts and Hummingbirds 

Land birds; tibia feathered; feet small and weak; wings long and 

narrow; claw on middle toe not serrate; feathers smooth 


Beak short and small; gape very wide; often with spines 
extending from the ends of the tail feathers; birds usually 
seen on the wing and often mistaken for swallows 
(3 genera, 4 species) 

Family TROCHILIDAE Hummingbirds 

Very small birds; beak long and slender; plumage shining 
(10 genera, 15 species) 

Family TROGONIDAE Trogons 

Land birds; tibia feathered; toes two before and two be- 
hind, not webbed; tail feathers soft; beak short, with ser' 
rate edges; nostrils concealed; tarsus mostly feathered; 
greenish above 
(1 genus, 1 species) 


Order CORACIIFORMES Kingfishers, etc. 
Family ALCEDINIDAE Kingfishers 

Land birds; tibia feathered; feet small, with four toes, with 

the middle and outer toes joined for about half their 

length; grayish or bluish birds, with long, straight beaks, 

usually seen near water 

(2 genera, 3 species) 
Order PICIFORMES Woodpeckers, etc. 
Family PICIDAE Woodpeckers 

Land birds; tibia feathered; toes two before and two be' 

hind, not webbed; with stiff, pointed tail feathers; beak 

strong, adapted for excavating 

(10 genera, 22 species) 
Order PASSERIFORMES Perching Birds 

Land birds; tibia feathered; no cere on beak; feet of normal size, 
with the hind toe about as long as the front, middle toe, on the 
same level as the rest, with its claw as long as or longer than that 
of the middle toe; toes not webbed, not united except sometimes 
at the basal segments; tail v^ith tvv'clve feathers; this group includes 
most of our perching and song birds 
Family COTINGIDAE Cotmgas 

Basal segment of inner toe united with the basal segment 

of the middle toe 

(1 genus, 1 species) 
Family TYRANNIDAE Tyrant Flycatchers 

With the first two primary feathers almost equal in length; 

tarsus rounded and scaled behind; beak wide at base, slight' 

ly hooked; with bristles at the base of the beak; head 

usually slightly crested; feathers usually greenish or 


(11 genera, 3 1 species) 
Family ALAUDIDAE Larks 

With the first two primary feathers almost equal in length; 

tarsus rounded and scaled behind; hind claw very long; 

beak stout; nostrils with short bristles; usually with a tuft 

on each side of the head 

(1 genus, 1 species) 
Family HIRUNDINIDAE Swallows 

First primary feather almost or quite the longest; tarsus 

scaled in front and with an almost bare ridge behind; beak 

very wide at base, without bristles; birds with notched or 

forked tails and very long, pointed wings, usually seen 


p A P.oa UEIT 












only in flight 

(7 genera, 9 species) 

Family CORVIDAE Crows and Jays 

Usually with ten primaries, the first more than one-half 
and less than two-thirds the second; tarsus scaled in front 
and with an almost bare ridge behind; beak straight; nos- 
trils mostly concealed by tufts of tiny, bristly feathers, 
which project forward over them; tail feathers graduated; 
birds larger than a robin 
(8 genera, 16 species) 

Family PARIDAE Titmice and Chickadees 

Usually with ten primaries, the first less than two-thirds, 
usually less than one-half the second; tarsus scaled in front 
and with an almost bare ridge behind; beak straight, short 
and stout; nostrils mostly concealed by tufts of tiny, 
bristly feathers; tail feathers graduated; small birds 
(4 genera, 12 species) 

Family SITTIDAE Nuthatches 

Usually with ten primaries, the first less than two-thirds, 
usually less than one-half the second; tarsus scaled in front 
and with an almost bare ridge behind; beak straight, long 
and slender; nostrils mostly concealed by tufts of tiny, 
bristly feathers; end of tail square; small birds 
(1 genus, 4 species) 

Family CERTHIIDAE Creepers 

With ten primaries, the first less than one-half the second; 
tarsus scaled in front and with an almost bare ridge be- 
hind; nostrils exposed; beak slender, curved, not hooked at 
tip; tail feathers stiff and pointed, graduated; birds usually 
seen running up and down trees 
(1 genus, 1 species) 

Family CHAMAEIDAE Wren-tits 

With ten primaries, the first less than two-thirds but more 
than one-half the second; tarsus scaled in front and with an 
almost bare ridge behind; beak short and stout, with small 
feathers projecting forward over base; nostrils exposed; 
tail feathers graduated; small birds 
(1 genus, 1 species) 

Family CINCLIDAE Dippers 

With ten primaries, the first less than two-thirds the sec- 
ond; tarsus almost without scales; no bristles at the base 
of the beak; tail very short 
(1 genus, 1 species) 


With ten primaries, the first less than two-thirds but more 
than one'half the second; tarsus scaled in front and with 
an almost bare ridge behind; beak slender, not hooked, 
without conspicuous bristles at base; nostrils exposed; tail 
feathers graduated; birds usually smaller than a robin 
(9 genera, 9 species) 
Family MIMIDAE Mocking-birds 

With ten primaries, the first less than two-thirds but more 
than one-half the second; tarsus scaled in front and with 
an almost bare ridge behind; beak slender, somewhat 
curved, not hooked, usually with erect bristles at base; 
nostrils exposed; tail feathers graduated; birds about the 
size of a robin 
(4 genera, 10 species) 
Family TURDIDAE Thrushes and Bluebirds 

With ten primaries, the first very short, less than one- 
third the second; tarsus almost without scales; tip of up- 
per bill notched; with bristles at the base of the beak; end 
of tail usually square; moderate sized birds 
(6 genera, 12 species) 
Family SYLVIIDAE Warblers, Gnatcatchers, Kinglets 

With ten primaries, the first about one-third the second; 
tarsus without scales behind and usually unsealed before; 
beak slender, sometimes slightly notched at the tip; tail 
long and graduated; very small birds 
(3 genera, 4 species) 
Family MOTACILLIDAE Wagtails and Pipits 

Apparently with nine primaries, the first two almost equal 
in length; tarsus scaled before and with an almost bare 
ridge behind; hind claw much lengthened; inner secon- 
daries about as long as the primaries in the closed wing 
( 1 genus, 2 species) 
Family BOMBYCILLIDAE Waxwings 

Apparently with nine primaries, the first two almost equal 
in length; tarsus scaled before and with an almost bare 
ridge behind; beak short and wide, slightly notched near 
tip; no bristles at the base of the beak; nostrils concealed 
by tiny feathers; head crested; end of tail square 
(1 genus, 2 species) 
Family PTILOGONATIDAE Phainopeplas 

With ten primaries, the first less than two thirds the sec 









SW \ FT 










ond; tarsus scaled before and with an almost bare ridge 
behind; beak narrow, slightly notched near tip; nostrils 
exposed; head crested; tail long and fan-shaped 
(1 genus, 1 species) 

Family LANIIDAE Shrikes 

Usually with ten primaries, the first less than two-thirds 
the second; tarsus scaled before and with an almost bare 
ridge behind; beak notched and hooked at tip; nostrils ab 
most concealed by tufts of tiny, bristly feathers, which 
project forward over them; tail feathers graduated; moder- 
ate-sized birds; grayish, with a black band across the eyes 
(1 genus, 2 species) 

Family STURNIDAE Starlings 

First primary very short; second primary the longest; beak 
straight and wide at base; tail short and square; blackish, 
often light-spotted birds, about the si2;e of a robin 
( 1 genus , 1 species introduced from Europe) 
( 1 genus, 1 species introduced from Asia) 

Family VIREONIDAE Vireos 

With or without a small first primary; if with nine pri- 
maries, then with the first two almost equal in length; 
tarsus scaled before and with an almost bare ridge be- 
hind; beak slightly notched and hooked at tip; usually with 
bristles at the base of the beak; basal segments of toes 
usually united; inner toe usually very short; end of tail 
square; small, greenish birds 
(1 genus, 12 species) 

Family COMPSOTHLYPIDAE Wood Warblers 

With nine primaries, the first two almost equal in length; 
tarsus scaled before and with an almost bare ridge behind; 
beak usually slender, almost cylindrical, not notched or 
hooked; end of tail usually square; small birds, usually with 
yellow in the plumage 
(16 genera, 53 species) 

Family PLOCEIDAE Weaver Finches (House sparrows) 

European sparrows; introduced species strongly resembling 
the Fringillidae or native sparrows 
(1 genus, 2 species) 

Family ICTERIDAE Blackbirds, Orioles and Meadowlarks 

With nine primaries, the first two almost equal in length; 
tarsus scaled before and with an almost bare ridge behind; 
beak usually about as long as the head, not notched or 



hooked; base of upper bill extending back to divide 

feathers of forehead; no bristles at the base of the beak; 

tail usually graduated; birds approaching the size of a 


(10 genera, 18 species) 
Family THRAUPIDAE Tanagers 

With nine primaries, the first two almost equal in length; 

tarsus scaled before and with an almost bare ridge behind; 

beak stout; with a small projection from the middle of 

each side of the upper bill; nostrils exposed; end of tail 

square; males more or less red; females usually greenish 

or yellowish; moderate-sized birds 

(1 genus, 4 species) 
Family FRINGILLIDAE Sparrows, Finches, Buntings, Gros' 
beaks and Crossbills 

With nine primaries, the first two almost equal in length; 

tarsus scaled before and with an almost bare ridge behind; 

beak short and stout, with smooth edges, sometimes curved 

or crossed; nostrils almost concealed by tufts of tiny, 

bristly feathers, which project forward over them; birds 

about the size of the house sparrow 

(34 genera, 83 species) 


Allen, A. A. 1930. The Book of Bird Life. D. Van Nostrand Co. New 

Apgar, A. C. 1898. Birds of the United States East of the Rockies. Ameri- 
can Book Co. 

Arthur, S. C. 1931. The Birds of Louisiana. State of La. Dept. of Con- 
servation, Bull. No. 20. New Orleans. 

Ashbrook, F. G. 1931. Bird Guide. Whitman Publishing Co. Racine, 

Bailey, F. M. 1917. Handbook of Birds of the Western United States. 
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Baird, S. F., Brewer, T. M. and Ridgway. R. 1874 and 1884. A History 
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Bendire, C. 1892. Life Histories of North American Birds, etc. Smith- 
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U. S. Nat. Museum. Washington. 

Bent, A. C. 1921-1932. Life Histories of North American Birds. Published 
as Bulletins of the U. S. Nat. Museum. Gulls and Terns, Bull. 113. 
Petrels and Pelicans, Bull. 121. Wild Fowl, Bull. 130. Marsh Birds, 
Bull. 135. Shore Birds, Bulls. 142 and 146. Gallinaceous Birds, Bull. 162. 


Blanchan, N. 1933. The Bird Book. (Revised) Doubleday, Doran & Co. 
New York 

Brand, A. R. (Bird Song Foundation.) Cornell Univ. 1940. American 
Bird Songs. Comstock Publishing Co. Ithaca, N. Y. 

Burgess, T. W. 1933. Birds You Should Know. Little, Brown & Co. 

Chamberlain, M. 1903. A Popular Handbook of the Ornithology of the 
United States and Canada. (Based on Nuttall's Manual.) 2 vols. 
Little, Brown 6? Co. Boston. 

Chapman, F. M. 1907. The Warblers of North America. D. Appleton 6? 
Co. New York. 

Chapman, F. M. 1912. Color Key to North American Birds. D. Appleton 
^Co. New York. 

Chapman, F. M. 1917. Handbook of Birds of Eastern North America. D. 
Appleton d? Co. New York. 

Cory, C. B. 1909. The Birds of Illinois and Wisconsin. Field Museum of 
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Coues, E. 1903. Key To North American Birds. 2 vols. Dana Estes ^ 
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Daglish, E. F. 1934. Name This Bird. E. P. Button ^ Co. New York. 

Davie, O. 1900. Nests and Eggs of North American Birds. David McKay, 
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Dickey, F. V. V. 1935. FamiHar Birds of the Pacific Southwest. Stanford 
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Eaton, E. H. 1910. Birds of New York. New York State Museum, Memoir 
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Eliot, W. A. 1923. Birds of the Pacific Coast. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 
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Forbush, E. H. 1929. Birds of Massachusetts and Other New England 
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Howell, A. H. 1932. Florida Bird Life. Coward-McCann. New York. 
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Putnam's Sons. New York. 

Maynard, C. J. 1896. The Birds of Eastern North America. C. J. May 
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Minot, H. D. 1895. The Land and Game Birds of New England. (Second 
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New York. 

Myers, H. W. 1924. Western Birds. The Macmillan Co. New York. 

Nehring, H. 1893-1896. Our Native Birds of Song and Beauty. 2 vols. 

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Peterson, R. T. 1940. A Field Guide to Western Birds. Houghton Mifflin 
Co. Boston and New York. 

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The names of the families used in the bird classification are those given 
in the fourth (1931) Check List of the American Ornithologists' Union. 



In common speech the mammals are usually referred to as "animals", a 
general term which should include all living creatures except plants. The 
mammals have felt the strain of competition with man more keenly than have 
most of the other animals, so that the larger ones have lost out in the struggle 
and have either become extinct or have their ranges much restricted. Most 
of the smaller mammals have adjusted their lives to man's presence and by 
extreme wariness or nocturnal or crepuscular habits have managed to survive. 
Wherever a bit of wild country remains, unfit for agriculture but suitable 
for animal breeding grounds, the smaller mammals remain. A brier patch, 
a swamp or a rocky hillside, even on the outskirts of a city, may be a haven 
of refuge. Studies have shown that in the vicinity of Chicago thirty-nine 
species of wild mammals still survive and that around Northampton, Massa- 
chusetts, after almost three hundred years of settlement, thirty-five species 
yet remain. It is to be hoped that more of our waste and otherwise worthless 
lands may be set aside as true sanctuaries for all forms of wild animal life. 

The native mammals are divided into seven main groups. Taxonomically 
speaking, the first and "lowest" in the list of our mammals is the opossum. 
It is the only North American representative of the Marsitpiaha, mammals 
that produce their young in a very early stage and let them finish their de- 
velopment in an abdominal pouch or marsupium. The Xenarthra or American 
edentates are represented in the United States by only one species, the nine- 
banded armadillo, found along the Mexican border. It is characterized by un- 
specialized teeth and a strange bony covering or shell. The Chiroptera or 
bats are widely distributed. They were at one time placed at the head of 
the class Mammaha, because they are the only vertebrates, other than birds, 
that can truly fly. The ArUodactyla, ungulates or hoofed animals, include the 
peccary, cattle, deer and pronghorn antelope. The cattle family, of which 
the bison, bighorn sheep and mountain goat are representatives, have horns — 
unbranched, permanent structures present in both sexes and consisting of 
bony cores covered with thin material called horn. The deer have solid, 
branched structures called antlers, which develop only in the male in all 
native deer except the caribou and which are shed annually. The prong- 
horn antelope stands alone in having singly branched horns the outer layers 
of which are shed each year — apparently a halfway stage between antlers 
and horns. The Rodentia or gnawing animals are the largest group of mam- 
mals. Here belong rats, mice, squirrels, woodchucks, beaver, chipmunks and 


gophers. Rabbits (Lagomorpha) are often included in this group, although 
they differ from the rest in having two tiny teeth set directly behind the 
two large upper incisors. The members of this group are very difficult to 
identify, as distinguishing characters are based on skull and tooth distinc' 
tions, differences in proportion and shades of coat coloring. The Insectivora 
are probably the least familiar group. Here belong the moles, animals adapted 
for underground life by short fur that lies smooth when brushed either way, 
fore limbs widened and shortened, hands enlarged for digging, and eyes re 
duced to the si::e of pin-heads and covered with thin skin — and the shrews, 
which look like velvety-haired, short-tailed mice but differ from mice in denti- 
tion. The Carnivora include the foxes, wolves, cats, bears, raccoons and 
ring-tailed cat, and the weasels. Some of these are almost entirely carnivorous, 
v^hile others have become adapted to a more varied diet. These habits are 
interestingly correlated with the form of the cheek teeth. In the more strictly 
carnivorous forms the last premolar or the first molar is of the sectorial or 
carnassial type, with a sharp edge and flattened side, and engages a similarly 
modified tooth in a shearing action. In more omnivorous forms, such as the 
raccoon, these teeth have become broader and serve for crushing or grind- 
ing rather than shearing. In still more omnivorous forms, such as the bears, 
fond of insects and berries, the molars are definitely of the grinding type and 
the premolars are quite small and often shed. Although outside the range 
of this book, the seals (Pmnipedia) may be mentioned as an extreme ex- 
ample of tooth change. Their fish-eating habits have permitted a decided 
modification in cheek teeth, which are small and often each with three points 
or cusps, a character usually regarded as primitive, since it is common in 
fossil forms. In fact one order of extinct mammals has received the scientific 
name of Triconodonta. 

The problems of the distribution of mammals and the factors governing 
scarcity or abundance make an interesting ecological study. Most of the 
larger mammals or those sought by man for fur, food or sport are being 
rapidly killed off except as laws providing for regulation or restriction of hunt- 
ing and trapping prevent total extermination. Deer, for example, would 
long since have become extinct were it not for closed seasons and other hunt- 
ing restrictions. At present the Virginia deer is increasing its numbers in 
some sections of the country under regulated control of hunting. The opos- 
sum is one of the few mammals that is extending its range in spite of apparent 
handicaps of small brain and little protection. Every few years it is reported 
from points farther and farther north; since its introduction into California 
several years ago, it has increased its numbers prodigiously. In general, the 
mammals of the greatest abundance and widest distribution are those that are 
adaptable in food habits. Animals of omnivorous diet, such as most of the 
rodents, are usually plentiful. The muskrat dines on succulent water plants 


and on tough, fresh-water clams with equal readiness, with an occasional frog 
or fish to vary the hill of fare. Chipmunks and ground squirrels may live 
largely on grasshoppers during the summer and lay up seeds for the fall and 
spring. It is common knowledge that the house mouse and the Norway rat 
eat any food that their human landlords may have on hand. Most of the 
carnivores are restricted in their diet, but a few either live mainly on insects 
or else have a more varied bill of fare, so that they can spread more widely 
than most of their group. The skunk is one of those that is mainly insectivor- 
ous and is therefore not as dependent upon its surroundings as are the weasels, 
its close relatives. Coyotes feed largely on mice, rabbits and carrion and fill 
a useful part in nature's program. Foxes, like dogs, have a varied diet, in- 
cluding considerable vegetable material. Both coyotes and foxes have had 
their undesirable qualities stressed and their desirable ones ignored by people 
who wish to justify poisoning or exploitation. The insectivores and the bats 
are widely distributed on account of their insect-eating habits. The factors 
governing the range of the latter are of great interest to the ecologist, as their 
power of flight and the fact that their food is generally distributed make them 
independent of the barriers that limit the distribution of the other mammals. 

Problems of mammal coloration have long interested naturalists. As a 
general rule, large wild mammals are one color all over, and that color is 
usually agouti or some shade of brown. Since the world Vv-ar led to the 
almost universal adoption of olive drab for field uniforms, the reason for the 
survival of mammals similarly colored and the elimination of other patterns 
and colors has become evident. Only when protected or domesticated by 
man can the conspicuous animals survive. In the sem.i-domesticated, Alaskan 
reindeer herds, white and partially white animals are becoming fairly numer- 
ous. Just as the woodland and grassland mammals must be brownish in order 
to survive, so in the arctic the white mammals may have been picked by 
natural selection, since arctic bears, foxes, wolves and rabbits are all white. 
An alternate theory, however, is that pigment is developed in response to, and 
as a protection from, bright light, and that the arctic mammals, not being sub- 
jected to intense light, are not stimulated to produce pigment. This theory 
is also used to explain the lack of pigment in some cave animals. Various 
environmental factors have been considered responsible for variation in color, 
but attempts to prove this have seldom been conclusive. Some interesting 
studies have been made on mammals of some of the southwest desert areas, 
where white sand and black lava offer the utmost possible contrast. In general 
it appears that where predators are common the isolated rodent groups tend 
to match the background upon which they live. Also, as a general rule, light 
color phases usually occur on a light colored habitat, such as sandy islands and 
dunes, with apparently little correlation between light or dark color and the 
other factors of the environment. Since these mammals produce similarly 


colored offspring, even when conditions are changed, it would seem that the 
theory of natural selection in an isolated population remains the most logical 
explanation for their color. A few of the mammals, such as the snowshoe 
rabbit or varying hare and some of the weasels, adopt white for winter wear 
among the snows and brown for the rest of the year. Some of the woodland 
mammals have white markings which were formerly regarded as warning but 
which now are generally considered protective. The white tail of running 
rabbit or deer looks most conspicuous to man from his elevated viewpoint, 
but to the crouching weasel or wolf the white patch blends with the sky and 
makes the animal a much more difficult target. The broad white stripes of 
the skunk may also be concealing coloration as far as the hunted mice or 
hunting owls are concerned. The naturalist who has attempted to trail a 
skunk during its early spring wanderings in search of a mate can testify that 
at dusk among patches of unmelted snow the skunk has most concealing 
coloration. Occasionally a wild mammal lacks the hereditary factors for 
color and is an albino, white with pink eyes. Such an animal, hampered by 
the usually associated physical handicaps, generally soon falls a victim to its 
enemies. Occasionally only part of the factors for color are lacking or 
changed so that the animal may be black or reddish. The common red fox 
occasionally produces a few black or silver offspring in this way. The black 
and silver foxes of our fur farms are usually different species from Alaska 
or northeastern Canada. 

Some mammals have solved the problem of winter food scarcity by 
hibernation or an approach to that condition. In this peculiar and little 
understood condition the mammal loses control of body temperature and as' 
sumes a temperature near that of the surroundings. Its respiration and circula- 
tion become very slow, its eyes sunken, its lips lax, and it has all the 
appearances of being dead, except for an occasional quiver. Its food require' 
ments are reduced to a minimum, its body fat serving to maintain it. Strictly 
speaking, only a warm-blooded animal can hibernate, and very few of them 
do so completely. The term hibernation is commonly used, however, to 
refer to the state of torpor in which many animals, including many of the 
cold-blooded ones, pass the winter. Marmots, the jumping mice, and the true 
ground squirrels are apparently the most profound hibernators, while some 
of their close relatives show no indication of such ability. Bears, badgers and 
raccoons usually pass the winter in a state of partial hibernation, although 
in the southern parts of their ranges this may be much shortened or omitted. 
Many other mammals store up food or fat and remain denned up for the 
coldest part of the winter. Among the regular hibernators there is much 
variation, the male often retiring for a shorter season than the female. An 
occasional individual may remain active all winter. Some of the ground 
squirrels have developed the power of entering this condition of suspended 


animation during the hottest months of the year also, when their food supply 
is cut off hy the drought. Their chemical processes at this time are not 
slowed down as much as in the winter, so that more food material is exhausted. 
The animals may lose as much weight in two or three weeks summer sleep or 
aestivation as they do in three months hibernation. 

Unfortunately we know very little about the family life of most of the 
wild mammals. The actions of caged animals are seldom characteristic, any 
more than those of a small boy in Sunday school represent his normal, uu' 
restrained, outdoor activities. Hunters and trappers have been our best source 
of information, but they too often lack the scientific attitude and, like some 
nature writers, assign all kinds of human attributes and mental processes to 
the animals. The beaver has come in for a large share of attention because of 
its tree-felling exploits and remarkable ability to construct dams. The huge 
house of logs and mud, which free2,es to form an impenetrable fortress when 
the icc'Covered lake might make it accessible to lynx or wolf, is an amazing 
structure. The ubiquitous muskrat, although it builds no dams, has adopted a 
similar style of architecture, and its conical houses are common landmarks 
on the marshes. V/herever a steep river bank is available, however, the musk' 
rat prefers to construct a series of burrows with under-water exits, even digging 
channels in the stream bed, if necessary, to make these burrows accessible at all 
times. The otter also digs burrows with under-water openings. Most of 
the rodents make burrows, many constructing an elaborate series of chambers 
for bedroom, storage, and other purposes. A few mice make temporary 
homes by building roofs on abandoned bird nests. The squirrels go them one 
better by building complete summer homes of leaves and twigs in the tree 
tops, in addition to their winter homes in hollow trees. Some of the car- 
nivores and a few of the rodents have dens in caves, in rock crevices and 
similar places. Such homes are typical of bear, raccoon, porcupine and others. 

Knowledge of mating habits and reproduction in wild mammals is still 
scanty. Such evident sexual distinctions as the antlers of the male deer, which 
reach their full development at the time of mating and fall off in the spring 
when they might injure the young or the nursing mothers, are well known. 
The tendency of such normally solitary or subterranean animals as the moles 
and the pocket gophers to wander about above ground during the breeding 
season in search of companions has also been observed. The larger mammals, 
having fairly long gestation periods, usually mate in the autumn, the young 
thus being born in the spring when the food supply is at its maximum and 
unfavorable weather as far off as possible. The most peculiar adaptation oc 
curs in the case of bears, since the young, usually two in number, are born in 
the early spring while the mother is presumably still in hibernation. Possibly 
because they are secure in the den and are free to feed and grow without 
interruption for some time after birth, the young are born when very small. 


A newborn bear cub is actually smaller than a newborn porcupine. The off' 
spring of a two hundred and fifty pound black bear mother may weigh only 
nine or ten ounces at birth. According to Seton the bear commonly suckles 
her young throughout the summer and therefore usually breeds every other 
year. The smaller mammals usually mate early in the year, their short gesta- 
tion periods enabling their young, like those of the larger mammals, to be bom 
when living conditions are near the optimum. Thus foxes, with a gestation 
period of fifty days, usually mate in February, when one may often find their 
tracks making a network in the snow along woodland paths. The ground 
squirrels emerge from hibernation about the time that succulent vegetation 
first appears and mate even before making up for their winter's fast. It has 
been suggested that the development of their sexual glands may be the 
stimulus that arouses them from hibernation. A few of the small mammals, 
such as mice and rabbits, may have tvv'o or three broods a year. The opossum, 
the only North American marsupial, may also have two broods a year. Its 
young are born in a very immature condition and complete their development 
in a pouch covering the mammary glands. The armadillo, the only native 
edentate, normally has four identical young at one time, all derived from the 
same fertilized egg. Many of the mammals seem to be monogamous, a few, 
like the deer, practicing polygamy. As to whether the same pair mates in 
successive years or whether new mates are chosen each season, very little 
is yet known. In many cases the male continues his association with his mate 
after the breeding season and aids in the care and feeding of the young. 
Sometimes the association persists over a year, and family groups of the two 
parents and several almost grown young may be seen, as with the coyotes. 
Some animals, like the timber wolves, rejoin in a pack as soon as the young 
are big enough to play their part in the hunt. Some mammals, although not 
especially sociable, tend to form groups, possibly because the young merely 
move over to the edge of their parents' domain when they set up their own 
homes. Striped ground squirrels may be quite numerous in certain old pas- 
tures or cemeteries in the middle west, and on the great plains prairie dog 
"tovv'ns" of great extent have been described. One continuous colony two 
hundred and fifty miles long and one hundred miles wide is recorded in south- 
western Texas, and seven thousand, two hundred burrows covering about one 
square mile have been counted in eastern Arizona. In general, young carnivores 
are likely to scatter far more widely, when the family breaks up, than are young 
herbivores. Probably the degree of social life is quite dependent upon the 
amount of competition for food. 

Several little known branches of mammal study are of interest. Exam- 
inations of individual hairs under the microscope show surprising differences, 
especially after they are cleared by several hours immersion in xylol or other 
clearing fluids. A few hairs found at the mouth of a burrow or entrance 


to a cave or hollow tree may thus reveal the identity of the occupant. This 
method has also been applied with interesting results to the contents of fish 
and other animal stomachs. It is necessary to build up a check or sample col- 
lection of known hairs with which to compare the unknown. An interesting 
and well illustrated account of this study has been published by L. A. Hausman 
in the American 7\laturahst for 1920 (Vol. 54; Pg. 496-523) . 

E. T. Seton has called attention in several of his publications to the 
value of the droppings or "scats" as an index to animal life. Anyone who 
has collected around a pond or marsh frequented by muskrats has undoubtedly 
noticed the small piles of oval pellets left at convenient landing or feeding 
stations. The spherical scats of the rabbit are often the only sign to betray 
its ''form" or grass shelter. The study of tracks is also of much aid to the 
naturalist as an announcement of the kinds and numbers of wild mammals 
of a vicinity and is treated in some detail in another chapter. 

Mammals are frequently kept as pets, but the range of choice is limited, 
except for parks and 2,00s, by size, food habits, disposition and other con- 
siderations. The hoofed animals, for example, are out of the question for the 
average individual because of the space they require and the amount of food 
they consume. The opossum does not make a good pet because of its sullen 
disposition. Moles and shrews are generally impossible because of their enor- 
mous appetites. A mole or a shrew will eat its own weight in food in twenty- 
four hours. Many carnivores are prohibited by the nature of their food and 
by their dispositions. A few, however, make excellent pets. Among these 
is the much maligned skunk. Contrary to general impression the skunk 
rarely uses its powerful gas defense unless injured or much alarmed. In cap- 
tivity it makes a docile pet and eats almost anything from hens eggs to table 
scraps. Some people prefer to have the scent glands of the skunk removed, 
before keeping it for a pet. This operation is not very difficult, if performed 
while the skunk is young. The raccoon group, consisting of the generally 
distributed raccoon and the ring-tailed cat of the southwest, are attractive 
animals and make interesting but mischievous pets. Perhaps the most 
popular pets are rodents and related forms, such as squirrels, rabbits, mice 
and others. These usually do well in captivity, if given plenty of opportunity 
for exercise. A few of the rodents cannot be kept together in cages without 
fatal results. Striped ground squirrels, for example, in spite of their gentle 
expressions, are vicious toward each other and should be caged separately. 
The porcupine, contrary to popular belief, cannot shoot its quills and is 
easily tamed. The bats are usually abhorred because of traditions of human 
parasites and desire to entangle themselves in human hair. The former idea 
is entirely erroneous; bats do not carry bedbugs or human lice but, like all 
animals that live in caves or hollow trees, may have external parasites of 
their own. The latter idea apparently arose from the fact that a bat has 


such mastery of flight that it does not trouble to swerve until it is almost 
upon an object, so that at times it appears to be coming directly at one. 
"Blind as a bat" is a poor figure of speech, for bats have small but fully func' 
tional eyes. If plenty of space and insect food are available, one or two 
bats make interesting pets and soon learn to take moths or grubs from the 
keeper's fingers. They must be given opportunity for flying exercises, to remain 
healthy. If their keeper has keen ears, he may be able to distinguish the very 
high-pitched squeaking they make as they fly, and which, bouncing back to their 
highly specialized ears, enables them to avoid obstructions. This use of "sonar" 
has been demonstrated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the 
sounds have been electrically transformed into lower tones more audible to 
human ears. 

Few people realize that each year the United States still produces mib 
liens of dollars worth of valuable furs. The beaver, the demand for whose 
beautiful and durable fur was one of the factors leading to the settlement of 
North America, has unfortunately been extremely reduced in numbers, but 
its little brother, the muskrat, has taken its place as America's most valuable 
fur bearer. Mink, weasel, skunk, fox, raccoon and others all help swell the 
total. Unfortunately there has often been antagonism and distrust between 
trapper and naturalist. The upset in the balance of nature in cases where 
well-meaning but poorly informed voters have practically prohibited trapping 
has shown that the trapper plays a useful part, taking the place once occupied 
by wolf, wildcat, eagle and hawk. The cruelty of steel traps has been con- 
siderably over-emphasized. If traps of the right sizes are used, properly at- 
tached so that an animabs first jump does not bring it up with a jerk, and if 
traps are visited each morning and evening, there is a minimum of suffering. 
Also it should be remembered that, with the exception of the muskrat (and 
even it enjoys clams and fish), all of our best fur bearers are carnivores, 
which, if not kept in check, will multiply sufficiently to bring many other 
mammals and birds to the point of extinction. The regulation of trapping 
should be undertaken on the advice of game wardens and field zoologists, 
whose training enables them to see the practical solutions, rather than on 
the opinions of sentimentalists or those who may profit by the exploitation 
of wild life. 

It is highly desirable that every naturalist should know how to make up 
a study skin of a mammal. Sometimes rare or unusual material comes to 
him unexpectedly and valuable specimens may spoil unless given prompt at- 
tention. A study skin is the coat of a mammal preserved and poisoned against 
insect pests and filled out to approximately its normal size and contours. The 
work is easily learned and, if desired, the mammal may later be mounted in 
a hfelike attitude by a professional taxidermist. Before skinning the animal 
at least two careful measurements should be made, of (1) total length — 


length in a straight Hne from tip of nose to end of tail vertebrae, not to the 
end of the hair, and (2) length of tail, from root to end of last vertebra. The 
length of hind foot, from heel to end of longest toe, is often made, although 
sometimes it is measured to the tip of the longest claw. Directions for mak- 
ing up skins may be found in any good handbook of taxidermy or in an 
inexpensive bulletin sold by the American Museum of Natural History in New 
York City. The skull, cleaned by gentle boiling, should always be preserved 
and any loose bones or teeth glued in with Duco cement or a glue of celluloid 
scraps dissolved in acetone. In all cases the skull and skin should each bear 
a number corresponding to a record entry of the name, sex, habitat and date 
of capture. 

The naturalist learns to identify mammals by their bones, especially by 
their skulls, as well as by other characters. Quite often only the bones are 
available, as when animals have died in fields, woods, or caves and have been 
long exposed. Frequently the den of some wild carnivore contains bones, 
and we wish to know just what the prey was. Owl pellets — the masses of 
regurgitated hair and bones of previous meals — often tell more about the small 
local mammals than could be learned by several nights of trapping. Even 
fish stomachs sometimes contain identifiable mammal bones. As an aid to 
this study a key to mammal skulls follows the mammal key, and a few pointers 
are given here. 

Mammal skulls differ from those of other animals in the large brain 
case and, except for the armadillo, heterodont dentition or specialization of 
teeth. They share with the amphibians the possession of two occipital con- 
dyles, the processes which articulate the skull with the first segment of the 
backbone, but differ from amphibians in the high, rounded cranium or brain 
case. In the introductory chapter will be found a key by which the skulls of 
the groups below mammals may usually he recognized. 


The teeth furnish the most important clue to identity. If a skull is 
found, care should be taken to gather as many of the teeth as possible and to 
avoid dislodging them from their sockets. If a skull is cleaned, the teeth 
should be cemented into place as soon as they loosen. If the teeth are miss- 
ing, their sockets are of some aid, and identification is still possible. The ar- 
rangement is a clue to the orders. The front teeth are the incisors or cutting 
teeth. In carnivores they are small in proportion to the other teeth. In rodents 
they are very long, and often curve in almost a semicircle within the bones. 
In rabbits, hares and pikas the upper pair have a minute pair directly behind 
them. In the deer, antelope and cattle families there are no upper incisors, 
merely a ridge of bone against which the lower teeth hold the grass or twigs 
while they arc torn away. Most native bats have a gap in the front of the 


upper jaw, with one or two minute incisors on each side of it. On either side 
of the incisors come the canines, never more than one in each quarter. These 
are holding or stabbing teeth, long in carnivores, much reduced or lacking in 
herbivores, and never present in rodents. Following these come the cheek 
teeth or grinders, technically divided into premolars and molars, but the dis' 
tinction frequently not apparent. Their number and surface are important 
clues to the identity of their owners. In carnivores they are frequently modi' 
fied into cutting instruments, food being bolted in chunks without chewing. 
In grass, twig and grain eaters the enamel is often infolded to create a series 
of ridges like those on a lower millstone. In the even-toed hoofed mammals 
these folds usually form a crescentic pattern; in rodents they may form a 
complicated series of loops and triangles. The tooth formula is usually given 
for half the upper and half the lower jaw. Thus 2/2 . 1/1 . 2/2 . 3/4 would 
mean that the animal had thirty-four teeth altogether or two incisors, one 
canine, two premolars and three molars above on each side; and the same, but 
for an additional molar, on each side of the lower jaw. 


These are illustrated, and the beginner is advised to take a skull, such 
as that of a dog, and learn the arrangement of the bones. This arrangement 
is remarkably constant, although the relative proportions vary greatly. Special 
notice should be given to the nasal'lacrimahmaxillary area, which varies much 
in different members of the hoofed animals; the post-orbital process and ante' 
orbital opening, which are of special value in keying rodent skulls; the zygO' 
matic bar or arch below the eye region, and, on the underside, the bulla or 
swelling below the ear region. It should be kept in mind that the orbit or eye' 
socket is seldom partitioned off from the temporal fossa, through which the 
muscles and the ascending process from the lower jaw pass to the side or top 
of the cranium. The orbit, however, lies largely before the brain case and 
is bounded posteriorly by a group of openings or foramina through which 
nerves pass from the brain to the eye. 



Young born at an early stage of development, usually completing 
development in parent's abdominal pouch; epipubic bones present; 
palate with large fenestrations; inner angle of lower jaw inflected 
Family DIDELPHIIDAE Opossums 

With ten incisor teeth in upper jaw; eight in lower; tail 
naked and prehensile 
One genus — Didelphis 



Small animals with complete dentition, teeth sharp-pointed, snout 
extending beyond mouth 
Family TALPIDAE Moles 

Arm very short; hand broad, adapted for burrowing; eyes 
minute, concealed in fur 
Five genera — Scalopus 
Family SORICIDAE Shrews 

Form mouse-like, but with complete dentition; teeth reddish; 
snout overhanging mouth 
Six genera — Sorex 


Mouse-like head and body; fingers elongated to support a membranous 

Family PHYLLOSTOMIDAE Leaf-nosed Bats 
With an upright leaf-like growth on nose 
One genus — Macrotus 

No leaf -like growth on nose; tail included nearly to tip in 


Ten genera — Myotis 


No nose leaf; at least one-half of tail not included in mem- 


Two genera — Tadarida 
Order CARNIVORA Carnivores 

Incisors small and canines long; first molars or last premolars usually 
modified for shearing or cutting 
Family URSIDAE Bears 

Largest carnivores; tail very short; no specialized carnassial 
teeth; molars with flattened crushing surfaces 
One genus — Ursiis 
Family PROCYONIDAE Raccoons 
Bushy tail, with black rings 
Two genera — Procyon 


Small to medium sized carnivores, with long skulls, the orbit 
definitely before the middle; anal glands usually developed 
Subfamily MUSTELINAE Martens, Weasels and Minks 
Short'limbed and long-bodied; feet not webbed 
Two genera — Martes 
Subfamily GULONINAE Wolverines 
Form bear'like, stout 
One genus — Gulo 
Subfamily LUTRINAE Otters 

Feet well webbed; tail long, tapering and short-haired 
One genus — Lutra 
Subfamily ENHYDRINAE Sea-otter 

Feet well webbed; tail moderately short (Not included 
in the general Mammal Key) 
One genus — Enhydra 
Subfamily MEPHITINAE Skunks 

Anal scent glands well developed; tail long and bushy; 
with a conspicuous black and white pattern 
Three genera — Spilogale 
Subfamily TAXIDIINAE Badgers 

Legs very short; body wide and flattened; fingers with 
very long claws 
One genus — Taxidea 
Family CANIDAE Wolves, Coyotes, Foxes 

Dog-like, tail bushy; claws not retractile; four digits (on 


each foot) reaching ground 
Three genera — Vulpes 
Family FELIDAE Cats 

Head rounded; tail long or short, well haired, but not bushy; 
claws retractile; four digits (on each foot) reaching ground 
Two genera — Fehs 
Order PINNIPEDIA (Not included in the general Mammal Key) 

Marine carnivores, with legs modified into paddlclike structures 
Family OTARIIDAE Eared Seals, Sea-lions 

Hind limbs capable of rotation; with small external ears 
Three genera — Zalophus 

Family PHOCIDAE Hair Seals 

Hind limbs incapable of rotation; no external ears 
Three genera — Phoca 


Mirounga (Almost extinct) 
Order RODENTIA Rodents 

Without canine teeth; incisors two above and two below, long and 
without roots; with a wide gap between incisors and cheek teeth 
Family SCIURIDAE Marmots, Ground Squirrels, Prairicdogs, 
Chipmunks and Squirrels 

Squirrel-like; tail well haired; head rounded; skull with 
definite post-orbital processes 
Eight genera — Marmota 
Family GEOMYIDAE Pocket Gophers 

With fur-lined cheek pouches; animal adapted for burrow' 
ing; limbs, ears and tail short; fore feet with greatly devel' 
oped claws 

Three genera — Thomomys 









LOWER J ^ w 



Family HETEROMYIDAE Pocket Rats and Pocket Mice 

With fur-lined cheek pouches; animals adapted for jump- 
ing; with long hind legs and tail 
Four genera — Lwmys 



Family CASTORIDAE Beavers 

Tail broad, flat, scaly; hind feet large and well webbed; claw 
of second toe split 
One genus — Castor 

Family CRICETIDAE Native Rats and Mice 

Mouse or rat form; tail scaly hut with hairs; not more than 
three cheek teeth on each side 

Molar teeth with tubercles in two rows or with enamel 
folds not forming more than three loops on any tooth 
Seven genera — Onychomys 


Molars flat'Crowned, usually with angular infoldings 
of enamel forming several loops or triangles on each 

Eight genera — Synaptomys 
Pity my s 
Family MURIDAE Old World Rats and Mice 

Mouse or rat form; tail scaly, almost naked; molars with 
three rows of tubercles 
Two genera — Mus 



Family APLODONTIIDAE Mountain Beaver 

Guinea pig appearanee; molars plane, without infoldings of 

enamel on grinding surface 

One genus — Aplodontia 
Family ZAPODIDAE Jumping Mice 

With elongate hind legs and tail; upper incisors grooved in 


Two genera — Zapus 

Family ERETHIZONTIDAE Porcupines 

Hairs coarse, with some thickened to form quills; v^'ith four 

fingers and five toes on each side; ears short 

One genus — Erethizon 
Order LAGOMORPHA Rabbits, Hares, Pikas 

Much like rodents, but with a pair of small incisor teeth behind 

the large upper pair 


No external tail; hind legs scarcely longer than fore legs 

One genus — Ochotona 
Family LEPORIDAE Hares and Rabbits 

With a short tail; hind legs elongate 

Two genera — Lepus 


Even-toed hoofed mammals 

Family TAYASSUIDAE Peccaries 

Pig'like, but almost tailless; upper canines pointing down' 

wards, and with four upper incisors 

One genus — Pecari 
Family CERVIDAE Deer 

Males with solid antlers, shed annually, growing from per' 

manent bases on the frontal bones; second and fifth toes 


Four genera — Cervus 

Family ANTILOCAPRIDAE Pronghorn 

Both sexes with deciduous, one-branched horns on permanent, 

unbranched cores; orbit below horn ■ i^\ftft^^/\ 

One genus — AnUlocapra /^^ .*««?■•*. • 


<r^ Viorf)^^^ 




I N t \ S OR S 








Family BOVIDAE Cattle, Sheep, Antelopes, Goats 

Both sexes usually with permanent, hollow, unbranched horns 
on hony cores; second and fifth toes present 
Three genera — Bison 


Order XENARTHRA American Edentates 

Teeth absent or imperfectly developed, without enamel, not 

Family DASYPODIDAE Armadillos 
One genus — Dasypus 


L Fingers of each fore limb greatly elongated and supporting a leathery, 
membranous wing Bats 
Fingers not greatly elongated and not supporting a wang 2. 

2. Feet with hoofs Ungulates or Hoofed Mammals 

Feet with claws 3. 

3. Incisor teeth usually smaller than most of the other teeth; canine teeth 

present; no large gaps between the teeth — or else with a row of un' 
specialized teeth on each side of each jaw, without incisors or canines, 
in one species which is covered by a bony "sheir' Carnivores and 
similar mammals. 
Incisor teeth larger than the others; no canine teeth; with a wide gap be- 
tween the incisors and the cheek or grinding teeth; not more than two 
incisors in the lower jaw Gnawing Mammals (Rodents, etc.) 


L Ears very large, concealing the face when viewed from the dorsal side, 

and joined at base by a band across the forehead 2 . 

Ears not usually large enough to conceal the face, never joined by a band 

across the forehead 6. 

2. With either a leaf -like projection or a warty outgrowth on the end of the 

nose 3. 

Not so 5 . 

3. Nose with an upright, leaf 'like projection; southwestern U. S. into 

Mexico; Family Phyllostomidae 

Macrotus calif ornicus Baird Leaf'nosed Bat 
Nose with a lump-like, warty outgrowth on the end; nostrils opening up' 
wards; Family Vespertilionidae (part) 4. 

4. With white-tipped hairs on the abdomen; southeastern states 

Corynorhinus macrotis (Le Conte) Le Conte's Lump-nosed Bat 
(Plecotus macrotis (Le Conte) ) 














Hairs on abdomen not white-tipped; Pacific and southern states 

Corynorhinus rafinesquu (Lesson) Rafinesque's Lump-nosed 

(Plecotus rafinesquii (Lesson) ) 

5. Without conspicuous white spots; tail projecting well beyond the wing 

membrane; total length slightly over six inches; southwestern states; 
Family Molossidae (part) 

Eumops perotis californicus (Merriam) Bonneted Bat 
With a conspicuous white spot on each shoulder and on the rump; tail 
not as above; total length slightly over four inches; southwestern states; 

Euderma maculata (Allen) Spotted Bat 
(of Family Vespertilwmdae) 

6. With a stout, mouse-like tail projecting about an inch beyond the wing 

membrane; w'ings very narrow; Family Molossidae (part) Free-tailed 

Bats 7. 

Tail not so; wings not very narrow; Family Vespertilionidae (part) 9. 

7. With a prominent swelling between the eye and the nostril; recorded for 

states west of the Mississippi 

Tadarida macrotis (Gray) Large Free-tailed Bat 
(Tadarida depressa (Ward) ) 
Not so 8. 

8. In the southeastern states, probably to Louisiana 

Tadanda cynocephala (Le Conte) Le Conte's Free-tailed Bat 
In the southwestern states, Texas and Colorado westward; not differing 
externally from the above 

Tadarida mexicana (Saussure) Mexican Free-tailed Bat 
{Molossus mexicanus Saussure) 
(J^lyctinomus nasutus Allen) 

9. Each nostril almost surrounded by a conspicuous high ridge; ears, when 

laid forward, extending considerably beyond the end of the snout; with 
four lower incisors; total length about four inches; western states 
Antrozous pallidus (Le Conte) Pale Bat 
Not with the preceding combination of characters; with six lower incisors; 
widely distributed 10. 

10. Wings narrow; third finger definitely longer than fifth, and phalanges of 

fifth digit of equal length; with four mammae 1 1. 

Wings wider; third finger usually only slightly longer than fifth, and 

phalanges of fifth finger not of equal length; with two mammae 13. 

11. Large, often reaching six inches in total length; interfemoral membrane 

(between hind legs and tail) furred only half way down; color light 
yellowish-brown; southern states, westward to Texas 
Dasypterus j\oridanus Miller Yellow Bat 
(Dasypterus intermedms (Allen) ) 
Smaller; adults four to five and one-half inches; if large, hair grayish at 
base, silvery at tips; interfemoral membrane furred nearly to the edge; 
generally distributed 12. 


12. Total length about four inches; color usually rust'red, sometimes yellowish' 


Lasiurus horealis (Miiller) Red Bat 
(J^ycteris horealis (Miiller) ) 
Total length about five inches; color gray, with hairs of back dark at base, 
fading to silvery at tips 

Lasiurus cinereus (Beauvois) Hoary Bat 
(Islycteris cinerea (Beauvois) ) 

13. Ear short and wide, with a short, broad tragus almost as wide as high; 

color blackish-chocolate, with some hairs white-tipped; generally dis- 

Lasionycteris noctwagans (Le Conte) Silvery-haired Bat 
Tragus about twice as high as wide; color not hoary 14. 

14. Fur light yellowish or yellowish-gray; glandular area on each side of 

snout practically bare; usually less than three and one-half inches in 

total length 15. 

Fur usually brownish, except sometimes in dry habitats; sides of mu2;2;le 

with hair; usually three and one-half inches or more in length 16. 

15. Tragus with widest part just below the tip, which is inclined forward; 

from western Texas westward 

Pipistrellus hesperus (Allen) Western Pipistrelle Bat 
Tragus with widest portion near base; tip not inclined forward; from 
the eastern states to Iowa and Texas 

Pipistrellus suhflavus (Cuvier) Georgian or Pipistrelle Bat 

16. Profile almost straight; tragus short and blunt, curving noticeably for- 

ward; with one upper incisor on each side; west to Texas 
Jslycticeius humeralis (Raf.) Rafinesque's Bat 
Profile of head concave ("dished in" portion can be felt with the finger 
tip, although the hair conceals it), or sometimes almost straight; tragus 
not curving decidedly forward; with two tiny incisors on each side 17. 

17. Interfemoral membrane bare; hair long, usually almost half an inch on 

the back; getting to be four and one-half inches in total length; gener- 
ally distributed 

Eptesicus fuscus (Beauvois) Big Brown or House Bat 

(Vespertiho fuscus Beauvois) 

Interfemoral membrane furred about one-quarter of the way down; hair 

about one-quarter of an inch long; smaller; My otis or Little Brown 

Bats (A difficult group, with many subspecies. For revision of this 

genus, see Miller and Allen, 1928, U. S. Nat. Museum, Bull. 144.) 18. 

18. Hair on back of uniform color, not much darker at base; wing membrane 

attached at ankle; central states 

MyoUs grisescens Howell Cave Bat 
Hair on back definitely darker at base; wing membrane attached at base 
of toes 19. 

19. Free edge of interfemoral membrane very distinctly hairy; in the western 


Myotis thysanodes Miller Fringed Bat 







Free edge of interfemoral membrane hairless or only very sparsely 
sprinkled with hairs 20. 

20. Fur extending on under side of wing membrane to a line joining elbow 

and knee; in the western states 
Myotis volans (Allen) 
Fur not extending so far on under side of wings 21. 

21. Ears so long as to reach one-quarter to one-half an inch beyond the nose, 

when laid forward; from Colorado and the Dakotas westward to the 

Myotis evotjs (Allen) 
Ears reaching to, or only slightly beyond, the nose; generally distributed 


22. Hair of back with glossy tips, giving rather a silky or burnished appear- 

ance, when seen at the right angle 23. 

Hair of back without glossy tips, but with rather a dull, woolly appear- 
ance 25. 

23. Foot not half as long as tibia; third and fourth fingers usually about 

equal; calcar with a distinct keel; generally distributed 
Myotis suhulatus (Say) 

(Not the M. suhulatus of most writers, which is M. \eenii 

septentrionahs (Trouessart) ) 

Foot half, or more than half, the length of the tibia; fourth finger usually 

definitely shorter than the third; calcar sometimes thickened, but never 

with a distinct keel 24. 

24. Longer hairs of back about one-third of an inch long; most of temperate 

United States; the most common bat in eastern United States; fairly 
common in the wooded areas of the western states 

Myotis lucifugus (Le Conte) Little Brown Bat 
Longer hairs of back only about one-fifth of an inch long; in New Mexico, 
Arizona and California 

Myotis occultus HoUister 

25. Ears, when laid forward, extending somewhat beyond nostril 26. 
Ears not extending beyond nostril 27. 

26. Foot small, less than one-half as long as the tibia; calcar with a distinct 

keel; in the western states, from the coast eastward to Utah and Col' 

Myotis calif ornicus (Audubon and Bachman) 
Foot usually one-half as long as the tibia; no definite keel on calcar; east 
of the Rockies and in northwestern Washington 
Myotis \eenn (Merriam) 

(Subspecies "septentrionahs (Trouessart)" is the form called 
M. suhulatus (Say) by many writers) 

27. Hairs of back tricolor — basal two-thirds dark, then a narrow gray band, 

and a brown tip; calcar keeled; foot about one-half the length of the 
tibia; fourth finger three-fourths as long as the third; in the Mississippi 
Valley and eastward 

Myotis sodahs Miller and Allen 


Hairs of back not obviously tricolor; calcar not keeled; foot usually more 
than one-half the length of the tibia; fourth finger more than three 
fourths the length of the third 28. 

28. Occurring in the southwestern states; forearm of adult more than one 

and one-half inches long 

Myotis vehfer (Allen) 
Forearm of adult not over one and one-half inches long, or else east of 
the Mississippi River 29. 

29. In the western states; with a well developed lobe at the end of the calcar 

Myotis yumanensis (Allen) 
In the eastern and central states; no or a minute lobule at the end of the 

Myotis austrori^arius (Rhoads) 


L Decidedly pig-like, but with a very short tail and with upper canines 
directed downwards; Mexican border states; Family Tayassuidae 
Pecan angulatus (Cope) Peccary, Musk-hog 
(Tayassu angulatus (Cope) ) 
Not so 2. 

2. Ox-like, as large as domestic cattle; both sexes with horns like those of 

cattle; with long hair on head and shoulders; a hump on the shoulders; 
formerly abundant on the plains and prairies, now restricted to game 
refuges and parks; Family Bovidae (part) 
Bison hison (Linn.) Bison, Buffalo 
Deer, sheep or goat-like 3. 

3. Deer-like, with or without antlers 4. 
Sheep-like or goat-like, horned 12. 

4. Antlers (really horns) almost upright directly above the eyes, each with 

one short front branch; whole rump covered with long white hairs, 
which can be erected; western states; Family Antilocapridae 
Antilocapra americana (Ord) Pronghorn Antelope 
Antlers not present or not as described above; Family Cervidae 5. 

5. End of nose entirely covered with hair; upper canine teeth usually present; 

hoofs broad and flat; antlers, which may be present on either sex, some- 
what flattened, palmate 6. 
With a strip on the end of the nose not covered with hair; other characters 
various 7. 

6. Color warm brown, darker on the legs; extreme northern and north- 

eastern U. S. 

Rangifer caribou caribou (Gmelin) Woodland Caribou, Ameri- 
can Reindeer 
Color blackish-brown, almost black on the legs; northern Rockies 
Rangifer arcticus montanus Seton Mountain Caribou 

7. With a small strip between the nostrils not covered with hair; no upper 

canines; antlers (of male, if present) much flattened and largely in one 



Vs/ AP \T 1 OR ELK 

(ADULT M A\.E"> 

C r E r^ A LE ^ 



plane, with sharp points projecting from the edge; Maine to Montana, 
and southward to Yellowstone 

Alee americana (Clinton) American Moose 
(Alces americana (Clinton) ) 
(Paralces americana (Clinton) ) 
End of nose between the nostrils without hair; with or without upper 
canines; antlers slender and more branched (in male only) 8. 

8. With upper canine teeth; antlers, when present, curved backwards, the 

tines or branches arising from the front side; now restricted to the 

western states 9. 

No upper canines; antlers, when present, curved forward, the tines arising 

from the back side 10. 

9. Color dark above; western states 

Cervus canadensis (Erxleben) Wapiti, American Elk 
Color light brown; California 

Cervus nannodes Merriam California Elk 

10. Tail conspicuously white on the under side; tines of antlers not forked; 

generally distributed 

Odocoileus virginianus (Boddaert) Virginia or White'tailed 
Deer (Many intergrading subspecies) 
End of tail dark below; tines of antlers forked 11. 

11. Upper part of tail white; tail half bare beneath; plains and Rocky Moun' 

tain states 

Odocoileus hemionus (Raf.) Mule Deer 
Upper part of tail dark; tail furred beneath; Pacific states 

Odocoileus columhianus (Richardson) Black'tailed Deer 
(Considered to be a subspecies of the preceding) 

12. Horns, which are curved slightly backwards, each with a small anterior 

tine or branch; outer layer of horns shed annually; no dew claws; 
western states; Family Antilocapridae 

Antilocapra americana (Ord) Pronghorn Antelope 
Horns unbranched, permanent; dew claws (small hoofs behind and above 
the principal hoofs) present; Family Bovidae (part) 13. 

13. Chin with a beard; hair very long, whitish; with small black horns curved 

slightly backwards; Idaho north and west 

Oreaynnos americanus (Blainville) Rocky Mountain Goat 
(Really an antelope) 
No beard on chin; hair shorter, brownish; horns of male massive, curved 
backwards, outwards, and around at sides of head; horns of female 
small and curved slightly backwards; horns of both sexes brown; New 
Mexico north and west 

Ovis canadensis Shaw Bighorn Mountain Sheep 









L Mammal almost as large as a house cat, with the body completely en- 
closed in a bony ''shell"; no incisor or canine teeth and with a row of 
unspecialized teeth along each side of each jaw; Texas; Family 
Dasypodidae (An Edentate) 

Dasypus novemcinctus texanus (Bailey) Armadillo 
Mammal not so enclosed; with incisors and canines 2. 

2. Canine teeth not noticeably longer than, nor much different from, the 

others; snout long and pointed, with the upper lip projecting beyond 

the low-er; not more than ten inches long Moles and Shrews (Insecti- 

vores) 3. 

Canine teeth considerably longer than the others; si^e various 29. 

3. Front feet very large and wide; no external ears; total length (including 

tail) from five to ten inches; Family Talpidae Moles 4. 

Front feet not extremely large; ears present, although sometimes almost 

hidden in the fur; total length usually less than five inches; resembling 

a mouse but with a much more pointed snout; Family Soncidac Shrews 


4. End of snout surrounded by a disc of twenty-two hairless, fleshy projec- 

tions; northeastern and east-central states 

Condylura cnstata (Linn.) Star-nosed Mole 
No such disc at end of snout 5. 

5. Palms broader than long; toes webbed; east of the Rockies 

Scalopus aquaticus (Linn.) Eastern Mole 
(A number of subspecies) 
Palms as long as or longer than broad; toes not webbed 6. 

6. Total length of adult four and one-half to five inches; tail about one- 

third of total length; palms longer than broad; Pacific states 
Tsjeitrotrichits gibbsn (Baird) Shrew Mole 
Total length six to nine inches; tail one-fourth to one-fifth of total length; 
palms about as broad as long 7. 

7. Nostrils opening on sides of snout; tail well haired; eastern and east- 

central states 

Parascalops hreweri (Bachman) Hairy-tailed Mole 
Nostrils opening on top of snout; tail scarcely haired; west of Rockies 


8. Unicuspid teeth (cheek teeth having one point) not evenly spaced, 

crowded; fur brown or gray; Cal. into Nev. and Oregon 
Scapanus latimanus (Bachman) California Mole 
Unicuspid teeth evenly spaced, not crowded; fur dark, usually almost 
black; from northern Cal. northward 9. 

9. Length eight to nine inches; sides of cranium decidedly angular 

Scapanus townsendii (Bachman) Oregon Mole 
Length (including tail) six to seven inches: sides of cranium rounded 
Scapanus orarius True Coast Mole 




M \ N K 



10. Tail short, about oncfifth of total length; ears completely concealed by 

the fur; eastern states 11. 

Tail longer, from one-third to one-half of total length; ears usually visible 

above the fur 12. 

11. Total length four to five inches; with thirty-two teeth 

Blarma hrevxcauda (Say) Short-tailed Shrew 
About three inches long; only thirty teeth, some minute 

Cryptotis parva (Say) Little Short-tailed Shrew 
(and related forms) 

12. Three unicuspid teeth visible from side view of upper jaw 13. 
Five unicuspid teeth, the most posterior often minute, visible from side 

viev/ of upper jaw 14. 

13. In the northern and north-central states 

Microsorex hoyi (Baird) Pigmy Shrew 
In the southwestern states 

J\lotiosorex crawfordi (Coues) Crawford Shrew 

14. Hind feet with stiff hairs between the toes, making the feet more or less 

paddle-like; usually over six inches long (Subgenus ?<[eosorex, or genus 

Jsleosorex of some writers) 15. 

Hind feet not heavily haired; often smaller 16. 

15. Under parts scarcely lighter than upper parts; tail black above and below; 

Pacific coast region 

Sorex hendirii (Merriam) Bendire Water Shrew 
Under parts much lighter than upper parts; tail blackish above, white 
below; Rocky Mountain region and westward; also in the north-central 

Sorex palustris Richardson Richardson Water Shrew 

16. East of the Rockies 17. 
In the Rocky Mountain region and westward 22. 

17. Fourth unicuspid tooth larger than the third; southeastern states 

Sorex longirostris Bachman Carolina Shrew 
Fourth unicuspid tooth smaller than, or rarely as large as, the third (in 
upper jaw) 18. 

18. Total length (including tail) of adult two and one-half to four inches 19. 
Total length between four and five inches 20. 

19. Tail whitish below; under parts and feet whitish; N. D. southwestward 

Sorex merriami Dobson Merriam Shrew 
Tail buffy below; under parts and feet pale grayish; generally distributed 
Sorex cinereus Kerr Masked Shrew 

20. Fourth unicuspid tooth about as large as third; under side almost the same 

color as back; rostrum (from between eyes to snout) narrow and dc 
pressed; New England through W. Va. 

Sorex dispar Batchelder Gray Shrew 
Fourth unicuspid smaller than third; under side paler than back; rostrum 
wide and depressed or narrow and elevated 21. 


21. Back and sides the same color, under parts slightly lighter; Maine to Wis., 

southward to Georgia 

Sorex fumeus Miller Smoky Shrew 
Tricolor, hack, sides and under parts of distinctly different shades; Maine 
to S. D. 

Sorex arcticus Kerr Saddle-backed Shrew 

22. Third unicuspid tooth in upper jaw not smaller than the fourth 23. 
Third unicuspid smaller than the fourth 25. 

23. Tail definitely hicolor, brown above, yellowish below; with wide distribu' 

tion, including the area from Wash, to N. D. and southward to 
northern N. M. 

Sorex cmereus Kerr Masked Shrew 
Tail not markedly bicolor; found in Oregon and Cal. 24. 

24. Total length about three and one-half inches; eastern Oregon 

Sorex preblei Jackson Preble's Shrew 
Total length about four inches; Sierra Nevadas in Cal. 
Sorex lyelli Merriam Mount Lyell Shrew 

25. Lower parts practically as dark as upper; tail sharply bicolor, whitish be 

low; Pacific states northward 

Sorex trowhridgii Baird Trowbridge Shrew 
Lower parts lighter than upper; tail not sharply bicolor 26. 

26. Grayish; body over one and one-half times the tail length; southern Cal. 

Sorex ornatus Merriam California Shrew 
Brownish; body less than one and one-half times the tail length; Rocky 
Mountain states and Pacific coast into Cal. 27. 

27. About six inches in total length; coastal area of Oregon and northern Cal. 

Sorex pacificus Coues Pacific Shrew 
About four and one-half inches in total length; Rocky Mountain states 28. 

28. Exposed part of upper front, and largest side, teeth about as deep as wide 

Sorex ohscurus Merriam Dusky Shrew 
Exposed part of these teeth considerably wider than deep 
Sorex vagrans Baird Wandering Shrew 

29. Tail long and almost hairless; with ten upper and eight lower incisor teeth 

(Marsupials) 30. 

Tail hairy; less than ten upper and eight lower incisors (Carnivores) 33. 

30. Mouse or rat size, total length seldom as much as fifteen inches (Not 

native to North America, but frequently accidently brought in with 
fruit. Not keyed to species.) 

Marmosa Gray Mouse Opossums 
Larger, total length about thirty inches in adult 31. 

3L Tail about one-third of total length; N. Y. to Wis. and Texas; also intro- 
duced into Cal. 

Didelphis virgmiana virginiana Kerr Virginia Opossum 
Tail about one-half of total length; Georgia to Texas 32. 

32. Color grizzled-gray; tail dark only at base; Ga. to La. 

Didelphis virginiana pigra Bangs Florida Opossum 


With a grizi^led'gray and a dark phase; tail dark about halfway from 
base; southern Texas 

Didelphis mesamericana texensis (Allen) Texas Opossum 

33. With four toes on hind foot Cats and Wolves 34. 
With five toes on hind foot 51. 

34. Cat'like; claws much curved, can be drawn back into sheaths; with thirty 

or less teeth; Family Felidae Cats 35. 

Dog'like; claws only slightly curved and not fully retractile; with forty- 
two teeth; Family Canidae Wolves, Coyotes, Foxes 44. 

35. Tail short, one-fifth to one-ninth of total length; w'ith three teeth behind 

the canines on each side of upper jaw 36. 

Tail long, one-third to one-fourth of total length; with four teeth behind 

the canines on each side of upper jaw 40. 

36. Ear tips with prominent tufts of hair; tail black all around at tip; northern 


Lynx canadensis Kerr Canada Lynx 
Ear tips wathout prominent tufts; tip of tail black only on the upper side; 
generally distributed (Four common subspecies given here.) 37. 

37. Last third of tail black; Pacific coastal regions 

Lynx rufus fasciatus Raf . Pacific Bobcat 
Less than last third of tail black 38. 

38. With several dark bands on the tail, hut not definitely one or two black 

ones before the black tip; generally distributed 

Lynx rufus rufus (Schreber) Common Bobcat 
With one or two black bands on the tail (in addition to any reddish 
bands) before the black tip; western states 39. 

39. With two black bars before the black tip of the tail; eastward to Colorado 

and Wyoming 

Lynx rufus pallescens Merriam Mountain Bobcat 
(Lynx Uinta Merriam) 
With one black bar and one or more reddish ones before the black tip; 
southwestern states 

Lynx rufus haileyi Merriam Plateau Bobcat 

40. Very large, reaching eight feet in total length; color rather uniformly dull 

yellowish-brown; formerly generally distributed, but now mostly rc' 
stricted to mountains of the western states 

Fehs concolor Linn. Cougar, Panther, Puma, Mountain Lion 
(Includes F. oregonensis Raf., the western form, and F. couguar 
Kerr., the almost extinct eastern form.) 
Smaller; if over four feet, then with a spotted or mottled pattern 4L 

41. Generally distributed, usually domesticated but sometimes running wild 

and attaining greater size and longer fur than under domestication 
Fehs domestica Linn. House Cat 
Found wild only in southwestern U. S. along the Mexican border 42. 

42. One color, grizzled-gray to rusty-red 

Felis cacomitli Berlandier Jaguarundi, Eyra Cat 
Yellowish to grayish, with prominent dark markings 43. 


43. Yellowish, heavily marked with small black spots, which are often grouped 

to form rosettes; total length of adult about six feet 

Felis hernandesii (Gray) Jaguar, American Leopard 
Yellowish to gray, heavily marked with dark blotches, bars or rings; about 

three feet long 

Fell's ^ardalis griffithii (Fischer) Ocelot 

44. Total length usually less than three and one-half feet; pupil of eye eb 

liptical; upper incisors without definite sides lobes at the level of the 
gums Foxes 45. 

Total length usually more than three and one-half feet; pupil of eye round; 
upper incisors with definite side lobes at the level of the gums Wolves 
and Coyotes 49. 

45. Tail without under fur; long hairs of tail coarse; back usually grizzled 

gray and black; generally distributed 

Urocyon cinereoargenteus (Schreber) Gray Fox 
Tail with dense, soft under fur; long hairs of tail silky; back usually red- 
dish or brownish-yellow, sometimes black or black, tipped with white 46. 

46. Tail white-tipped; total length of adult about three and one-half feet 47. 
Tail with a black or very dark brown tip; total length seldom as much 

as three feet 48. 

47. Legs largely black; generally distributed 

Vulpes fulva (Desmarest) Common Red Fox 
(Several subspecies, including macroura Baird, necator Merriam 
and cascddensis Merriam.) 
Feet black; legs dark buff; northern plains 

Vulpes regalis Merriam Northern Plains Red Fox 
(Now considered to be a subspecies of the preceding.) 

48. Ears moderately large; in the western plains 

Vulpes velox (Say) Kit Fox, Prairie Fox 
Ears about as long as face; along the western Mexican border 
Vulpes macrotis Merriam Long-eared Kit Fox 

49. Under fur of back reddish-brown; total length less than four feet; weight 

thirty-five to forty pounds; central and western states 
Cams latrans Say Prairie Wolf, Coyote 
(Many intergrading subspecies, including lestes Merriam, estor 
Merriam and ochropus Eschscholtz,) 
Under fur of back grayish-brown; total length over four feet; weight 
sixty to one hundred pounds; formerly generally distributed, but now 
mostly in the western states 50. 

50. Sides mostly grayish; often reaching six feet; first upper molar with ob- 

scure basal ridge on outer side and with outer posterior cusp scarcely 
smaller than outer anterior cusp; formerly generally distributed 
Cams lupus Linn. Gray or Timber Wolf 
(Many intergrading subspecies, including lycaon Schreber, 
gigas (Townsend) and nuhilus Say) 
Sides mostly rusty; size smaller, not over five and one-half feet in total 
length; first molar in upper jaw with pronounced basal ridge on outer 




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side and with outer posterior cusp distinctly smaller than outer anterior 
cusp; formerly 111. to Fla. and Texas 

Canis niger Bartram Red Wolf 
(Includes C. rufus (Audubon & Bachman) ) 

51. Very large mammals, weighing up to nine hundred pounds; tail very short; 

Family Ursidae Bears 52. 

Much smaller, not over fifty pounds; tail moderate to long 55. 

52. Profile of face concave or "dished in"; claws of fore feet twice as long 

as those on hind feet; with a long'haired hump on the shoulders; Great 
Plains and Rockies 

Ursus horribihs Ord Grizzly Bear 
Profile almost straight; claws of fore feet only slightly longer than those 
on hind feet; no long-haired hump on the shoulders 53. 

53. In most of wooded United States except the extreme southeastern and 

Gulf states 

Ursus americanus Pallas Black Bear (Cinnamon or Brown 

Bear are color phases of this species) 
(Euarctos americanus (Pallas) ) 
From eastern Texas to Florida and Georgia (Now considered to be sub' 
species of the preceding) 54. 

54. With the region between and back of the eyes high arched; Georgia to 


Ursus flor-idanus (Merriam) Everglades Black Bear 
(Euarctos floridanus (Merriam) ) 
With the region between and back of the eyes almost flat; from La. into 
eastern Texas 

Ursus luteolus Griffith Louisiana.Black Bear 
(Euarctos luteolus (Griffith) ) 

55. Tail with a series of six or more definite dark rings; Family Procyonidae 

Not so; Family Mustehdae 58. 

56. Tail about one-half of total length; body long and slender; weight of 

adult about two and one-half pounds; in the southern states from Texas 

Bassariscus astutus (Lichtenstein) Ring-tailed Cat, Cacomistle 
Tail about one-third of total length; body thick set; weight of adult about 
fifteen pounds or more 57. 

57. Dark rings on tail almost as wide as the lighter spaces between; color griz- 

zled gray, brown or black; generally distributed 
Procyon lotor (Linn.) Raccoon 
Dark rings on tail considerably narrower than the lighter areas between; 
pale gray and black; desert regions of California 

Procyon pallidus Merriam Desert Raccoon 
(Now considered to be a subspecies of the preceding.) 

58. Claws of fore feet over one inch long; head and body very flat and broad; 

hair long, silvery, gray grizzled with black; head with a narrow, median, 
white stripe and a white patch below each eye; generally distributed 


Taxidea taxus (Schreber) American Badger 
Not as above 59. 

59. Body color pattern definitely of black and clear white; claws not retractile; 

feet not webbed Skunks 60. 

Color brown; any whitish markings with an evident brownish or yellow 

tinge, or else all white, except the tip of the tail; either with the claws 

partly retractile or with the toes webbed 69. 

60. Usually with one or two white stripes on the body, or sometimes mostly 

black 61 

With more than two white stripes on the body, these stripes usually inter- 
rupted to form a series of blotches or spots 63. 

61. White spot of head forking to form a pair of white bands, one on each 

side of the body; generally distributed 

Mephitis mephitis (Schreber) Striped Skunk 
(Many intergrading subspecies, including nigra (P. & B.), 
mesomelas Lichtenstein and estor Merriam) 
With a broad, uninterrupted dorsal stripe from head to tail; along the 
Mexican border 62. 

62. Under side of tail with only a few black hairs; Texas to Ariz,. 

Conepatus mesoleucus (Lichtenstein) Hog-nosed Skunk 
Under side of tail with much black; coastal region of Texas 

Conepatus leuconotus texensis Merriam Texas Hog-nosed Skunk 

63. West of the Rockies 

Spilogale gracilis Merriam Western Spotted Skunk 
(Many intergrading subspecies, including saxatilis (Merriam) 
and phenax Merriam) 
East of the Rocky Mountain crest 64. 

64. In the southeastern states to Alabama 65. 
Eastward to Mississippi (mostly west of the Mississippi River) 66. 

65. With a white patch on the under side of the tail, near the base, as well 

as a white tip; Florida 

Spilogale amharvahs Bangs Florida Spotted Skunk 
Tail black, except for the white tip; Maryland to Ala. 

Spilogale putorius (Linn.) Allegheny Spotted Skunk 

66. Very little or no white on the tail; prairie states 

Spilogale interrupta (Raf.) Prairie Spotted Skunk 
Last quarter of the tail white 67. 

67. White stripes as narrow as, or narrower than, the black areas between 

them; Miss, to Texas 

Spilogale indianola Merriam Gulf Spotted Skunk 
Lateral stripes usually wider than the black areas above them; distribu- 
tion more westerly or northerly 68. 

68. White spot on forehead large; N. M. into Texas 

Spilogale leucopana Merriam Rio Grande Spotted Skunk 
White spot on forehead narrow; N. M. into Colo. 

Spilogale tenuis Howell Rocky Mountain Spotted Skunk 


69. Feet fully webbed; total length of adult forty to forty-five inches; tail 

long and tapering, and sparsely haired; generally distributed 
Lutra cayiadensis (Schreber) Otter 
Feet scarcely or not webbed; less than forty inches long; tail well haired 


70. Form bear-like; color above dark brown to black, with a band of yellow 

along each side Wolverines 71. 

Form squirrel-like; color not so 72. 

71. Head gri2,2iled gray and brown; along the Canadian border and down the 

Rockies to Colo. 

Gulo luscus (Linn.) Canadian Wolverine 
Head pale gray above; from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California 

Gulo luteus Elliot Southern Wolverine 
(Now considered to be a subspecies of the preceding.) 

72. Total length about two feet or over; legs as dark as, or darker than, the 

body color 73. 

Total length less than twenty inches; legs seldom darker than the back — 
Mustela Linn. (Putorius Cuvier) Weasels (A difficult group to 
identify by external characters, especially in winter, when many of 
them turn white.) 77. 

73. With five teeth on each side of the upper jaw behind the canines — Martes 

Pinel (Mustela Linn.) 74. 

With four teeth on each side of the upper jaw behind the canines — ■ 

Mustek Linn. {Putorius Cuvier) 76. 

74. With a dark throat patch; head and shoulders grayish; northern and 

Pacific states 

Martes pennanti (Erxleben) Fisher, Pekan 
With a light bulf or yellowish patch on the throat; ears often with white 
or buffy edges 75. 

75. Along the Canadian boundary westward about to Minn., thence north' 


Martes americana (Turton) Eastern Marten 
In Washington and Oregon; light areas on throat and chest larger than 
in the preceding species, often extending on to the front legs 
Martes caurina (Merriam) Western Marten 

76. Color yellowish-brown, with blackish feet and a black, mask'like band 

across the eyes; plains states 

Mustela nigriceps (Audubon fe? Bachman) Black-footed Ferret 
Rather uniformly dark brown, except for a white spot on the chin and 
occasional irregular white spots on the body; generally distributed 
Mustela vison Schreber Mink 
(Many intergrading subspecies) 

77. Seldom over eleven inches in total length; tail (not including hair) about 

one-fifth or less total length; no black at the tip of the tail or with only 

a few black hairs (Two common subspecies are given here) 78. 

Often larger; tail more than one-fifth total length; with black at the tip 

of the tail, often for the last quarter 79. 


78. In the northwestern states to Minn.; often turning white in winter 

Mustela rixosa rixosa (Bangs) Canadian Least Weasel 
In the northeastern states to Minn., and southward in the mountains; less 
often turning white in winter 

Mustela rixosa allegheniensis (Rhoads) Allegheny Least Weasel 

79. Total length not over thirteen inches; tail (not including hair) less than 

onc'third total length; usually becoming white in winter; northern 
states, extending southward along the mountains (Two common sub- 
species are given here) 80. 
Total length often exceeding thirteen inches in many subspecies; tail about 
or over one -third total length; becoming white in winter in most, but 
not all, subspecies; generally distributed (Several common subspecies 
are given here) 81. 

80. Usually white in winter; in summer pelage, the color of the upper parts 

does not extend on to the belly; northern states 

Mustela erminea cicognanii Bonaparte Bonaparte's Short-tailed 
Weasel or Ermine 
May or may not be white in winter, depending upon locality; in summer 
pelage, the color of the upper parts often extends well on to the belly; 
Puget Sound region 

Mustela erminea streatori (Merriam) Puget Sound Short-tailed 
Weasel or Ermine 

81. With a ver^' short black tip to the tail; turning white in winter; northern 

New England 

Mustela frenata occisor (Bangs) New England Long-tailed 
Weasel or Ermine 
Tail usually black for the last quarter or more 82. 

82. Tail usually black for more than the last quarter; turning white in winter 

in the northern part of its range; east of the Mississippi 

Mustela frenata noveboracensis (Emmons) New York Weasel 
Tail black for about the last quarter; west of the Mississippi 83. 

83. With a conspicuous white band crossing the face between the eyes and the 

ears; not usually turning white in winter; along the Mexican border 
Mustela frenata frenata Lichtenstein Bridled Weasel 
No such facial marking; may or may not turn white in winter; usually 
more northerly in distribution 84. 

84. In the plains states 85. 
In the mountain and Pacific states 86. 

85. Usually turning white in winter; in summer pelage, upper lip white and 

under parts buff; northern plains 

Mustela frenata long-icauda Bonaparte Plains Long-tailed 
Usually turning white in winter; in summer pelage, upper lip not white 
and under parts yellow; Osark region 

Mustela frenata primulina Jackson Missouri Weasel 

86. With a white spot between the eyes; usually not turning white in winter; 

southern Pacific states 


Mustek frenata xanthogenys Gray California Long'tailed 
Not so; usually turning white in winter 87. 

87. In summer pelage, color of upper parts extending well on to sides of belly; 
northern Pacific states 

Mustela frenata washmgtoni (Merriam) Washington Long' 
tailed Weasel 
In summer pelage, color of upper parts ending sharply on the sides; Pacific 
and mountain states 

Mustela frenata nevadensis Hall Mountain Long-tailed Weasel 
(Includes M. arizonensis (Mearns (part) ) 


1. With two very small incisor teeth behind the pair of large upper incisors; 

rabbits or rabbit-hke animals 2. 

With only two upper incisor teeth; not rabbit-like 16. 

2. No visible tail; hind legs not much longer than fore legs; Family 

Ochotonidae Pikas 3. 

With a short tail; hind legs considerably longer than fore legs; Family 

Leporidae Hares and Rabbits 4. 

5. Under parts without bulfy tinge; with an indistinct grayish "'collar" on 
the shoulders; Rocky and Cascade Mts. southward through Oregon 

Ochotona princeps (Richardson) Rocky Mountain Pika or 
Under parts with buffy tinge; no grayish collar; in the Sierra Nevadas 
and mountains between them and the Rockies 

Ochotona schist-iceps (Merriam) California Pika or Cony 
(Considered to be a subspecies of the preceding) 

4. Hind foot over four and three-quarters inches long in the adult; ears 

often black tipped or black bordered; fur becoming white in winter, 
in some but not all species, excepting the ears, which are then gray 
tipped 5. 

Hind foot less than four and one-half inches long; ears usually not so 
definitely black tipped, but often with a blackish tinge toward the tips; 
not becoming white in winter Cottontails 9. 

5. Ears and hind legs considerably longer, proportionally, than those of the 

domestic rabbit; ears over three and one-half inches long in the adult 

Jack Rabbits 6. 

Ears not proportionally longer than those of the domestic rabbit; ears 

less than three and one-half inches long Snowshoe Rabbits 8. 

6. No black on tail; fur becoming white in winter in colder parts of its 

range ; from Iowa westward 

Lepus townsendii Bachman White-tailed Jack Rabbit 
{Lepus campestr-is (Bachman) ) 
Upper part of tail partly or mostly black; fur not becoming white in 
winter 7. 





PORC u p I N E 



7. Ears with definite black tips; upper part of tail mostly black; from Kansas 

and Nebraska to the Pacific coast 

Lepus californicus Gray Black'tailed Jack Rabbit (Many sub' 
Tips of ears only slightly blackish posteriorly; upper part of tail black 
only on basal half; Ariz;, and N. M. southward 

Lepus alleni Mearns White-faced or Antelope Jack Rabbit 

8. Soles of feet usually light colored; fur turning white in winter; northern 

states, and southward in the mountains 
_ Lepus americanus Erxleben Varying Hare, Snowshoe Rabbit 

(Many intergrading subspecies) 
Soles of feet usually dark tinted; fur not turning white in winter; western 
Wash, and Oregon 

Lepus washingtonii Baird Coastal Snowshoe Rabbit 
(Now considered to be a subspecies of the preceding) 

9. Tail uniformly colored; small mammals, not over twelve inches in the 

adult; western states 

Sylvilagus idahoensis (Merriam) Pigmy Rabbit 
(Brachylagus idahoensis (Merriam) ) 
Tail pale below; becoming larger 10. 

10. Tail gray below; swamp or marsh habitat; southeastern states along the 

coast from Va. to Fla. and La. 

Sylvilagus palustns (Bachman) Marsh Rabbit 
Tail white below 11. 

1 1. Tops of hind feet brown; hind feet getting to be slightly over four inches 

long; 111. to Ga. and Texas 

Sylvilagus aquaticus (Bachman) Swamp Rabbit 
Tops of hind feet white or pale butfy; hind feet usually much shorter 12. 

12. Tail about as wide as long, thickly haired; under parts grayish; Pacific 

coastal region 

Sylvilagus hachmani (Waterhouse) Brush Rabbit 
Tail somewhat longer, thinly haired 13. 

13. Tops of hind feet usually white; from S. D. and Okla. westward 14. 
Tops of hind feet usually buffy; eastward from Wyo. and Colo. 15. 

14. Ear, from crotch, less than two and three-eighths inches long, thickly 

haired within; general color brownish 

Sylvilagus nuttallii (Bachman) Rocky Mountain Cottontail 
Ear slightly longer, extending beyond nose, when laid forward; ears 
black-tipped and thinly haired within; general color grayish 

Sylvilagus auduhonii (Baird) Western Cottontail 

15. Under parts pinkish-buff, well streaked with black; with a lengthwise 

black band between the ears; New England to Ala. 

Sylvilagus transitionalis (Bangs) New England Cottontail 
Under parts sprinkled, not streaked, with black; N. Y. to the Rockies 
Sylvilagus floridanus (Allen) Common Cottontail 
(Many subspecies) 



^" v^^ 

"3 ^\>s^\^\\ 


PR A \ R I E 000 





16. Tail very flat, broad and hairless; toes of hind feet with evident webs; 

claw of second toe double; adults somewhat over three feet in total 
length (the largest native rodent) ; generally distributed over the 
United States, but almost exterminated in many localities; Family 

Castor canadensis Kuhl Beaver 
Not so 17. 

17. Body and short tail bristling with large, stiff quills; adults about two to 

three feet in total length; Family Erethn.onudae Porcupines 18. 

Not so 19. 

18. Hairs whitish at tips; New England to Penna. and westward through the 

Great Lakes Region 

Erethizon dorsatinn (Linn.) Canada Porcupine 
Hairs with greenish-yellow tips; westward and south Vv'ard from N. D. 
Ereth}zon epjxanthum Brandt Yellow-haired Porcupine 
(Now considered to be a subspecies of the preceding) 

19. Tail so short that the mammal appears superficially to be without a tail; 

Pacific states; Family Aplodontndae 

Aplodontia rufa (Raf.) Mountain Beaver, Sewellel 
With an evident tail 20. 

20. With four or more cheek teeth (premolars and molars) on each side of 

each jaw 21. 

With three grinding teeth on each side of each jaw 112. 

21. Tail thinly haired or almost bare 22. 
Tail bushy or at least well covered with hair; Family Sciuridae 23. 

22. With fur-lined cheek pouches opening on each side of the mouth but not 

connecting with the mouth 63. 

No such pouches 112. 

23. Body very heavy set; tail short, less than one -fourth of total length, in 

most cases Marmots and Prairie Dogs 24. 

Body more slender; tail usually, but not in all cases, longer Chipmunks, 

Squirrels, Ground Squirrels, etc. 29. 

24. Thumb small, with flat nail; tail without a conspicuous black or white tip 

Thumb with a claw, the same as the fingers; tail with a black or white tip 


25. Upper parts largely grizzled black and white; northwestern U. S. to 


Marmota caligata (Eschscholtz) Hoary Marmot, Whistler 
Upper parts reddish-brown 26. 

26. Under parts buff to brown; northern states 

Marmota monax (Linn.) Woodchuck, Groundhog, Marmot 
Under parts yellowish to light brown; with a light band crosswise before 
the eyes; in the Rockies and westward 

Marmota flaviventris (Audubon & Bachman) 
Yellow-bellied Marmot 


27. Tail with a black tip; in the Great Plains 

Cynomys ludovtcianus (Ord) Black-tailed Prairie Dog 
Tail with a white tip 28. 

28. Distal half of tail gray, edged with white; southern Rockies into Colo. 

Cynomys guyinisom (Baird) Gunnison Prairie Dog 
Distal half of tail white; northern Rockies into Colo. 

Cynomys leucurus Merriam White-tailed Prairie Dog 

29. With definite stripes on back and sides 30. 
No definite color stripes, except sometimes a mid-dorsal stripe or band 43. 

30. With lengthwise stripes on the sides of the head 31. 
No definite stripes on the sides of the head 38. 

31. Mid-dorsal stripe bordered on each side by a much wider band; with 

four upper grinding teeth on each side; eastern and central states 
Tamias stnatus (Linn.) Eastern Chipmunk 
Mid-dorsal dark stripe bordered on each side by a lighter stripe of about 
equal width; with five upper grinding teeth on each side; west of the 
Mississippi, except in the northern states, where it spreads into Wis. 
and Michigan Western Chipmunks 32. 

32. Light spot behind ear indistinct or grayish 33. 
With a white spot behind each ear 34. 

33. Stripe through eye and edges of ears black; northern Rocky Mountain 

area and Pacific states 

Eutamias amoenus (Allen) Klamath Pine Chipmunk 
Stripe through eye and ears brown; in the Cal. coastal ranges 
Eutamias mernami (Allen) Merriam's Chipmunk 

34. Stripe through eye brown; edges of ears grayish; small, about seven 

inches in total length; generally distributed over the western and 
northern states to Michigan 

Eutamias minimus (Bachman) Little or Sagebrush Chipmunk 
Stripe through eye black or blackish; larger 35. 

35. Large, about ten inches in total length; edges of tail whitish; hairs on 

backs of ears banded with two or three colors; Pacific states 36. 

Smaller, about eight to nine inches; edges of tail buffy 37. 

36. With a black stripe below the ear; white spot behind ear as long as ear; 

Cal. and Nevada 

Eutamias quadrimaculatus (Gray) Long-eared Chipmunk 
With a reddish-brown stripe below the ear; white spot behind ear smaller 
than ear; Pacific states 

Eutamias townsendii (Bachman) Townsend's Chipmunk 

37. Crown and shoulders gray; not much black in stripes; Rocky Mountain 

states west to the Sierras 

Eutamias quadrivittatus (Say) Say's Chipmunk 
Crown and shoulders brown; with definitely black stripes on body; Cal. 
into Nevada 

Eutamias speciosus (Merriam) Lodgepole Pine Chipmunk 


38. Upper parts with many dark and light stripes, each dark stripe with a 

central row of light spots; central states 

Citellus tndecemlineatus (Mitchill) Thirteen-striped Ground 
With one light stripe on each side, with or without darker stripes above 
or below it 39. 

39. Upper incisors slender and almost straight; crown, sides of neck and 

shoulders chestnut, contrasting with the rest of the dark upper parts 

Subgenus Callospermophilus Merriam 40. 

Upper incisors heavy and recurved; no light mantle Subgenus AmmO' 

spermophilus Merriam 41. 

40. With a well developed dark stripe above the white stripe; Oregon and 


Citellus chrysodeirus (Merriam) Golden Mantled Ground 

(Now considered to be a subspecies of the following) 
Dark stripe above the light stripe poorly developed or absent; Rocky 
Mountain and Pacific states 

Citellus lateralis (Say) Say's Mantled Ground Squirrel 

41. Tail grayish or mixed black and white below; southwestern states 

Citellus harrisii (Audubon 6? Bachman) 
Gray-tailed Antelope Ground Squirrel 
Tail white below 42. 

42. Hairs of tail with one black band; southwestern states to Idaho and 


Citellus leucurus (Merriam) White-tailed Antelope Ground 
Hairs of tail with two black bands; in southern California 

Citellus nelsoni (Merriam) Nelson's Antelope Ground 

43. Front and hind legs on each side joined together by a wide fold of skin 

extending from the side of the body Flying Squirrels 44. 

Not so 45. 

44. Under parts white to roots of hairs; total length usually less than ten 

inches; eastern and central states 

Glaucomys volans (Linn.) Eastern Flying Squirrel 
Under parts with hairs dark at base; usually larger; northern and western 

Glaucomys sahrinus (Shaw) Northern or Western Flying 

(Many subspecies) 

45. Length of tail (not including hair) about one-third of total length; 

tail not bushy 46. 

Tail almost or about one-half total length; tail bushy 53. 

46. Back with light spots or blotches 47. 
Not so 48. 

47. Tail included about three times in total length; Mexican border north- 

ward to Neb. 



Citellus spilosoma (Bennett) Spotted Sand Squirrel 
Tail included about four times in total length; northwestern U. S. 

Citellus washingtoni Howell Washington Ground Squirrel 

48. Tail included about three times in total length 49. 
Tail included about four times in total length 51. 

49. Back uniformly colored, e.xcept for the white tips to the hairs; adults 

about ten inches in total length; hair coarse and stiff; Ariz, to Cal. 
CiteUiis tereticaudiis (Baird) Round-tailed Ground Squirrel 
Back grizzled or dark spotted; adults about fourteen to fifteen inches in 
total length 50. 

50. Limbs rusty-yellow; tail included slightly more than three times in total 

length; northwestern U. S. 

Citellus columbidnus (Ord) Columbian Ground Squirrel 
Limbs grayish; tail included slightly less than three times in total length; 
northern plains area; introduced into N. J. 

Citellus fran\linii (Sabine) Franklin's Ground Squirrel 

5L Upper parts grayish; hair very soft; Wash, to Nev. and Utah 

Citellus toiimsendu (Bachman) Townscnd's Ground Squirrel 
(Includes C. mollis (Kennicott) ) 
Upper parts brownish 52. 

52. Tail yellowish beneath; Mont, to Wyo. and Nevada 

Citellus richardsonn (Sabine) Richardson's Ground Squirrel, 
Tail reddish beneath; Great Basin, Oregon and Idaho to Nev. and Cal. 
Citellus heldingi (Merriam) Belding's Ground Squirrel 

53. Hairs on sides of tail not much longer than those above or below; back 

often blotched or dappled; not living in trees; southwestern U. S. and 
Pacific states (Subgenus Otospermophilus) Rock Squirrels 54. 

Hairs much longer on sides of tail than above or below; back evenly col- 
ored; arboreal; generally distributed 55. 

54. With a central dark patch on the neck and shoulders; Pacific states 

Citellus heecheyi (Richardson) California Rock Squirrel 
Not so; Colo, to Texas and Cal. 

Citellus variegatus grammurus (Say) Arizona Rock Squirrel 

55. With four grinding teeth in each side of upper jaw; color variable, but 

usually rusty to blackish; hairs of tail tipped with yellow, not white; 

total length of adult twenty to twenty-seven inches Fox Squirrels 56. 

With five grinders in each side of upper jaw, the first quite small or 

sometimes absent; reddish or gray; large or small 57. 

56. With several color phases, even in the same subspecies, from pale gray, 

through rusty-red (the most common phase) to black; eastern and 
central states 

Sciurus niger Linn. Fox Squirrel 
Color mixed black and white, often appearing gray; with yellowish- 
brown dorsal stripe evident in winter but indistinct in summer pelage; 
Ariz, and N. M. 

Saurus arizonensis Coues Arizona Gray Squirrel 


57. With conspicuous tufts of long hairs on the ears; Colo, southwards 58. 
No conspicuous ear tufts 59. 

58. White beneath; Colo, southwards 

Scnirus aherti Woodhouse Tuft-eared Squirrel 
Black beneath; Arizona 

Sciurus \aihahensis Merriam Kaibab Squirrel 

59. Small; adults seldom reaching fourteen inches in total length; rustyred 

above and white to rusty below; first upper premolar vestigial to 

absent 60. 

Larger; adults reaching seventeen to twenty inches in total length; first 

upper premolar usually present; chiefly grayish above 62. 

60. Under parts rusty-red; west of the Rockies 

Tarmasciurus douglasii (Bachman) Western Chickaree 
Under parts whitish or dusky 61. 

61. Hairs of tail tipped with white; in southern Rocky Mountain states 

Tamiasciurus fremonti (Audubon 5? Bachman) 
Fremont Chickaree 
Hairs of tail with yellowish tips; in northern Rocky Mountain states and 
most of the forested area east of the Rockies 

Tamiasciurus hudsonicus (Erxleben) Red Squirrel, Chickaree 

62. Color of back a brownish-gray mixture, with gray predominating; in 

forested areas of the eastern and central states; introduced in some 
western states 

Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin Eastern Gray Squirrel 
Color of back silvery-gray; tail very broad, with the hairs often three 
inches long; Pacific states 

Sciurus griseus Ord Western Gray Squirrel 

63. Thick-bodied mammals with very short legs; fore feet much enlarged for 

digging; eyes and ears very small; Family Geomyidae Pocket Gophers 


Small, slender mammals, usually adapted for leaping; eyes and ears usual' 

ly large; tail about as long as the body, often with a terminal tuft of 

hair; Family Heteromyidae Pocket Mice and Pocket Rats 80. 

64. Outer surface of upper incisors not grooved or with a shallow groove near 

the inner edge; lower molars with anterior as well as posterior plates 
of enamel; Rocky Mountain and Pacific states Western Pocket 
Gophers 65. 

Outer surface of upper incisors each with an almost central groove or 
with two grooves, the deeper one near the outer edge; lower molars 
with enamel plates posteriorly only 76. 

65. Upper incisors protruding beyond tip of nasal bones 66. 
Not so 69. 

66. Ears small but pointed; Idaho and Nevada 

Thomomys townsendii (Bachman) Townsend's Pocket Gopher 
Ears merely a thickened rim 67. 

67. Incisors projecting slightly; Cal., Ariz,, and Utah 

Thomomys hottae (E. ^ G.) California Pocket Gopher 
Incisors projecting markedly 68. 


68. In Oregon 

Thomomys hulhivorns (Richardson) Camas Pocket Gopher 
From Texas to Ariz. 

Thomomys haileyi Merriam Sierra Blanca Pocket Gopher 

69. Ears small 70. 
Ears relatively large 72. 

70. Ears pointed; northwestern states 

Thomomys fuscus Merriam Brown Pocket Gopher 
Ears rounded; southwestern states 71. 

71. Upper incisors definitely grooved; coat yellowish'brown 

Thomomys fulvus (Woodhouse) Tawny Pocket Gopher 
Upper incisors with no, or very faint, grooves; coat yellowish-gray 
Thomoynys perpalUdus (Merriam) Desert Pocket Gopher 

72. With five or six pairs of mammae 73. 
With four pairs of mammae 74. 

73. With six pairs of mammae; color gray; upper incisors distinctly grooved; 

Colo, northward 

Thomomys talpoides (Richardson) Plains Pocket Gopher 
With five pairs of mammae; color brown; upper incisors very faintly 
grooved; Colo, and Utah 

Thomomys fossor Allen Mountain Valley Pocket Gopher 

74. Incisor grooves scarcely visible; with considerable white on under side 

and on throat; Sierra Mts. 

Thomomys alpmus Merriam Alpine Pocket Gopher 
Upper incisors with distinct grooves 75. 

75. Under parts usually buff; central Oregon into Cal. and Nevada 

Thomomys monticola Allen Mountain Pocket Gopher 
Under parts usually with some irregular white patches; Wash, and north' 
ern Oregon 

Thomomys douglasii Richardson Columbia Pocket Gopher 

76. Upper incisors each with one groove; no posterior enamel plates on upper 

middle two cheek teeth; Colo, southwards 

Cratogeomys castanops (Baird) Chestnut'faced Pocket Gopher 

Upper incisors each with two grooves; with enamel on front and back of 

upper check teeth; widely distributed over the central and southern 

states 77. 

77. Rarely over nine inches in total length; color dark brown; Kansas to the 

Gulf states 

Geomys hreviceps Baird Southern Prairie Pocket Gopher 
(and related forms) 
Adult length ten to twelve inches; color usually chestnut or reddish 
brown, a few forms dark to slaty 78. 

78. With an easily felt longitudinal ridge (sagittal crest) along top of brain' 

case, especially well developed in males; top profile concave; western 
Wis. and Ind. to the Rockies 

Geomys hursarius (Shaw) Northern Prairie Pocket Gopher 
(and related forms) 










Usually with two ridges not close enough together to form a sagittal 
crest; top profile convex; southeastern states 79. 

79. Color sooty or tawny above; with some white on throat and under parts; 


Geomys fiondanus (Audubon 6? Bachman) Florida Pocket 
Color reddish-brown above, buff below; Ga. and Ala. 
Geomys tuza (Ord) Southern Pocket Gopher 

80. Normal hairs mixed with stiff spines, which are flattened and grooved 

on the anterior side; southern Texas 

Liomys irroratus texensis (Merriam) Texas Spiny Pocket 
Not so 81. 

81. Total length of adults nine to twelve inches; tail with a dark stripe be- 

low; usually with a conspicuous light stripe across the thigh; south- 
western states (A very difficult group, in need of more taxonomic 
study, separated mainly on range. A few common species are given 
here.) 82. 

Smaller; tail with no dark stripe below 94. 

82. Usually with a small fifth toe or claw high on the inside of the foot 83. 
Usually with only four toes 90. 

83. From Oregon southward alone the Cal., Nevada and Ari^. border into 

Texas and Mexico 84. 

Primarily in Cal. 85. 

84. Lower incisors flat, chisel-shaped; Nevada region 

D^podomys microps (Merriam) Chisel-toothed Kangaroo Rat 
Lower incisors rounded; Oregon to Texas 

Dipodomys ordii Woodhouse Ord's Kangaroo Rat 

85. In the southern part of Cal., from San Bernardino and Kern Counties 

southward, on the desert slopes of the mountains 

Dipodomys agilis Gambel Nimble Kangaroo Rat 
North of San Bernardino, or in the Mohave or Panamint areas 86. 

86. Large, about fourteen inches in total length; tail not much longer than 

rest of animal; southwest border of San Joaquin Valley, Cal. 
Dipodomys ingens (Merriam) Giant Kangaroo Rat 
Smaller, ten to twelve inches in total length; tail usually almost twice as 
long as the body 87. 

87. From southern Oregon to Santa Barbara county, Cal., between the Sier- 

ra Nevada and the coastal Redwood belt 

Dipodomys heermanni Le Conte Heermann Kangaroo Rat 
South and west of the above range 88. 

88. In the Mohave Desert and lower Owens Valley, Cal. 

Dipodomys mohavensis Grinnell Mohave Kangaroo Rat 
Not so 89. 

89. At the head of Owens Valley and in the northern Panamint Mts. 

Dipodomys panamintinus (Merriam) Panamint Kangaroo Rat 


In San Jacinto Valley of east Riverside county 

Dipodomys stephensi (Merriam) San Jacinto Kangaroo Rat 

90. In western and central Cal. and northward into Oregon; northern sub' 

species with a white tail tuft 

Dipodomys heermanni Le Conte Heermann Kangaroo Rat 
In southeastern Cal. or eastward 91. 

91. Light buff, with no dark facial markings; total length about fourteen 

inches; adjoining areas of Cal. and Nevada 

Dipodomys deserti Stephens Desert Kangaroo Rat 
Darker, with dark facial markings and some black hairs on body 92. 

92. About twelve to fourteen inches long; tail usually white-tipped; Ariz. 

to Texas 

Dipodomys spectahilis Merriam Banner-tailed Kangaroo Rat 
About nine to ten inches long; tail usually dark tipped 93. 

93. In the San Joaquin Valley, Cal.; dark tail stripes (dorsal and ventral) 

narrower than the light lateral tail stripes 

Dipodomys nitratoides (Merriam) Short-nosed Kangaroo Rat 
In the Mohave Desert and westward into Texas; dark tail stripes wider 
than the light ones 

Dipodomys merriami Mearns Merriam Kangaroo Rat 

94. Base of tail slimmer than central part; soles of hind feet thickly haired; 

body heavy; head large; found in the arid section where Oregon, 

Nevada and Cal. meet Kangaroo Mice 95. 

Base of tail stouter than central section; soles of hind feet bare to half 

haired; body slender and mouse-like Pocket Mice 96. 

95. Upper parts dark; end of tail dark; fur behind ears brownish 

Microdipodops megacephalus Merriam Brown Kangaroo Mouse 
Upper parts light; tail more uniformly colored; fur behind ears white 
Microdipodops pallidus Merriam Pale Kangaroo Mouse 

96. Fur coarse, with stiff or spiny bristles; soles of hind feet usually bare 

(Subgenus Chaetodipus) 97. 

Fur soft, without bristles; soles of hind feet usually hairy behind 

(Subgenus Perognathus) 103. 

97. Tuft on end of tail less than three-eighths of an inch long 98. 
Tuft on end of tail usually over one-half an inch long 99. 

98. Tail longer than head and body; Ariz, to Cal. 

Perognathus haileyi Merriam Bailey Pocket Mouse 
Tail about one-half total length; plains states to the Rockies 
Perognathus hispidus Baird Stiff -haired Pocket Mouse 

99. Bristles coarse but not spiny; Cal. to Texas 

Perognathus penicillatus Woodhouse Desert Pocket Mouse 
Bristles spiny 100. 

100. Ears elongate; Cal. 

Perognathus calif ornicus Merriam California Pocket Mouse 
Ears round 101. 

101. Stripe along side obscure or absent; southern Cal. 


Perognathus spinatus Merriam Spiny Pocket Mouse 
With a light stripe along each side 102. 

102. Front edge of ear only onc'fourth as long as the hind foot; Cal. 

Perognathus fallax Merriam Short-cared Pocket Mouse 
Front edge of ear about onc'third as long as the hind foot; N. M. and 

Perognathus intermedius Merriam Intermediate Pocket Mouse 

103. In the northern plains to Colo. 104. 
In the Rocky Mountain and Pacific states 106. 

104. Under parts huffy 

Perognathus fasdatus Wied Maximillian Pocket Mouse 
Under parts white 105. 

105. Fur soft; Wyo. southwards 

Perognathus fiavus Baird Baird Pocket Mouse 
Fur coarse; northern plains 

Perognathus fiavescens (Merriam) Plains Pocket Mouse 

106. Small; total length of adult less than six inches 107. 
Larger; over six inches in adult specimens 110. 

107. Tail about two and one-half to three inches long, about as long as head 

and body; often with a light lateral stripe 108. 

Tail about two inches long, shorter than head and body; light lateral 

stripe obscure or absent 109. 

108. Ears large; Utah to Cal. 

Perognathus longimemhris (Coues) Fort Tejon Pocket Mouse 
Ears small; Colo, to Ariz. 

Perognathus apache Merriam Apache Pocket Mouse 

109. Tail with very little hair; Texas and N. M. 

Perognathus merriami Allen Merriam Pocket Mouse 
Tail with moderate amount of hair; Wyo. southward 
Perognathus flavus Baird Baird Pocket Mouse 

110. Tuft at end of tail over one-half inch long; Utah to Cal. 

Perognathus formosus Merriam Long-tailed Pocket Mouse 
Tuft at end of tail less than three-eighths of an inch long 111. 

111. In central and southern Cal. 

Perognathus inornatus Merriam San Joaquin Pocket Mouse 
From northern Cal. to Wash, and Idaho 

Perognathus parvus (Peale) Oregon Pocket Mouse 

112. Tail about one and one-half times as long as head and body; hind legs 

very long; fore legs short; Family Zapodidae Jumping Mice 113. 

Tail not much longer than head and body, usually shorter; hind legs not 

greatly lengthened 118. 

113. With a white tip to the tail; only three grinding teeth in each side of the 

upper jaw; eastern and central states 

J^apaeozapus insignis (Miller) Woodland Jumping Mouse 
No white tip to tail; usually four grinders in each side of upper jaw, the 
first very small 114. 


114. East of the Rockies 

Zapus hudsonius (Zimmermann) Hudson Bay Jumping Mouse 
In the Rocky Mountain region and westward 115. 

115. Under parts much the same color as the upper parts; coastal regions of 


Zapus oranus Prehle Coastal Jumping Mouse 
Under parts white or only slightly tinged with the color of the upper 
parts 116. 

116. Tail indistinctly bicolor; Rocky mountain region 

Zapus princeps Allen Rocky Mountain Jumping Mouse 
Tail sharply bicolor — gray above, white below 117. 

117. With a distinct, dark dorsal band; Pacific states 

Zapus trinotatus Rhoads Oregon Jumping Mouse 

(Often considered to be a subspecies of the preceding.) 
No distinct, dark dorsal band; Oregon and Cal. 

Zapus pacificus Merriam Pacific Jumping Mouse 

118. Grinding teeth of the upper jaw with rounded points in two or three 

lengthwise rows on the crowns 119. 

Grinding teeth with flattened crowns showing loops or irregular, tri' 

angular folds of enamel; Family Cncetidae (part) Native Rats and 

Mice 144. 

119. With the rounded points on the grinding teeth extending in three length- 

wise rows; tail practically hairless; introduced species; Family Muridae 
Old World Rats and Mice 120. 

With the rounded points on the grinding teeth extending in two length- 
wise rows; tail usually hairy; native species; Family Cncetidae (part) 
Native Rats and Mice 123. 

120. Total length of adult six to seven inches 

Mus musculus Linn. House Mouse 
Total length fifteen to seventeen inches 121. 

121. Length from nose to root of tail greater than, or occasionally equal to, 

length of tail; grayish or brownish above, gradually shading to lighter 

Kattus norvegicus (Erxleben) Norway Rat, Common or House 

(Mus norvegicus or Epimys norvegicus of some writers) 
Length from nose to root of tail less than length of tail; blackish above 
or else yellowish- white below 122. 

122. Slate colored to black above; slaty-gray to black below 

Rattus rattus rattus (Linn.) Black Rat 
Reddish-brown above; yellowish-white below 

Rattus rattus alexandrinus (Geoffrey) Roof Rat 

123. Upper incisors with deep lengthwise grooves 124. 
Upper incisors not grooved on front 128. 

124. Grayish below; Virginia to Florida and Louisiana 

Reithrodontomys humuhs (Audubon and Bachman) Harvest 
White to buff below; west of the Mississippi River 125. 



125. Large; tail three and onc'half or more inches long; western Louisiana to 

eastern Texas, and northward to Missouri 

Reithrodontomys fulvescens (Allen) Golden Harvest Mouse 
Smaller; tail less than three and one-half inches long 126. 

126. Tail not distinctly hicolor, grayish below; body usually reddish below; 

in salt marshes along the coast of California 

Reithrodontomys raviventris Dixon Red'bellied Harvest Mouse 
Tail distinctly bicolor, whitish below; western states 127. 

127. Ears often with one or two dark patches each; rostrum (before eye 

sockets) less than one-third length of skull; S. D. southwards, prefer- 
ring arid areas 

Reithrodontomys montanus (Baird) Desert Harvest Mouse 
(Includes R. albescens Gary) 
Ears usually plain colored; rostrum slightly longer than one-third length 
of skull; southward and westward from N. D., preferring less sandy 

Reithrodontomys megalotis (Baird) Upland Harvest Mouse 

128. Sole of hind foot naked or almost so 129. 
Sole of hind foot hairy; under parts white 130. 

129. Under parts gray or buffy; total length about four inches; southern 


Baiomys taylori (Thomas) Taylor Baiomys 
Under parts white; total length nine or ten inches; N. J. to the Gulf 

Oryzomys palustris (Harlan) Rice Rat 

130. Tail shorter than 2.4 in total length; sole of hind foot with four tu' 

bercles; western Minn, to central Oklahoma, and westward 131. 

Tail longer than 2.4 in total length; sole of hind foot with five or six 
tubercles; generally distributed; Peromyscus Gloger White-footed or 
Deer mice 

(Intergradation and extreme variation make identification of species 
very difficult. Only the more common and widely distributed species 
are included in this key.) 132. 

131. Tail slightly more than one-third of total length; Utah to Galifornia 

and Texas, and southwards into Mexico 

Onychomys torridus (Coues) Coues Grasshopper Mouse 
Tail one-third or less of total length; western Minnesota south and west 
Onychomys leucogaster (Wied) Grasshopper Mouse, Scorpion 
Mouse (Many subspecies) 

132. With five tubercles on sole of hind foot; total length seven and one 

half to nine inches; Florida 

Peromyscus floridanus (Chapman) Florida White-footed 
With six tubercles on sole; if from Florida, less than seven and onc'half 
inches in total length 133. 

133. Ears just the same color as the body; abdomen tinged with the same 

color as the upper parts; southeastern states 


Peromyscus nuttalli (Harlan) Golden Mouse 
Ears darker than hack, usually edged with whitish; under parts white 


134. Upper grinding teeth, from side view, not showing small tubercles be 

tween the large ones; no nipples between the fore limbs, two pairs be' 
tween the hind limbs; west of the Rockies and in western Texas 135. 
Upper grinders with small tubercles between the large ones; with a 
pair of nipples between the fore limbs and two pairs between the hind 
limbs; generally distributed 137. 

135. Total length nine to eleven inches; coast of California 

Peromyscus calif ornicus (Gambel) Parasitic Mouse 
Total length six and one-half to eight inches 136, 

136. Tail with a distinct tuft of hair at the tip; Oregon to Colorado and 


Peromyscus crinitus (Merriam) Canyon Mouse 
Tail without evident tuft of hair at the tip; Utah to California and 
Texas, and southwards into Mexico 

Peromyscus eremicus (Baird) Desert Mouse 

137. Sole of hind foot all haired, except the toe pads; generally distributed 

Peromyscus manicuJatus (Wagner) Prairie Deer Mouse 
(Many subspecies) 
Distal half of sole of hind foot naked 138. 

138. Hair on under side white to roots; found only in Florida, Georgia and 


Peromyscus polionotus (Wagner) Pigmy Peromyscus 
Hair on under side darker at roots 139. 

139. Tail usually not over three inches long, or less than onchalf of total 

length 140. 

Tail usually from three to four and one-half inches long, as long as or 

longer than the head and body 141. 

140. Not found north of southern Virginia and southern Illinois; tail not 

distinctly bicolor 

Peromyscus gossypinus (Le Conte) Cotton Mouse 
From Canada to Louisiana; tail distinctly bicolor 

Peromyscus leucopus (Raf.) Forest Deer Mouse 

141. Tail about equal to head and body; eastern Oklahoma and Texas east 

to the Atlantic; southern 111. and Virginia southwards 

Peromyscus gossypinus (Le Conte) Cotton Mouse 
Tail slightly longer in proportion to head and body; Arkansas to Cali' 
fornia; Oregon to Mexico 142. 

142. Ear large, as long as hind foot 

Peromyscus truei (Shufeldt) Big-eared White-footed Mouse 
Ear smaller, not as long as the hind foot 143. 

143. With dusky markings on "ankle" or tarsal joint 

Peromyscus hoylii (Baird) Boyle White-footed Mouse 
No dusky markings on tarsal joint 

Peromyscus pectoralis (Osgood) Lacey White-footed Mouse 










144. Tail flattened laterally and very sparsely haired; hind feet very large 

and partly webbed; getting to be one and one-half to two feet in total 
length; generally distributed 

Ondatra zihethica (Linn.) Muskrat 
(Fiber zihethica (Linn.) ) 
Tail either cylindrical or else flattened and bushy; hind feet not webbed 
nor especially large 145. 

145. Total length of adult nine or more inches; tail more than three times 

as long as the hind foot 146. 

Total length of adult seldom reaching nine inches; tail shorter than 

the above in most, but not all, species 157. 

146. Ears short, with the apertures almost hidden in the fur; tail scaly, sparse- 

ly haired 147. 

Ears large and plainly visible; tail scarcely scaled Wood Rats or Pack 

Rats 149. 

147. With short, soft under fur and longer shining guard hairs; tail blackish; 

in sphagnum bogs in Florida 

7\[eo/iber alleni True Florida Round-tailed Muskrat 
With rough, loose pelage; tail dark above, lighter below; southern At- 
lantic and Gulf states and along the Mexican border 148. 

148. Under parts white or grayish-white; southern states 

S-igmodon hispidus Say and Ord Cotton Rat 
Under parts buff; New Mexico and Arizona 

Sigmodon mmimus Mearns Little Cotton Rat 

149. Tail flattened and bushy; from the Dakotas, Nebraska and Kansas west- 


7<leotoma cinerea (Ord) Bushy-tailed Wood Rat, Pack Rat 
Tail cylindrical, not bushy 150. 

150. First upper grinding tooth only about one-third longer than the last, the 

last grinder with four loops; hind feet dark colored; Pacific region 
J\leotoma fuscipes Baird Dusky-footed Wood Rat 
First grinder fully twice as long as the last, the last with three loops; hind 
feet light colored 151. 

151. East of the Mississippi River 152. 
West of the Mississippi River 153. 

152. Tail white below, well haired; in the Appalachian Mountain region from 

N. Y. to Ala. 

l\leotoma magister Baird Pennsylvania Wood Rat 
{J\leotoma pennsylvanica Stone) 
Tail brownish below, sparsely haired; S. C. to Fla. and westward to 
Colo. ; northward in the Mississippi Valley to 111. 

7\[eotoma fioridana (Ord) Florida Wood Rat 

153. Total length about fifteen inches; in the southern states westward to' 

Texas, and northward to S. D. 

J\leotoma fioridana (Ord) Florida Wood Rat 
Smaller; in the southwestern states, eastward to Texas 154. 


154. Tail almost the same color above and below; usually under twelve inches 

in total length; N. M. into Cal. 

7S[eotoma lepida Thomas Desert Wood Rat 
Tail much lighter below; often over twelve inches long 155. 

155. White fur on throat, breast and groin lead colored at base; southward 

from Colo. 

J-leotoma mexicana Baird Mexican Wood Rat 
White fur on these regions white at base 156. 

156. Tail grayish-brown above; Colo, and Kansas southward through N. M. 

and Texas 

J^leotoma rmcropus Baird Texas Wood Rat 
Tail blackish above; Colo, to Texas, and westward to Cal. 

J^eotoma alhigula Hartley White-throated Wood Rat 

157. Front of upper incisors each with a lengthwise groove near the outer 

edge Lemming Mice 158. 

Upper incisors not grooved 159. 

158. With a few brightly colored hairs at the base of each ear; with eight nip' 

pies; last two lower molars on each side each with three closed loops or 
triangles; northern New England and Washington state 

Synaptomys horealis (Richardson) Canadian Lemming Mouse 
No light colored hairs at the base of the ears; with six nipples; last two 
lower molars on each side each with four closed loops or triangles; 
eastern and central states 

Synaptomys cooperi Baird Lemming Mouse 

159. With a reddish dorsal band from the crown of the head to the root of 

the tail; molar teeth each with two small roots in adult specimens 
Red-backed Mice 160. 

Without a reddish dorsal band 162. 

160. In the northern states and southward in the mountains; dorsal band 

usually well defined 

Clethrionomys gapperi (Vigors) Capper Red-backed Mouse 
(Evotomys gapperi (Vigors) ) 
In the Pacific states; dorsal band merging into the color of the sides 161. 

161. Tail about one-third total length; living on the ground 

Clethrionomys califomicus Merriam California Red-backed 
Tail longer; living in trees 164. 

162. Grinding teeth with pronged roots; Pacific States 163. 
Grinding teeth without pronged roots; generally distributed 165. 

163. Tail less than one-fourth total length; u£per parts grayish; Pacific states 

Phenacomys intermedins Merriam Mountain Lemming Mouse 

Tail over one-third total length; upper parts brownish; in Oregon and 

Cal. 164. 

164. Upper parts bright reddish-brown 

Phenacomys longicaudus True Red Tree Mouse 
Upper parts brown, mixed with black 

Phenacomys albipes Merriam Coastal Lemming Mouse 


165. Tail not over one and one -half times as long as the hind foot; skull flat 

and wide 166. 

Tail more than one and one-half times as long as the hind foot; skull 
high and narrow (A difficult group, with many intergrading species 
and subspecies. A few common ones are given here.) Meadow Mice 
or Voles 169. 

166. With eight mammae; western states 

Lagurus curtatus (Cope) Short-tailed Meadow Mouse 
(LemmisciiS curtatus (Cope) ) 

(Several subspecies, including pallidas (Merriam), pauper^ 
rimus (Cooper) and intermedius (Taylor) ) 
With four mammae or nipples, all between the hind legs 167. 

167. West of the Mississippi River from Okla. to Iowa 

Pitymys nemoralis (Bailey) Western Pine Mouse 
(Considered to he a subspecies of P. pinetorum) 
East of the Mississippi 168. 

168. From Mass. to Ga.; upper parts chestnut; feet grayish 

Pitymys pinetorum (Le Conte) Eastern Pine Mouse 
In Florida; upper parts paler; feet pinkish 

Pitymys parvulus Howell Florida Pine Mouse 

169. With five plantar tubercles (raised pads on sole of hind foot) 170. 
With six plantar tubercles 173. 

170. Mammae (nipples) eight; Pacific stat