Reptiles are cold-blooded, scaled animals. They include snakes, turtles and lizards. There are more than 10,000 species of reptiles in the world, but fewer than 20 of them can be commonly found in Westchester.
Reptiles hibernate during winter, but it is called brumation because they don’t actually go to sleep. They reduce activity and metabolism, but will periodically awake to drink water, or to bask if it’s a warm day. They can also tolerate reduced levels of oxygen, which allows reptiles to stay buried in mud or water for extended periods.
Explore the field guide to the Turtles of Westchester County
Explore the field guide to the Snakes & Lizards of Westchester County
Find out more about the NY Herp Atlas and other herp projects.
Resources, Events & Ideas
- Amphibians and reptiles are under threat from the spread of disease, so if you are hiking or herping in wetland areas, please follow the decontamination protocol every time!
- For more on our local herpetofauna, with lots of great pictures, check out Connecticut Herpetology.
- PBS’s Deep Look brings you 4K snippets of nature insights on a macro scale. Learn about how some lizards play a game of genetic rock-paper-scissors, or how adorable baby turtles grow up self-sufficient.
- Did you hear about the snake that had a virgin birth? It’s called parthenogenesis and it’s real!
- June is prime season for turtle nesting. Be on the lookout for mamas crossing the road.
- Did you know that New York’s State Reptile is the common snapping turtle? Read more about these magnificent beasts at the Department of Environmental Conservation.