Amphibians and reptiles of Caribbean Islands

About Caribherp

Caribherp contains information on amphibians and reptiles of the Caribbean Islands (West Indies). It serves as a checklist of what occurs in the region as well as a quick identification guide to the species. Approximately 2000 images and maps, and selected frog calls (sounds), are presented along with an integrated open-access journal, Caribbean Herpetology. The journal accepts color images and video and currently publishes brief communications on individual species—later volumes will include full research articles. The species accounts can be sorted in many ways. Maps of the Caribbean, both current and historical, can be found on a separate site, Caribmap. Multimedia essays related to conservation issues on Caribbean islands are on a third site, Caribnature.

About 750 species are recognized from the region and covered here. Because of new species discoveries the number will surpass 800 species in a year or two and 1000 species probably within a decade. By comparison, 690 species are recognized from the entire continent of North America (U.S. and Canada), which is a much better-studied region and hence a species number not likely to rise dramatically. Also, the number of West Indian species of amphibians and reptiles is even slightly more than the number recognized from Madagascar, another biodiversity hotspot. It is 5% of the roughly 15,450 species of amphibians and reptiles in the world; 3% of the 6,700 amphibian species and 6% of the 8,750 reptile species.

Features soon to be added include a more detailed geographic subdivision, to individual islands and islets (e.g., Little Cayman, Nassau, St. Thomas, etc.). Also the web-based identification system of earlier versions, WebKey, is being updated and the remaining frog calls (sounds) will be added. The database is complementary to a field guide in progress. The guide will have more and larger images, line drawings, keys, larger maps, and full accounts of each species.

Copyright: Caribherp is intended for personal, academic, or other educational purposes. This site and all graphical items (animal images, maps, etc.) and sound files are copyrighted. Duplication or distribution, through commercial use or otherwise, of any content is strictly prohibited. Amphibian sound files are presented to assist identification of species; any other use, such as in creation of audio spectrograms, is strictly prohibited. Although use of the information in research is encouraged, contact the author for permission before undertaking any broad, comprehensive analyses of these data.

Citation: Hedges, S. B. (Year accessed). Caribherp: West Indian amphibians and reptiles ( Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Acknowledgments: The current version of Caribherp was developed primarily with the assistance of designer/developer Mandy Hippenstiel; multimedia specialist Lainey Lee helped with graphics. Those who assisted with earlier versions (since 1999) were Anne Beausang, Paul Clegg, Michelle Cook, Anthony Geneva, Jennifer Hines, Genna M. Lutz, Rebecca Ruskin, Heather Saylor, Rebecca Stauffer, Jennifer Thompson, and Teresa van Wagner. Bob Henderson, Bob Powell, and Richard Thomas have advised and assisted on countless occasions. Alberto Estrada helped enormously with the editing of frog calls. Others have graciously provided information, including Roberto Alonso, Yvonne Arias, Aaron Bauer, Craig Berg, Michel Breuil, Sandy Buckner, Patricia Burrowes, Ron Crombie, Jenny Daltry, Luis Díaz, Bill Duellman, Sandy Echternacht, Alberto Estrada, Eladio Fernandez, Ansel Fong, Tony Gamble, Orlando Garrido, Rich Glor, Adrian Hailey, Marcelino Hernandez, Julia Horrocks, Sixto Inchaustegui, Sloane Jackson, Jeremy Jacobs, Falin Joglar, Susan Koenig, Miguel Landestoy, Skip Lazell, Jonathan Losos, Luke Mahler, Anita Malhotra, Miguel Nelson, Gad Perry, Renata Platenberg, Ariel Rodriguez, Javier Rodriguez, Lourdes Rodriguez, Marcos Rodriguez, Jose Rosado, Alejandro Sánchez, Roger Thorpe, and Byron Wilson. Many others, including students and colleagues too numerous to list, have assisted in various ways over the years.

Image credits: The majority of animal photographs were taken by S. Blair Hedges. See PHOTO CREDITS for full list of credits.

Contact: Unfortunately, we have no staff available to respond to queries, and no animal images of any size are available for distribution. Please use the Sightings feature, associated with each species, to report any new distributional records or other observations of note. If you find any errors, or if you wish to donate an image for a species lacking an image, use this email address: director @