Frequently Asked Questions · Carolina Herp Atlas

Views and opinions expressed in NC Herps represent those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Editor, the Society, its Executive Council, or the NC State Museum of Natural Sciences. NC Herps does not carry commercial ads for herps or products of herp origin, but personal ads submitted by are normally carried free of charge. Ads for books may be carried free if space permits (if full page, please provide us with 400 copies).

As a member of the NCHS you will receive a quarterly newletter, NC Herps

“Herps” is the commonly used term for reptiles and amphibians which comes from the word, herpetology, which is the study of these two groups. Whether scared, curious, or uncertain about these “creeping” animals, you may encounter them and want to know exactly what it is that you’ve found.

Snakes - Amphibians and Reptiles of North Carolina

Rainbow Snake - Herps of NC Reptiles and Amphibians are often referred to as "herps". "Herp" is derived from "herpetology", which is from Greek, meaning the study (-logy) of reptiles (herpeton), though in current usage it includes amphibians, too. Herpeton derives from herpein, "to creep" - the Greeks may not have differentiated the two classes.

Click to Learn More About Snakes of North Carolina

It should be noted that times are rapidly changing since my youthful days of fieldherping. Many of my old haunts are now behind barbed wire fences and posted with no trespassing signs. Metal scrappers are collecting much of the old tin that used to abound. Restrictive laws are multiplying faster than rabbits, crushing our ability to catch and even touch many species deemed endangered. Nowadays, I hunt herps predominantly with a camera, so these tales of the chase to catch and keep are stories of yesteryear’s glories.

Lizards - Amphibians and Reptiles of North Carolina


As a member of the NCHS you will receive a quarterly newletter, NC Herps. NC Herps is delivered via PDF email with full color photos and contains informative articles, society updates, executive council meeting minutes, project reports, upcoming events, trivia and much more! Members are encouraged to submit content to the newsletter (see deadlines below). NC Herps is delivered in January, April, July, and October each year. Contact our editor above for more information. The book also offers a history of the diverse nature of herps in the state, their importance to the ecology, along with color pictures of some of the native herps, their biological makeup, how they reproduce, what they eat, where they are most often found in urban and suburban areas, as well as requirements specific to the animals in order for them to thrive in a backyard environment.NCPARC has only one membership requirement: an interest in the conservation of amphibians, reptiles and/or their habitats. Membership is free of charge and can be accomplished by emailing the NCPARC coordinator, Jeff Hall (). You need not be a member of the national PARC organization to join NCPARC (although national membership is as economical and simple as state membership). We welcome individuals from all walks of life, all professions, and all herpetological skill levels to join us. Through your diversity, we gain a more broadly-reaching voice for the conservation of our state’s rich amphibian and reptile heritage. To learn more about NCPARC, browse through this and the National PARC Web site (). It is our hope that you too will see the value amphibians and reptiles have in North Carolina, and that you will join us in working to conserve our herps and the remaining wild places they inhabit. The herping pleasures of my childhood were spent pursuing snakes, turtles and frogs in the many ponds near my home in Middlesex County in New Jersey. Sneaking up on painted and spotted turtles, and garter and water snakes, took patience and stealth—traits requiring practice for most children. Catching them (sometimes, anyway), and bringing them home as temporary pets over summer, taught me valuable early lessons about fieldherping and husbandry. Those reminiscences marked the path my life would follow to this day. I feel so sorry for city-bound young people today, who grow up without easy access to nature, or whose parents and mentors teach them to fear nature instead of encouraging them to experience wild herps in person.