This website presents the results of a project begun in 1998 with the goal of producing a distributional atlas for reptiles (including crocodilians, turtles, lizards, and snakes) in Tennessee that would complement the Atlas of Amphibians in Tennessee. The Atlas of Amphibians in Tennessee was published in 1996 and placed online in 1999. Occurrence data and species identifications for reptile records in Tennessee were obtained and verified during visits to 25 museum collections in the United States. Additional information was gathered from the authors' personal field work and via a thorough and ongoing search of the literature. In May 2008, the Atlas of Reptiles in Tennessee website was launched with accounts for members of the family Viperidae. By August 2012, accounts for all of Tennessee's documented reptile species had been added. Subsequently, updates to the website have occurred four times each year following publication of each quarterly issue of Herpetological Review. 

As of May 2017, museum records in our data base, which date back to 1883, total 10,772 and represent 11,692 voucher specimens and photographs. Museum vouchers with Tennessee locality data represent 59 species, 57 that are considered native and two that are questionable. Literature records, which date back to 1835, total 4,244 retrieved from 674 documents. Excluding fossil records, 68 species of reptiles have been reported from Tennessee in the literature, but only 60 are currently considered native and are covered in the Atlas accounts. The other eight are likely based on encounters with escaped exotics, misidentified specimens, or erroneous locality data. Geographical clustering of records and the numbers of species known from each of Tennessee's 95 counties are thought to be related to their proximity to accessible public lands and/or institutions of higher learning rather than a reflection of true levels of species diversity.


Many individuals, some now deceased, contributed variously to this project. Included among them were directors, curators, technicians and clerical assistants at the museums visited; university professors and college students; employees of organizations and agencies that provided financial or other support; and members of the general public. To all of them we are grateful. Listed in alphabetical order, their names follow: David L. Auth, Allison Anderson, Hank Bart, Jeff Beane, Benjamin Beas, Tom Blanchard, Jesse Bradford, Alvin Braswell, Angelo Bufalino, Frank T. Burbrink, Martye Burkett, Ray Burkett, John Byrd, David Campbell, Gabby Call, Andrew Campbell, David Cannatella, Ben Cash, Chris Caustin, Joseph T. Collins,  Charles M. Dardia, Jon Davenport, Jamie DeAnda, Don DeFoe, Harold Dundee, Perri Eason, Arthur Echternacht, Andrea English, Robert English, Joshua Ennen, Dwayne Estes, Kevin Fitch, David Frymire, Michael Fulbright, Chris Gienger, Steve Gotte, Marilyn J. Griffy, Bill Gutzke, Craig Guyer, Michele Greenan, Nathan Haislip, Jim Hamlington, Mike Hansborough, Michael J. Harvey, Bob Hatcher, Hill Henry, Cory Holliday, Elizabeth Holliday, Jeff Holmes, Andy Huff, John B. Iverson, Susan Jeffers, Eric Johansen, Michael L. Kennedy, Kenneth Kirk, Michelle Koo, John Koons, Keith Langdon, Jean Langley, Kathy Le, John MacGregor, Joshua Maloney, Christine A. Mayer, Les Meade, Stephanie McCormick, Seth McCormick, Brian Miller, Max Nickerson, Matthew Niemiller, Ron Nussbaum, Chris OBryan, Chris Phillips, Mary Peterson, John Petzing, George Pisani, David Pitts, James Poindexter, Tammy Pryor, Anne Readel, Joshua Ream, Alan Resetar, Stephen P. Rogers, Jose Rosado, Charles Rozelle, Marcia Schilling, Greg Schneider, Greg Sievert, John Simmons, Joe Slowinski, Christy Ferrell Smith, Rusty Smith, Jeff Stewart, Scott Sutton, Mark Thurman, Stanley E. Trauth, Dick Vogt, Gary Walker, Robert G. Webb, Courtney Weyand, Colleen White, John Wiens, Kenneth Williams, Rod N. Williams, Scott Williamson, Larry Wilson, David Withers, Pete Wyatt, George R. Wyckoff, Alex J. Wyss, Kiah York, Edmund Zimmerer, George Zug, Richard Zweifel.

Austin Peay State University's Center for Field Biology provided funding to cover labor and travel expenses associated with trips to gather and verify museum data. Through a contract using Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) funds, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provided the cost of digitizing much of the data. The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee and the Tennessee Herpetology Society each donated funds to be used in support of the project.

Suggested Citation

Scott, A. F. and W. H. Redmond.  2008 (latest update: day month year).  Atlas of Reptiles in Tennessee.  The Center of Excellence for Field Biology, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee.  Available at http://www.apsubiology.org/tnreptileatlas/ (accessed day month year).

Posted: 1 May 2008

Latest Update: 27 January 2017

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This document is being adapted to the WWW by Jean Langley, Floyd Scott, and Rusty Smith.