Sixty-two species of amphibians with 14 species and reptiles with 48 species call Nebraska home. Of the 14 amphibian species there are 11 species of frogs and toads and three species of salamanders. Nebraska"s reptiles include nine species of turtles, ten species of lizards, and 29 species of snakes. Fourteen species of amphibians and reptiles have a statewide distribution while two others are distributed nearly statewide. All other species reach their continental distributional boundaries within the state. Nebraska has no endemic amphibians or reptiles, nor does it have any established non-native or introduced species. One native species - the Bullfrog - has been introduced well beyond its native distributional limits within the state.
Herpetology as a science in Nebraska officially began in 1891 with the publication of "The Ophidia of Nebraska" by W. Edgar Taylor of the Nebraska Teacher"s College (now Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska). This manuscript provided an annotated list of the snake species known from Nebraska at that time.
Nebraska does not presently list any amphibian or reptile species as endangered. One species, the Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus), is afforded the status of threatened within Nebraska. Other species are listed as Species in Need of Conservation (SINC). Conservation protection for Nebraska"s herpetofauna is separated into two levels: species for which no harvest is allowed and species for which limited harvest is allowed. Among the species for which limited harvest is allowed there are two lists: one for which only three individuals of each species can be taken and one for which 10 individuals are allowed to be taken. Collection and harvest of some other species are regulated either by bait or game laws rather than non-game wildlife laws. Currently, all native amphibians and reptiles in Nebraska are protected from commercial collection.