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Ohio Herp Checklist

Standard English & Scientific Names of Ohio Amphibians & Reptiles

This checklist provides the standard names of amphibians and reptiles that reside in Ohio as developed by a committee sanctioned by the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, the Association of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and the Herpetologists' League.

The need for this checklist arose when, after the seventh edition of the Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments on our understanding (Crother 2012), the aforementioned "names committee" began posting the "most up to date list" as an electronic spreadsheet (now referred to as the SSAR North American Species Names Database).  This electronic resource is undated and "dynamic," attributes that are most unwelcome for a resource that is portrayed as the standard.  (For a more in-depth critique of the "official names" list, see Pauly et al. 2009.)

I began updating this list yearly in 2014 using the SSAR North American Species Names Database In 2017, SSAR resumed publication of the list, releasing the 8th edition (the left-most column in the spreadsheet below). Whenever a scientific or standard English name has changed from the previous version (or when I last accessed the electronic version) I have indicated this by highlighting the cell in yellow

Names are provided exactly as they appear in the respective sources.  In some cases, I have indicated what I believe to be errors [sic].  The two columns furthest to the left are the most updated scientific and standard English names as they appeared when I last accessed the SSAR N.A. Species Database in the most recent printed publication.  To find the currently accepted names, scroll all the way to the left.  Then, you can look across the row to the right to see previous names.

[Given the problems encountered with the on-line database, I'll no longer be updating this spreadsheet with anything other than the most recent printed publication (currently the 8th edition).  A review of changes in the 8th edition finds that many of these are not reflected in the on-line version, which only adds to the confusion.  It is my hope that the "names committee" will abandon this on-line database, or re-purpose it as a place to track down the latest in taxonomic publications, but recognize that in its current form, it is failing to provide "the standard." 

There are a variety of reasons why tracking these changes is important, and the arguably arbitrary nature of some changes can be frustrating.  As just one example of the real-world importance of names, consider that most wildlife laws and regulations include the names of species; and, laws don't change as quickly as the systematist's latest findings!    

This spreadsheet is also available for download as an Excel file (or create a copy in your own Google Drive).

Ohio Herp Checklist