Reptiles & Amphibians Reptiles & Amphibians
Gopher snake

Species tables for Utah's reptiles and amphibians

Learn more about possession limits, prohibited species and mandatory reporting.

Utah has the following classifications for the collection and possession of wild reptiles and amphibians:

  • Prohibited — Prohibited species cannot be collected or possessed in any number without a variance (exception) obtained from the Utah Wildlife Board.
  • Non-controlled — Most non-controlled species can be collected and possessed in any number, and no permit is required. (Important: There are four native non-controlled lizard species that do require a permit for collection and that have bag/possession limits. See below for details.)
  • Controlled — Controlled species may be legally taken from the wild, up to the legal bag and possession limits, but a collection permit or certificate of registration is required.

Important: Once you remove any reptile or amphibian species from the wild — whether it's non-native or native — it may not be released back into the wild.

Prohibited species (possession limit is zero)

There are several species of reptiles and amphibians that have declining or threatened populations. The following species are classified as prohibited for any take or harvest, which means you may not collect them from the wild and keep them unless you have special approval (called a variance) from the Utah Wildlife Board:

Collection and possession is prohibited
Common name Scientific name
Columbia spotted frog Rana luteiventris
Relict leopard frog Lithobates onca
Western or boreal toad Anaxyrus boreas
Arizona toad Anaxyrus microscaphus
Gila monster Heloderma suspectum
Mojave (or Mohave) desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii

Sometimes, the DWR receives desert tortoises that other people have illegally removed from the wild, and members of the public are allowed to adopt them. Learn more about this program.

Non-controlled non-native species (possession is unlimited)

There are several species that are not native to the state of Utah and are classified as non-controlled. Because these species are often problematic for Utah's native wildlife, they may be collected or possessed in any number without a permit. The DWR does not maintain a full list of non-native species; however, the following species are known to occur in Utah and are non-native:

Unlimited collection, possession and harvest — no permit required
Common name Scientific name
Bullfrog Lithobates catesbiana
Green frog Lithobates clamitans
Baja California treefrog Pseudacris hypochondriaca
Pacific treefrog P. regilla
Red-eared slider or pond slider Trachemys scripta
Common snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina

Although it is not required, you can help the DWR document the distribution of non-native reptiles and amphibians by photographing and reporting observations with the iNaturalist app.

Non-controlled native species — collection and possession

Some abundant native species also fall into the non-controlled classification, but you must have a collection permit to remove them from the wild. After you complete the orientation course and obtain your collection permit, you will be allowed to take — or harvest — the following legal bag and possession limits of the lizard species listed below:

Expanded possession (25 daily/100 total, per species)
Common name Scientific name
Sagebrush lizard Sceloporus graciosus
Side-blotched lizard Uta stansburiana
Plateau fence lizard Sceloporus tristichus
Western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Although reporting is not mandatory for non-controlled species that fall into the Expanded possession category, we strongly encourage you to complete a voluntary online report if you take any of these four lizards home with you.

Controlled species — collection and possession

Utah has many controlled reptile and amphibian species that you can collect and remove from the wild as long as you meet certain requirements. After you complete the orientation course and obtain your collection permit, you will be allowed to take — or harvest — the following legal bag and possession limits of the species listed below:

  • Standard — 3 daily and 9 in total possession, per species
  • Limited — 2 daily (and yearly) and 4 in total possession, per species
Standard possession (3 daily/9 total, per species)
Common name Scientific name
Boreal chorus frog Pseudacris maculata
Canyon treefrog Hyla arenicolor
Great Basin spadefoot Spea intermontana
Great Plains toad Anaxyrus cognatus
Mexican spadefoot Spea multiplicata
Northern leopard frog Lithobates pipiens
Plains spadefoot Spea bombifrons
Red-spotted toad Anaxyrus punctatus
Tiger salamander Ambystoma mavortium
Woodhouse's toad Anaxyrus woodhousii
Coachwhip Coluber flagellum
Common gartersnake Thamnophis sirtalis
Desert horned lizard Phrynosoma platyrhinos
Desert night lizard Xantusia vigilis
Desert nightsnake Hypsiglena chlorophaea
Desert spiny lizard Sceloporus magister
Eastern collared lizard Crotaphytus collaris
North American racer Coluber constrictor
Glossy snake Arizona elegans
Gopher snake Pituophis catenifer
Great Basin collared lizard Crotaphytus bicintores
Greater short-horned lizard Phrynosoma hernandesi
Long-nosed leopard lizard Gambelia wislizenii
Long-nosed snake Rhinocheilus lecontei
Many-lined skink Plestiodon multivirgatus
Northern rubber boa Charina bottae
Ornate tree lizard Urosaurus ornatus
Plateau striped whiptail Aspidoscelis velox
Ring-necked snake Diadophis punctatus
Smith's black-headed snake Tantilla hobartsmithi
Smooth green snake Opheodrys vernalis
Striped whipsnake Coluber taeniatus
Terrestrial gartersnake Thamnophis elegans
Tiger whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris
Western groundsnake Sonora semiannulata
Western skink Plestiodon skiltonianus
Limited possession (2 daily and yearly/4 total, per species)
Common name Scientific name
Arizona mountain kingsnake Lampropeltis pyromelana
Black-necked gartersnake Thamnophis cyrtopsis
California kingsnake Lampropeltis californiae
Common chuckwalla Sauromalus ater
Common lesser earless lizard Holbrookia maculata
Desert iguana Dipsosaurus dorsalis
Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi
Long-tailed brush lizard Urosaurus graciosus
Sonoran lyre snake Trimorphodon lambda
Spotted leaf-nosed snake Phyllorhynchus decurtatus
Western banded gecko Coleonyx variegatus
Western milk snake Lampropeltis gentilis
Western patch-nosed snake Salvadora hexalepis
Western threadsnake Rena humilis
Zebra-tailed lizard Callisaurus draconoides
Mandatory reporting

If you capture and take home any of the controlled reptiles or amphibians listed above, you will also need to complete the mandatory online-reporting requirement. You must submit a report within 72 hours of taking a reptile or amphibian out of the wild. Learn more about this requirement.

Collecting and possessing rattlesnakes

The online course and collection permit do not authorize you to legally collect, possess or harvest rattlesnakes. In order to remove a rattlesnake from the wild in Utah and keep it, you must have special permission from the DWR in the form of a target="_blank">Certificate of Registration (COR).

The COR document will indicate which species you are authorized to collect and what you are allowed to do with them. The rattlesnake species listed below all require a COR:

Common name Scientific name
Western rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus
Prairie rattlesnake Crotalus viridis
Mojave (or Mohave) rattlesnake Crotalus scutulatus
Sidewinder Crotalus cerastes
Southwestern speckled rattlesnake Crotalus pyrrhus

To learn more about obtaining a COR to collect, possess or harvest rattlesnakes, see the rule for amphibian and reptile collection, importation, transportation, and possession or call Anita Candelaria at 801-538-4701.

Possessing non-native venomous species

Non-native venomous species are prohibited. You may not possess them without first obtaining special permission (called a variance) from the Utah Wildlife Board. If you have questions about this process, see Admin. Rule R657-53-18 or contact your local DWR office.

Wildlife Blog
» Wildlife Blog
Utah wildlife photos
» Utah wildlife photos
Report poachers — 1-800-662-3337
» Report poachers
Wildlife dates
» Important dates
Hunter, angler app
Hunter Education
» Hunter education