Lizards and Snakes


Species:  Five-lined Skink

Scientific Name:  Eumeces fasciatus

Status in Mountain Lakes:  Possible.

Comments:  Occurs in wooded habitat in The Tourne in Boonton and Denville Townships.  Richard Wilcox Park is immediately adjacent to this area, and has similar habitats.  Probably not present in other areas of town.

 Snakes of Mountain Lakes


 Probable Snake Species in Mountain Lakes

Species:  Eastern Garter Snake

Scientific Name:  Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis

Status in Mountain Lakes:   Very probable, though there are no records for the town.

Comments:  A common species statewide, in a wide variety of habitats including fragmented woods, disturbed areas, and suburban yards.

Possible Snake Species in Mountain Lakes

Species:  Northern Redbelly Snake

Scientific Name:  Storeria occipitomaculata accipitomaculata

Status in Mountain Lakes:  Possible.  Occurs in nearby areas in Denville, Boonton Township, and Parsippany.

Comments:  Quite small, shy, and rarely seen.


Species:  Eastern Worm Snake

Scientific Name:  Carphophis amoenus amoenus

Status in Mountain Lakes:  Possible.  Known to occur in The Tourne county park in Denville and Boonton Townships.

Comments:  A small snake that “ looks very much like a large earthworm.” (Schwartz and Golden 2002).


Species:  Northern Black Racer

Scientific Name:  Coluber constrictor constrictor

Status in Mountain Lakes:  Possible.  Known to occur in The Tourne (Radis 2008).

Comments:  From a distance resembles Northern Water Snake, but is not found in water.


Species:  Black Rat Snake

Scientific Name:  Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta

Status in Mountain Lakes:  A small Black Rat Snake was found dead in the rear parking lot of the YMCA in 1997.  Of possible occurrence in Wilcox Park, but probably not elsewhere in the borough.

Comments:  Resembles Black Racer from a distance, but can be much larger.


Species:  Northern Copperhead

Scientific Name:  Agisktrodon contortix mokasen

State Status:  None; Heritage Program G4, undetermined (NJNHP 2001).

Status in Mountain Lakes:  Possible.  Occurs at several sites in Denville Township, in or near rocky wooded areas, as well as in The Tourne (Radis 2008).  Similar suitable habitat is only present in Wilcox Park.

Comments:  Poisonous, but usually quite shy, and prefers to flee rather than confront threats.