Knowing about the animals around you is very important in scouting. In this merit badge, you will learn about the differences between reptiles and amphibians as well as the part they play in their environments!
Merit Badge Counselors:
- Ms. Gretchen Shumpert
- Mr. Tom ‘Opa’ Schmeltzer
- Merit Badge Requirements
- Associated Worksheets
- Reptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge Presented By Robert Carlin
- Video: Part 1 – Reptile and Amphibian Merit Badge Presentation
- Video: Part 2 – Reptile and Amphibian Merit Badge Presentation
What Are The Reptile and Amphibian MB Requirements?
Expand each topic below to find out!
1. What are characteristics of reptiles and amphibians?
Describe the identifying characteristics of six species of reptiles and four
species of amphibians found in the United States. For any four of these, make
sketches from your own observations or take photographs. Show markings,
color patterns, or other characteristics that are important in the identification
of each of the four species. Discuss the habits and habitats of all 10 species.
2. How many species live in the US?
Discuss with your merit badge counselor the approximate number of species and
general geographic distribution of reptiles and amphiians in the United States.
Prepare a list of the most common species found in your local area or state.
3. Describe the main differences between
(a) Amphibians and reptiles
(b) Alligators and crocodiles
(c) Toads and frogs
(d) Salamanders and lizards
(e) Snakes and lizards
4. Reptiles & Amphibians in their environment.
Explain how reptiles and amphibians are an important component of the
natural environment. List four species that are officially protected by the
federal government or by the state you live in, and tell why each is protected.
List three species of reptiles and three species of amphibians found in your
local area that are not protected. Discuss the food habits of all 10 species.
5. Describe how reptiles and amphibians reproduce
Describe how reptiles and amphibians reproduce.
6. Observation of Movement Structure
From observation, describe how snakes move forward. Describe the functions
of the muscles, ribs, and belly plates.
7. Venomous Snakes & Lizards
Describe in detail six venomous snakes and the one venomous lizard found in
the United States. Describe their habits and geographic range. Tell what you
should do in case of a bite by a venomous species.
8. Do ONE of the following:
(a) Maintain one or more reptiles or amphibians for at least a month. Record
food accepted, eating methods, changes in coloration, shedding of skins,
and general habits; or keep the eggs of a reptile from the time of laying until
hatching; or keep the eggs of an amphibian from the time of laying until their
transformation into tadpoles (frogs) or larvae (salamanders). Whichever you
chose, keep records of and report to your counselor how you cared for your
animal/eggs/larvae to include lighting, habitat, temperature and humidity
maintenance, and any veterinary care requirements.
(b) Choose a reptile or amphibian that you can observe at a local zoo,
aquarium, nature center, or other such exhibit (such as your classroom
or school). Study the specimen weekly for a period of three months. At
each visit, sketch the specimen in its captive habitat and note any changes
203 in its coloration, shedding of skins, and general habits and behavior. Discuss
with your counselor how the animal you observed was cared for to include
its housing and habitat, how the lighting, temperature, and humidity were
maintained, and any veterinary care requirements.
Find out, either from information you locate on your own or by talking to the
caretaker, what this species eats and what are its native habitat and home
range, preferred climate, average life expectancy, and natural predators.
Also identify any human-caused threats to its population and any laws that
protect the species and its habitat. After the
9. Do TWO of the following:
(a) Identify at night three kinds of toads or frogs by their voices. Imitate the
song of each for your counselor. Stalk each with a flashlight and discover
how each sings and from where.
(b) Identify by sight eight species of reptiles or amphibians.
(c) Using visual aids, give a brief talk to a small group on three different
reptiles and amphibians.
10. Superstitions About Reptiles & Amphibians
Tell five superstitions or false beliefs about reptiles and amphibians and give
a correct explanation for each. Give seven examples of unusual behavior or
other true facts about reptiles and amphibians.
Guided discussion video of the above presentation coming soon!
Fun Facts About Reptiles & Amphibians!
Do you remember the types of movement?
Check your knowledge below!